Heard About The $200,000 Penthouse At The Apthorp? We Did, And Here's What We Heard.

Apthorp penthouse is selling for below market valueIt made sense at first, all those visitors to New Construction Manhattan clicking on the listing for Upper West Side condominium The Apthorp. It made sense because The Apthorp has always been among our most popular Upper West Side condo listings -- it's generally one of the most-clicked buildings in our Manhattan condo listings database, in fact -- and because it's a beautiful building filled with beautiful apartments for sale. Business as usual, right? Except they kept clicking. And clicking. The reason, we quickly figured out, was this story from the New York Post, which detailed what seemed like an incredible deal -- a (small) penthouse apartment at The Apthorp selling for $228,000, which is roughly 88% below its listing price. We'd click, too, if we read a story about apartments for sale in one of the hottest pre-war condominiums on the Upper West Side. So, how incredible was this deal?A source close to the transaction tells us that it's extremely incredible. As in "not credible." As in "there's something up." Before you read on, know that this is just chatter -- chatter from a serious and informed source, but chatter. Still, it's pretty interesting chatter. So: read on. So. The official story from The Apthorp is that the penthouse apartments aren't quite as luxurious as they sound. "These are rooftop units that were built as servants' quarters," an Apthorp source told Curbed's Joey Arak. "The price reflects their condition, size and overall stature. They are not remotely representative of the grand, spacious and completely renovated residences that are currently for sale." But while Andy Wang's Post article notes that other small, odd-sized apartments in The Apthorp have sold at low-ish prices of late, this deal still stood out -- an unrenovated 763-foot penthouse apartment at The Apthorp is still a penthouse apartment at The Apthorp, after all, and the price chop was so extreme that it couldn't help but raise some eyebrows. According to our source, those eyebrows are raised with good reason. The source tells us that while the apartment is indeed smallish and unrenovated, it was not a typographical error that it was originally listed around $2 million -- in keeping with The Apthorp's usual apartment prices, which begin in the $3 million dollar range and include some $7 million apartments. What happened, per our source, is more or less exactly what more cynical NYC real estate heads probably believed had happened -- a buyer with a close relationship to The Apthorp's developers scored a sweetheart deal on an apartment in one of Manhattan's most sought-after luxury condos. The bad news, then, is that most Manhattan apartment hunters aren't likely to score anything approaching this deal. But feel free to browse New Construction Manhattan's condo listings anyway. You never know... although many of us kind of knew this one all along.

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