By: Robin Finn
May 3rd, 2013
An artfully configured but never-before-inhabited combination of three penthouses on the 30th floor at 200 Chambers Street — a 2005 Costas Kondylis creation that bills itself as TriBeCa’s pioneer luxury condominium — sold for $13 million and was the most expensive sale of the week, according to city records.
The sale went through despite a messy legal dispute between the listing broker and the buyer.
The residence, PHC, was customized by its original owner, an Italian billionaire who died before he could move in, and had been on the market since 2011, when the initial asking price was $17.99 million. Monthly carrying charges are $5,199.12, and residents of 200 Chambers are treated to amenities including a state-of-the-art gym, a rooftop terrace, a courtyard garden with a waterfall, and a 50-foot-long indoor lap pool with ceiling skylights. The building’s Warren Street service entrance has convenient access to TriBeCa’s Whole Foods marketplace.
The glass-sheathed penthouse has four bedrooms, four and a half baths, and a spare-no-expense master suite with views of the Hudson River and the Palisades. The cavernous master bath has a raised limestone tub, a two-person limestone shower and floor-to-ceiling windows that reveal panoramic East River views. Two of the other three bedrooms have en-suite baths.
Privacy was a penchant of the original owner, who evidently had sensitive hearing and stipulated that the entire unit, which has nearly 4,700 square feet of living and entertainment space, be soundproofed. The listing assures prospective occupants that the residence is protected by “acoustic attenuation features throughout, to avoid disturbance from any outside noise.”
The great room has an impressive 53-foot-long wall of glass, and the kitchen has Carrara marble countertops and the capacity to feed a crowd. According to the listing, “The Poliform stainless-steel kitchen is designed with catering in mind.”
After the asking price was reduced to $16.5 million in March of last year, the empty residence found itself a serious internal suitor, David Wilkenfeld, a businessman who already owns a three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath condo on the seventh floor. Struck by penthouse envy, Mr. Wilkenfeld, the founder of Promgirl.com, an online purveyor of prom finery, and a racehorse owner whose gelding, Vyjack, is entered in the Kentucky Derby, ultimately agreed to pay $13 million for the top-floor showplace in November.
Forbes.com reported that Promgirl recorded $80 million in sales in 2012. Vyjack, a $100,000 colt Mr. Wilkenfeld named after his parents, Vivienne and Jack, finished a close third behind Verrazano in the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct Racetrack last month, cementing his Derby credentials.
But last fall Mr. Wilkenfeld apparently had postcontract, prepurchase misgivings. He claimed that the listing broker, Daniel Hedaya, the president of Platinum Properties, had misled him on several points, among them the precise size of the unit, its carrying charges and, most seriously, his role, which was to represent only the seller, a limited-liability company, PH Chambers 398357R. Mr. Hedaya, who denied the veracity of the accusations, was on his honeymoon in St. Barts when he learned that Mr. Wilkenfeld was planning to sue him and sought, among other concessions, a $2 million rebate on the sale.
The official paperwork for the sale for $13 million, a 21 percent dip from the most recent asking price, was processed without incident on April 11, when the deed to the penthouse was transferred to Mr. Wilkenfeld, and lawyers for both parties said the planned suit had been settled privately. Mr. Wilkenfeld’s seventh-floor condo is listed for sale with Douglas Elliman Real Estate for $5.75 million.
A relieved Mr. Hedaya, for whom this sale set a personal record, said, “All the issues have been resolved, and there is no pending litigation.” He said the penthouse, with its high-end finishes and custom touches, was one of the most spectacular units he’d ever seen or marketed. The lawyer representing Platinum Properties, Neil A. Capobianco of Dentons, confirmed the settlement, as did Mr. Wilkenfeld’s lawyer, Adam Leitman Bailey.
“My client is very happy with the outcome,” Mr. Bailey said, “and very busy with prom season and a certain horse in a certain race.”