Featuring Steve Gold and Scott Hernandez's sale at Circa (285 West 110th Street) Upper West Side, as well as Julia Boland:
At a time when the luxury housing market is in a slump across Manhattan, a sprawling new penthouse on the edge of Harlem set a record for the most expensive uptown condo sale at more than $9.4 million.
The penthouse at Circa Central Park on the corner of West 110th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard has five bedrooms, a 30-foot living room, a full dining room and two terraces looking out over Central Park above the tree line. It was the most expensive condo sale above 96th street on Manhattan’s West Side and 102nd street on the East Side, according to real- estate broker Corcoran.
Brokers said the sale flags the growing appeal of an address in edgier uptown neighborhoods for affluent buyers who can afford to live anywhere.
At the same time, they said, it highlights how in the current weak luxury market, wealthy apartment hunters are carefully weighing the comparative costs of buying and owning a grand apartment in different locations.
The sale of the 11th floor apartment by Circa developer Artimus closed on Thursday, for a price of $9.45 million, according to Steve Gold, a Corcoran broker who represented the seller. The identity of the buyer wasn’t disclosed. The purchaser was listed as Circa North Star LLC, a newly created entity.
Mr. Gold said the apartment was listed for $9.8 million, and sold at about a 4% discount. It went into contract in September, he said.
Circa Central Park is a modernist concrete building, with a curved facade facing a traffic circle.
The penthouse is 3,734 square feet, not including 1,200 square feet of outdoor space, or about $2,531 a square foot.
That price is a bargain compared with the per-square-foot price of some large units with outdoor space in new buildings on the Hudson River or along Central Park South, running between 30% to 50% more.
But the Circa apartment also comes with a huge advantage: a 25-year tax abatement, that is no longer available to new luxury buildings. Mr. Gold said it would be worth more than $2 million tax savings over 25 years.
One of the five bedrooms in the penthouse at 285 W 110th St.
The annual taxes are $6,971, instead of $49,425 without the abatement, according to the latest tax bill for the penthouse.
"Buyers are no longer making quick decisions," Mr. Gold said. "They have to fall in love with the product, see quality and after the emotional part they have to feel there is relative value" compared with other apartments.
Circa Central Park is a modernist concrete building, with a curved facade facing a traffic circle. It was built on the site of what had been a city-owned gasoline station.
It went on the market in 2015, and so far half of its 38 market-rate apartments have been sold. Mr. Gold said the developers were comfortable with their current asking prices, despite the slowdown in the market.
"Harlem isn’t a value play anymore," said Julia Boland, a Corcoran broker who wasn’t involved in the Circa penthouse sale. She said many buyers, including older couples moving back to the city from the suburbs, choose Harlem for "the creativity, the edginess, the sense that new things are being created every day."
"People with $9 million to spend have choices, they can live anywhere in Manhattan, but they chose Harlem," she said.