The Plaza Hotel is a New York institution, a pop culture icon, a draw for shutterbug tourists, wealthy ladies who lunch and billionaire international playboys.
And, it turns out, a terrible real estate investment.
Prices for condominiums at the storied — but scandal-scarred — hotel are lagging well behind those in other high-profile buildings on Central Park, according to data collected by listings website CityRealty for the Daily News.
Its slide comes amid a deluge of new uber-luxe units in the neighborhood known as “Billionaires’ Row” and moneyed buyers are voting with their cash, exhibiting a preference for new product, rather than the historic narrative and romance surrounding the Plaza.
“There’s all this brand new stuff with sensational views and the kinds of amenities the Plaza could never dream of,” said luxury broker Reba Miller. “Who is left to buy at the Plaza? That’s the question.”
Apartments are the Plaza are indisputably classic
For Sony Music Entertainment CEO Doug Morris, who shelled out a hefty $9,997,168 on his two-bedroom apartment at the hotel in 2007, the investment certainly didn’t go platinum.
When he finally sold the property again last month, he got $10 million for it, a measly $2,832 more than he’d paid eight years ago.
During those same eight years, a two-bedroom unit at 15 Central Park West, the luxe limestone building on the other side of Central Park, had more than doubled its value, from $5.04 million to $10.6 million.
And Morris’ situation was not a one-off.
The residences at the Plaza Hotel have appreciated in value but not at the rate of other buildings
A one-bedroom on the 18th floor of the Plaza that sold for $2.18 million in 2008 sold again for just $2.39 million late last year, also a meager increase.
“It’s just timing,” said power broker Charlie Attias of the Corcoran Group, who scored a cushy deal for his client, the buyer of Morris’ unit. “A lot of it is just who’s out there looking for an apartment at the time.”
That’s almost certainly the case with any property but the troubles with the Plaza are more consistent.
Indeed, people who bought one or more units there when following a partial hotel to condo conversion by Elad Properties in 2007 and 2008 paid a median price of $3,636 per square foot, one of the highest price points for any condominium in the city and a premium over what others paid in some similar properties surrounding the park.
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