Friday, September 13, 2013
Hoop Dreams: Houston Rockets Owner Leslie Alexander Buys a Penthouse in Downtown New York for $42 Million
Leslie Alexander, owner of the Houston Rockets basketball team, has paid $42 million for a penthouse in New York's Gramercy Park, atop a former Salvation Army residence for women.
The penthouse is on the two top floors of 18 Gramercy Park, a conversion designed by Robert A.M. Stern that set records for condo prices soon after it went on the market last year. Mr. Alexander's purchase represents the highest sale price in downtown Manhattan, according to city records. But prices have continued to rise, and a penthouse at 56 Leonard Street in TriBeCa is now listed in contract for $47 million.
The condo purchased by Mr. Alexander, a former Wall Street trader who was born in the Bronx, has 6,330 square feet of interior space and 1,889 square feet of space on four terraces, along with five bedrooms and 5½ baths, a library and gallery. A 40-foot-wide terrace faces Gramercy Park, with views facing the Chrysler building in the distance. There's an outdoor infinity pool with sun deck on one terrace and a heated whirlpool on another. Both terraces open off the master bedroom.
In 2010, Mr. Alexander resold an unfinished penthouse at another new downtown building for $31.5 million, setting an earlier record for the most expensive downtown condominium. He had paid $25.5 million for it the year before, and never moved in.
Asked about the flip, Mr. Alexander said that he decided he didn't want to do a complete renovation and preferred a more central downtown location. "I wanted to be more in the center of the city," he said. "I live on the water in other locations, and this beautiful building is really in the core of the city."
18 Gramercy Park was developed by Zeckendorf Development and Eyal Ofer Global Holdings, who were two of the development partners of Mr. Stern's 15 Central Park West, a building that holds current records for the most expensive closed condo sale in Manhattan. Melanie Lazenby of Douglas Elliman represented Mr. Alexander in the transaction.