James Smiros, an architect from Oyster Bay on Long Island, was the successful bidder Thursday evening for a 1026-square foot luxury apartment in the former Ritz Carlton facing Central Park.
Having been reduced by a third from its original price nearly two years ago, the one-bedroom unit went for $825,000 in a lackluster auction. That sum was Smiros’s only bid, and the under-bidder dropped out although the increment was a mere $10,000 from a high of $50,000.
“I held back because I wanted to take the temperature of the room,” Smiros, the married father of two children, told me afterward. “I have no regrets,” he continued. “I’m excited.”
The architect, who plans to use the place as his Manhattan pied-a-terre on weekends, said he has been casually looking for such an apartment over the last six months. Ironically, he had been nearly too late to visit the residence that he won when it was open for inspection.
Because the auction at a Midtown hotel included five apartments in the Bronx that sold for less than $75,000 each, the room held some 60 individuals eyeing each other with the sort of suspicion that runs rampant during such events. Of them, it seemed as though only six or eight persons engaged in the dispirited bidding for the Central Park South unit.
Unlike the controversial auction last month of 54 units at the Solaria in Riverdale, the all-cash sale, which must be completed within a month and half, was not subject to the developer’s confirmation.
You’ll find photos, a floorplan and many more details about the apartment in my earlier post. Decide for yourself whether Smiros got a bargain, but I have to think that $804 a square foot for that condop in that location would be hard to beat–even with its astronomically high monthly fee of $3,398.
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022