He’s not the first Silicon Valley heavyweight to trade chips for NYC bricks
Although quite a few homes in New York City have been listed for $100 million and over, only one of them has sold. The buyer is tech billionaire Michael Dell of Dell Technologies and the property in question in located in One57, a 1000 foot-tall glass tower on Billionaire’s Row on West 57th St. Details have only recently emerged in the Wall St Journal, despite the property actually selling at the peak of the market in 2014.
The duplex is 11,000 square feet with six bedrooms and six bathrooms, and the deal inked in 2012 when the tower was still under construction. That didn’t stop Dell bringing in his own architect, Juan Miró, to oversee extensive renovations on the place before the paint had dried.
Tech titans regularly invest their coffers in real estate – often in New York – though Dell also owns other high end properties in Boston, Hawaii and Austin. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos owns homes across the US as well and for a man worth over $80 billion, you’d imagine he’d own something outrageously extravagant in Manhattan. However, in comparison to others’ Bezos NYC pads are relatively modest. But he does own three of them. What is interesting is that Bezos bought his three condos in the Century building at 25 Central Park West on the Upper West Side, way back in 1999, before Amazon became the colossus it is today. Back then, Bezos purchased his residences from former Sony Music head Tommy Mottola for $7.65 million in the 32 story art deco building. His properties have since proven to be great investments.
Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is another real estate investor who appreciated the long term benefits of buying and holding in NYC. In 2011 he paid $25 million for the penthouse in a building on East 66th St. Fifteen years earlier, in 1996, he purchased the 11th floor apartment in the same building for a reported $13.5 million.
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is rumored to have eschewed NYC condos in favor of a townhouse. In 2015 a property in the West Village sold for $22.3 million and the buyer, according to Business Insider, was either Mark Zuckerberg or his sister Randi Zuckerberg. The deed was signed by frequent Zuckerberg real estate representative Tom van Loben Sels, a partner at San Francisco-based Apercen Partners LLC.
Though fears of a recession have been bouncing around the higher end of the NYC market for a while, it’s still considered a safe haven for high rollers to park their cash.
“I don’t see any signs of a 2008 correction at all,” David Bistricer, the managing member of Clipper Equities told CommercialObserver.com last year. “I think the conditions of 2008 are not present in today’s market. There is an enormous amount of money chasing properties. What is going on in the rest of the world is scary, and people are coming to the United States to gateway cities. People are coming to New York because it’s a safe haven, and that is what is driving [prices].”
Which is why Silicon Valley’s elite continue leverage their shiny new wealth for NYC’s old school real estate every chance they get.