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The Most Expensive New York Homes Sold in June


The pace of closings slowed in New York City during the month of June as the coronavirus took a toll on buying activity.

The most expensive recorded transaction was a full-floor aerie near the apex of One57, once the city’s priciest condominium. The apartment sold in a private deal linked to a Chinese conglomerate for $28 million, a 41 percent discount from the original purchase price.

A deep reduction also took place at Time Warner Center’s Residences at the Mandarin Oriental, where a penthouse sold for $23 million, 25 percent below its purchase price nine years ago.

While the volume of sales contracts has been plummeting, the market is expected to rebound now that restrictions on real estate activity, instituted to curb the spread of the virus, have been eased. “It will feel like a boom initially,” said Jonathan J. Miller, a Manhattan real estate appraiser. “But it’s really a release of pent-up demand. We’re going to have a busy summer.”

Already brokers see some movement. “Since the reopening, I’ve seen an uptick in activity with requests for showings as well as apartments coming on the market,” said Chris Kann, an agent with the Corcoran Group. “People want to move on with their lives.”

The month of June also saw several townhouse closings, which Mr. Kann and other real estate professionals attributed in part to demand for outdoor space. The most expensive, at $14.2 million, was a five-story, 25-foot-wide house at 125 East 92nd Street.

Among the other townhouse sales: the longtime Upper East Side home of Christopher B. Cerf, an author, composer and lyricist who wrote numerous songs for “Sesame Street”; and the West Village home of Harry A. Lawton III, the former president of Macy’s, and his wife, Joanne Lawton.

The apartment at One57 is on the 88th floor of the 90-story tower at 157 West 57th Street, on billionaires’ row in Midtown. It sits just below a duplex that sold for almost $100.5 million in 2015, reportedly to Michael Dell, the chief executive of Dell Technologies, and once held the record for the highest price paid for a single city residence.

Unit No. 88 was purchased brand-new, also in 2015, for nearly $47.4 million by Pac Wholly Own, an entity associated with the Pacific American Corporation, a New York subsidiary of the HNA Group of China. (Guoqing Chen, a founder of HNA’s Hainan Airlines, still owns a residence on the 86th floor.) Its buyer was the limited liability company OFS Property, whose managing partner is an executive at HNA.

The 6,231-square-foot apartment features four bedrooms, four bathrooms and a powder room, along with floor-to-ceiling windows that provide panoramic park, water and cityscape vistas.

The month’s runner-up sale — a penthouse on the 76th floor of the 80-story Mandarin Oriental, at 80 Columbus Circle — has four bedrooms and five and a half baths, and comes with a separate storage room. There’s also an 8-by-64-foot terrace off the living room and a master suite that looks out onto Central Park.

The seller, whose identity was shielded by the limited liability company 80 Columbus Circle (NYC), had paid $30.6 million for the apartment in 2011. The new owner was listed as Dempcat LLC.

The Mandarin Oriental, which opened in 2003, is situated in the north tower of Time Warner Center. It has 64 condo units directly above the hotel, starting on the 64th floor.

Mr. Cerf’s townhouse, at 146 East 62nd Street, between Lexington and Third Avenues, was sold for $7.8 million to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, whose headquarters abuts the property. (The foundation plans to expand its office space there, according to Michele Warman, the chief operating officer.)

The house, built in the early 1900s, stands five stories high and 20 feet wide with about 5,432 square feet of interior space and a rear garden.

Mr. Cerf, who won three Grammy Awards and one Emmy for children’s music and programing, had paid $248,000 for the building in 1968, a year before “Sesame Street” first aired.

He leaves behind myriad memories. It was at this house where he worked on projects for the likes of National Lampoon magazine and Random House, the publishing company that his father, Bennett Cerf, co-founded. In 2015, he was married there to the writer Katherine Vaz.

The Lawtons sold their townhouse, at 33 Charles Street, for nearly $9.8 million, about 7 percent off the $10.5 million they had paid for it less than three years ago.

The renovated four-story structure extends about 3,737 square feet, with three bedrooms and two and a half baths. There is also ample exterior space, including a terrace off the media room that overlooks a landscaped rear garden.

The house was once home to the actors Hilary Swank and Chad Lowe; they acquired it through a trust in 2002 and sold it almost three and a half years later. The new owner, under contract since late May, is the limited liability company Kousa Realty.

Mr. Lawton, who served as president of Macy’s from 2017 to 2019, is now the chief executive of the Tractor Supply Company, which is based in Brentwood, Tenn.

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