Robert Stern’s triumph of real estate capitalism has inspired half a dozen imitations now hitting the market.
Robert Stern, the former dean of the Yale School of Architecture, has designed dozens of buildings in widely varied styles across New York City. But then he designed 15 Central Park West, a soaring limestone condominium built in 2008 in a faux-prewar style. Ever since, developers have mostly wanted one thing from him: more of the same.
It’s understandable. Before it was even completed, 15 CPW broke New York records. In 2007, Sanford Weill, then chairman of Citigroup Inc., set a city record by paying more than $6,400 a square foot for his $43.7 million penthouse. Celebrities, including Alex Rodriguez, Robert De Niro, and Sting, filled its halls. In the initial frenzy, apartments were being flipped just months after they were bought. During the financial crisis, when the rest of the real estate market floundered, the building became its own overheated market. In 2010, Min Kao, the executive chairman of Garmin Corp., paid almost $10,000 per square foot via an LLC for his 41st-floor condo.