In an interview in today's Observer, seemingly charming co-op megabroker Leighton Candler (she has a dog named "Major Commitment"!) talks about dealing with the fickle, high-flying clients who are buying and tossing the city's most precious properties. Below, she explains what happened shortly after she sold a penthouse at 1060 Fifth Avenue (that's the same block as the Guggenheim) to an unnamed hedge-fund manager and his philanthropist wife. Basically, they waffled:
“I said, ‘Are you sure? Really, I think you should think about it, it’s really fabulous.’ … Finally, they were like, ‘Too much of a project. We’ve got to sell it.’ I’d tell them several times to keep thinking about it, because it is really one of the extraordinary apartments in New York. There are not a lot of penthouses that big with those huge views. They said, ‘You’re right, you’re right, you’re right, but we really do. It’s really too big, it’s really too much, we really do not want to start this project, so can you sell it?’ I said, ‘Well, yeah, I can sell it.’ They said, ‘O.K., well, would you?’ I said, ‘You really mean it? You want me to do that? Think about it again.’ They said, ‘O.K., we’ve thought about it again. Yes.’ I said, ‘O.K.’”
The apartment, which they bought for a record-breaking $46 million, eventually flipped for nearly $49 million. The moral of the story is, even if fancy flibbertygibbits trip up over real estate, they still land in a soft, snuggly pile of warm money. Oh, and also, the unnamed flippers are Scott and Donya Bommer. Don't hedge-funders need to make quick, decisive choices these days?