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Vornado Twist

Unexpected Development

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Vornado Realty Trust chairman Steve Roth knows real estate -- but even he's not immune to a purchasing misstep. When he built the Park Laurel, the luxury tower over the YMCA at 15 West 63rd Street, Roth kept a twenty-ninth-floor apartment for his family's use. Like most advance buyers, he liked what he saw on paper: the mogul-size space, the giant terrace. But expectations and real-estate reality are two different things in New York, and -- says a source familiar with the deal -- once the building was finished, Roth realized that his outdoor acreage gave him zero privacy. Fortunately, he didn't have much trouble flipping the place, and pulled down $8.2 million. (Roth's representative, Louise Sunshine, confirms the sale, though she denies that the privacy factor entered into his decision.) Unsurprisingly, given that it's Roth's own development, he made the deal himself, without a broker.

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