Chinese Buyer Drops $50 Million for Bob Diamond’s New York City Penthouse

A Chinese buyer has plunked down $50 million to buy the 15 Central Park West penthouse that belonged to former Barclays CEO Bob Diamond.

Five months ago, the apartment went on the market asking $59 million, according to the Real Deal, which had the story. At 5,278 square feet, the condo has four bedrooms,  a library, a large entry gallery, and an eat-in kitchen. It also offers an unobstructed central park view. The swanky building also touts a private restaurant with an in-house chef for its residents along with a 14,000-square-foot fitness center.

Jing Daily reached out to the broker Matthew Mackay (of Douglas Elliman) to inquire about the reported deal with the mysterious Chinese buyer, but Mackay declined to comment.

This deal is a unique case considering the restrictions by Chinese authorities on capital outflows. Chinese citizens have an annual foreign exchange quota of $50,000. And at the end of 2016, authorities added new restrictions to pulling yuan out of the country. Those applying for requests to bring the yuan overseas in order to convert into foreign currencies won’t get approval unless they have a valid business reason. Beginning in July this year, financial institutions in China will be required to report all cash transactions (whether domestic or overseas) of more than 50,000 yuan (US$7,255.28).

But the rule hasn’t stopped other Chinese moguls from snapping up properties in New York. In March, Huang Guangyu, the Chinese billionaire chairman of GOME Group, once called the “Bill Gates” of China, who is serving 14 years in prison for bribery, bought a townhouse at 7 East 76th Street for $41.5 million. He and his wife, Lisa Du Juan, reportedly made the purchase through an LLC.

Even Millennials are looking for new ways to invest in property abroad. Jing Daily recently reported that Chinese millennials are even using mobile apps to buy overseas real estate.

15 CPW is one of New York’s most prestigious addresses. Its other high-profile past or current residents include the musician Sting and Trudie Styler, actor Robert De Niro, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, and Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev. Author Michael Gross, who wrote a book documenting the history of the building, called it the world’s most powerful address. It looks like there will be a few more powerful names added to the list in the near future.

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