Steven Cohen Has a Penthouse Problem

Point72’s founder built the Manhattan duplex of his dreams. Now it’s on a fire sale.

Photo courtesy of Douglas Elliman

Photo courtesy of Douglas Elliman

Hedge fund mogul Steven Cohen has once again slashed the asking price on his 9,000-square-foot Manhattan penthouse, according to real estate listings.

Cohen — founder of Point72 Asset Management and its defunct predecessor SAC Capital — is now asking $45 million for the duplex, which he first listed for $115 million in 2013. Two years ago, the place was back on the market for about $72 million.

Cohen received an offer at that time of around $60 million to $65 million from someone else in the East 58th Street building (called “One Beacon Court”), said luxury broker Victoria Shtainer in a Friday interview. Shtainer is not Cohen’s listing agent, but she has represented buyers, sellers, or both in the building’s last three transactions, and owns an apartment there.

“You know how they say the first offer is your best offer? That very much was true in this case,” Shtainer told Institutional Investor. Cohen and his brokers “haggled back and forth, thought they would get a better offer, and rejected it. Now they’re back on the market at $45 million, which is a huge haircut.”

[II Deep Dive: The Death and Life of a Hedge Fund Mansion]

One Beacon, which is part of the Bloomberg Tower complex between Lexington and Third Avenues, was built in 2005. “This was the original building on billionaire’s row,” Shtainer said. Cohen owns the only duplex, which boasts dramatic 24-foot ceilings in the living room, five bedrooms, and six full bathrooms. “It’s a very sexy apartment,” she said.

But by ultra-luxury new development standards, One Beacon is aging. It’s no longer in the absolute top tier, supplanted by brand-new developments like 220 Central Park South and the super-skinny 432 Park Avenue condominium tower. “They have a lot of competition,” Shtainer said of Cohen’s listing team. “The pricing reflects that. When you’re the shiniest penny in the roll, you’re it. But that doesn’t last. I think they priced it well” at $45 million.

Cohen’s penthouse has languished on the market for reasons beyond the 13-year-old One Beacon becoming passé. (Beyoncé moved out in 2017 — a deal Shtainer and her team worked on.)

The duplex’s interior design may have been to Cohen’s taste, but it’s repellant to prospective buyers, according to Shtainer and another luxury agent. “It needs to be gutted,” Shtainer said flatly. The big-name designer who worked on the duplex, which Cohen built from separate units on two floors, installed wooden grills over nearly all of the windows.

“The whole beauty of this building is the view of Central Park, and these wooden boxes obstruct the view,” she lamented. “Every time I brought in people to see the place, that’s what they said, including someone from a leading hedge fund. And that stainless-steel kitchen needs to be totally redone — it’s very cold.”

Buyers looking to spend $20 million-plus on an apartment refuse to compromise on interiors, according to broker Noble Black. He leads a team serving that market and holds the record for selling Manhattan’s most expensive co-op at $54 million.

Supply-demand dynamics have also shifted in favor of buyers since Cohen rejected the offer two years ago. His unusually-designed One Beacon penthouse may have been a $65 million property in 2017, but that’s no longer the case. “Buyers are being very picky both in terms of finish, type of product, and value. The days of aspirational pricing are absolutely over,” Black told II Friday, speaking in general terms about the ultra-luxury Manhattan market. “Buyers at this price point, they want what they want.”

Units in the hottest buildings command $8,000 to $10,000 per square foot, he said. Cohen’s penthouse is a relative clearance item at $5,000 for each of its 9,000 square feet. And the city is full of people with $45 million to spend on a fixer-upper, or $20 million on a new floor-through two-bedroom.

“There is a shockingly large market of buyers,” Black said. “I’m constantly amazed in New York just how many people have so much money. It’s not like you’re searching here and there trying to find a buyer.”

Cohen’s lead listing agent Richard Steinberg of Douglas Elliman declined to comment, as did a Point72 spokesperson. Three supporting agents did not return calls.