THE $150M CASTLE
MOGUL'S RECORD DEAL ON E. 77TH
By BRADEN KEIL
SETTING A NEW 'MARK': Real-estate tycoon Leonard Blavatnik has signed a letter of intent to buy a triplex at The Mark hotel.
November 8, 2007 -- A billionaire buyer has signed a letter of intent to pay $150 million for a massive triplex apartment at the Upper East Side condo tower The Mark, sources close to the deal told The Post.
The prospective purchaser, sources say, is real-estate magnate Leonard Blavatnik, who is worth $7.2 billion, according to Forbes magazine.
The price would be twice as large as the previous record listing in New York City, and nearly $50 million more than last year's sale of the De Menil estate in East Hampton, believed to be the priciest residential transaction in the country.
"It's hard to imagine there's a real-estate slump when a number like that is being bandied about," said one wide-eyed real-estate agent. "What could possibly be next."
The famed hotel at 25 E. 77th St., between Madison and Fifth avenues, is undergoing a gut renovation that, in addition to hotel rooms, will include residential suites and apartments.
Louise Sunshine, the developer of hotel project, had no comment on the negotiations.
Prices of the units have not yet been approved by the state Attorney General's Office.
The space for sale, totaling nearly 30,000 square feet, is a combination of five planned units on the top three floors of the building.
If sold separately, the apartments would comprise a total of 23 bedrooms, 25 bathrooms and five powder rooms.
Also featured is 3,900 square feet of outdoor space - including a huge rooftop terrace with a pavilion and fireplace - a ceiling from 10 feet to 26 feet, a gym and all hotel amenities such as twice-daily maid service, fresh linens and room service.
Blavatnik's spokesman had no comment on his housing plans.
But the Russian-born U.S. citizen already owns numerous properties, including a house in Kensington, England, worth more than $120 million, a $50 million townhouse that he recently purchased from Edgar Bronfman Jr. on East 64th Street, and a $27 million apartment in one of the city's top buildings on Fifth Avenue.
"His wife has already met with Jacques Grange, the designer of the hotel's residences," a source said. "And he's already put in an offer."
The highest listing price for a single New York apartment is at The Pierre hotel for $70 million.
Developer Harry Macklowe has paid close to $60 million for several units at The Plaza hotel.
Blavatnik is the founder and chairman of Access Industries, a privately-held U.S. industrial group with global interests in natural resources and chemicals, media and telecommunications.
He has a master's degree from Columbia University and an MBA from Harvard.