One of Battery Park City’s plushest apartments — a four-bedroom, five-bath duplex penthouse with a 350-square-foot terrace — will be auctioned off later this month, with no minimum opening bid, and no minimum winning bid (also known as a “reserve price”). There’s just one catch: You’ll have to travel to Hong Kong if you want to get in on the bidding.
Purchased by Randall Yanker, chief executive officer of Transformation Capital, in 2005 for approximately $4.8 million, the 4,200-square-foot apartment has been listed for sale since 2014. At its original asking price of $23 million, the home attracted no serious offers.
Mr. Yanker next tried to up the ante, by offering his penthouse in combination with a pair of other units on the top two floors of the building, owned by Gary Segal, the president of Five Star Electric, a company that has made vast sums contracting for work in New York City public schools. Together, Mr. Yanker and Mr. Segal marketed their three units (which could have been combined create a resident of more than 15,000 square feet, with 2,100 square feet of terraces) as “the Penthouse Collection,” for $118 million. This prospect, which briefly became the most expensive residential listing in New York, similarly failed to elicit any serious offers. So Mr. Yanker and Mr. Segal parted company, and the former went back to trying to sell his unit on his own.
In the years that followed, the Mr. Yanker repeatedly switched brokers and continually reduced his price. The most recent listing for the apartment carried an asking price of $14.4 million. But none of these stratagems found a buyer for what was increasingly looking like a white elephant.
So, earlier this year, Mr. Yanker decided to auction off his penthouse. Real estate experts advised him that the best chance of netting a premium price would be from Asian buyers, who have been piling into Lower Manhattan real estate in recent years. For this reason, Mr. Yanker decided to hold the auction in Hong Kong, on June 28. Concierge Auctions, the firm that is handling the sale of Mr. Yanker’s Ritz-Carlton penthouse, will be taking bids on more than a dozen other properties on the same day.