Amazon.com isn’t setting up a new headquarters in New York City, but Jeff Bezos may be.
The tech giant’s chief executive officer is buying three condos at Manhattan’s 212 Fifth Ave. with a total value of about $80 million, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. If the three apartments — a penthouse and two units below it — were combined, the home would have 12 bedrooms and more than 17,000 square feet (1,600 square meters) of space, the Journal reported.
Like the $238 million condo purchase earlier this year by Citadel’s Ken Griffin, the deal isn’t a sign that the city’s luxury market is reviving, according to Donna Olshan, president of brokerage Olshan Realty Inc.
“The only thing it says is that this is what the richest guy in the world wanted to buy today,” said Olshan, who wasn’t involved in the transaction. “If you’re super rich, cultural, interesting and well-traveled, you have to have a place in New York. It’s on the must list.”
Representatives for Amazon and Bezos couldn’t be reached for comment. Brokers from Sotheby’s International Realty who marketed the listings — Brad Ingalls, Mara Flash Blum and Nikki Field — also didn’t return calls. Nor did John Burger, the Brown Harris Stevens broker who represented Bezos in the deal, according to the Journal.
The 24-story tower, near Madison Square Park, was constructed in 1912 as a manufacturing building and redeveloped as condos in 2016. StreetEasy shows the penthouse under contract with an asking price of $58 million, and units 21A and 21B at $18.2 million and $11.3 million, respectively.
Amazon announced last year that it would locate one of two planned headquarters campuses in the Queens neighborhood of Long Island City, but backed out of that deal in February in the face of backlash from local politicians and community leaders.
Bezos’s condo purchase, in a tech-heavy neighborhood, could be a sign that Amazon is committing to a larger presence in New York, even without an official headquarters, according to Olshan.
“Maybe he’s going to go more Manhattan-centric,” she said. “He has to. He isn’t going to sit there and let Google continue to buy property and swallow up all the top talent” in the area.