Sherry-Nederland, an 18th-floor penthouse at 781 Fifth Avenue, has now become a crime scene, following the dramatic arrest of Accused counterfeiter Guo Wengui Inside the apartment on Wednesday – and a suspicious fire may be triggered remotely while the FBI agents were still inside Guo was handcuffed.
Guo, an exiled Chinese billionaire, was accused this week of running a lucrative fraud scheme and using the proceeds to buy a $26.5 million New Jersey mansion and a $37 million yacht.
Penthouse, which has been associated with Guo since 2015—and recently asked For Sale for $32.5 Million – Terrible damage occurred during the fire, sources tell Gimme Shelter. But we hear buyers are still interested in calling it their own.
“A smart buyer could pick it up for the low $20s,” a top broker told Gimme, meaning the low-$20 million range.
however, Shows a StreetEasy listing update The property, whose 2015 purchase Guo negotiated for $67.5 million, was taken off the market on Friday. Serena Boardman of Sotheby’s International Realty held the listing and did not return calls seeking comment at press time. The brokerage declined to comment on the listing.
Still, building insiders say more than one buyer has expressed interest in hopes of getting a lower price for the home — partly because of legal issues and damage from Wednesday’s fire.
The penthouse is depreciating, in part because the fire alone caused “hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage”—including the destruction of the wood-paneled library, a source said. Plus, the terraces are now closed throughout the building as it works on city code-mandated structural changes. Furthermore, all repairs must be done by union labor.
All these factors mean that the renovation of the penthouse will be more expensive and time consuming than usual, with brokers saying that there is now even more room for price negotiation.
The penthouse has gone off the market in a string of declining prices since the year of its purchase, when Guo tried to flip it for $86 million. It’s a 15-room combination assembled by former owner, the late Gilbert Harroch, co-founder of Liberty Travel.
In February 2022, Guo filed for personal bankruptcy protection After accumulating over $500 million in debt in Connecticut. Guo claims that his children own the apartment and that any profit from its sale cannot be used to pay off creditors.
Guo, whose real name is Ho Van Quoc, built a real estate empire in China before further corruption charges landed on US shores in 2014 – when a mutually beneficial relationship with a Chinese intelligence officer landed him in trouble. Put.
New York City cooperative boards generally do not allow unidentified foreign nationals to shop in their private clubs, no matter how wealthy. But Guo had a secret weapon: a glowing personal recommendation letter from former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who often dined at the apartment.
“He would not have come in without that letter. Nobody knew who he was,” said a source familiar with the deal.