For a fleeting moment, it appeared as if Jeff Bezos had emptied his proverbial shopping cart and left New York behind after the fallout from the Amazon HQ 2 reversal. But it now seems like the famed billionaire and CEO of the retailing giant couldn't stay away from the Big Apple.
Last week, Bezos reportedly purchased three adjacent condo units at 212 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan for a total of nearly $80 million. According to Bloomberg, Bezos is worth $108.3 billion.
His supposed new digs consist of a 10,000-square foot penthouse and two units below it – which was jointly developed by Madison Equities and Thor Equities – for a combined 17,000 square feet. The penthouse alone offers five bedrooms, five bathrooms, and 6,000 square feet of outdoor space, with the other two units providing another seven bedrooms between them.
Amenities at 212 Fifth Avenue include a fitness center, golf simulator, screening room, boardroom, and catering kitchen. According to developers, all the units in the building are now sold.
Dashing any hopes that this deal might signify an uptick in the luxury market, Donna Olshan, President of brokerage at Olshan Realty Inc., told Bloomberg that “the only thing [the transaction] says is that this is what the richest guy in the world wanted to buy today.”
And the Bezos business doesn't end there. Late last month, the New York Post reported that Amazon is eyeing commercial space at One Manhattan West and the still-under-construction Two Manhattan West, both a stone's throw from Penn Station. A source told the paper Amazon is looking for "at least 100,000 square feet or much more."
While a spokesperson for Brookfield, the owner of the towers, characterized the Post story as false, and Amazon refused to comment, several brokers and strategists see plentiful reasons why Amazon would look to expand its presence in the Big Apple despite the HQ 2 pullout from Long Island City. “[Amazon’s] looking to expand and get into advertisement and media,” local broker Eric Benaim told the Commercial Observer, “and if you want to be in those sectors you do have to be in New York.”
Regardless as to how these individual deals pan out, Jeff Bezos's Manhattan footprint appears unlikely to diminish anytime soon--even if some locals have been less than enthused about his company’s presence.
Mike Odenthal is a staff writer at The Cooperator.