Almost as soon as he bought the Manhattan triplex penthouse in early 2017, for a scorching $44 million, front-of-the-pack Formula One racecar driver Lewis Hamilton, one of the wealthiest sportsmen in the world, with an annual haul estimated at close to $50 million, caught a classic case of the Real Estate Fickle.
The recently knighted 36-year-old Brit, who won the inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix last week and enters the season finale in a dead heat with Max Verstappen for the season title, never even moved into the 8,900-square-foot Tribeca aerie before he splashed out with the purchase of another insanely expensive penthouse just a block away and flipped the unwanted triplex back on the market just over two years ago for $57 million.
With no takers at the sky-high price, the ask was chopped to $52 million before some Richie Rich came along and paid $49.5 million for the six-bedroom and six-full-and-two-half-bath spread, to date the highest price paid this year for a downtown condo. As noted by the New York Post, the buyer’s identity is shielded behind an LLC with a Seattle address and there’s plenty of unsubstantiated speculation racing around the celebrity gossip grapevine the new owner is a big tech heavy hitter, like Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos. (If you know, let us know!)
An elevator opens directly into the foyer and a separate elevator services the penthouse’s three floors, while the double-height corner living room showcases exposed wood support beams and a 20-foot ceiling. Configured around a huge island with two dishwashers, the separate kitchen sports high-end finishes and all the culinary bells and whistles $50 million can buy.
Floor plans show there are three and potentially four guest bedrooms on the second level, along with a primary suite that consists of a private study, a morning bar and a walk-in closet. The main bedroom’s clean-lined bathroom is lavish though windowless. A den just off the main floor living room has an attached bath that makes it easily convertible to a sixth bedroom.
The top floor is devoted to a spacious lounge complete with wet bar and powder room. The lounge spills out through walls of accordion-fold glass doors to a pair of terraces, the larger a massive wrap around affair with sweeping city and river views. Marketing materials indicate there’s a plunge pool, though it’s not clear it’s been installed, and the unit transfers with two deeded parking spaces in the secured, on-site garage.
It’s unlikely the mystery buyer took out a standard mortgage but had they, the monthly costs for the penthouse (mortgage, taxes and building fees) would tally up to more than a quarter million bucks. Nick Gavin at Compass represented both Hamilton and the buyer.
Converted from a 19th-century book binding factory, the handsome, low-rise red-brick building has had massive appeal to high-profile people looking to come and go without being peeped by the public or snapped by paparazzi. The building has an enclosed motor court allows that. There’s also a courtyard garden, a gym and a spectacular indoor swimming pool. A short list of the many celebs who own (or have owned) units in the building include Mike Myers, Rebel Wilson, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, Meg Ryan, Jake Gylenhaal, and Harry Styles.
The Formula One star’s other Tribeca penthouse was acquired in late 2018 for just over $40.7 million, and online records indicate it sprawls across more than 6,500 square feet with four bedrooms and four and a half bathrooms. Lewis, whose primary residence is in Monaco, is reported to also maintain homes in Geneva and London.
(The story was updated to reflect that qualifiers for Abu Dhabi have not yet taken place.)