back to top
Community

How To Turn Your Rent-Stabilized Apartment Into $17 Million

Just ask Herbert Sukenik, 73, via the New York Post

Posted on

This is 15 Central Park West, New York's most exclusive building.

It features a completely private driveway hidden from paparazzi, a cinema and 14,000 square foot gym that has a 75 foot pool. A one bedroom apartment averages $7 million. Two bedrooms $12 million. Three bedrooms $15-$30 million. Four bedrooms (only one available) $60 million. Five bedrooms, (only two available) $65 million and up. Current tenants include Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, Sting, Jeff Gordon, Alex Rodriguez and Denzel Washington.
posneradv.com

It features a completely private driveway hidden from paparazzi, a cinema and 14,000 square foot gym that has a 75 foot pool.

A one bedroom apartment averages $7 million. Two bedrooms $12 million. Three bedrooms $15-$30 million. Four bedrooms (only one available) $60 million. Five bedrooms, (only two available) $65 million and up.

Current tenants include Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, Sting, Jeff Gordon, Alex Rodriguez and Denzel Washington.

BUT...it used to be the Mayflower Hotel, housing mostly elderly men in rent-controlled apartments on the top floors.

Enter Arthur and Will Zeckendorf...

The developer brothers bought the Mayflower in 2004 for a reported $401 million and were required to buy out the rent-stabilized tenants before razing the building.
wordpress.com

The developer brothers bought the Mayflower in 2004 for a reported $401 million and were required to buy out the rent-stabilized tenants before razing the building.

First offer: $650,000

tumblr.com

Many of the early tenants accepted this offer, but there were still a few holdouts...

Second offer: $1 million

tumblr.com

Those early birds should have held out for this staggering offer! All remaining holdouts accepted.... except for one: Herb Sukenik.

This is Herb Sukenik.

He was born in the Bronx, New York in 1930. He attended Cornell University where he earned an undergraduate degree in physics. He then stayed at Cornell to earn both a masters in physics and a Ph.D. By all accounts, Herb was brilliant. He was also a bit of a social outcast. He worked for General Electric for a while then at Martin Company in their Space Systems division. In 1974, Herbert, who had become somewhat of a recluse, rented a tiny 350 square foot apartment in the Mayflower Hotel building. He never married and seemingly had no friends or family. He basically lived like a hermit for the next three decades...
wordpress.com

He was born in the Bronx, New York in 1930. He attended Cornell University where he earned an undergraduate degree in physics. He then stayed at Cornell to earn both a masters in physics and a Ph.D.

By all accounts, Herb was brilliant. He was also a bit of a social outcast. He worked for General Electric for a while then at Martin Company in their Space Systems division.

In 1974, Herbert, who had become somewhat of a recluse, rented a tiny 350 square foot apartment in the Mayflower Hotel building. He never married and seemingly had no friends or family. He basically lived like a hermit for the next three decades...

At first, Herb offered to vacate his unit if the Zeckendorfs bought him a 2200 square foot, two bedroom apartment in a building nearby, then rent it back to him for $1 a month, for the rest of his life.

The Zeckendorfs agreed.
maxxelli-consulting.com

The Zeckendorfs agreed.

Then Herb suddenly backed out. He probably realized he was the last holdout and the Zeckendorfs had very deep pockets. He demanded money.

tumblr.com

Lots and lots of money.

Flabbergasted and unwilling to be held hostage, the Zeckendorfs began demolishing the building anyway. They hoped to drive Herb out from all the construction hassle and noise.

gizmodo.uol.com.br

Herbert was undeterred.

After living in a construction zone for over a year, Herbert's stubbornness finally paid off in 2005. Admitting defeat, the Zeckendorfs caved and made an offer Herbert could not (and did not) refuse.

wordpress.com

In order to finally get Herbert to leave his decrepit 350 square foot apartment, they offered him a one time cash buyout of… get ready for it…

$17 million!!!!

giphy.com

That is by far the most money ever paid to get a single tenant to leave a New York City apartment. It's probably the most money ever paid to get anyone to leave any apartment. But it gets better...

Not only did the Zeckendorfs agree to give Herb Sukenik $17 million cash, they also agreed to let him live in a $2 million apartment on Central Park South where he will pay $1 a month in rent for the rest of his life.

wordpress.com

The. Rest. Of. His. Life.

Well done, sir. Well done...

Enjoy it, Herb.

THE END.

Top trending videos

Watch more BuzzFeed Video Caret right

Top trending videos

Watch more BuzzFeed Video Caret right
This post was created by a member of BuzzFeed Community, where anyone can post awesome lists and creations. Learn more or post your buzz!