This is 15 Central Park West, New York's most exclusive building.
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...
First offer: $650,000
Second offer: $1 million
This is Herb Sukenik.
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.
Then Herb suddenly backed out. He probably realized he was the last holdout and the Zeckendorfs had very deep pockets. He demanded 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.
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.
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.
Well done, sir. Well done...
Enjoy it, Herb.
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