The multimillionaire property developer Christian Candy has sold a three-storey penthouse above the Plaza Hotel in New York City for $32.7m (£24.6m) – almost half the original asking price.
New York City property records show the 6,319 sq ft (587 sq m) penthouse with sweeping views of Central Park was sold for $26.3m less than Candy had first listed the apartment for in 2013.
Candy, best known for the luxury One Hyde Park complex he developed with his brother Nick, has sold or remortgaged more than £300m of assets over the past year.
The sale of the Plaza penthouse comes shortly before a high court judge is expected to rule on the brothers’ bitter legal dispute with their former friend and businessman Mark Holyoake, who is suing the Candys for £132m in damages after they fell out over a loan. A spokesman for Christian Candy did not respond to requests for comment about the timing of the sale.
He bought the penthouse, which spans floors 19 to 21 of the hotel, from Andrei Vavilov, a former Russian finance minister and hedge fund manager, for $26m in 2012. Vavilov had sued the penthouse’s developer, claiming that what was sold to him as the “epitome of luxury” was little more than an “attic-like space”.
The One Hyde Park developer had hoped that his makeover skills would attract a super-rich buyer to spend $59m when he first listed it in 2013. At the time, the brochure for the four-bedroom property with five bathrooms said: “The penthouse is being delivered with custom furnishings personally selected by world renowned design firm Candy & Candy. They have created a contemporary New York loft-style residence in an uptown setting.” Christian Candy reduced the price to $49.9m in 2015.
Previous Guardian research suggested that Christian Candy had sold, mortgaged or listed for sale eight homes and developments, including a villa on the French Riviera and a seven-bedroom, seven-bathroom house in London with a swimming pool and staff quarters.
The disposals have prompted legal letters from Holyoake. His solicitors wrote to the Candys in July threatening to ask for a court ruling to freeze their assets. Such an order would prevent the brothers from making any further disposals. However, Holyoake has yet to take any such action.
The Candys, former Monaco tax exiles known as the “brothers bling” for their high-rolling lifestyles, have dismissed Holyoake’s concerns as misplaced and without foundation. They have defended the claims brought by Holyoake and expect to be successful in the case. They say their remaining assets would, after the disposals, be sufficient to cover any penalty were Holyoake to succeed.
The court case has drawn in an extraordinary cast of characters, from the singer Katy Perry and the Queen’s grandchildren Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, all of whom attended Nick Candy’s wedding, to the murdered Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko, who worked for an investigations firm used by the brothers.
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