Billionaire Joe Tsai revealed as buyer of $157.5M condos at 220 Central Park South

July 20, 2021

220 Central Park South as seen in May 2020. Photo by Jim.henderson (cropped) via Wikimedia Commons.

As was first reported by the Wall Street Journal in June, a buyer shelled out $157,500,000 for two units at 220 Central Park South. Property records showed the $82.5 million purchase of the 60th-floor unit and the $75 million purchase of the 61st-floor unit, both made using an LLC. But CNBC has now revealed that the buyer is billionaire Joe Tsai, Alibaba co-founder and owner of the Brooklyn Nets. The sale is the second biggest in New York City history and the third-largest ever in the U.S. The number-one spot occurred at the same Billionaires’ Row tower, with billionaire Ken Griffin’s $238 million purchase in early 2019. 

Even amidst the pandemic, 220 Central Park South was the best-selling condo in NYC by a long shot. According to a CityRealty report for the one-year period ending September 30, 2020, the building accounted for the top 22 sales of Manhattan condo buildings, with a total of $1.52 billion in cumulative sales in 46 units. This included a $99,903,375 penthouse sale that became NYC’s third-most-expensive NYC sale ever, taking the spot from a $92.7 million sale at the building, which sold in late 2019 to billionaire hedge-funder Daniel Och. (The second-most expensive sale was Michael Dell’s $100 million buy at One57 in 2015.)

As for the Joe Tsai purchases, the Wall Street Journal explained: “Both units are resales and the sellers, whose identities were also shielded by limited-liability companies, made significant profits. Last year the lower level traded for $50.9 million, while the upper level sold for $51.4 million, records show.”

People familiar with the deal disclosed Tsai’s purchase to CNBC. He was born in Taipei, Taiwan but went to high school in New Jersey, earning a BA from Yale College and a JD from Yale Law School. In the early 1990s, Tsai worked in law and private equity in New York City. After moving to Hong Kong in 1995, he met Jack Ma and together they co-founded the Chinese multinational tech company Alibaba Group. Tsai’s net worth is estimated at $10.9 billion and he currently owns the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets and the WNBA’S New York Liberty and is chairman of the Barclays Center.

Editor’s Note: This story was originally published on June 7, 2021, and has been updated with new information. 


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