Retail Heir Trades Up to One57 Penthouse -- WSJ

By Katherine Clarke Features Dow Jones Newswires

This article is being republished as part of our daily reproduction of WSJ.com articles that also appeared in the U.S. print edition of The Wall Street Journal (December 1, 2017).

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A limited liability company controlled by David Lowy, whose father Frank Lowy founded retail giant the Westfield Corp., spent approximately $36 million on a condominium on New York City's Billionaire's Row at a recent foreclosure auction, according to two people with knowledge of the deal.

The unit, a penthouse at One57 at 157 West 57th Street, had been owned by shell companies linked to Kolawole Akanni Aluko, a Nigerian businessman accused by the U.S. of conspiring to pay bribes to the country's former oil minister in return for steering oil contracts to companies owned by Mr. Aluko and his partner, The Wall Street Journal reported. One of Mr. Aluko's lenders filed to foreclose on the property earlier this year, public records show. Mr. Aluko and the former oil minister Diezani Alison-Madueke didn't respond to a request for comment.

Mr. Aluko's entity bought the apartment for $50.9 million in 2014, public records also show. The sale marked the highest price ever paid in a residential condo foreclosure auction in New York, according to appraiser Jonathan Miller.

The 6,240-square-foot unit has four bedrooms and 4 1/2 baths and sweeping views of the city and Central Park, according to a previous listing.

The unit is the second apartment Mr. Lowy has purchased in the building. Following the deal, he is now listing his apartment on a lower floor for $27 million. If it sells for its asking price, he would post a loss on the unit, which he bought for approximately $28 million in 2015, according to public records. The 4,116-square-foot unit comprises three bedrooms and 3 1/2 bathrooms and has been has been completely upgraded by the owner, according to the listing.

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The listing agents for Mr. Lowy's unit, Cathy Franklin, Alexis Bodenheimer and Marion Smith of the Corcoran Group, declined to comment on the listing or confirm the identity of their client.

Mr. Lowy, a former executive at Westfield, runs the Lowy Family Group, his family's investment office, according to his website. The Australian businessman is also a musician, the website said.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 01, 2017 02:47 ET (07:47 GMT)