Gore invests R103m in plush NYC apartment

Past Absa/SAJR Jewish Achiever Adrian Gore, founder and chief executive of South Africa's largest private medical aid scheme, does not believe in doing things in half measures. Less than a year after splashing out R25-million for a sea-facing apartment in Cape Town's ultra-exclusive Clifton, the billionaire picked up a three-bedroom luxury pad in one of New York's most prestige buildings for R103million.
by ANT KATZ | Apr 16, 2014

The Real Deal, New York's real estate magazine, said the R103million sale of Adrian Gore’s luxurious new pad in New York for was filed with city authorities on January 6.

Gore - Adrian NY pad

Gore also owns a home in Johannesburg's Inanda, another in Plettenberg Bay in the Western Cape, and a New York penthouse that he bought for about R45.7-million in 2011.

RIGHT: 733 Park Avenue 

According to ePROP, the 15th floor New York apartment, which boasts solid white oak and Italian marble floors, three bathrooms and a powder room, had been on the market for nine months before the Discovery Group boss snapped it up.

Purchase was an investment

Gore’s spokesman says the properties were part of the billionaire's investment portfolio. "The robust yield is the sole rationale for the location of these investments," he said.

Gore - Adrian 373 viewLEFT: In bygone days the buiding's NY
skyline view included the Twin Towers

Gore, 50, who founded Discovery at the age of 28 in 1992, has grown it into a company that provides health and life cover to 4.5 million people across South Africa, and also in China, the UK and US.

During this time, Gore has completed the Berlin, London and New York marathons. The Sunday Times Rich List last year ranked him as the 12th richest South African, with R4.2-billion in JSE-listed investments.

The Wits actuarial science graduate is leasing his latest buy to HBO television boss Richard Plepler for $40,000 (about R416,000) a month, according to the New York Post.

Gore - Adrian - plush foyer of 737 ParkThe 270m² apartment, according to US media reports, had originally been priced at about R130-million before Gore bought it for a bargain.

RIGHT: 733 Park's plush foyer

Sales figures provided by Trulia, a US firm that compiles an authoritative property transfer guide, puts the average price for a posh New York apartment at about R12.4-million.

Gore's apartment is situated just off Central Park (see map) and close to a five-storey, seven-bedroom mansion bought by the South African Consulate for a reported R147-million in 2008.

Gore - Adrian 737Other South Africans who have bought plush pads in the Big Apple include siblings Philip Kirsh and Linda Mirels, the son and daughter of businessman Natie Kirsh.

LEFT: The duplex penthouse at 733 Park fetched a whopping $21m, a tidy sale for broker Barbara Fox (inset)


According to The Real Deal, two trusts NY Apt Trust and WF NYC Home Trust, affiliated with the Kirsh siblings, have bought four apartments worth a combined $56.45-million in the 52-storey Trump International Hotel & Tower.


NYC property prices in perspective

Manhattan brokerage firms released their first quarter reports last week and according New York Magazine “yes, the numbers are once again migraine-inducing (especially for buyers).”

Gore - Adrian 737 mapA Douglas Elliman survey puts the median price for an apartment in the borough at $972,428 (18.5 percent up on last year) and the average price increased an outsize-even-for-New York 30.9 percent, to $1,773,523.

RIGHT: Gore will get $400,000/month rent for his flat, situated just off Central Park

But, warn the pundits, a same quarter comparison is not an apples-to-apples exercise. The appraiser who compiled the Elliman report says the numbers are skewed partly because sales in marquee condos (like 737 Park) by deals closing earlier this year as the market in 2013 was seeking respite after the extra-busy months preceding it.

“In the waning weeks of 2012, buyers were at a rush to close because they were worried about a possible fiscal cliff,” he says, resulting in a lull in the first quarter of 2013.


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