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Former Goldman Partner Buys NYC Duplex for $19.3 Million

Oct. 3 (Bloomberg) --Jonathan Sobel, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partner who oversaw the firm’s mortgage division, bought a duplex on Manhattan’s Park Avenue for $19.3 million, a 45 percent discount from the original asking price.

The purchase of the co-op at 740 Park Ave. was completed on Aug. 31, according to records filed yesterday with the city’s Department of Finance. The 6,700-square-foot (620-square-meter) apartment was owned by Randolph Speight, the late investment banker, for more than 40 years. It features a private elevator and landing, four staff bedrooms and a butler’s pantry, according to the broker’s listing.

“The grandeur and scale of this spectacular apartment characterizes the most refined residential lifestyle available in New York,” according to the listing by brokers Meredyth Smith and Serena Boardman of Sotheby’s International Realty.

The apartment has been for sale since 2008, when Speight’s estate put it on the market for $35 million. The price was cut twice since then, most recently to $23 million in January 2011, according to StreetEasy.com, a property-listings website.

In June 2011, the estate decided to shoulder the cost of renovating the property to appeal to more buyers. The bathrooms and kitchen were gutted and redone, and all the wiring was replaced, Smith said in a telephone interview. The strategy resulted in the duplex receiving multiple offers, she said.

Record Deal

“They turned what was an estate-condition apartment into something that was in move-in condition,” Smith said. “And that was the key to the lock.”

Sobel, 45, is a managing member of DTF Holdings LLC, an investment manager for and adviser to entities affiliated with Gerald Ford, a financial-services entrepreneur in Texas. Sobel was Goldman’s mortgage chief from 2001 to 2006 and left the firm in 2009. He declined to comment on the co-op purchase.

The tower near Central Park has been home to former Merrill Lynch & Co. Chief Executive Officer John Thain and cosmetics billionaire Ronald Lauder. Howard Marks, chairman and co-founder of Oaktree Capital Group LLC, set a record in May when he bought a duplex in the building for $52.5 million, the highest price ever paid for a New York City co-op.

To contact the reporter on this story: Oshrat Carmiel in New York at ocarmiel1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kara Wetzel at kwetzel@bloomberg.net

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