The Making of a Phenomenon: Inside Manhattan's Most Expensive Address

The high-priced bids, well-tipped staffers, and hooked-up celeb tenants.

Photograph courtesy of WikiMedia Commons.

We crunch the eye-popping figures in journalist Michael Gross' "House of Outrageous Fortune" (Atria Books, $28; out March 11), his new book about New York City's Fifteen Central Park West.

$401,050,000: Winning bid placed in 2004 by 15CPW developers Arthur and William Zeckendorf for the space once occupied by the Mayflower hotel and the neighboring lot—more than twice the going rate for land in Manhattan at the time. Why the extra $50,000? "We make up numbers for good luck," William admits.

$45 million: Price, in dollars, paid in 2005 by hedge-fund manager Daniel Loeb for one of the first penthouses sold—an 8-bedroom, 10-bathroom simplex with terraces overlooking Central Park.

$88 million: Price, in dollars, paid in 2013 by Russian businessman Dmitry Rybolovlev for the Art Deco–themed penthouse formerly owned by financier Sandy Weill—the second-largest apartment in the building, after Loeb's.

2: Number of hookers that a staffer claims to have seen leaving Alex Rodriguez's $30,000-a-month apartment in 2010, minutes before his then-girlfriend Cameron Diaz arrived. (A spokesman for Rodriguez denies the claim.) The staffer says Diaz "was way too nice for A-Rod. He was a douche."

$22,500: Average holiday tip 15CPW employees individually received in 2011 from residents. The concierges take in up to five times that amount.

5: Minutes of viewing it took for Denzel Washington to decide to buy unit 14C for $13 million in 2006. Gross reports that Washington's broker secured a discount by permitting developers to publicize the purchase. (The broker denies the deal.)

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