The Emirate of Qatar killed what would have been a record, $90 million buy of a townhouse at 19 East 64th Street, the Real Deal reported.
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In January, Qatar, via Oren and Tal Alexander of Douglas Elliman, entered into contract to buy the 20, 500-square-foot townhouse from the Wildenstein family of art dealers, planning to turn it into a consulate. A source familiar with the property confirmed the contract was for $90 million.
Nathan Wildenstein, established his art dealership on the Rue La Boétie in Paris after fleeing his native Alsace during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71.
That was before there was a Qatar.
The Wildensteins, who were using the townhouse as an art gallery, were represented by the Corcoran Group’s Carrie Chiang.
“The deal did not close as scheduled, ” a spokesperson for the Wildensteins told the Real Deal.
Ahmed Yousef Al-Rumaihi, consul general for the Qatar in New York, said in a statement in January that the property was in “move-in condition.” But he couldn’t be reached for comment this week.
It’s unclear why the Qataris balked. It probably wasn’t the money. Qatari royal folks love buying prestigious Manhattan real estate, like Ellen Biddle Shipman’s $35 million Beekman Place residence, Aby Rosen’s $47 million townhouse at 22 East 71st Street, and a whole bunch of apartments at Gary Barnett’s One57.
The Real deal suggested the Qatari government could be looking to lower its profile, following all kinds of criticism against them, from letting hundreds of migrant workers die to financing terrorism around the Middle East.
The Wildensteins are particularly pissed, because they had already taken out all their stuff from the art gallery and cleaned out the space.
They might sue.