Russian financier/oligarch Andrei Vavilov has unloaded his 20th-floor, duplex penthouse in the Plaza in Manhattan for $8,400,000, bringing to an end a weird journey for Vavilov that began with word last year that he was to pay a total of $53,500,000 for both a triplex penthouse and a duplex penthouse in the Plaza.


The New York Observer's Max Abelson reported last week on Vavilov's sale of the 2,906-square-foot duplex in the Plaza. We wrote last year about Vavilov's decision to back out of a deal to pay $53,500,000 for the duplex penthouse and the triplex penthouse in the Plaza, a kerfuffle that involved him seeking to get back his $10,700,000 deposit plus $20 million-plus in damages. At the time, Vavilov had gone to contract to purchase the units in the Plaza, which is at 768 Fifth Avenue, through his corporate entities Penthouse 2009, Inc. and Penthouse 2001, Inc.

Vavilov's grievances last year against Plaza developer El-Ad were spelled out in a 55-page complaint and involved alleged changes like the absence of unobstructed floor-to-ceiling windows, reduced sight lines and lower ceilings than anticipated. He also complained that on four separate occasions, he was denied the right to access the units before closing. And, in a press release, he also called the unit an “attic-like space," and specifically called out the building’s “large unattractive drainage grates” just outside certain of the unit’s windows. (Of course, it’s also possible that he realized how ridiculous it was to be spending more than $50 million on a condo unit!) In a statement, El-Ad denied that any misrepresentation had taken place, and said it believes that the “iron-clad” contract that Vavilov signed will be upheld by the courts.

Ultimately, as Abelson noted last week, Vavilov reached a compromise with El-Ad whereby his Hayling Island, Inc. company would close on the purchase of the duplex penthouse only. And, public records show that Vavilov's Hayling Island company did exactly that, closing on the duplex penthouse unit (which is Unit 2011) on Jan. 27 for $11,076,450 ($11,278,595, including "personal property"). That's a lot less than the $14 million that he'd originally agreed to pay for the duplex penthouse! (That $14 million would have been paired with the $39.5 million that he had agreed to pay for the triplex penthouse to make for a $53.5 million purchase that what would have been, in Abelson's words, "one of the most expensive sprawls ever in New York."

Now, Vavilov has unloaded the six-room duplex penthouse for $8,400,000, after having listed it in February for $12.5 million and then reducing it to $9.95 million, Abelson noted. Vavilov went to contract to sell the unit on June 18, with the deal closing on September 8 and then being recorded on September 23. The buyer, an entity called Nico and Courtney LLC, apparently is controlled by someone named Maribel Unanue McVicar, Abelson reported.

Features in the three-bedroom unit include five and a half baths, a grand gallery leading into a large great room with a wood-burning fireplace and skylights; a living room; a formal dining room; a library/bedroom with an en-suite bath; and a grand staircase, according to listing information.