The apartment used to host former Yugoslav president when he would visit New York.
The famous “Tito’s apartment” in New York City, on the prestigious Park Avenue, has been sold for 12.1 million dollars, of which Croatia will receive some two million dollars. It is an apartment that used to be the official residence of the Yugoslav Ambassador at the United Nations and was now sold jointly by the successor states, reports Večernji List on June 5, 2018.
Although the real estate agency that managed the sale has confirmed that the contract was signed on May 31, it did not want to reveal the name of the new owner. However, according to unofficial sources, the apartment was bought by Philippe Khuong-Huu, a Viennese-French investment banker now residing in New York.
The apartment covers 216 square metres and was part of the succession assets of the former Yugoslavia. Due of its high value, unlike most other diplomatic and consular missions it could not have been given to one of the successor states, so it was decided to jointly sell it and then divide the proceeds according to the succession ratio determined in the succession agreement. According to the ratio, Croatia will receive 23.5 percent of the apartment’s value.
The signing of the contract lasted for three hours: the rules stipulated that representatives of all five sellers (Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Slovenia and representatives of former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) must sign the contract concurrently and at the same location. Croatia was represented by Croatian Ambassador to the United Nations Vladimir Drobnjak.
The apartment in New York is located at a prestigious location, but is in a terrible state, since it has been empty since 1992 when Darko Šilović, the last Yugoslav ambassador to the United Nations, moved out. Serbia initially took over the apartment but did not invest in it, except paying for unavoidable costs which were extremely high. Over the years, the cost of the apartment reached more than 3.2 million dollars. Serbia said that the successor states had agreed that the costs would be refunded per succession ratio. Without reimbursing the expenses, Croatia would receive some 2.8 million dollars from the apartment, but the maintenance costs for Croatia amount to about 750,000 dollars. The apartment is a co-op, which means it is owned indirectly through the acquisition of 960 shares in the Park-71st Corporation.
In 2016, when the apartment was first put on the market, its value was estimated at 18 million dollars, but there were no interested buyers. After a while, the price was lowered, the main reason being the apartment’s neglected condition. The new owner will have to renovate it, starting with removing asbestos and lead paint, and replacing all the windows. The renovation will last for at least three years due to the fact that the building has strict “summer rules” – works in the building are allowed only in the period from June to September.
In addition to the apartment in New York, the former Yugoslav successor states also have plans to sell old Yugoslav representation office to the United Nations located in the city, as well as diplomatic facilities in Bonn in Germany, Bern in Switzerland, and Tokyo.
Translated from Večernji List (reported by Sandra Veljković).