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Jeff Bezos photograph by Photograph by Wesley Mann, exterior photo of the Centruy via Elegan Real Estate Jeff Bezos photograph by Photograph by Wesley Mann, exterior photo of the Centruy via Elegan Real Estate
Amazon's HQ2 announcement was top news last week, but now the nation turns their attention to the dinner table to enjoy gatherings celebrating Thanksgiving. As the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade gets on with its famous balloon blow-up leading up to its 2.5-mile route from the Upper West Side to Macy's 34th Street flagship store, participants will march past a pageant of majestic pre-war buildings along Central Park West. One of the most iconic is the The Century at 25 CPW between West 62nd and 63rd streets. Among its many famous inhabitants — which include Ethel Merman, Betsey Johnson, and Tommy Mottola — is no other than Jeff Bezos, the founder, and CEO of Amazon.
According to city records and a 1999 story from the New York Observer, the multi-billionaire founder owns a duplex combination of three units on the 19th and 20th floor, which he purchased from Sony Music chief executive Tommy Mottola in 1999 for $7.65 million. With Amazon moving to Long Island City, Bezo’s commute will be much shorter and is just a cross-town commute to the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge bringing him right to Long Island City.
The Century-004 Google Earth aeiral with The Century labeled (CityRealty)
Built in 1931 on the site of the former Century Theatre, The Century is a twin-towered landmarked 32-story condominium. According to a 1931 New York Times article, after the original theater was demolished, a time capsule was discovered in the cornerstone of the old theater with a letter from President Theodore Roosevelt congratulating the theater’s construction.
The-Century- The Century Theatre (originally the New Theatre) that was demolished for The Century Apartments (The New-York-Architect, November 1909.)
Interior of the New Theatre
Set amidst a sea of Beaux-Arts-style buildings, these art deco towers were designed by famed architect and property developer Irwin Chanin. Chanin also designed its sister building, The Majestic, which is located on the southwest corner of 72nd street across from The Dakota and like the Centruy boasts a pair robust towers sharing a common base. Other romantic twin towers on the stretch include the San Remo, Eldorado, and the not-so-elegant Time Warner Center (1 Columbus Circle).
The Century (center-left) has a front-row view of Central Park and the Midtown skyline
The-Centruy-003 View from Apartment #12J at The Century (Douglas Elliman)
In 1982, the building was bought by an investment group for $36 million and within a year they proposed to sell the building to its rental tenants for $110 million. Although the New York State Attorney General rejected the proposal, it sparked a long and bitter feud between the tenants and the owners that lasted nearly a decade. In 1983, the tenants accused the owners of failing to properly maintain the building. The tenants ended up bringing the owners to court and accusing them of being slumlords and creating dangerous situations with “crumbling walls both inside and out, vermin infestation, extensive leaks, and virtually everything else that can go wrong with a structure." In 1989, the building was finally converted to condominiums and just over half of the building tenants were allowed to purchase their apartments - which they did at substantially less than market value, some as low as one third the market price.
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The original 410 apartments (many have since been combined) ranged from one to eight bedrooms, many of them duplexes and 52 of the unit had sizable terraces. Residences have step-down living rooms, formal dining rooms, eat-in kitchens and large entry galleries. The Century is one of only three condominium buildings on Central Park West south of 88th Street - alongside the Trump International and Tower and 15 Central Park West.
There are currently 13 apartments for sale in The Century, ranging from $2M to $14M, with an average price of $2,814 per square foot. The most expensive unit, 30JK, is a five bedroom, 3.5 bathroom with almost 3,000 square feet. This unit features a large living room, an adjoining, corner formal dining room with double exposed windows and a stunning southeastern view, as well as a master suite on the northwest corner of the unit with superb Central Park views.

(Douglas Elliman)
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