In what could be a real estate record for New York City, the nation of Qatar is in contract to buy an Upper East Side townhouse for $100 million, The New York Post reported earlier this week.
If the sale is completed in April, as expected, the 20,500-square-foot mansion, currently an art gallery, will become the priciest New York City commercial townhouse ever sold, according to The Real Deal. Qatar is expected to turn the townhouse, known as the Wildenstein Building, into a consulate.
Incredibly, the real estate agents who represented Qatar in the deal were not wizened New York brokers, but a pair of 20-something brothers who have made a name for themselves selling ultra-luxury homes from the Hamptons to Israel.
The brothers, Oren and Tal Alexander of Douglas Elliman's Alexander Team, are 26 and 27, respectively. The brothers were also behind the sale of Miami's most expensive mansion, and the team is currently marketing a $95 million apartment at New York's prestigious Sherry Netherland building.
In an email to Business Insider, Tal called the deal a "milestone transaction for New York City," adding "[we] were glad we were able to open the door for the next 9-figure sale in Manhattan."
Even for brothers who are used to making headlines (The Real Deal dubbed Oren "the party boy" at age 23, and The New York Post has called him "the ultimate young gun") the Qatar deal is a major feather in their cap.
Oren posted about the news on his Facebook page:
Business Insider spoke to Oren last year, after he closed the $47 million deal in Miami. Despite his young age, he said he meets many of his wealthy clients — whom he likes to call "friends" — by living like they do. That means he spends New Year's in St. Barts, goes to the clubs they frequent, and dresses like them, too.
Alexander decided early on to focus on the luxury market and not rentals, a risky move that ultimately paid off.
"I knew who I wanted to be and to get there I had to be selling big product," he told Business Insider. "It's the only way to get recognition. Otherwise, you're just another real estate broker. I didn't want to be another rental broker. It is almost a negative thing to be a broker, almost like being a club promoter. There are so many of them and it's hard to differentiate yourself. I wanted to bring a good reputation to the business and I felt I could only do that on the high end."