Kola Aluko The Man Who Foreclosed $50.9M Billionaires Row Penthouse
The owner of a penthouse apartment that could be the most expensive foreclosure in New York City is believed to be hiding out on his yacht, which he rented to Jay-Z and Beyoncé in 2015 for $900,000 a week.
Nigerian energy businessman Kolawole Kola Aluko, 48, was the owner of Apartment 79, a penthouse apartment in One57, one of New York City’s most expensive residential buildings.
However, the apartment will be sold to the highest bidder at a foreclosure auction in July.
Aluko, who is friends with stars such as Jay-Z and Jamie Foxx, has not been seen for a while, which has sparked rumors that he is hiding away on his yacht, the New York Post reported.
He was last seen in Hong Kong in May and his yacht is currently in the Bahamas.
His bank has also listed the yacht, the Galactica Star, as collateral in the foreclosure, but the yacht is out of range at the moment.
It was last registered in the Bahamas in May.
Aluko rented the Galactica Star to Jay-Z and Beyoncé in 2015 for $900,000 a week and allegedly showed up at the Ja Rule Fyre Festival in the Bahamas in late April with his yacht, sources told the Post.
The businessman is also close friends with Leonardo DiCaprio.
Aluko made a large donation to DiCaprio’s environmental charity and even attended the actor’s birthday party in New York City in 2013.
The energy tycoon sold a 2.4-acre estate in Montecito, California, to Gwyneth Paltrow for an under market $4.9million.
In 2012, he bought an 11,478-square-foot house in Bel Air for $24.5 million, then sold the property in 2016 for $21.5 million.
He also owns a home in Beverly Hills that was also purchased in 2012 for $14.7 million
Aluko is also avoiding Nigerian authorities who tried to freeze his assets in February as part of a money-laundering probe, according to the Post.
Apartment 79 was sold to Aluko in December 2014 for $50.9million, making it the eighth most expensive unit in the building, according to New York City property records obtained by Bloomberg.
Less than a year later, however, the buyer took out a $35.5million mortgage from Banque Havilland in Luxembourg to help pay for the apartment.
When the owner failed to pay the loan back a year later, the bank took possession of the 6,420-square-foot apartment, according to court documents.
Now the bank is planning to auction off the four-bedroom apartment on July 19 to regain the mortgage plus interest.
‘It’s probably the most expensive foreclosure we’ve ever seen in luxury development,’ Donna Olshan, president of high-end Manhattan brokerage Olshan Realty Inc., told Bloomberg.
‘I don’t know of a foreclosure that’s larger than that.’
One57 was built by Extell Development Co. and was the tallest residential building in Manhattan until 432 Park Ave was completed a few months later.
Construction started on the building in 2009 and finished in 2014, creating a trend of similar ultra-luxury high-rises on 57th street which has now been coined ‘Billionaire’s Row’.
The bottom floors of the building are now the flagship location of the Park Hyatt Hotel. The residences have a separate entrance to the building.
Amenities include a 24-hour doorman and concierge, fitness center, yoga studio, private dining room, catering kitchen, library, valet service and on-site parking.
Last month, another apartment in the building went into foreclosure.
The $21.4million unit was slated for a June 14 auction, but public records have not revealed whether there’s a new owner yet.