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15 Central Park West: The Most Powerful Address in NYC

Central Park is an oasis within one of the busiest cities in the world, a haven and green space filled with tranquillity. It is also a major landmark in a city featuring them at every turn. In film and television, images of Central Park often act as a backdrop for exciting scenes, from The Grinch to White Collar. Around the outside of the park, other locations have also become iconic, from Central Perk in the sitcom Friends, to the 15 Central Park West condominium. The latter is one of New York’s most prestigious addresses and overlooks the park from its enviable position on the corner of West 61st Street and Central Park West on the Upper West Side. It may have featured in shows and films, but it has housed some of the world’s most famous faces. On your bike ride around the park, you may have encountered some stars, of screen and sports, and if you have it could be they have emerged from their exclusive apartment in the 15 Central Park West complex. Here are just a few of the stars who have called the building home, and who have had the luxury of Central Park just a few footsteps away from their apartment lobby.

Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington was ranked by the New York Times as the greatest actor of the 21st century, with a filmography that includes Training Day, The Taking of Pelham 123, The Manchurian Candidate and The Book of Eli. He may also have been seen wandering the pathways of Central Park for a while, having moved into 15 Central Park West in 2006. He paid just over $13 million for a three-bedroom apartment, and was no doubt attracted by the amenities that include a library, private restaurant, pool and health club.

Alex Rodriguez

The baseball star Alex Rodriguez, otherwise known as A-Rod, was one part of a power couple who resided in the building, with his partner Jennifer Lopez. A-Rod was a rather controversial character when he resided there, with 6sqft.com documenting how he was banned for poor behavior before moving back in with his partner. The former Yankees star has retired now but has found other ways to supplement his income. Poker.org discuss how A-Rod not only made his fortune in baseball but was also a keen poker player and the inspiration behind one of the characters in the film Molly’s Game. He apparently leased an apartment in the building with J-Lo as a secret, for $11,500 per month, which one would assume came with a caveat he did not return to his previously disruptive ways.

Robert De Niro

De Niro rented the same unit as A-Rod in the years after the Yankees star left the building. Along with his wife Grace Hightower, the legend of the big screen rented Unit 35AB, which is two separate condos combined into one on the 35th floor. It originally cost $18.9m in 2008, when steel magnate Leroy Schecter bought it but was rented for $125,000 a month by the star of Casino and Taxi Driver. De Niro is one of the most recognizable actors in the world and is still producing high-quality films well into his seventies. He is also still teaming up with Martin Scorsese, and their Netflix collaboration The Irishman received strong reviews in 2019.

Jeff Gordon

Gordon is a NASCAR legend, a four-time Winston Cup Series Champion with 93 career wins, 477 top tens and 81 pole positions behind him. He lived in the building for six years, between 2007 and 2013. Along with his wife, Gordon paid $9.67m for a condo in the building, selling it for $25m a little later. Whilst it might be a prestigious address with a host of big names under its roof, it also seems to be a solid investment, although Leroy Schecter might have pushed it too far, listing 35AB for $90m six years after he bought it for $18.9m.

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