Wealthy hedge-funders and Wall Street tycoons are taking their business where it’s treated best. They’re leaving New York City behind and heading for America’s new financial Mecca, South Florida. The Wall Street Journal reports:
Three Manhattan listings—a downtown penthouse asking $39.5 million, a sprawling co-op seeking $40 million and a pair of Upper West Side condos on the market for $25 million—share one thing in common. Their sellers are among the top brass at Elliott Management, a hedge fund that announced last year it is moving its headquarters from New York City to Florida.
Real-estate veterans and hedge-fund executives believe a seismic shift is under way, one that is moving vast amounts of Wall Street wealth from New York to South Florida. For the past several years, Wall Street has been colonizing the Sunshine State, attracted to more favorable tax policies and sunnier climes. And the momentum is only accelerating amid the pandemic.
David S. Goodboy, founder of the Palm Beach Hedge Fund Association, a networking organization for finance professionals in South Florida, said he saw his base of paying members almost triple in the past year. When he scheduled an in-person networking event in January at the West Palm Beach home of one of the organization’s wealthy members in January, he said he was shocked to get 300 RSVPs.
“It’s gone into overdrive,” he said. “There was always a migration, but Covid gave people a reason just beyond just taxes. It pushed them over the edge.”
At the same time, some wealthy financiers are trying to unload their homes back in New York. Moves by high-net worth financiers are closely watched, particularly in light of predictions of a looming budget crisis in New York. The fate of the new listings may also be a bellwether for the Manhattan luxury market, which got hammered by Covid-19 in 2020 but has begun to show some signs of life in the past several months.
“If you think of New York City as a ballet, right now the city is at intermission,” said real-estate agent Jason Haber at Warburg Realty. “During intermission, some people get restless and don’t come back for the next act. That’s what’s happening now.”
One of those listings is at the Four Seasons Residences at 30 Park Place, a slim tower in the Financial District that was designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects. Asking $39.5 million, it is owned by Jesse Cohn, a partner at Elliott who as head of its U.S. activism practice has led campaigns at Twitter and AT&T.
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