UK govt buys a $15.9 million penthouse apartment in New York for British diplomat

London: The UK government has bought a $15.9m (£12m) penthouse apartment in New York to accommodate a British diplomat working to secure trade deals in a post-Brexit world. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt oversaw the purchase of the seven-bedroom apartment which will be the official residence of Antony Phillipson – the British consul general in New York and trade commissioner for North America. Designed by British architect Norman Foster, the 44-storey tower block is located near the UN headquarters in Manhattan and the Chrysler Building, and is described as the “ultimate global address”. The 574 sq metre (5,893 sq ft) penthouse occupies the whole of the 38th floor and boasts seven bedrooms and six bathrooms. It also features a library, separate living and dining areas, staff rooms and panoramic views across the Manhattan skyline. A spokesman for the Foreign Office said it had “secured the best possible deal and value for money” on the property, adding it will “help promote the UK in the commercial capital of our largest export market and trading partner for years to come”. The spokesman added: “As well as being the consul general’s residence, it will also be used to support his work to help British businesses as Her Majesty’s trade commissioner for North America. “We are in the process of selling the consul general’s current residence.” It was bought from the tower block’s developers – the Zeckendorf family and Eyal Ofer – a Monaco-based Israeli billionaire and real estate tycoon. The tower block – 50 United Nations Plaza – is described as “a luxury residential tower occupying a prestigious location” on the website of architects Foster and Partners. “Adding a touch of elegance to every detail, the powder room walls are fitted with glazed silk panels in a choice of either bold primary or natural colours,” they say. “A spa in the basement incorporates a large exercise pool for residents.” A spokesman for developers Zeckendorf Development and Global Holdings said: “We are delighted with this full-floor penthouse sale to Her Britannic Majesty’s secretary of state for foreign and commonwealth affairs of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and thrilled that 50 United Nations Plaza is now over 83% sold.”