Chinese billionaire buys Ilie Wacs’ Central Park West apartment for $7.6 million


Chinese billionaire Oscar Tang purchased an apartment at 271 Central Park West for the (relatively) modest sum of $7.6 million, and the buy brings a Shanghai connection full circle.

The unit at the 13-story Upper West Side co-op, #7E, has four bedrooms, three-and-a-half bathrooms and features picturesque views of Central Park. The apartment was owned by coat designer Ilie Wacs, who lived in the unit for 40 years until his death in 2014. He reportedly paid $200,000 for the pad in 1977. Wacs’ estate sold the unit.

The new owner will have a short walk to his favorite educational and cultural institutions. Tang, a retired financier co-founded the asset management firm Reich and Tang in 1970, which became the first publicly traded investment management limited partnership when it listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1987. His company merged with New England Investment Companies in 1993 to form Nvest, L.P., which managed over $130 billion of client assets when it was acquired in 2000 by CDC Asset Management, a subsidiary of Caisse des Depots et Consignations.

Tang is best known for his prolific level of philanthropy. He’s donated millions to the New York Philharmonic, Columbia University, Yale University, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Philips Academy in Andover, among others.

Born in Shanghai, Tang fled China during the Communist revolution in 1949, and attended Phillips Academy, Yale and Harvard. His wife, Hsin-Mei Agnes, is a former archaeology professor at Brown University and hosted the History Channel program “Mysteries of China.”

Wacs was a Jewish refugee from Austria who found shelter in Shanghai during World War II — a journey he and his sister wrote about in their memoir, “An Uncommon Journey: From Vienna to Shanghai to America, A Brother and Sister Escape to Freedom During World War II.” Perhaps it’s good karma then that his beloved New York home is now going to a man from the country that once gave him shelter.

William Postrion of Douglas Elliman brokered the deal.