Alan Wilzig, the race car driving banker known for inspiring a character in Martin Scorsese’s film “The Wolf of Wall Street,” is in contract to sell his New York townhouse for $12.65 million, dramatically less than its original nearly $44 million asking price.
Mr. Wilzig admitted that the price cut had less to do with the downturn in the high-end real estate market in New York than with his “pie in the sky” pricing strategy when he listed the property in 2014. He said at the time he hadn’t wanted to sell but had been motivated by some of the aggressive price-tags he’d seen in the area. He wanted to “see if some Chinese billionaire wanted to live in Tribeca bad enough,” he said.
Mr. Wilzig said he didn’t get serious about selling the property until he lowered the price to under $20 million in 2017, following his divorce. Until then, he wouldn’t have sold “without being paid such a stupid amount of money compared to what it’s worth,” he said.
In the end he made out okay. Mr. Wilzig paid $3.35 million for the roughly 6,500-square-foot home, located on Hubert Street in Tribeca, in the mid-2000s and put roughly $1.5 million into building out the interiors, he said.
The townhouse-style home has four bedrooms, a 32-foot-wide great room with an onyx fireplace, an 800-square-foot patio, a media room, a spa and its own private extra-wide garage. When it was first listed, the home drew attention for features such as alligator handrails and a 550-gallon aquarium filled with white butterfly koi, but Mr. Wilzig said he had later toned down the decor to appeal to a wider pool of buyers.
He had been looking to sell it because he had been spending more time at his farm in Taghkanic, N.Y., where he has a 40-foot-wide Grand Prix racing track he built in 2010 at a cost of roughly $7.5 million—about half of the $15 million cost for the property, he told The Wall Street Journal in 2016.
Mr. Wilzig said he is looking for a rental in the city in the $20,000 to $25,000 a month range and is relieved to have parted with the townhouse, since it gives him more financial freedom.
Mr. Wilzig is an investor and the former CEO of the Trust Company of New Jersey. He has retired from professional driving, he said. His connection to “The Wolf of Wall Street,” while touted widely, is largely tangential. In the film, the character he inspired is depicted introducing Jordan Belfort (played by Leonardo DiCaprio), to his girlfriend (played by Margot Robbie), who later became Mr. Belfort’s second wife.
Jane Powers of Douglas Elliman brokered the deal on behalf of Mr. Wilzig, who identified the buyer as a wealthy Brazilian family.