[I'm going to paraphrase for the sake of clarity]
The characters involved make this particularly interesting. They include:
Considered a socialite and/or a philanthropist, she is perhaps more significantly the wife of deceased banking scion Edmond Safra. His namesake bank is located further down the avenue at the corner of 546 5th Ave and 45th Street. In 1999 Edmond died or was murdered in a fire at his Monaco home. Dominick Dunne wrote about this incident in Vanity Fair.
Griffin is the "founder of the $13 billion (Chicago-based) hedge fund Citadel Investment Group." Despite difficult times Griffin had been actively shopping in the fall.
Hovnanian is the CEO of Hovnanian Enterprises, a New Jersey-based national homebuilder and marketer, which, at the time, had reported 13 consecutive quarterly losses during the housing downturn.
820 5th Avenue.
At the corner of 63rd Street, this building has a very tough board, and few available apartments. After all, there's only twelve floors and with only one apartment per floor, that's not a lot of opportunity for turnover.
According to property records, on December 16, Lily Safra sold her 12th floor unit to Griffin for $40 million and, on the same day, purchsaed the 4th floor apartment from Hovnanian for $33 million.
Hovnanian reportedly moved downtown.