Ken Griffin destroys the US record with his $238 million NYC penthouse purchase

Ready for this one? Yolanda already had a different story ready to publish today — it was sitting there, just waiting in the wings — but we scrapped that at the last minute in favor of this monumental deal. It’s the sort of thing that only comes ’round once in a lifetime (okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but still).

Every news outlet on the planet is agog that multi-billionaire hedge funder Ken Griffin has absolutely shattered, vanquished, annihilated the USA sales price record for residential real estate. With his (approximately) $238,000,000 splurge, Mr. Griffin’s deal makes the previous top sale — $147 million for a Hamptons compound in 2014 — look like utter child’s play.

Ken Griffin (photo: Bloomberg)

Yes, kids, nearly a quarter billion bucks for an NYC condo. And a PR spokesperson for Mr. Griffin happily confirmed the purchase to the Wall Street Journal peeps, so clearly our boy is quite proud of his new digs.

220 Central Park South — the name of the Robert A.M. Stern-designed skyscraper where Mr. Griffin’s palatial penthouse is located — has just been completed and looms directly over Central Park, hence the name. While sales of other units within the complex have remained a somewhat secretive affair, rumors of Mr. Griffin’s pending purchase have been swirling online for years, since way back in 2015.

Precious few details of Mr. Griffin’s penthouse are (publicly) known, but we do know that it comprises four full floors with a whopping 24,000-square-feet of living space. A true mega-mansion in the sky! And if y’all can believe it, Mr. Griffin paid that $238 million for 24k SF of raw space — meaning he’ll be spending millions more to build out the unfinished interiors to his custom specifications.

Wrapped your brain around this yet? Here’s something even crazier — Mr. Griffin plans to use the home as a humble pied-a-terre. This is a place where he’ll occasionally bunk up when in town — it will not become his main residence.

220CPS. See Mr. Griffin’s penthouse way up high?

Chicago-based Mr. Griffin is a 50-year-old divorced father of three young children who may (or may not) still be dating a young lady named Melissa Bley. But more importantly, he’s the founder and CEO of Citadel, one of the largest and most successful hedge funds on the globe.

Mr. Griffin is also a major Republican donor, an active philanthropist, and a world-class art collector — he once paid David Geffen $500 million for two paintings — a William de Kooning and a Jackson Pollock.

Ken Griffin in London

Anyway, in addition to the NYC pad, Mr. Griffin has a variety of other record-breaking homes. Earlier this month, he dropped another $122 million (at current conversion rates) for a historic London mansion near Buckingham Palace. The purchase price makes it one of the most expensive home sales ever in that city.

Mr. Griffin also has a nearly $60 million penthouse in Chicago — the most expensive residence ever purchased there by several country miles. His four-floor condo is located at the so-called No. 9 Walton skyscraper on Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood.

Then there’s his Faena House duplex penthouse, which at $60 million is the most expensive Miami Beach condo ever sold. For those of y’all who don’t know, Faena is known as Miami’s “billionaire bunker”, as a majority of the residents there are billionaires. And the building kinda looks like a bunker.

Faena House, AKA Miami’s “Billionaires’ Bunker

Faena, incidentally, is the same condo building where Kim Kardashian and Kanye West recently spent $14 million on a lower-floor unit. So maybe the name should be “Bunker of billionaires and aspirational billionaires“, but that doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.

But we digress. Our Mr. Griffin has so many properties that he’s probably forgotten about half of them. There’s also his $250+ million vacant lot in Palm Beach, on which he’s supposedly plotting an oceanfront mega-mansion — and a $17 million island vacation pad at the Four Seasons on Hawaii’s Big Island. Altogether, Mr. Griffin has spent $750+ million on residential real estate over the past seven years.

Yolanda should say something profound to wrap this up, but we’re fresh outta ideas. At some point, all these zeroes and commas turned our mind to jelly. But here’s a thought: Hey Kenny, be a sport and show LA some love! We’ve still got a bumper crop of sad monster mansions that nobody is buying.

Listing agent (NYC): Deborah Kern, Corcoran
Ken Griffin’s agents: Tal & Oren Alexander, Douglas Elliman

  1. NeNe_CaTiNi says:

    Yolanda probably should have mentioned that the penthouse he purchased in Chicago, similarity to his new NYC pad was bought as RAW square footage. Meaning yet again, he’s spending MILLIONS to build it out. It is 24-25k sq.ft. too… so similar in size to his NYC pad.

  2. C says:

    Boy is rich but his spending spree is getting ridiculous.

    Another note, his $250m collection of tear downs in Palm Beach…. he started building a house that measured almost 700′ end to end, shoring up the lot and beginning the foundation… spending millions and then just pulled the plug, tore out what had been done to start over. Fickle?

    Homeboy must really like visiting Waterworks show rooms, Smallbones of Devizes galleries, Ann Sachs tile, etc… because with 2 raw square footage 24k sq.ft penthouse and the construction of a mega manse in FL… he’s busy making selections for his dream homes.

    1. Hugh says:

      So, wait: is he just building an expanded mansion or have those plans published on Palm Beach Daily News been scrapped? I hope so; I didn’t like them. So much great land, but such bland architecture. I much more prefer the nearby Fatio Il Palmetto or newer McCourt Marino mansion.

    1. C says:

      He’s on a spending spree to give the middle finger to his ex-wife who fought valiantly for their 3 floor, 24,000 sq.ft. Park Tower Chicago penthouse in the divorce.

      I could see him honestly slamming down on The One. He would be Nile’s buyer in shinning armor.

  3. Hugh says:

    BobbyH49 over at The Daily Mail had an excellent comment: “Laying off his liquid assets into property before another massive financial crash.”

    1. NeNe_Catini says:

      That is far reaching, his liquid assets are much higher than his real estate purchases, and when the next recession happens, many of these properties which he already paid more for than he could probably re-sell them for will also drop in value.

      1. Hugh says:

        You could be right, of course, Nene, especially about the resale price, and the other day I did wonder what was Dalio thinking when purchasing the Copper Beach Farm as well, and I keep thinking that the two of them must have some sort of idea or sense of what they’re doing?!

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