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.
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.
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.
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, 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