$238 Million Dollar Apartment Sold, Most Expensive Ever

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A Central Park penthouse in New York City just sold for $238 million, more than doubling the previous record for New York real estate, reports the New York Times. It is the highest price ever paid for any home in the United States.

The buyer, a hedge-fund billionaire named Kenneth Griffin, also holds the city records for real estate purchases in Miami with a $60 million purchase in 2015 as well as $59.7 million in Chicago in 2018. A recent $122 million purchase in London, however, failed to set a record there. Griffin is the founder of the investment firm Citadel with a net worth estimated at just under $10 billion. He started the firm in 1990 shortly after graduating from Harvard.

His record-shattering New York purchase is made up of two units with a combined 24,000 square feet of space at the top of 220 Central Park South, which is still under construction. The apartment spans four floors of the building.

A spokeswoman for Griffin confirmed the sale, though the deed is not yet available through public city records.

Sales of this magnitude can take years to close, due not only to the large amount of money involved but also because the buyer of an in-progress complex like this one will often have the opportunity to influence the final design.

“It’s been on my list for four years,” says Jonathan Miller, president of the real estate appraisal company Miller Samuel. “[It] would be the hardest appraisal we’d ever done, because there’s nothing to compare it to.”

Because of the time that passes between the initial contact and the final sale, Miller cautions against reading into the transaction any broader indications about the luxury real estate market at a whole. He said that the unit was first listed at $250 million and has been under contract since 2015.

“[The sale] doesn’t make a statement on the state of the current super luxury market,” she said. “It’s a statement about the market we just came out of, which was a super charged, super luxury market.”

The 79-story building is being built by Vornado Realty Trust. It was designed by architect Robert A.M. Stern and evokes classic prewar designs. Work began during a substantial New York construction boom that began in 2014 but has since softened considerably.

Citadel, which Griffin runs, manages $30 billion in assets and is currently expanding in New York City. Its new offices are just across Central Park from Griffin’s new apartment.