January 24, 2019

Just days after buying one of the most expensive residential properties in London, Ken Griffin set a record in the U.S.

The Citadel founder closed on the $238 million penthouse at 220 Central Park South, so he’ll have a place to stay when he’s working in New York, a Citadel spokeswoman said. The purchase price makes it America’s most-expensive home.

Earlier this month, he paid about 95 million pounds ($122 million) for a 200-year-old home that overlooks London’s St. James’s Park about half a mile from Buckingham Palace.

The luxury condo tower in New York was built by Vornado Realty Trust, which said in October it was approaching 85 percent sold, with 26 full-floor units in contract. The Robert A.M. Stern-designed project faces the southern entrance to Central Park, with most of the 118 units offering unobstructed views. Griffin’s apartment is about 24,000 square feet (2,200 square meters). The deal was reported earlier Wednesday by the Wall Street Journal.

Citadel has signed a lease to anchor a skyscraper at 425 Park Avenue, eight-tenths of a mile from Griffin’s new apartment, not including vertical travel. The office building, developed by L&L Holding Co. and designed by Norman Foster, topped out last month. It’s supposed to be completed in 2020, and Citadel will take about 331,800 square feet on 16 floors including the penthouse.

Griffin’s purchase is well more than double the previous record for a residential sale in Manhattan, which was $100.5 million for the penthouse at One57. That deal was completed in 2014. Appetites for Manhattan’s ultra-luxury homes have since waned. A few blocks away from One57, a buyer purchased three apartments near the top of the 96-story tower at 432 Park Ave. for a combined $91.1 million, in a deal that closed in December 2017. That was a 25 percent discount from the combined sticker price of $120.8 million.

A Vornado spokesman declined to comment, as did Corcoran Group’s Deborah Kern, who represented Vornado. Tal Alexander, who along with his brother Oren represented Griffin, also didn’t comment.

Griffin, 50, who founded Citadel in 1990, started trading convertible bonds from his dorm room at Harvard University. The firm today manages $28 billion with offices around the world. Griffin, who has a $9.6 billion fortune, is the richest person from Illinois to feature on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a ranking of the world’s 500 wealthiest people.

He already owned hundreds of millions of dollars worth of real estate in New York and Chicago. His shopping spree over the past few years included $30 million for two floors of the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Chicago and a Miami Beach penthouse for $60 million.

In 2009, Griffin paid $40 million for an apartment at 820 Fifth Ave., at 63rd Street, in New York, buying the 12th-floor unit from philanthropist Lily Safra, widow of banker Edmond Safra.

Griffin also has a history of breaking records in the art world. In 2016, he bought works by Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning from David Geffen’s foundation for about $500 million.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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