When it comes to big-ticket purchases and sales, Citadel founder Ken Griffin is never out of the news for very long at a stretch. It was only a week ago that he shelled out $122 million for a tasteful mansion in London near Buckingham Palace. Not too long ago, he paid $500 million for the acquisition of an abstract expressionist set: a de Kooning and a Pollack. There was also, in recent memory, a $60-million, four-floor penthouse in Chi-Town’s new Gold Coast landmark, No. 9 Walton, and another at $60 million in Miami’s Faena House.
Still, this one’s a ‘corker’, as dear old dad used to say: this week, the WSJ reported, Mr. Griffin plunked down deep nine figures for a massive penthouse in Manhattan’s 220 Central Park South. The sale price of $238 million set the record for most expensive residential sale in the United States. The fact that it is a pied-a-terre makes the sale even more remarkable.
The Robert A.M. Stern-designed 220 Central Park South is divided into two sections, ‘Villa’ and ‘Tower’; needless to say, the unit in question is situated in the latter, which rises 79 floors above terra firma. It is possible that the unit’s 24,000 square feet of living space span at least three floors, but that remains supposition. The marketing and selling of properties in the building has been a secretive affair, with potential residents having to survive a vetting process to buy in.
It isn’t only deep pockets that indicates arrival at 220 Central Park South, in other words. It’s acceptance.
Ken Griffin waded into the world of investing as a freshman in college. Harvard, naturally. He parlayed his prodigious talent for navigating financial markets into a $10 billion net worth. He has donated around $700 million to various causes and organizations, including $150 million to his alma mater.