When it comes to purchasing luxury residential properties, very few people can compare with the ambitions of billionaire hedge fund manager Ken Griffin. The 50-year-old Chicago resident has an estimated net worth of nearly $10 billion, and lately he seems to be on a mission to spend as much of his fortune as possible on premium real estate purchases.
Most recently, Griffin bought a 23,000 square foot penthouse condominium that will occupy four floors of the new skyscraper at 220 Central Park South in Manhattan. The asking price for Griffin’s new home was $250 million, although this shrewd businessman was able to negotiate that down to $238 million.
Even with the “discount,” this purchase shattered the record for the most expensive home ever sold in America by a whopping $101 million ― the previous record was fellow hedge fund manager Barry Rosenstein’s $137 million estate in The Hamptons. Griffin’s new home isn’t even finished yet, as the building it’s located in is still under construction. That hasn’t stopped him or other wealthy buyers from investing in homes at 220 Central Park South though, as the musician Sting also recently purchased a unit in the same building.
This is far from Griffin’s first major residential real estate purchase though, as he also bought a $122 million home in London just a few days prior to his purchase of the Manhattan penthouse. Griffin’s London mansion is over two centuries old, and its 20,000 square feet of luxury include a pool, an extensive fitness center, and a massive underground cellar.
In addition, Griffin holds the record for the most expensive home ever purchased in the Chicago area, as he bought a $58.75 million penthouse condo at No. 9 Walton in November 2017. This property encompasses the top four floors and 25,000 square feet of the building, and the purchase blew away the previous $19.5 million record for the richest residential real estate purchase in Chicago history.
Not all of Griffin’s properties are located in downtown metropolitan settings though, as he also recently invested nearly $250 million in a 12-acre estate on Billionaires Row in Palm Beach, Florida. Located just a few blocks from President Donald Trump’s famed Mar-a-Lago Club, construction plans for Griffin’s Palm Beach estate are currently on hold, as Griffin recently changed his mind regarding what type of home he wants to build on the property.
All told, Griffin has spent in excess of $750 million on residential real estate since 2012. While this is an astounding amount of money for anyone to spend on homes ― especially in a span of only seven years ― it still represents just over half of Griffin’s 2014 earnings, which were reportedly around $1.3 billion. One common attribute of all of Griffin’s real estate holdings is that it’s exceedingly difficult to find information about the interiors of any of his properties. Griffin is clearly a man who enjoys the seclusion of his many properties, and he certainly has the financial means to maintain this level of privacy.
In addition to his real estate holdings, Griffin is also an art aficionado with an impressive collection of rare and valuable works. Since 1999, he has acquired paintings by Paul Cezanne, Jasper Johns, Willem de Kooning, Gerhard Richter, and Jackson Pollock ― he reportedly paid around $700 million in total for the five pieces. In another impressive record, Griffin’s 2016 purchase of the Pollock and de Kooning works for $500 million is the richest art purchase ever. The $300 million he spent on de Kooning’s “Interchange” is also the most expensive single piece of abstract art in history.
Griffin amassed his fortune as the founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Citadel investment firm, which he started in 1990, when he was just 22 years old. Citadel currently manages over $30 billion for its clients and partners, with Griffin overseeing the entire operation. In addition to his professional accolades, Griffin is also a noted philanthropist, with over $700 million in donations to various museums, hospitals, and universities in Chicago and New York. In 2014, he made a $150 million donation to the need-based scholarship program at Harvard University, which was the largest gift ever received by the prestigious university.
According to the Citadel, Griffin also contributes his time to numerous Illinois institutions. He currently serves as a board member for the Chicago Public Education Fund, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the University of Chicago.
While the details about the layouts and designs of his many luxury homes are kept mostly under wraps, it’s still undeniably impressive how Griffin has turned his fortune into a real estate portfolio that could make anyone jealous. We will certainly keep an eye on his future purchases to see if he adds more properties to his incredible selection. ■
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