The Real Deal New York

For captains of the universe, one pad just isn’t enough

Billionaire buyers combine multiple units at top-end buildings
December 21, 2015 10:05AM

For most people — for almost anyone — one Billionaires’ Row apartment or one Upper East Side townhouse is plenty. But not for some of the world’s richest people.
A handful of the city’s highest rollers are combining units at New York’s most exclusive addresses, creating sprawling, unprecedented urban mansions.

Recent examples of the trend include hedge funder Kenneth Griffin’s $200 million three-floor condo at 220 Central Park South (which hasn’t closed) and Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich’s three-townhouse combination at 11, 13 and 15 East 75th Street on the Upper East Side.

“It’s a very specific buyer with a very specific need,” Douglas Elliman’s Mickey Conlon told the New York Post. “It’s a . . . mentality of ‘I’m going to be [buying] the biggest house, and everyone will be talking about it and everyone will know about it — I’m the king of the world.”

Abramovich filed plans to combine his three units earlier this month. The work, which will cost about $6 million, will produce an 18,000-square-foot space. He also plans to build a 30-foot backyard, along with a pool in the cellar. Abramovich paid $78 million for the three houses, in separate purchases.

Pop icon Madonna pulled off a similar move in 2009, when she bought three townhouses at 152-156 East 81st Street for $32 million in 2009. The singer spent $1.7 million combining the houses. [NYP]Ariel Stulberg