Billionaire Israel Englander has added to his real estate portfolio, shelling out $38 million for an Upper East Side townhouse tied to the Sackler family, the founders of Purdue Pharma.
Public records show the hedge funder closed on the house, located at 8 East 75th Street, on Jan. 3. The five-story house — which is steps from Fifth Avenue and the Metropolitan Museum of Art — was previously owned by Mortimer D.A. Sackler, records show.
Sackler, the son of the late founder of Purdue Pharma, purchased the house for $15.5 million in 2004. The elder Sackler owned Purdue Pharma with his brother Raymond and died in 2010.
The off-market deal comes as the Sacklers have been accused of fueling the opioid epidemic. Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, filed for bankruptcy in September as part of a larger settlement of thousands of lawsuits over the crisis.
The New York Attorney General’s office said in September that it had identified $1 billion worth of wire transfers by the Sackler family, signaling that they may have been trying to hide assets as lawsuits filed against Purdue have mounted in the wake of the opioid epidemic. The AG’s office also alleged that Sackler failed to disclose his ownership of the 75th Street townhouse in litigation, NBC reported.
Another member of the family, David Sackler, recently shed a condominium at 200 East 66th Street for about $6 million.
The latest sale adds to Englander’s growing empire on the Upper East Side.
The founder of Millennium Management, who is reportedly worth $6 billion, paid a record $71.2 million for the penthouse at 740 Park Avenue in 2014. The unit was owned by the French government and was asking $48 million.
More recently, in 2018, Englander’s wife Caryl Englander bought a full-floor at 432 Park Avenue for $60.08 million. Englander, a philanthropist and photographer, paid $7,250 per foot for the 8,200-square-foot pad.
In general, the townhouse market has been sluggish — with the exception of several big ticket deals. In June, hedge funder John Griffin paid a record $77 million for 14-16 East 67th Street, previously owned by financier Philip Falcone. In December, a townhouse owned by art dealer Carlton Hobbs was briefly on the market for $68 million.