Billionaire Ken Griffin revealed as buyer of Chicago’s priciest home

The founder and CEO of Citadel's preference for unfinished condos continues

Jan.January 13, 2018 09:00 AM

Ken Griffin and a rendering of No9 Walton (Credit: JDL Development)

Daytona Beach-born hedge fund manager Ken Griffin bought the top four floors of JDL Development’s unfinished Chicago condo tower, No. 9 Walton, for $58.5 million.

The deal, which took place in November 2017, is the most expensive home sale ever made in the Chicago area — and, according to Crain’s Chicago, the bill could climb even higher to around $80 million as the expansive unit still needs to be finished. (The previous record-holding sale was a four-acre estate in Glencoe which sold for $19.5 million in 2014.)

Griffin’s condo, one of a handful of the building’s 71 units that was purchased unfinished, has 12 to 18-foot high ceilings — an element that seems to have been customized for Griffin, reports Crain’s — with outdoor areas on each floor, panoramic views and a private pool.

The purchase in Chicago, Griffin’s primary base from which he heads Citadel, a hedge fund with upwards of $27 billion in assets under management, comes amid a spate of big buys over the past several years, most notably his under-construction Palm Beach estate — an assemblage of five contiguous oceanfront properties he bought up since 2012 — which, to date, has cost him almost $230 million. When complete, the 55,800-square-foot mansion on Blossom Way will be longer than a football field.

But buying unfinished condos seems to be trend for Griffin: in 2015, he bought two penthouses in Faena House for $60 million with the intention of combining the units, though he ended up re-listing them for $73 million months later. Also in 2015, Griffin snapped up three floors of 220 Central Park South in Manhattan for $200 million.

But who’s counting? As of this year, Forbes pegged his net worth at $8.7 billion. [Crain’s] — Erin Hudson

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