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A Whirlwind Tour Through Billionaire Len Blavatnik’s Behemoth Digs

A week or two ago Your Mama discussed the deeluxe digs at 1040 Fifth Avenue that booze baron and entertainment mogul Edgar Bronfman Junior reportedly purchased for clost to $20,000,000. Y’all will recall that 1040 Fifth is the same building where the legendary Jackie-O lived for many years until her death in the 1990s. In that discussion we mentioned that Mister Bronfman Jr. had also reportedly sold his 15,000 square foot townhouse at 15 East 64th Street for a rumored $50,000,000+.

Today, the good people over at the NY Observer, specifically the incomparable real estate gossip Max Abelson, report that the townhouse was purchased for by Russian born oligarch Len Blavatnik, who Forbes ranked as the 40th richest man in the world in 2006 with a $7.0 billion fortune. Your Mama imagines that he’s got a couple hundred million more by now.

The oil, gas and metals magnate has made quite a name for himself in the world of excessively expensive real estate. In 2004 he famously spent $100,000,000+ on his London residence, located at 15a Kensington Palace Gardens. If Blavatnik can’t be royalty, he may as well have more money than the damn queen and live right next door to where heaps of royals shack up in the elegant apartment house known as Kensington Palace, former home of the dead Princess Diana.

Blavatik’s monstrous London house includes 10 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms, 4 reception rooms and of course, staff quarters. But when you’re a billionaire, big is sometimes just not big enough. According to a recent article in The Times, Mister Blavatnik has submitted plans to excavate the under the front and rear yards in order to accommodate an underground parking garage with car stacker, an indoor swimming pool, gym, and home theater. You go gurl!

More recently, the real estate obsessed tycoon has been making a big splash in the upper reaches of the luxury housing market in New York City. Blavatnik attempted to buy big fancy apartments all over town, but was reportedly turned down by the finicky and fussy boards at the San Remo on Central Park West, and also at 927 Fifth Avenue, home to luminaries such as Mary Tyler Moore and Paula Zahn, and the former home of the controversial Pale Male.

Finally, in the Fall of 2006, Blavatnik was able to bully his way into swanky and staid 998 Fifth Avenue where he paid a reported $27,500,000 for a sprawling 14 room apartment with four bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms, a 35 foot long gallery and two maids rooms. 998 Fifth is the very same building where Edgar Junior’s brother Matthew recently purchased society diva Anne Slater’s apartment which had been on the market for $17,700,000. It’s a small world after all.

Apparently the 14 room apartment at 998 Fifth Avenue was not quite large enough for Mister Blavatnik and his wifey Emily. Max Abelson states in his article that the uber rich couple had hoped to purchase an adjoining apartment to combine with their already large digs. But alas, the board put their feet down on that idea.

So townhouse shopping the couple a-went, finally settling on Edgar Bronfman Juniors massive mansion on East 64th Street. Abelson reports that Blavatnik is paying somewhere around $51,000,000 for the house which features, “a bronze-shaded waxed-steel vestibule, a 2.5-story indoor piazza with Nigerian fertility statue and secret stairways, a balconied master bedroom and children’s playroom, plus a glass-floored library terrace.” If reports are accurate, and Abelson usually is, Blavatnik will be only the second person to pay more than $50,000,000 for a New york townhouse, the other being billionaire J. Christopher Flowers who bought the Harkness Mansion last year.

Presumably the Blavatnik apartment at 998 will hit the market soon. Perhaps they can sell it to Matthew Bronfman who may be in the market to combine two massive units at 998 Fifth Aveneu. That is unless the Blavatniks are planning on keeping it to house the staff.

Sources: New York Observer, The Times, The Age, The City Review, New York Post

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