Beanie Baby mogul buys as-yet-unbuilt penthouse


Some people are more optimistic than others. Ty Warner, the publicity shy mogul behind the Beanie Baby empire, has signed on for a penthouse apartment in Chicago...that hasn't even been built yet.

Warner has signed a contract to buy the 10,000, two-story penthouse in a proposed luxury building known at the Chicago Spire. The original asking price for the suite was $40 million, but Warner probably got a better deal, considering the real estate situation at the moment. Construction of the building has been halted due to the emaciated real estate market and attendant economic woes, but none of that seems to bother Warner.

I suppose when you've built a multi-million dollar empire on little stuffed toys, you've got reason to believe the glass is half full. Also, Warner, who is on Forbes 400 richest Americans list, with a net-worth of some $4.4 billion, holds a lot of real estate, which has tied him over well as the Beanie Baby craze has ebbed. According to Forbes, he owns the Four Seasons Hotel in New York City and the Montecito Country Club in Santa Barbara, California, among other extremely hi-hat properties. No word on what he actually did pay for his new apartment. But then this is a guy who doesn't need no stinking mortgage.

Warner locked in the penthouse suite on floors 141 and 142, which promises 360-degree views of the city when completed. But these vaunted views are a long way aways. Although the building will be the tallest residential building in the world, So far, the developer of the project, Shelbourne Development, only has the foundation completed.

Still, a man can dream. And if anyone has the wherewithal to do so these days, it's Ty Warner.