New York City: World's Richest Man Buys Fifth Avenue Landmark

Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim buys Manhattan mansion
Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim buys Manhattan mansion

The world's richest man, Mexican telecoms mogul Carlos Slim, is expanding his portfolio of New York City properties with the purchase of the landmark Duke-Semans Mansion on Fifth Avenue for $44 million, according to the The Wall Street Journal. It's a price considered something of a discount but still the fourth highest price ever paid for a Manhattan townhouse.

At just under 20,000 square feet, the home on 82nd Street is in spitting distance of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but is said to be in need of some repair and redecorating. Slim can afford to transform the place from fixer-upper to grand palace as Forbes estimates his net worth at $53.5 billion.

Surprisingly, however, Bloomberg quotes Slim's spokesman as saying that the businessman won't actually live there. The mansion, built in 1901 by tobacco magnate Benjamin Duke, is an investment, like another property he picked up last month: a $140-million office tower, also on Fifth. Slim is buying up bits of New York, including a chunk of The New York Times Co. and retailer Saks Inc.

Even if he doesn't move in and put up his own drapes, Slim is probably buying at a good time, savvy businessman that he is.