$88 Million Apartment Sale Could Be Priciest Ever


Dmitry Rybolovlev may be about to lose more than half of his nearly $10 billion fortune to his estranged wife, but maybe the Russian tycoon can rest easy knowing he's a really, really generous father.

Forbes reports that a company associated with the fertilizer magnate's daughter, Ekaterina Rybolovlev, just purchased the near-$90 million penthouse at 15 Central Park West, formerly the home of Citigroup CEO Sandy Weill. A statement released by Ekaterina Rybolovlev's representatives says that she plans to stay in the New York City apartment while studying at a U.S. university. We're assuming the transaction would not have been an option for Ekaterina Rybolovlev if it weren't for a little help from dad at some point, and most likely his sign-off (Photos from the interior of the apartment building are shown above and at bottom.)

Staggeringly expensive listings and home sales are, of course, nothing new to the Big Apple. For starters, Nelson Rockefeller's former co-op was listed for $27.5 million and a Central Park penthouse for $15.775 million this year. As for mammoth sales, The New York Observer notes two apartments that sold for $48 million and $40 million, also both to foreigners. We think it's worth mentioning Carlos Slim's $44 million purchase of the Duke-Semans Mansion on Fifth Avenue as well.

But the $88 million that Dmitry Rybolovlev, er, we mean Ekaterina Rybolovlev -- or rather, the company associated with Ekaterina Rybolovlev -- is shelling out for her new digs dwarfs those sales and also the city record of $53 million -- what J. Christopher Flowers' paid for the Harkness Mansion in 2006.

Though it may be hard to believe, the Rybolovlev purchase has not set a national real estate record. Yuri Milner, yet another Russian billionaire, can claim that mantle, having paid $100 million for a mansion in Los Altos, Calif. this past March.

The sale at 15 Central Park West bears a striking resemblance to another incredibly expensive one that generated a lot of buzz this year. This past summer Formula One race car magnate Bernie Ecclestone's 22-year-old daughter, Petra Ecclestone, bought Candy Spelling's manor for a cool $85 million. Like Ecclestone, Ekaterina Rybolovlev is also 22, now has an $80 million-plus residence and enjoys the support of a really, really rich father.

Rybolovlev has a somewhat shady past, we might note. In ascending to the fertilizer king throne, he was accused of murdering a business partner and served a year in prison before being acquitted for lack of evidence. And he's now working through a messy divorce that The New York Observer says could cost him up to $6 billion. That could set another record: most expensive divorce ever.