The seller was the Chinese conglomerate HNA Group, who bought the house less than a year ago, in April 2017, for $ 79.5 million. "This was a very quiet non-market transaction," the source said, adding that other potential buyers were not interested in the property.
The mansion, built in the "gilded age" (the last quarter of the 19th century in the US), is located at 19 East 64th Street. He served as the art gallery of the Wildenstein family for 85 years. Nevertheless, now it is not in the best condition, and it will take a lot of time and money to restore it, the source said. According to Forbes, the money for Blavatnik is not a problem - his fortune is estimated at $ 20.5 billion.
Blavatnik already owns the former townhouse of businessman Edgar Bronfman on the same street that he bought for $ 51 million. "He wants to control the quarter!" - said the source of the publication in the real estate market.
Blavatnik tried to buy a mansion on 64th St. a few years ago and even sued the then owner David Wildenstein in 2016, arguing that Wildenstein used his oral offer to sell the townhouse given to Blavatnik in order to get the best offer from a competing buyer. The billionaire claimed $ 10 million from them. The Manhattan judge dismissed the claim, saying that Blavatnik was clever enough to know that oral promises did not necessarily mean concluding a contract.
Blavatnik, the music tycoon who owns Warner Music and invests in popular Broadway shows such as Hamilton, regularly buys real estate. He already owns several houses in the Upper East Side. In particular, he paid $ 80 million for a mansion on Fifth Avenue, formerly owned by Woody Johnson, the US ambassador to England.
In addition, Blavatnik paid $ 31.25 million for the biggest townhouse in the city, located on 63rd Street, where once housed the New York Academy of Sciences.
The deal to buy the Vindelshtein mansion will allow Blavatnik to bypass another well-known owner of elite real estate in New York - Roman Abramovich, who paid $ 96 million for four mansions in the Upper East Side. The Russian billionaire plans to unite three historic mansions. Changes affect the premises and the courtyard. In the estate there will be a swimming pool, a hall for works of art and a winter garden. According to Forbes, Abramovich plans to spend $ 6 million on reconstruction.
Blavatnik was born in Ukraine, grew up in Moscow, and in 1978 he emigrated with his parents to the United States. The basis of his fortune he earned on the sale of a stake in the oil company TNK-BP for $ 7 billion in 2013. Now he owns Warner Music, LyondellBasell, Rocket Internet, and Tory Burch.