Russians’ U.S. Real Estate Spending Spree (PHOTOS)

To buy our real estate. Andrew Carter reports.

Getty (2); AP (2)

Getty (2); AP (2)

An anonymous Russian billionaire just bought investment manager Howard Marks’s Malibu mansion for $75 million. From a $48 million condo at the Plaza to the $188 million double dip, see the wave of Russian oligarchs investing in U.S. real estate.


Buyer: anonymous Russian billionaire
Occupation: unknown
Price: $75 million

Investment manager and Oaktree Capital chairman Howard Marks recently sold his Malibu, Calif., mansion to an anonymous Russian billionaire for $75 million—the highest price ever paid for a property in the beachfront community. The house comes with 300 feet of ocean frontage, two guesthouses, and a gym. And that anonymous Russian billionaire actually got a pretty good discount—the original asking price was closer to $125 million.

Ben Hider/Getty; inset: ITAR-TASS

Buyer: Andrei Vavilov
Occupation: Energy magnate
Price: $37 million

After disagreeing with the Plaza Hotel over renovations to two cheaper condos, Vavilov and his wife opted to move a few blocks west, and he dropped $37 million for an apartment at the swanky Time Warner Center. The penthouse, which occupies the entire top floor of the south tower, is spread out over 8,300 square feet and comes with 5 bedrooms and 14-foot ceilings.

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Buyer: Igor Krutoy
Occupation: composer
Price: $48 Million

Apparently composers do a bit better in Russia than they do stateside. In 2011, Igor Krutoy spent $48 million for a condo at New York City’s famed Plaza Hotel—a record price in the city at the time. Situated on the 12th floor of the building, the condo takes up 6,000 square feet and reportedly offers great views of Central Park. But perhaps Krutoy overpaid—$48 million, and his apartment doesn’t even take up the entire floor?

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Buyer: Len Blavatnik
Occupation: oil tycoon
Price: $50 million

Blavatnik purchased the townhouse on East 64th Street in New York from his friend, Seagram heir Edgar Bronfman Jr., in 2007. Blavatnik paid $1 million less than the $51 million asking price, but Bronfman still turned a profit: he had purchased the home in 1994 for a measly $4.375 million. Bronfman had done major renovations to the house, adding a two-story indoor piazza with hidden stairways, a balconied children’s playroom, and a glass-floored library terrace. The townhouse capped off a busy period of real-estate buying for Blavatnik. Over two years, he bought the townhouse, a $27.5 million Fifth Avenue co-op, and a $31.25 million mansion, which was one block south of the Bronfman house.

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Buyer: Dmitry Rybolovlev
Occupation: fertilizer magnate
Price: $88 million

Using a trust set up in his daughter’s name, Dmitry Rybolovlev spent $88 million to acquire former Citigroup chairman Sandy Weill’s apartment at New York City’s 15 Central Park West in 2011. The 6,744-square-foot home has 4 bedrooms, 2 fireplaces, and a 2,000-square-foot wraparound terrace. Rybolovlev actually lives in a $300 million penthouse in Monaco. But representatives for his daughter, just 22 at the time, said she would use the apartment “when visiting New York.” In 2012 Rybolovlev’s wife, Elena, accused him of buying the apartment in an effort to divert funds ahead of their divorce.

Steve Mitchell/AP; inset: AP

Buyer: Dmitry Rybolovlev
Occupation: fertilizer magnate
Price: $100 million

Yep, it’s the same Dmitry Rybolovlev. In 2008 he spent $100 million to buy Donald Trump’s mansion in Palm Beach, Fla. The property has 475 feet of oceanfront, and the house has 22 bathrooms and a 48-car garage. But at the time Rybolovlev said the purchase was “simply an investment in real estate” and “did not represent a decision by me to live in the U.S.”

Paul Sakuma/AP

Buyer: Yuri Milner
Occupation: Internet investor
Price: $100 million

Yuri Milner parted with $100 million to purchase a 25,000-square-foot home in Silicon Valley. The 11-acre property has a ballroom, a home theater, and a wine cellar, and all the living spaces have views of the bay.

Bebeto Matthews/AP

Buyer: Mikhail Prokhorov
Occupation: investor
Price: $200 million

So it’s not a mansion. But Mikhail Prokhorov showed a similar enthusiasm for investing in the United States when he paid $200 million to acquire an 80 percent stake in the basketball team then known as the New Jersey Nets and a 45 percent share in their new home—the $800 million Barclays Center in Brooklyn.