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Millionaire W.P. Carey, From Rent Controlled Tenant to Owner

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After we reported the sale of "black swan" investor William Polk Carey's Park Avenue apartment yesterday, a friend of Carey's wrote in with a bit more detail. Apparently, Carey, who was worth at least $500M at the time of his death in January, had lived at 525 Park since the 1960s, as a rent-controlled tenant. By 1994, when new regulations necessitated he purchase the apartment, his firm W.P. Carey & Co. was one of the leaders in real estate finance, and Carey was an obscenely rich man. (See what you can do when you save on rent!)

Our tipster reports:

During the depression, the building was remodeled to break units up into two per floor to make them more affordable. When I first went to his place in 1994, it was just a two bedroom with servants quarters. He bought the other unit on the floor in the mid-2000s and restored it to a full floor unit.According to property records, Carey paid $3.3M for the unit next door in 2005, which he combined with his longtime residence to create—or re-create, if you like—the full-floor apartment that sold for more than $13M last week. A shrewd investor if there ever was one.
· Park Avenue Flat of Late REIT Legend W.P. Carey Sells Quickly [Curbed]