Carlos Slim, Mexicon telecom tycoon and the world's richest person, bought the only private Manhattan Fifth Avenue townhouse, a 20,000-square-foot mansion that's only 27 feet wide, for $44 million. Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, pictured, has bought the only private Manhattan Fifth Avenue mansion for a cool $44 million. The Beaux Arts style townhouse is at 1009 Fifth Avenue, which is on the corner of East 82nd Street, right across the street from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It's unclear whether the Mexican telecom tycoon, which Forbes lists as the world's richest person, worth an estimated $53 billion, will live in the townhouse or keep it as an investment.

Slim's real estate division has been purchasing property around New York City, last month scooping up an 11-story office building -- also on Fifth Avenue -- for $140 million. New York City Finance reported the transaction, which is likely one of the biggest deals in Manhattan this year.

A Sign of Manhattan Real Estate Revival?

In the upper echelons of Manhattan's real estate community, the deal is a welcome sign of of life for a market that has been struggling along with the economy. Earlier this month, Manhattan residential firms reported that sales were picking up -- though they still remained slow -- and prices were stabilizing. The average luxury apartment in the city sells for more than $5 million.

Carlos Slim mansionSlim's historic property is known as the Duke Semans Mansion. It was originally the home of tobacco magnate Benjamin Duke and had been owned by descendents of the Duke family since it was built in 1901. The meticulously maintained narrow home, which boasts more than 19,000 square feet but is only 27 feet wide, includes eight levels, three terraces, 12 bedrooms and 11 fireplaces.

"This is one of the last remaining prized pieces of properties in Manhattan," says Leonard Steinberg, managing director of Prudential Douglas Elliman. "It has a tremendous history, architecture and location." The Sapir Organization listed the property for $50 million. Apparently, another bidder, reportedly from Russia, offered $37 million.

Similar properties around Manhattan that hearken to an era of opulence have been turned into museums or embassies, Steinberg says. "No one knows what he is going to do with it, but I suspect it would be a grandiose home for the world's richest person," he says.

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Trudy Buck

I know most people say that the rich get rich by stealing from the poor. Now I would like to think that there are exceptions to that rule, but it has been my expeierence to see and to know that is true. I just hope and pray that this billionaire Mr. Carlos Slim did not do that. Because when you do get rich off of dirty money and then have the nerve to brag about it. Well it doesn't fare out well in the long run. The old saying is "what goes around comes around" and that is so true for us all. So I hope he can sleep at night without his conscious beating or whipping him. And God bless him if he did get his riches honest and hard working. And I also hope and pray that he is giving some of it back to those who are less fortunate in a way they can really see and use it. That is my prayer.

July 30 2010 at 4:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My family were all immigrants just a few generations ago. They came here legally, worked hard and were given nothing by the Gov.

July 30 2010 at 3:34 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to tcollins4's comment

I am amazed of how there is so much ignorance and hate in this world, listen to yourselves talk and all the hatered and discriminatory comments you people make. If it wasn't for those "immigrants" how you call them there will be so much things you wouldn't be able to do, plus all of you some way or another have immgrants in your family. Think before you speak.

July 30 2010 at 3:21 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Everyday I struggle to make a living for the first time in my 40+ adult years and all I hear about is the rediculous millions some movie star is getting, how much a Mexican is worth and buying a N Y mansion, how much the gov. is spending on give aways, how much this or that athelete gets etc., etc. There is something very wrong with what's going on. It better change or I smell revolution like the French and Russians and many more throughout history.

July 30 2010 at 2:58 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Pool man

He will probably hide all the aliens there and then in a few years there will be a big story saying that he did this

July 30 2010 at 2:41 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

How can a damn Mexican be worth that much money, legally? I smell a rat! Take that money and help all these illegals we're feeding.

July 30 2010 at 2:36 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to tcollins4's comment

dont be ignorant

July 30 2010 at 3:29 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Slim owns a good chuck of the NY Times, which he bought last year. This guy isn't so much innovative as he is conniving and manipulative--he basically gamed the Mexican telecom system and bribed Mexican officials to construct a near monopoly of Mexican telecommunications and other industries, according to a recent article in Foreign Policy. He is also quoted as saying that he didn't believe in charity. Typical of these 3rd world oligarchs--they cheat the system, then they're disdainful or outright hostile towards the poor in their own country. Another rich, arrogant jerk moves to Manhattan--maybe global warming will render his investment uninhabitable in a decade or so!!!

July 30 2010 at 2:26 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Are you kidding me?? American's can't go to Mexico and own property, why should he or anyone else that is not a citizen be able to buy property here? I give up, where can you retire that you can own property and there aren't a bunch of Mexicans living all around you?

July 30 2010 at 2:24 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply

The rich make themselves richer and the poor get more and more poor. He should build a luxury condo complex in Tijuana so that illegals stay there.

July 30 2010 at 2:12 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Why doesn't this man invest in his own ____hole of a country so that people will stay there and and not come to the this country and implode our society!

July 30 2010 at 2:11 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply