Perhaps Paul Allen was missing some of that West Coast sun. The co-founder of Microsoft just purchased the penthouse at 4 East 66th Street, which comes with a giant roof terrace where he can catch some rays.
Mr. Allen paid a whopping $25 million for the home. It appears he will be expanding like a mid-90’s Microsoft, as Mr. Allen already owns the 11th floor apartment at the tony Fifth Avenue co-op, which he reportedly purchased for $13.5 million in 1996.
Mr. Allen bought the latest property from the widow of Wade F.B. Thompson, a Kiwi businessman known equally for revamping Airstream trailer company and the $35 million he donated to revamp the Park Avenue Armory. Thompson died in 2009, and the property deed was transferred to his wife, Angela Thompson, last spring.
While the property appears to have been unlisted—which would make sense, assuming Mr. Allen got the inside deal—Key Ventures proprietor and Upper East Side maven A. Laurence Kaiser had some secrets to spill about the place.
The broker pointed out that while smaller than other units in the building, the penthouse comes with extensive terrace space, which Google Maps shows as running along the entire roofline. Unlike behemoth eighteen room spread Mr. Allen bought in 1996, Mr. Kaiser speculated that the penthouse has “probably seven rooms.” With the two combined, however, Mr. Allen has a formidable Fifth Avenue fortress. “He has a huge duplex penthouse,” Mr. Kaiser concurred.
The twelve-story building was constructed in 1907 and converted to a co-op in 1949. “The building is distinguished by its very handsome and large cornice and its very impressive entrance portals flanked by columns and topped with broken pediments on the sidestreet,” writes Carter Horsley of City Realty.
The building is no stranger to bold faced names, however. After reported financial troubles, publishing heiress Veronica Hearst sold her unit in the building for $36.5 million. Ace Greenberg, the former of CEO of Bear Sterns, presides over the co-op board along with Ezra Zilkha, a financier turned philanthropist hailing from Iraq. Oil tycoon Sid Bass and his wife Mercedes split their time between Texas and their home at 4 East 66th, according to CityFile.
This post has been updated and expanded to include information from Mr. Kaiser.