Back in the California tech rush late last century, the pony-tailed, 6-foot-7 entrepreneur Wayne Correia was briefly worth about $400 million. What followed, he later told The San Francisco Chronicle, was his “Internet porn star” epoch: He hung out on Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s yacht; got a Las Vegas apartment; and paid cash for a New York City penthouse.
He was vacationing in Anguilla when his lawyer called to say the S.E.C. was investigating his old tech company, Critical Path. The stock fell to $3, from $40 a share. Mr. Correia decided his conspicuously consumptive lifestyle was morally bankrupt. So he bought a 40-foot steel bus on eBay, rumored to have been Don Mattingly’s, and after putting in a satellite dish he left for destinations like the art/self-expression festival Burning Man.
This month, a vestige of his pre-bus life was finally sold off: According to city records, his old eight-room penthouse at 136 Waverly Place (probably the one he bought for cash) closed for $8.7 million. Floor plans show two bedrooms and a maid’s room, a 26-by-24-foot living room with a wood-burning fireplace, and a 2,550-square-foot terrace, which is the kind of decadence that’s easier to enjoy before an existential crisis.
The buyers are Henrietta and David Whitcomb, a professor emeritus at Rutgers and a pioneer in something called the microstructure of securities markets.
“I also made my fortune in high tech, but I don’t have a [bus], so he’s one up on me,” Mr. Whitcomb, 65, told The Observer. “I’m much more conventional: I have a plane, and I sail. Nothing exciting.” (Actually, he owns an eight-seat Cessna Citation Sovereign, and does some stunt flying in a Soviet Yak.)
“I don’t think Wayne used the apartment much,” he said, “so he didn’t do any renovation. We have, pretty much, a blank slate.” Mr. Whitcomb wants to build a “very modern, sleek penthouse, but with strong Art Deco roots and touches.”
His Hawaiian wife, a landscape painter, will use the library that opens outdoors as a studio. “She can go out on the terrace in good weather and paint, and make a mess.” Incidentally, Mr. Correia reportedly has Hawaiian koa woodwork in his bus, along with a teal-and-ivory dolphin in the carpet.
He didn’t comment for this article: “Yes, sorry for the lax reply,” he e-mailed, “we just had a baby and things have been a little crazy while we get used to parenting.”