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Robert F. Smith: Richest African American Buys Record-Setting Penthouse

Richard F Smith

The chief executive of private equity firm Vista Equity Partners, Robert F. Smith, has been revealed as the buyer who smashed a downtown New York City sales record last month with his $59.05 million purchase of a triplex penthouse in Chelsea.

Richard F. Smith
Penthouse at 10th Ave and 24th St in NYC (submitted)

Smith is currently the wealthiest African American, with a net worth of $4.4 billion, according to Forbes.

yle="color: #000000;">The news was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Smith’s mighty purchase price surpasses that for the penthouse at condo conversion Walker Tower, also in Chelsea, which sold for $51 million in 2014, according to Curbed.

Smith, who’s based in Austin, Texas, is the first African-American chairman of the board of Carnegie Hall, the Journal adds.

His penthouse is one of just five homes at a development designed by Peter Marino that rose on the site of a gas station at West 24th Street and 10th Avenue. It’s called the Getty, in part after the station that was demolished.

Smith’s new home is a combination of a duplex penthouse and an additional lower-level apartment, which add up to a whopping 10,000 square feet. The home has two master suites, four additional bedrooms, two kitchens, two great rooms and a private roof terrace.

Building amenities include an art gallery and a museum on the lower floors.

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Phyllis Coley
Phyllis D. Coley is CEO/Publisher of Spectacular Magazine and Host of Spectacular Magazine Radio Show. With a B.A. in English from NCCU, the Durham native began her professional career as Promotions/Marketing Director for New York City’s WKTU-FM. While at the radio station, Coley discovered the rap group Kid ‘n Play and managed them for five years, guiding their music and movie careers to success. Moving back to Durham, Coley produced a nationally syndicated television show, The Electric Factory, while working as News Director for FOXY 107/104. In April 2002, recognizing a void in highlighting the achievements of African Americans, she started her own business publishing ACE Magazine. Coley launched Spectacular Magazine in November 2004. Recognizing the lack of pertinent and truthful information, Coley began Spectacular Magazine Radio Show in March 2009. Coley is the organizer of Durham's Annual MLK/Black History Month Parade and the Annual North Carolina Juneteenth Celebration. She currently serves on Central Children’s Home Board of Directors, Raleigh Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Advisors, as Immediate Past Secretary of the Durham Rotary Club Board of Directors and is one of the founding members of the Triangle United Way’s African American Leadership Initiative.

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