From The Billionaire’s Playlist, by Connie Bruck, in the January 20, 2014 New Yorker:
…[Leonard] Blavatnik [the “billionaire” of the title] began an extraordinary series of real-estate purchases around that time. In 2004, he bought his London mansion, reportedly outbidding his fellow-oligarch Roman Abramovich. He bought the Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, in the South of France. In New York, he bought the New York Academy of Sciences mansion on East Sixty-third Street, and then a sprawling apartment on Fifth Avenue. Soon afterward, he bought a fifty-million-dollar town house on East Sixty-fourth Street … In perhaps the only break in a string of successful acquisitions, he was turned down by a co-op board in Manhattan; he told a friend that his mistake was going to the interview accompanied by armed bodyguards.