Inside the life of the world’s richest man: Jeff Bezos, his $400 million real estate portfolio and 400,000-acre ranch

Amazon founder owns most expensive mansion ever sold in California and is the 25th largest land owner in US

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Wednesday 03 February 2021 01:07

Jeff Bezos in 1999 on the future of the internet

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He is the world’s richest man with a personal wealth of $196.2bn – and a luxurious investment portfolio to match.

Jeff Bezos started Amazon in the garage of a rented home near Seattle, Washington, in the mid 1990s.

It is a long way from the world that he occupies in 2021 as he announced his decision to step down as the CEO of the $1.7 trillion global retail empire.

And not even a staggering 2019 divorce settlement of $34bn to ex-wife MacKenzie, which made her the world’s third richest woman, could put a serious dent in his wallet.

And to prove it Mr Bezos, who is the 25th largest landowner in the US, went on a staggering post-divorce spending spree to boost his spectacular real estate collection.

Just two months after his divorce was finalised, the business mogul spent $80 million on three apartments over three consecutive  floors in New York.

And after that he paid another $16 million to add a fourth floor to his Fifth Avenue apartment, for a total combined space of around 20,000 square feet.

The property now has 15 bedrooms, 14 bathrooms, a cinema room, a games room, a gym and even a golf simulator.

In addition, Mr Bezos also owns three apartments in an art deco building facing Central Park, that he spent $7.6 million on.

He is ranked by Forbes as the world’s richest man on their Real Time Billionaires list, but the Bloomberg Billionaires Index has him in second place, slightly behind Tesla Founder Elon Musk.

From its IPO price to Tuesday’s close, Amazon’s stock price soared 225,223 per cent, taking his net worth to almost $200bn.

But while Mr Musk has promised to sell all his property to concentrate on putting man on Mars, Mr Bezos has continued to collect  luxurious homes.

In February last year Mr Bezos closed the largest real estate deal in California’s history when he spent a staggering $165 million on a Los Angeles mansion belonging to entertainment mogul David Geffen.

The 13,600 square foot mansion sits on nine acres in Beverly Hills and comes with two guesthouses, a swimming pool and a nine-hole golf course.

Real estate experts say it would be impossible for anyone to obtain an undivided nine acre parcel and build on it now.

The eight-bedroom and nine-bathroom home was built in 1926 for the founder of Warner Bros Studios, Jack Warner, and includes flooring created for Napoleon.

The deal was reportedly done between the two men on board Mr Geffen’s $200 million Rising Sun superyacht.

And it is not the only Beverly Hills property to be bought by Mr Bezos.

In 2007 he spent $24 million on a seven-bedroom and seven-bathroom Spanish-style mansion with a six-car garage.

Then in 2017 he bought the 4,568 square foot home right next door for a further $13 million.

Mr Bezos also owns a former textile museum in Washington DC, which he bought for $23 million.

The 1912 building is in the Kalorama neighbourhood where Barack and Michelle Obama also live, and Mr Bezos combined it with the property next door to make it the largest home in the city at 27,000 square feet.

After spending $12 million to refurbish the property he then spent a further $5 million in January 2020 on the house across the street to give him added privacy.

When Mr Bezos travels to Seattle he can choose to stay at two waterfront properties in Medina, Washington.

There, he spent $10 million on a 20,600 square foot, five-bedroom and four-bathroom house on Lake Washington.

He also reportedly owns a nearby home, which he spent $53 million on.

Mr Bezos was born in New Mexico but moved to Texas as a youngster and lived outside Houston for several years.

Growing up there he would spend summers with his grandparents on their 25,000 acre cattle ranch in Cotulla, Texas.

And he gave his four children the same experience when he bought the 400,000 acre Corn Ranch in Van Horn, Texas.

The property has a mansion and a bunkhouse that sleeps 12, and is now also the homebase for his private space company, Blue Origin.

Inside a mountain on the property  engineers are building a multi-room clock that will tell the time for the next 10,000 years.

In order to get between his homes Mr Bezos can use one of the two Gulfstream G650ER private jets he owns, worth a combined $150 million.

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