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What’s with Joe Tsai’s latest real estate purchase?

Philadelphia 76ers v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Matteo Marchi/Getty Images

Back in July, the New York real estate market was shocked by Joe Tsai’s purchase of a two-floor condo at 220 Central Park South, so-called “Billionaires Row.” Tsai paid $157.5 million for an apartment spanning the 60th and 61st floors of the spectacular residential tower as well as a maid’s quarters on the 18th floor. It was reported as the third most expensive residential deal in U.S. history.

Now, it’s the fourth.

Bloomberg News and other financial media reported Thursday that Tsai, through his private investment vehicle, Blue Pool Capital, had paid $188 million for the penthouse in the same building ... 13 floors above the apartment he purchased last year...

Blue Pool paid $188 million for the 220 Central Park South property, according to New York registry documents. The firm took out a $71.5 million 30-year mortgage through JPMorgan Chase & Co. for the property on the 73rd floor, the filings show. The purchase included a maid’s room on a lower level.

No one is saying what Tsai is planning to do with the penthouse or for that matter the two floors in the 60s. Is all that high-priced real estate an investment? The previous owner doubled his investment in three years. One thing it does seem to indicate is that Tsai is fully committed to New York. One does not spend a third of a billion dollars on two apartments without a real commitment.

Tsai and his wife, Clara Wu Tsai maintain residences in Hong Kong and LaJolla, a toney neighborhood of San Diego. It appears that the couple will become New York residents for the first time since they left the city 25 years ago to help found Alibaba.

UPDATE: A spokesperson for Tsai says reports, including in Bloomberg story, that Blue Pool Capital also invests for Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba and a controversial figure in China, are inaccurate. Blue Pool invests for Tsai.