His stateside baby, the brand-new Barclays Center arena in Brooklyn, is a veritable drop in the bucket for jet-setting Russian oligarch and Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov. The lanky industrialist, worth an estimated $13.2B, holds a 45% stake in the 18,000-seat arena, but unlike many of his compatriots, has decided against purchasing a personal pied-a-terre in the Big Apple. Why? Well, for one, he's probably been staying in the city's most expensive hotel suite, the Ty Warner Penthouse at the Four Seasons (above), the hotel where he regularly gives press conferences and first "met" Jay-Z. That luxe, nine-room retreat, which comes with a staff of three to complement Prokhorov's entourage, goes for $35K per night and sprawls over 4,300 square feet on the five-star hotel's 52nd floor. It was designed by starchitect I.M. Pei, who came out of retirement to complete the project. Of course, the oligarch only plans on spending "6-8 weeks" in New York per year, leaving him with an annual hotel bill of, at minimum, $1.26M. If any further evidence was needed for Prokhorov's contempt for cash, let's not forget that this was the guy who spent more than $19K, on lunch, at Upper East Side gastro-gouging restaurant Nello.
? Among property gossips, Prokhorov is probably most famous for losing the $55M deposit he had plunked down on wealthy widow Lily Safra's Villa Leopolda on the French Riviera. If the Ogden Codman, Jr.-designed historic home sold for the agreed price, later revealed to be $544M, it would easily have become the most expensive private home ever publicly sold. Codman had built the home as his personal retreat and finest masterpiece, but ran into financial difficulties and was never able to occupy it, instead renting it out to wealthy vacationers. By 1955, ownership had passed to famously stylish Fiat president Gianni Agnelli, whose family greatly modified the original interiors and allowed Alfred Hitchcock to use the stunning estate as a setting for the film To Catch a Thief. Sold by the Agnelli family to banker Edmond Safra, the house was willed to his wife upon Safra's murder in a 1999 arson. Prokorhov allegedly backed out of the sale after being "rudely" accused by French authorities of flying in hookers to entertain his rich friends while on vacation in the Alps.
? Where does someone accustomed to losing $50M in a botched home buy end up spending his vacations? In Prokorhov's case, the private North Island, in the Seychelles. Developed as an eco-friendly resort, North Island was purchased by the billionaire in March 2011, for the tidy sum of $35M. The private paradise includes 11 villas and a royal endorsement: the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge—that's Will and Kate—spent their honeymoon on the island in May 2011, shortly after Prokorhov purchased.
? Prokorhov's mansion outside of Moscow lies inside a guard-gated compound, but that doesn't mean he doesn't find it necessary to stock his home with some serious firepower. In addition to the arsenal carried by his bodyguards, the billionaire keeps a personal AK-47 around, just in case some baddies come calling. He showed off the weapon during a visit from 60 Minutes, along with limited glimpses at the rest of the property, which includes a subterranean swimming pool, a "party room" for the models and bottles, and an extensive home gym, where he practices his martial arts. Yes, this is one scary Russky.
? In the winter, Prokorhov puts some of his athletic prowess to use on the slopes of the French Alps, in Courchevel 1850. Though he is said to have purchased a chalet in the area since, the billionaire and his entourage previously put in at the Chalet Les Airelles (above), where he was famously busted in a prostitution sting and spent four days in jail. A sucker for extravagant cuisine, Prokorhov recently hired celebrity chef Wout Bru to act as private chef at the chalet and cook up his favorite dish, a crispy pork specialty that takes 24 hours to prepare.
· Ty Warner Penthouse [Four Seasons NY]
· Deep Pockets [Eater NY]
· Mikhail Prokhorov Loses $55 Million Villa Leopolda Deposit [Luxist]
· Will and Kate Honeymoon Venue [Guardian]
· North Island [official site]
· The Incredible Life Of Russia's Newest Presidential Contender—Nets Owner Mikhail Prokhorov [Business Insider]
· Prok flies high [NYP]