NRI Millionaire Buys $17 Million Trump Property But Isn't Even Planning To Move In

19/01/2015 3:15 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:24 AM IST
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Sanjay Shah, founder and CEO of Vistex, Inc., makes history with his purchase of the Trump International Hotel & Tower penthouse on Monday, December 8, 2014 in Chicago. (Photo by Barry Brecheisen/Invision/AP)

He bought a $17 million dollar penthouse in what has been billed as "the priciest residential real estate transaction in Chicago's history," and isn't even planning to move there.

Sanjay Shah, a Mumbai-born Indian entrepreneur who lives in Chicago with his wife and two daughters, bought the sprawling 89th floor apartment after two years of negotiation with American businessman Donald Trump - and almost halved the initial cost of the place.

Calling it a "good deal", Shah told The Times of India that the apartment was originally priced at $32 million. It took "two years and a lot of patience to beat down the Trump," he said.

The 14,260-square-foot unit with five bedrooms and a 360-degree view of Chicago, is a far cry from the 1200-square foot apartment Shah grew up in Mumbai.

sanjay shah chicago

"It took two years and a lot of patience to beat down the Trump"

"I've traveled all around the world, but just in terms of the architecture, even if you go to New York, there are other high-rises, but nothing quite as exotic as this," Shah told Chicago Tribune. "You can view every single landmark the city has. I think that's what appealed to me most about it."

This would be the second-highest residence in the western hemisphere according to the Tribune, which reported that Shah made the purchase with "a simple transfer from his bank" last month.

Who Is Sanjay Shah?

The 46-year-old businessman is the founder and CEO of software company Vistex, which he started in February 1999. Credited with creating a category of business software called “Go-to-Market” programs, he started out like most people — an MBA.

Shah arrived in the United States 27 years ago to study at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, reported TOI. According to the report, he moved from being an accountant at PricewaterhouseCoopers, to General Motors in Canada, and then to Germany to work for software giant SAP.

Today, his company is approaching almost $200 million in revenue each year, Shah told the Tribune. Last year, he acquired four companies in London, South Africa, Colombia, and Seattle, according to the report.

He told the Tribune that his long-term vision is to one day take Vistex public.

'A Second Residence'

Shah plans to use the penthouse as a second residence, he told the Tribune, as his present 10,000 square feet apartment in Illinois' wealth suburb South Barrington is barely a couple of minutes away from his work place.

sanjay shah chicago

Shah arrived in the United States 27 years ago to study at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania

The penthouse apartment in downtown Chicago, about 50 kilometers from where he lives now, would be a 45 minute commute to his office.

So instead of moving there, Shah is planning to use it as a place to host important business clients, and even conduct charity events there, he told the Tribune.

The millionaire also owns a home in Germany, and another one in India.

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