Real Estate: An Appetite for Empire

"There is a certain glamour to buy ing a city within a city," says Harry Brakmann Helmsley. Especially, he might have added, when the price is $90 million, just about the top tag ever placed on a single piece of property.

Last week Helmsley, a former office boy who, at 59, has become one of the nation's largest real estate owners, an nounced his latest purchase. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. has agreed to sell Helmsley its gigantic Parkchester apartment complex in The Bronx.

As head of a six-man syndicate, Helmsley will take over the 12,271-unit project later this year. The 129-acre...

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