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(Above) Chicago architecture docents flock to the views of their city from the 89th floor of Trump International Hotel & Tower on May 16, 2013. The penthouse unit they were in was on the market at the time for $32 million. About 20 docents, certified by the Chicago Architecture Foundation to lead tours, were invited to Trump Tower to tour the penthouse and hear a presentation on the construction of Trump Tower by one of the building’s architects.

25-Jan-24Sanjay Shah never found the time to move into his penthouse unit on the 89th floor of Trump International Hotel & Tower.

Shortly after purchasing Unit 89A for $17 million on December 8, 2014, Shah, the CEO of Vistex Inc., a global software company based in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, said he would spend another $15 million on the interior and then use the 14,260 square foot space as a second residence. He lived in South Barrington at the time with his wife and two daughters.

Sanjay Shah

Shah (left) died on January 20 in Ramoji Film City, about 17 miles from Hyderabad in southern India, when he fell while being lowered to a stage during a celebration of the company’s 25th anniversary.

According to The Times of India, the 53-year-old was in an iron cage fashioned to look like the gondola of a hot air balloon, with the president of Vistex, Vishwanath Raju Datla, when a wire that was attached to the cage snapped, causing the men to fall 15-20 feet to the concrete stage in front of 700 guests. Datla was in critical condition as of January 20.

When Shah purchased the 89th floor penthouse unit at Trump Tower, it was at the time the highest private home in the western hemisphere. Property taxes were estimated at $320,000 per year, homeowner association fees at $12,000 per month, and one parking space would cost another $100,000.

Even at $17 million, it was Chicago’s most expensive residential real estate sale ever.

(Right) Unfinished area near south-facing windows in 89th floor penthouse of Trump Tower on November 4, 2011. Click on image to view larger version.

Photo by Steven Dahlman

According to Chicago real estate broker Chezi Rafaeli, it was the last of the 486 units that were originally owned by the developer, Donald Trump.

Shah sold the unit on March 7, 2022, for $20 million – $10 million less than his asking price but $3 million more than he paid for it.

Reportedly, Shah did put up walls in the unfinished unit, built two bathrooms, and hosted “a few” events, but never resided there.

Shah was born in Mumbai, India. He founded Vistex in 1999. The company currently has 20 offices worldwide and 2,000 employees.