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Fargo businessman pays $7.64 million for apartment on New York's 'Billionaire's Row'

One57 is seen under construction in Nov. 2012 in New York, N.Y. Fargo's Lee Swanson paid $7.6 million for a 2,000 square foot unit in a swanky new luxury high-rise. photo courtesy New York Yimby1 / 2
Leland Swanson2 / 2

FARGO – Fargo businessman Leland Swanson, president of Swanson Health Products, has paid $7.64 million for a 2,009-square-foot apartment on New York City’s “Billionaire’s Row.”

Swanson is listed as the owner of unit 49B in the luxury tower at 157 W. 57th St., also known as One57, according to a property records website.

Swanson’s name was included in a recent New York Times story about the rush of wealthy buyers to One57, a 90-story skyscraper that’s nearing completion and is the talk of the town. It overlooks Central Park and is said to have some of the best views in all of New York.

The buyers include Russian oligarchs and Chinese whose identities are shielded by firms based in Shanghai, the Times reports.

Another regional notable who has bought into One57 is Terry B. Johnson, the scion of a family that owns car dealerships in the Duluth, Minn., area, the Times reports.

Attempts to reach Swanson Wednesday at his office and through a private phone number were unsuccessful.

Manhattan’s West 57th Street is experiencing a boom in construction of high-end high-rises, the Times reports.

Larger apartments in the $1.5 billion One57 go for $30 million to more than $50 million for a full-floor unit. The 11,000-square-foot penthouse sold for about $95 million.

The base of One57 is taken up by the Park Hyatt New York hotel, which opens to guests Aug. 12, the Times reports.

Condo owners living above the hotel will, for a fee, be able to order room service and ask the hotel concierge for assistance, the Times reported.

About 25 percent of the units remain to be sold. While some buyers will live in the building, others are looking at buying space in One57 as an investment, the Times reported.

Swanson is president of Swanson Health Products, which has sold vitamins, minerals and other nutritional supplements through the mail, and later online, since 1969.

Product lines include diet and weight loss supplements, natural products for hair, skin and nail health, health foods and products for specialized diets, the company’s web site says.

Swanson Health Products employs more than 500 people, and has added distribution centers in Sparks, Nev., and Harrisburg, Pa., the company’s website says.

Swanson has had a diverse ownership interest in Fargo entertainment spots, among them Playmaker’s, Hooters, The Hub entertainment complex, and The Northern Gentlemen’s Club.

Swanson’s other business interests over the years have included a printing firm and several downtown Fargo buildings, including those housing Metro Drug and the Avalon Events Center, Forum files show.

Swanson’s home on Fargo’s Eighth Street South was valued at $678,000 in 2013 by the Cass County Assessor’s Office.

The Leland A. Swanson Revocable Living Trust also is listed as owner of four properties in Las Vegas, according to the Clark County Assessor’s Office. They include a luxury condo unit at 3750 S. Las Vegas Blvd. with its last sale price listed as $3.2 million in 2010; two condominium units in Turnberry Towers (last sale prices listed as $225,000 and $675,000); and a single-family home on Trail Rider Drive (last sale price of $260,000).

The Leland A. Swanson Trust also owns a condo unit in Riviera Beach, Fla., with a taxable value of $1 million, Palm Beach County records show.

Helmut Schmidt
Helmut Schmidt was born in Germany, but grew up in the Twin Cities area, graduating from Park High School of Cottage Grove. After serving a tour in the U.S. Army, he attended the University of St. Thomas in St Paul, Minn., graduating in 1984 with a degree in journalism. He then worked at the Albert Lea (Minn.) Tribune and served as managing editor there for three years. He joined The Forum in October 1989, working as a copy editor until 2000. Since then, he has worked as a reporter on several beats, including education, Fargo city government, business and military affairs. He is currently The Forum's K-12 education reporter.
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