The chatter on the French Riviera is all about the recent sale of a Monaco penthouse, once the home to Edmund Safra and featured recently in Architectural Digest….recently we reported the London penthouse that had sold for around $ 220 million making it then the world’s most expensive private residence: Now the record has been shattered with the $308 million sale of a ornate penthouse in Monaco . The Monaco property, called La Belle Epoque, has quite a history; formerly the home of billionaire banker Edmund Safra, it’s where he was found dead following a mysterious fire that gutted the apartment in 1999. The three-bedroom, 17,500-sq-.ft. duplexpenthouse, which includes a double-height library and vast roof terraces complete with mature 15-foot trees and an infinity pool, is thought to have been purchased by an Arab sheikh, the Economic Times reports.

“At roughly $ 17,600/sf, this property makes New York’s 15 Central Park West seem like a relative bargain,” says Leonard Steinberg, managing director of Prudential Douglas Elliman and publisher of LUXURYLETTER. “Then again, New York is not a tax free City, which may just indicate that tax-free cities and countries may have a value of $ 10,000/sf?”

The apartment’s luxe features include a panic room with reinforced glass and surveillance cameras, cinema screens which emerge from walls at the touch of a button, numerous walk-in wardrobes and dressing rooms, a leisure room with billiard tables and arcade video games, a Jacuzzi and spa, and a media room with special executive chairs which convert into beds. The penthouse was sold by British property developers Christian and Nick Candy, who acquired the space relatively cheaply following the fire from Lily Safra and hired designer Martin Kemp to oversee $40 million in renovations, including a dining room (above) with a platinum leaf ceiling.