The $250 million Sandow Lakes Ranch is located about an hour from Austin and pretty much dead-east of Georgetown. I say “about” and “pretty much” because at 33,777 acres, it’s hard to be precise. No, that’s not a typo. The ranch is 52.78 square miles. Slap a mortgage on that and your monthly nut might hit $1.8 million.
I got the confirmation while skiing in Park City, Utah. Dallas listing agent Joan Eleazer with Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s has confirmed that Champ D’Or, the 48,000 square foot Turbeville Road mansion up in Hickory Creek, near Denton and north of Dallas, French baroque castle meets Plano McMansion dream chateau, clearly the most outrageous home in Dallas, or rather, North Texas, will be auctioned off March 30.
Not sure yet what Champ’s reserve will be — that’s the “base price” that a seller agrees to sell for before the auction, so you don’t end up giving a $32 million property away for like $3 million because, let’s face it, we’d all want that! I need to dial up Pat Kirby at Grand Estate Auctions for Auction Review 101 — Pat just sold a home in Lahaina, Hawaii for $4.48 million. There were 13 bidders from Canada to Florida. The home had been on the market for three and a half years!
Champ D’Or has been on the market since the day it was born in 2002, priced from $72 million to $35 million, depending on the land tossed into the deal, the market, or the owners’ whim. You could open a boutique agency with all the agents who have listed (and $$$ marketed!) Champ, the latest being Joan who was also, ironically, the first. The owners of the property are Alan and Shirley Goldfield, he the cellphone mogul, she the one who re-created Chanel’s Paris boutique in her master closet: it is outfitted with 18K gold doorknobs, a vanity with an antique chair purchased in France, a $30K custom gold chandelier, made in Florence, a custom iron railing modeled after the famed mirrored one in the Chanel store on Rue de Cambon in Paris, and a $10K custom area rug with the brand’s intersecting-C logo.
“When I built this closet, I tried to think of everything that I would need,” Goldfield told HGTV when they filmed the closet.
Champ has been on every media outlet that exists, too!
Full disclosure: I took Champ to Pebble Beach Concourse D’Elegance this summer, and it was the most talk-about home at the car show. Yes, it even turned the head of Jay Leno!
Champ D’Or is ten years old this year, and is probably the only 48,000 square foot house in the world that has never been lived in. The price includes, we think, the main house, a pool and tennis house, outdoor swimming pool, tennis court, adjacent lake, and up to 25 acres of beautiful treed property. Upon turning into the beautiful esplanade that leads to the front of the property, matching guardhouses direct one into the treed mega mega acreage. Beautifully landscaped and meticulously maintained by trained staff even though the house is still technically vacant, the grounds offer vistas, including a 1½ acre lake to the west of the main house. There is a large garden room that may be used for year round entertaining which stretches across the rear of the home and opens to a veranda that can seat 450 people.
The east wing of the home is comprised of the men’s and women’s powder rooms (yes, plural) and an exceptional master suite. Here are the goodies in that suite: a breakfast bar, wet steam room, weight room and master bath with a two-story Chanel styled closet for her and equally lavish man’s closet, as well as a private hair salon. Off the master there is an indoor ionized lap pool.
On the second level there is a theater/media room with lobby and access via the east elevator. Then there’s the Wedgewood suite: a living area with fireplace, bedroom with breakfast bar, luxurious guest bath, and adjacent laundry room. A second suite has 2 bedrooms, each with a private bath, and is perfect for guests with young children.
The third floor has a lovely ballroom complete with men’s and ladies powder rooms (again, plural), a catering kitchen, and incredible storage. There is also a third floor suite with living room, dining room, full kitchen and 2 bedrooms with separate baths.
The lower level is comprised of a 2 lane bowling alley, full racquet ball court, garage which can house 10-15 cars, laundry room with commercial washer and dryer and sheet press, wine room, and gift wrap room. You could eat off the floor in that garage. There are two elevators in the home, 130 tons of heat and air, and an office area on the second floor of the library.
According to a great story in D CEO, one of my favorite magazines, Champ is “The Best Little Teardown in Texas”. A financial firm named The Stanford Group (heard of them?) once made a serious play to provide Goldfield’s company, Cellstar, $25 million in needed capital. Cellstar’s board refused to reply to the offer, and the deal never went through. Just think what might be happening to that house if they had accepted that moola. Alan Goldfield is a telecommunications billionaire, hence some also call this the House that Talk built. I’ve heard rumors that Mehrdad Moayedi, head of Carrollton-based property developer and investor Centurion American Development Group, who paid $4.55 million for the Stoneleigh Hotel, made an offer that the Goldfields found too low. Oh oh, I’m giving away my next story…