Luxury Real Estate: Maybe the Wall Street Journal is planning to add a sports section to the newspaper soon? It recently published an article with a sporting look at the most expensive single-family residential listings in the U.S. market today. The article also offers predictions from industry experts as to which of these opulent, lavish properties may ultimately become the most expensive single-family house sold in America. The current champion is a 40-acre estate in East Hampton, NY, that sold for $103 million in 2005. There are five properties on the market today with a fighting chance to be the new champ.
The Big Five of the residential section of the Most Elite Properties League consists of listings in Los Angeles County, Aspen, Colo., Zephyr Cove, Nev., and Palm Beach, Fla.
Former Hearst Estate: Beverly Hills, Calif.
The pink stucco, H-shaped estate, dubbed the Beverly House by Hearst, is spread across 6.5 acres north of Sunset Boulevard. Its most-noteworthy features include three swimming pools, 29 bedrooms, a state-of-the-art movie theater and a disco. The property has six separate onsite residences - four houses, an apartment and a cottage for the security staff. Mr. Hearst bought the mansion in 1947 for $120,000. He lived there with Ms. Marion Davies, an acclaimed silent-film star known for her comedic flair, till his death in 1951. Mr. Stephen Shapiro, co-owner of the Westside Estate Agency (WEA), is the listing agent.
Hala Ranch: Aspen, Colo.
Saudi Arabia's Prince Bandar bin Sultan property sets on a mountaintop in the Starwood Ranch development. It has approximately 56,000 square feet of indoor living space. The home has 15 bedrooms and an indoor swimming pool. It also features an elevator and dumbwaiters along with tennis courts, horse stables, walking trails, ponds, and accommodations for staff. The Hala Ranch, which was built in 1991, sets on 95 acres. Joshua & Company, an affiliate of Christie's Great Estates, is the listing firm.
Fleur de Lys: Los Angeles, Calif.
This modern-day castle of 17th century architecture was built in 2000. The five-acre estate has a 100-guest ballroom and a three-quarter-mile running track. The house, which was featured in Vanity Fair, is in move-in condition. Joyce Rey of Coldwell Banker Previews International and Robert Kass of Windermere Real Estate are the listing agents.
Maison de l'Amitiť: Palm Beach, Fla.
Is Donald Trump simply trying to get on the A&E's Flip This House with the Maison de l'Amitiť? He bought it in 2004 for $41.25 million, refurbished it, and now he is trying to sell it for $125 million. The 43,000 square-foot house features a ballroom, a conservatory, and a 100-foot-long swimming pool. It also has 475 feet of oceanfront space. The House of Friendship (Maison de l'Amitiť) is listed with Dolly Lenz and Geoff Thomas at Prudential Douglas Elliman.
Tranquility: Zephyr Cove, Nev.
Every great race has an underdog that could win it all. With Tranquility being listed at only $100 million, it is unlikely to supplant the champ unless a bidding war ups the price substantially. However, it does have 38,000 square feet of space, a private lake, and it is on a 210-acre spread. It also is being sold furnished. Shari Chase of Chase International is the property's listing agent.
Place your bets!
For LxM James Rothaar