With 2007 fast drawing to a close, it's a good time to look back on four big sales that happened this past year that topped the (gulp) $100 million mark, none of which we have written about yet.
First off, kudos to our friend Mary Umberger of the Chicago Tribune for writing about several of these this past Sunday.
The biggest of these sales is the world record, which was set earlier this year: a $200 million (or $195 million, or $197 million, as various outlets have reported) purchase of a penthouse condo in London by Sheikh Hamad of Qatar. Located at One Hyde Park in London, the 100 million pound purchase of the 20,000-square-foot unit was reported back in April. Sheikh Hamad is not expected to move in until 2009 at the earliest.
Next is Louis Moore Bacon, a hedge fund manager who in November paid $175 million for Colorado's Trinchera Ranch. The 171,400-acre spread, which includes five houses, is part of the estate of the late Malcolm Forbes. Billionaire magazine editor Steve Forbes told the Associated Press that the Forbes family was happy to sell to Bacon because of his track record of preservation.
Popping back over the pond again, we again encounter Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani of Qatar, who, it's been widely reported, paid $111 million this year for the Hotel Lambert on Paris' Ile Saint-Louis. We majored in French while in college, and we visit Paris most years, so we can attest to the sheer beauty of the Hotel Lambert (and the entire Ile Saint-Louis), which was designed by Louis Le Vau in 1640 and which sits on the tip of the Ile Saint-Louis. The building had been the Paris residence of Baron Guy de Rothschild, who died earlier this year at age 98, and his second wife, Marie-Helene (1927-1996), since 1975. The Hotel Lambert is a significant enough property that it has its own Wikipedia entry.
Finally, the previous U.S. record for a residential sale (prior to Trinchera Ranch, and we recognize that some folks might not count the Trinchera Ranch purchase by Bacon as a record U.S. residential sale) occurred in late spring, when money manager Ron Baron paid $103,000,000 through his 260 A LLC company to buy the 40-acre oceanfront property at 260 Further Lane in East Hampton, N.Y. (on Long Island) from Schlumberger heiress Adelaide de Menil and her husband Ted Carpenter. That property is adjacent to two lots that Baron had purchased in 2002 for $23 million.
The previous U.S. record before this past year? That would be the approximately $94 million purchase in 2001 by former telecom mogul Gary Winnick of a 28,725-square-foot mansion (yes, you read that square footage right) on 7.47 acres at 10644 Bellagio Road in Los Angeles' Bel-Air area. That transaction took place through what the Los Angeles Times' Ruth Ryon called a 'complex exchange' of real estate and other assets traded between Winnick and businessman David Murdock, who had owned the Bel-Air property. Together, the real estate and other assets, Ryon reported, were worth between $60 million and $95 million, although the $94 million number has been the amount thrown around the most over the last few years. Built in 1938, the mansion on the property is known as the Weber mansion after a prior owner. The mansion has a whopping 20 bathrooms.
Still others have counted the pre-2007 national residential sale record as having been billionaire Ron Perelman and his actress ex-wife Ellen Barkin's $70 million sale of their 'Casa Apava' mansion and six-acre property at 1300 S. Ocean Boulevard in Palm Beach, Fla. in 2005 to NVR Inc. chairman and chief executive officer Dwight Schar's 1300 South Ocean Boulevard Revocable Trust -- a transaction that involved the $45,041,487 sale of the oceanfront mansion and six acres by Perelman's 38 East Corp. to Schar's trust in 2004, the $18.6 million sale of a boathouse on a lakefront lot across the street, and the approximately $6 million sale of furniture and fixtures, the Washington Post reported. News of the Perelman sale first was broken in October 2004 by the New York Post's fine celebrity real estate columnist Braden Keil.
A review of the $100 million-plus listings that came onto the market in 2007 probably is an appropriate subject for a separate blog post, and if we're energetic enough, we'll get to it before the end of the year.
We also would direct your attention to a similar post that we did on top sales of 2006, which you can check out here. That post describes the previous world record sale of $125 million, which Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal paid for a London mansion in 2004.