andrew-beal_416x416

Andrew Beal photo courtesy of Forbes

Recall that when Tom and Cinda first put their 25.5 acre estate on the market, it was listed with broker Douglas Newby for $136 million. That was in January of 2013. The market was just waking up, of course, but behemoth properties are always tricky to sell because the buyer pool is so limited. When Allie Beth Allman and David Nichols got the listing in March of 2015, the price was lowered to $100 million. Which sounds like a lot, but with acres priced at $2 million just for the dirt, that’s $51 million for the land.

The Hicks bought the property in 1997, and they spent more than $100 million extensively renovating the four-story mansion, which was built in 1938. And they added buildings to the estate. In fact, when we toured the home, it was rather like being in a secluded little village of your very own. The long drive keeps out intruders, and security can roam the property.

When the Hicks worked on the home — they were living on Beverly Drive at the time — they doubled the square footage by adding on two wings to either side of the original mansion. They also added a basement housing a 20-seat theater with commercial equipment. And they added a chilled water system to run hot and cold water throughout the house instantly and heat the floors of the master baths.

And you couldn’t just “add on”: the home’s renovation had to carefully reflect the style and mode of architect Maurice Fatio, who designed the home for the original owners: Pio and Florence Crespi. As part of the purchase agreement, Florence lived at the estate until her death in 1999 even though the Hicks has possession.

Which reminds me: the Hicks are looking for a new home base in Dallas, but there is likely no rush to get out: they could always stay in one of the guest houses at Walnut Place!

Alexandre De Champliamaud

Alexandre De Champliamaud

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Peter Marino photo courtesy of Architectural Digest

The Hickses worked with New York City architect Peter Marino and Alexandra de Champalimaud to perfect the expansion and help match Fatio’s original vision for the estate. When they needed stone for the new wings, the original quarry from whence Fatio found stone was re-opened after decades of closure to make sure the stones matched as closely as possible to perfection. The point is, the home easily had more than $100 million in improvements and structure on land valued at $51 million in today’s market. So Douglas Newby was not too far in his original pricing.

So did Andy Beal — 62 year old founder and chairman of Plano-based Beal Bank, a college drop-out with interests in everything from aerospace to high-stakes poker, and a mathematical and investing genius —really cough up $100 million? He is a man known for making deals, a value shopper known as an aggressive bottom-feeder. Most agents I have spoken to believe he negotiated the $100 million asking price of the estate on Walnut Hill Lane. Thus far I’ve heard agents speculate he may have paid $70 to $80 million. Perhaps the Hicks estate was a bit more negotiable than the Crow estate? Or perhaps he did realize the deal was so keen at $100 million?

“Andy Beal is a value investor that’s been interested in the property,” Douglas Newby, owner of Dallas-based luxury boutique brokerage Douglas Newby & Associates, told the DBJ.“But his first choice was buying a home in Highland Park, if he could negotiate the right price.”

Mt Vernon classicWow, big day for Lakewood real estate news. First broker peak at the Stanley Marcus house, and word that Allie Beth Allman has dramatically lowered the asking price of Mt. Vernon. It is now a cool $19 million. That’s a whopping ten million less than the estate’s original asking price of $29 million. No, wait. In April 2010, Mt. Vernon had an asking of $32, 500,000. So that is a $13,500,000 drop! What with Troy’s home on Highland sold, which was NOT in MLS, Mt. Vernon is now one of the highest priced listings in MLS. Only higher: 4939 Manson Court off Strait Lane at $29,995,000 and Dans Bois Crete over on Inwood at $19,500,000. The Crespi Estate, owned by Tom and Cinda Hicks, is still the highest priced home by a longshot in Dallas at $135 million, but it is NOT in MLS. Doug Newby has been marketing the Crespi estate bigtime to folks with private jets. Mt Vernon long shot

4009 West Lawther is a landmark Dallas estate on ten acres overlooking White Rock Lake. The main home has 10,511 square feet that were totally renovated and expanded in 2002. There are elevator accesses on all three floors, five bedrooms (the master is 20 by 20 feet), 9 and a half baths, myriad living areas, a 2,400 square foot basement with wine cellar and storage, a two-story guest house, heated pool, pool house, four-lane bowling center, a 16 car concours auto facility aka a very fancy garage, lighted tennis courts, putting green, gazebo, outdoor grill and kitchen area with two fireplaces and pizza oven.

Mt Vernon classic Mt Vernon bowling

Mt Vernon LR

Mt Vernon study

Mt Vernon putting

Mt Vernon pool

Mt Vernon master

Mt Vernon reading

Mt Vernon family

Singapore mansionThis story in TIME ran mid-January,

“An exclusive Dallas mansion has become the most expensive property for sale in the U.S., with a whopping $135 million price tag. The Crespi-Hicks Estate boasts a five-story main residence, three-story pool house and two-story guesthouse, altogether offering 42,500 sq. ft. of living space across 25 acres of manicured land.”

Dallas agent Doug Newby has done a marvelous job of promoting the Hicks home on Walnut Hill Lane by pure, sheer PR. The home is NOT listed in MLS because, he says, the owners (naturally) want privacy and can you imagine the lookey-loos who would traipse through the Crespi Estate? Still, I fail to see how this guards the privacy of the Hicks family when Doug talks about the home on The Huffington Post. In any case, the home and it’s hefty price tag are drawing more eyes to Dallas real estate market and those eyes are blinking twice!

My mother told me this: someone else will always be prettier and richer than you. The same is true in real estate. Lookie here: in Singapore, there is a house on the market for $300 million pounds (or $242 million US dollars). Singapore is Asia’s most expensive housing market, after Hong Kong. The 85,000-square-foot site is on an elevated lot at 33 Nassim Road, near the city’s Botanic Gardens. It includes a two-story home, a swimming pool and tennis court, and neighbors include the British high commissioner and the Japan and Russian embassies. The site could also be sold as lots, to yield a total of five homes. Doug told Bloomberg it’s all about the cost of dirt:

“The price is 79 percent higher than the $135 million listing for the Crespi-Hicks Estate in Dallas, according to broker Douglas Newby, which is marketing the property. The home on the 25-acre site, owned by former Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks, is touted as the most expensive property for sale in the U.S., according to a report by Time Magazine on Jan. 31. “The primary value of a property is based on the land value,” Newby said in a phone interview yesterday. For the Singapore property, “if the land is worth $150 million to $200 million, then this might be a legitimate buy.”

Doug is pretty keen on the Hicks’ dirt being valued at an easy $2 million per acre, this in the honeypot of Preston Hollow. Of course, Della Lively always told me that when you have these huge parcels, you do not count each acre the same — the first acre is always the highest. In any case, thanks to Tom for once again putting our real estate on the international map, and remember: there is always a more expensive house (or bauble)  just around the corner or other side of the world. You know what’s important? Be happy with what you have!

Singapore mansionThis story in TIME ran mid-January,

“An exclusive Dallas mansion has become the most expensive property for sale in the U.S., with a whopping $135 million price tag. The Crespi-Hicks Estate boasts a five-story main residence, three-story pool house and two-story guesthouse, altogether offering 42,500 sq. ft. of living space across 25 acres of manicured land.”

Dallas agent Doug Newby has done a marvelous job of promoting the Hicks home on Walnut Hill Lane by pure, sheer PR. The home is NOT listed in MLS because, he says, the owners (naturally) want privacy and can you imagine the lookey-loos who would traipse through the Crespi Estate? Still, I fail to see how this guards the privacy of the Hicks family when Doug talks about the home on The Huffington Post. In any case, the home and it’s hefty price tag are drawing more eyes to Dallas real estate market and those eyes are blinking twice!

My mother told me this: someone else will always be prettier and richer than you. The same is true in real estate. Lookie here: in Singapore, there is a house on the market for $300 million pounds (or $242 million US dollars). Singapore is Asia’s most expensive housing market, after Hong Kong. The 85,000-square-foot site is on an elevated lot at 33 Nassim Road, near the city’s Botanic Gardens. It includes a two-story home, a swimming pool and tennis court, and neighbors include the British high commissioner and the Japan and Russian embassies. The site could also be sold as lots, to yield a total of five homes. Doug told Bloomberg it’s all about the cost of dirt:

“The price is 79 percent higher than the $135 million listing for the Crespi-Hicks Estate in Dallas, according to broker Douglas Newby, which is marketing the property. The home on the 25-acre site, owned by former Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks, is touted as the most expensive property for sale in the U.S., according to a report by Time Magazine on Jan. 31. “The primary value of a property is based on the land value,” Newby said in a phone interview yesterday. For the Singapore property, “if the land is worth $150 million to $200 million, then this might be a legitimate buy.”

Doug is pretty keen on the Hicks’ dirt being valued at an easy $2 million per acre, this in the honeypot of Preston Hollow. Of course, Della Lively always told me that when you have these huge parcels, you do not count each acre the same — the first acre is always the highest. In any case, thanks to Tom for once again putting our real estate on the international map, and remember: there is always a more expensive house (or bauble)  just around the corner or other side of the world. You know what’s important? Be happy with what you have!

6601 Hunters Glen gatesRemember this little piece of paradise in the heart of University Park Estates? The one with the putting green and in-ground trampoline? Well, go on over there and jump for joy because that puppy has a hot contract on it. Yep, $19.5 million is the ASKING price. I hope Doug Newby is booking his next Euro cruise. Why Doug and not Erin Mathews? Because with this estate property moving, the Hicks Crespi estate can not be far behind.

Telling you, I need hotpads on my fingers to type these days, that’s how hot our market is.

6601 Hunters Glen Rd. University Park, TX
6601 Hunters Glen Rd. University Park, TX
6601 Hunters Glen Rd. University Park, TX
6601 Hunters Glen Rd. University Park, TX
6601 Hunters Glen Rd. University Park, TX
6601 Hunters Glen Rd. University Park, TX
6601 Hunters Glen Rd. University Park, TX
6601 Hunters Glen Rd. University Park, TX
6601 Hunters Glen Rd. University Park, TX
6601 Hunters Glen Rd. University Park, TX
6601 Hunters Glen Rd. University Park, TX
6601 Hunters Glen Rd. University Park, TX
6601 Hunters Glen Rd. University Park, TX
6601 Hunters Glen Rd. University Park, TX
6601 Hunters Glen Rd. University Park, TX
6601 Hunters Glen Rd. University Park, TX