What Happened at the Auction for John Goff’s Eagle Mountain Lake Retreat, Mariposa, in Fort Worth?

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Mariposa del Lago | Fort Worth, TX | Luxury Real Estate

They got a pre-emptive offer! No kidding! The Goff’s auction was set to take place last Thursday, and there was TONS of interest, not to mention four registered bidders. But a pre-emptive offer on the gorgeous retreat named “Mariposa” came in 24 hours before the auction was set to begin. So the agents decided to work that offer and postpone the auction. What with all that marketing, and this great video, no wonder. I drove out to Mariposa on October 1 for a lovely pizza and wine event with Kyle Crews and Allie Beth Allman and people were crawling all over the place. The gated retreat, known as Mariposa del Lago, or “Butterfly of the Lake,” (based on the tremendous number of monarch butterfly migration patterns on the grounds each year) has been the Goff’s central family retreat for the couples’ five children since 2001.We will keep you posted on the sale. Meantime, here is the full Mariposa story and how this custom-built compound on an 8,600 acre lake, with pool, tennis and sport court, kids pavilion and putting green is where one of the most significant decisions in financial history went down.

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It’s also where a whole lot of regular business deals have been made. So it wouldn’t surprise me a bit that one of those key players may have wanted the compound. It was on that putting green where John Goff convinced Morgan Stanley to buy the company he and Richard Rainwater built, Crescent Real Estate Equities, for $6.5 billion dollars in August of 2007.

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Morgan Stanley was very interested in our platform and asset base and made an offer. I pushed hard to sell the company. Our board was happy with our progress and wanted us to keep doing what we were doing. I didn’t have all my net worth tied up in the company, but I had a lot of it — hundreds of millions of dollars. And we got it done, but it wasn’t a day too soon. I was extremely nervous the day leading up to the close. It was Aug. 2, 2007, and, boy, the wheels were starting to come off.

One year later, in September of 2008, Lehman Brothers would file for the largest bankruptcy in the history of the U.S., setting off a domino effect resulting in the greatest recession since the Great Depression. Goff’s timing was so impeccable it was almost telepathic. He bought his company back from the bank holding the note on Morgan Stanley’s purchase, one of the worlds’ most prestigious financial houses, in 2009 for less than 50 cents on the dollar.

Barclays Capital had loaned Morgan Stanley $3.5 billion in 2007 to help finance its $6.5 billion purchase. When the loan headed south in early 2009, Barclays asked Goff whether he wanted to buy the assets back.

“I told them, ‘Sure. But you’re probably not going to like the price I’m going to come up with.’”

Mariposa is definitely the deal of a lifetime for anyone who wants an extraordinary lake home retreat in North Texas, or even a primary home that happens to be on a beautiful lake with a two story boat dock and oh yes, two boats. John Goff, a self-made man, founder and CEO of Crescent Real Estate Holdings, and his wife Cami, were selling without reserve.  Not only are the Goffs selling the compound they re-shaped from an existing home on Eagle Mountain Lake, they are selling every piece of furniture, plate, bedsheet, even the fluffy white towels monogrammed with the compound’s Jack Sprague-designed logo, Mariposa del Lago.

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“We are even selling the margarita machine,” jokes Cami Goff, “and selling the mix that comes with it!”

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Here's where the Morgan Stanley deal was sealed
Here’s where the Morgan Stanley deal was sealed

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Mariposa del Lago | Fort Worth, TX | Luxury Real Estate
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Candy Evans

A real estate muckraker, Candy Evans is one of the nation’s leading real estate reporters. She is also the North Texas real estate editor for Forbes.com, CultureMap Dallas, Modern Luxury Dallas, & the Katy Trail Weekly. Candy has written for Joel Kotkin’s The New Geography, Inman Real Estate News, plus a host of national sites. Constantly breaking celebrity real estate news, she scooped former president George W. Bush's Dallas home in 2008. She is the founder and publisher of her signature CandysDirt.com, and SecondShelters.com, devoted to the vacation home market. Her verticals have won many awards, including Best Blog by the venerable National Association of Real Estate Editors, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious journalism associations. Candy holds an active Texas real estate license but does not sell. She is on the Board of Directors of Braemar Hotels & Resorts (BHR).

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