I had heard this was coming down the pike. The price is very interesting. You may recall that last fall, Fort Worth billionaire John Goff, a self-made man, and founder and CEO of Crescent Real Estate Holdings, and his wife Cami, were all set to sell their super fantastic lake property at Eagle Mountain Lake at auction October 8. There was TONS of publicity. As soon as we broke the story, Candace Carlisle over at the DBJ, wrote about it, and even asked Mr. Goff if he was “sad” to be selling the compound:
Are you sad to be auctioning off your Eagle Mountain lake house? It is sad. We love the property and we had so many good times there. We decided to go this auction process because it’s sometimes hard to bring attention to a property that’s not in an inner city and is in a destination like that. We have successfully used this auction process in some of our business ventures when we have had second homes we developed and so we decided to try it and it’s bittersweet. We are adding on and renovating a place in Fort Worth. We are just long on houses.
How many houses do you have? I’d rather not say. We have homes in Cabo and Colorado and we travel a lot.
The lake estate was listed with Kyle Crews and Daylon Pereira of Allie Beth Allman, and the auction was commanded by the sharp, busy folks at Concierge Auctions, based in Austin.
There was TONS of interest, too, not to mention at least four registered bidders, which is pretty darn amazing for a property said to have $8 million or more in it. A pre-emptive offer on the gorgeous retreat came in 24 hours before the auction was set to begin. So the agents and Concierge folks decided to work that offer, and postpone the auction. 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.
The custom-built, 8,000-square-foot compound is perched on an 8,600 acre lake, with pool, tennis and sport court, kids pavilion, guest house and putting green.
That green is where one of the most significant decisions in financial history went down. In fact, that green is worth probably half the asking price.
Mr. Goff co-founded Crescent Real Estate Equities with the late Richard Rainwater in the early 1990’s, designing the strategy and orchestrating the acquisitions leading to the company’s initial public offering in May, 1994. Under the helm of Mr. Goff as Vice Chairman and CEO, Crescent grew from approximately $500 million at its IPO to $6.5 billion upon its sale in August 2007 to Morgan Stanley.
It was on this famous putting green where John Goff convinced Morgan Stanley to buy Crescent Real Estate Equities, for that $6.5 billion dollars in August of 2007.
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. And it all started on that green.
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.’”
Ha, they sure didn’t. But the deal went through.
Before all that high powered finagling, Goff, a CPA who grew up on the Texas Gulf coast with a degree in accounting from the University of Texas, had purchased a contemporary home with an inside waterfall on a perfect Eagle Mountain Lake location. Goff loves to sail. He bought the lot next door, too, and set about remodeling the main house down to the studs, adding a guest home and dock, and building the outdoor sports centers. Dallas architect Richard Drummond Davis, a personal friend, managed the architectural design and remodel, while antiques expert extraordinaire Joseph Minton helped furnish the interiors, and Fort Worth builder David Lewis constructed.
The 6,500-square-foot, Oklahoma river stone and white cedar main house has four bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms on three floors. There is a Great Room, relaxing nooks, formal dining room with wet bar, a temperature controlled 200 bottle wine room featuring an antique French door the Goffs found in France, and a gourmet kitchen with hammered copper sink and top of the line everything. The main floor consists of the lounging rooms divided into cozy nooks (with fireplaces) so nothing feels overpowering, plus dining, kitchen and a breakfast room that opens to an outdoor cooking/dining area complete with a pizza oven. The foyer is huge and features the two-story waterfall from the original house. The two-story tall Great Room has a double-sided stacked stone fireplace and western-type chandelier, plus French doors with Blenko glass accents as transoms. Downstairs are three bedrooms, a recreation game room and an arcade with bar, plus access to the dock. There is a protected outside porch with a deep overhang.
Not only were the Goffs selling the dirt, they were selling every piece of furniture, plate, bed sheet, even the fluffy white towels monogrammed with the compound’s Jack Sprague-designed logo, Mariposa del Lago. The home can do double duty: it’s an extraordinary lake home retreat in North Texas, or even could be a primary home that happens to be on a beautiful lake with a two story boat dock and oh yes, two boats. Eagle Mountain Lake is about 15 miles northwest of downtown Fort Worth.
Well, guess what? Mariposa is on the market, this time with Fort Worth super agent John Zimmerman of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty. Listing price is $5.9 million. (Happy Birthday, John!) The auction had been set at no reserve for the home that is said to have at least $8 million poured into it. That meant no minimum price, though one would likely have been set by the bidders.
It appears the Goffs have found their reserve, at $5.9.
So, what happened to the interested party? Where did they go? How did John get this listing? Did Concierge’s massive marketing campaign give them a huge boost? Inquiring Minds want to know… so we shall ask. Stay tuned!