Joan Eleazer Sells Champ d’Or AGAIN: Hickory Creek Estate to Become Entertainment Venue

Joan Eleazer with Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty is one pretty amazing agent. In fact, when I hear talk of Realtors going by the wayside as AVM’s and other computer-based platforms take over the selling of homes, I think of Joan. She sold Champ d’Or, once priced at $72 million, after nine years and eight agents. 

And now, she just sold it again, closing this week.

If you are new to Dallas, here is a quickie primer on Champ D’Or, 1851 Turbeville Road, probably the biggest estate in North Texas, the one Curbed called…

The estate is up in Hickory Creek, just south of Denton, off of I-35. It is modeled after Vaux-le-Vicomte, a chateau on the outskirts of Paris, France.

The initial home offering was 48,000 square feet on 39 acres. Originally built by CellStar Corp. founder Alan H. Goldfield and his wife, Shirley, the estate known as Champ d’Or (or “Gold Field”) is hands down one of the grandest residences in the entire country.

I once had the pleasure of interviewing Mrs. Goldfield. She told me how God inspired her to build this home and keep it going post 9/11. (The doves on the foyer ceiling are Shirley’s tribute to 9/11.) The property features endless unique high end amenities including a two-story mahogany library; a conservatory mimicking Tavern of the Green in New York City; an ornate theater complete with stage, screen and and a concession stand. The home has two commercial elevators, multiple staircases, powder rooms and fireplaces; a master suite with a steam room inspired by “The Rat Pack”,  hair salon, two-story Chanel-style “her” closet, two-story “his” closet, an indoor lap pool and an exercise room off the huge master bathroom with heated towel drawers.

Yep, heated towel drawers. I want some.

The third story holds a mirrored ballroom patterned after Versailles with complete kitchen plus separate powder rooms for the ladies and men. The entertaining prospects are endless: veranda seating alone for up to 450 people. There is a catering kitchen and a Butler’s pantry. Downstairs, on the lower level, there is a bowling alley, full racquetball court, garage for 20 cars, and a laundry room with commercial washer, dryer and sheet press. There is also a full wine room and gift wrap room with storage. It doesn’t stop here: there is an outdoor pool and pool house, tennis court, and numerous patios and gardens.

As for actual number of bedrooms, there are about six with six full baths and eight powder rooms: the master wing is on the first floor, called the Wedgewood suite with living area and fireplace, breakfast bar, luxurious bath and private laundry room. Another master is on the second floor where you also find another two-bedroom suite, each with en suite baths. There is yet another bedroom compartment on the third floor near the ballroom. This one has living and dining rooms plus a kitchen with two bedrooms and separate en suite baths.

That’s just the surface: there are so many, many more details.

In all, it eight agents tried to sell the home for the Goldfield’s: Joan Eleazer, who had it first, Doris Jacobs with Allie Beth Allman, Greg Cagle with Ebby Halliday, Cindy Frey with Coldwell Banker, Elaine Whitfield & Mathew Edwards at Dave Perry-Miller, then Joan Eleazer again and again. Clay Stapp finally brought the buyer when the mammoth estate went to auction in March of 2012. The buyer, a North Dallas resident, used it as a “country” retreat for his family and grandchildren.

Champs is probably the only home of its stature that has never been lived in, not really. Shirley Goldfield ended up buying a home across the street while they built Champ, and she would trudge across the street from the more modest home they bought for temporary shelter, dragging shopping bags full of clothes. And the pricing!  Champ D’Or has practically been on the market since the day it was completed in 2002, with asking prices from $72 million to $35 million, depending on the land tossed into the deal, the market, or the owners’ whim.

The dining room at Champ d’Or could definitely host a crowd.

The home was famous for many items, but probably the Chanel Closet was the most unordinary master closet in the history of the world.

“When I built this closet, I tried to think of everything that I would need,” Shirley Goldfield told HGTV when they filmed the closet.

Zillow once appraised the house at $512,839.

The home was also deemed “The Biggest Little Teardown in Texas” by a purported real estate expert who is actually an accomplished journalist now in residence at SMU. Funny: the Champ is still standing.

The new owners are in the entertainment venue business, Walters Hospitality. Joan met them more than nine years ago when she was marketing the estate.

“Nearly nine years after we first met, this incredible property is yours, Keith Walters!” Joan wrote on Facebook. “Can’t wait to see you and Walters Hospitality take off with it!”

Like they say, you just cannot make this stuff up.

“Mr. Walters was someone I met during my ten years with the Goldfields,” Joan told me. “He started with weddings and expanded into different events. The press release is coming soon.”

She suspects he always wanted the estate, which went to auction last year but did not bring a buyer. At that time it was listed for $17.5 million.

Of course the sales price is confidential, and the Champ sale was off-market.

You know what that means: stay tuned!


2 Comment

  • What God inspired this? The god of wretched excess? Disgusting

  • This home is simply exquisite! Its detailed ornate beauty
    is beyond compare. If you haven’t toured it, you are truly missing something spectacular. To refer to this as “the biggest little tear down in Texas” is absurd. If you can’t appreciate all the details in this masterpiece, your taste is in question. This is a magnificent manor.