If the railroads vital to the Crespi family’s cotton trade had run through Waco and not Dallas, Pio and Florence Crespi might have hired Maurice Fatio to build their estate there, instead of Walnut Hill Lane in Dallas.
And nobody would be agog today at the news that the Crespi estate, which has changed hands several times in the past couple decades, had sold to another prominent Dallas family this week. Both the Realtor — Allie Beth Allman — and the most recent owner, Mehrdad Moayedi, signed non-disclosure agreements and can’t give details. A sales price is unknown, but the estate’s last list price was $38.5 million.
Steve Brown at the Dallas Morning News scoured deeds to find that a trust founded by the Edwin L. Cox family had purchased the 14-acre estate with the 27,000-square-foot, 10 bedroom mansion recently.
If Cox’s name sounds familiar, it’s because the patriarch (Edwin L. Cox Sr.) was the primary benefactor for Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business. His son, a financier, lives on Beverly Drive, in $40 million estate (according to Dallas Central Appraisal District records).
“The Crespi Estate sale was financed with a $29 million loan from UBS Bank USA, according to deed records,” Brown wrote.
In addition to Moayedi, who parceled off part of the original estate to develop a group of luxury estate homes later, the home has been owned by Tom Hicks and Andy Beal.
Allman and Kyle Crews were handling the hip-pocket listing for the Crespi Estate that was once listed for a whopping $135 million.
The current house is much larger than the more “modest” structure Crespi had built in 1938. “While his brothers all had 30,000 and 40,000 square foot homes, he thought a 12,000 square foot home would be less ostentatious for Dallas,” local expert (and Realtor) Douglas Newby wrote about the home.
It would’ve been bigger, one SMU student wrote in a paper in 1997, but the missus weighed in.
“The Crespi Estate was modified from its original plans, cutting its size in half,” Connie Harkins wrote in her paper, which is published on Newby’s site, Significant Homes. “Mrs. Crespi said 10,000 square feet was big enough.”
And indeed, it apparently was. The globe-trotting couple who were Italian nobility (Crespi was a count) felt the home was grand enough to host guests like Coco Chanel and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, as well as Crespi’s Italian noble family.
When Moayedi bought the home in 2017, Candy had details.
“The house was totally rebuilt and substantially and cautiously enlarged over a period of years by Tom and Cinda Hicks, starting in 2000,” she said. “Sources tell me that plans were drawn and presented to potential bidders showing how the property could be subdivided.”
“Mehrdad says he will leave ten acres for the main house, the Crespi estate, with five houses (likely by Centurian Development), erected along Walnut Hill Lane,” she continued. “The area is zoned for one-acre minimum lots. Tom Hicks had actually purchased and demolished homes fronting Walnut Hill Lane to enlarge his estate.”
Candy wrote about her tour through the home when it was first listed in 2015. At the time of the most recent listing, Dallas Business Journal’s Bill Hethcock said that Moayedi renovated the main house and reworked the grounds, and put in a new entry, landscaping and winding drive. The mansion estate still includes a 3,300-square-foot guest house and a 4,800-square-foot pool house and is currently valued at $27.9 million by DCAD.