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.

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1851_Turbeville_Rd__HiRes

You do remember this estate up in Hickory Creek, the stunning French magnifique modeled after Vaux-le-Vicomte, a chateau on the outskirts of Paris, France?

It’s enormous: 48,000 square feet now 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 one of the grandest residences in the entire country. 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, twin loges, screen and and a concession stand; 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. The third story holds a mirrored ballroom patterned after Versailles with complete kitchen plus powder rooms for the ladies and men. The entertaining prospects are endless there, or on the veranda with seating 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, the Wedgewood suite with living area and fireplace, breakfast bar, luxurious bath and private laundry room, 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.

Once again, Joan Eleazer of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty is listing 1851 Turbeville Road, now known as “A French Country Retreat”. Asking is $17,500,000. No more Champ D’Or. Of course not: the Goldfields no longer own it. A new family, a new generation of life and love has filled 1851 Turbeville Road for the last few years as a second home, and they are ready to pass the beautiful baton:

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Chanel ClosetWell, this is kind of rude. 

The Texas megamansion that has been redefining “gauche” since 2002—took another tortuous turn this week, when the troubled home hit the market less than two years after being sold at auction.

You know how I feel about homes: there is something about them to love, each one of them, no matter how homely. And there is a LOT to love about Champ d’Or, obviously, like 48,000 square feet! Yeah, it was sold at auction two years ago and yeah, it’s on the tax rolls for $9.72 million. Now where did that number come from? Hmmmmmm. Still, the real estate world has changed A LOT since 2012 and Dallas home prices are higher now than they were in the recession. We have re-gained our footing and more.

I don’t know what all this Curbed secrecy stuff is –“…from an undisclosed buyer with “international ties”, whatever that means.”

I told you what it meant. Gosh, does anyone READ anymore?

Pierre Hotel penthouse
Penthouse at the Hotel Pierre? I’ll take the Champ!

I don’t know, I think $125 million for a penthouse at the top three floors of the Pierre Hotel is pretty tacky. (Last December they lowered the asking by $30 million.) In Beverly Hills, there’s  Fleur de Lys, a 45,000-square-foot house modeled after Versailles.  Ira Rennert, some industrialist, built a house in the Hamptons, that at 66,395 square feet is one of the largest residences in the U.S. and how can we forget the 90,000 square foot Queen of Versailles, which I hear is back in finish-out mode. All these make our Champ look like a bargain!

How much do YOU think Champ will sell for, this time?

 

Chanel ClosetWell, this is kind of rude. 

The Texas megamansion that has been redefining “gauche” since 2002—took another tortuous turn this week, when the troubled home hit the market less than two years after being sold at auction.

You know how I feel about homes: there is something about them to love, each one of them, no matter how homely. And there is a LOT to love about Champ d’Or, obviously, like 48,000 square feet! Yeah, it was sold at auction two years ago and yeah, it’s on the tax rolls for $9.72 million. Now where did that number come from? Hmmmmmm. Still, the real estate world has changed A LOT since 2012 and Dallas home prices are higher now than they were in the recession. We have re-gained our footing and more.

I don’t know what all this Curbed secrecy stuff is –“…from an undisclosed buyer with “international ties”, whatever that means.”

I told you what it meant. Gosh, does anyone READ anymore?

Pierre Hotel penthouse
Penthouse at the Hotel Pierre? I’ll take the Champ!

I don’t know, I think $125 million for a penthouse at the top three floors of the Pierre Hotel is pretty tacky. (Last December they lowered the asking by $30 million.) In Beverly Hills, there’s  Fleur de Lys, a 45,000-square-foot house modeled after Versailles.  Ira Rennert, some industrialist, built a house in the Hamptons, that at 66,395 square feet is one of the largest residences in the U.S. and how can we forget the 90,000 square foot Queen of Versailles, which I hear is back in finish-out mode. All these make our Champ look like a bargain!

How much do YOU think Champ will sell for, this time?

 

Holy mackerel. I was staring at these photos of Celine Dion’s insane $29.3 million mansion on her own private island outside of Montreal and I was a little overwhelmed … but it’s all coming back to me now. Tell me this: Does the French Normandy-style compound look a lot like the lost cousin of Champ d’Or or what?

The interiors of the multi-platinum diva’s estate are just as opulent, if not moreso, than Champ’s. I mean, if you’re into tons of silk, antiques, and gold-covered everything. And guess what, folks. Now that Celine’s got a regular gig in Vegas, she’s putting her crazy, crazy home on the market.

In all, the 24,000-square-foot mega mansion has three living rooms, three dining rooms (the formal can seat 18), a wine cellar, two master suites, an outdoor pool and guest house, and one heart … just kidding!

I wonder if the house, which includes art, linens, custom everything, and helipad if you can negotiate it, will sell at auction like Champ did. Heck, I’d love to buy it myself, but there’s a very short list of folks who can throw down that kind of dough, and that’s just the way it is.

Oh well. My heart will go on.

Thought you might enjoy seeing the national/international post I wrote for Concierge Auctions, on our illustrious Champ d’Or, they being the folks who spurred the sale of our most famous or infamous mansion to date.

Later today, the venerable PR firm of Rubenstein Public Relations will release this press release with more details, the official details, of Friday’s sale of Champ d’Or. As I told you yesterday, we know Champ was swooped up by a Dallas family with international ties (read: jet setters) and I have just learned that Clay Stapp was the buyer’s rep.  As I may have explained before, just because a home sells at auction does not mean the realtors are left out. This firmly plants Clay on the scene as a leading Dallas broker and agent, and signals, I think, a real changing of the guard.

Everyone’s in their morning meeting, and something tells me champaigne is being poured doen on Cedar Springs. Two of the happiest agents in town today? Clay Stapp and Joan Eleazer!

Here’s the release:

AUCTION OF ONE OF THE NATION’S MOST SPECTACULAR HOMES, A 48,000-SQUARE FOOT FRENCH CHATEAU ON 39 ACRES NEAR DALLAS, TEXAS, A SUCCESS

Concierge Auctions & Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty produce monumental sale

DALLAS, TX – April 2, 2012 – An exquisite, 48,000-square-foot luxury mansion located on 39 acres, just 45 minutes north of Dallas, was successfully sold at auction, Concierge Auctions has announced. Following 433 auction inquiries, over 500 showings and over 10,000 website visitors, the estate, named Champ d’Or, which translates to “Field of Gold”, was sold in cooperation with listing agent Joan Eleazer of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty.

The buyer is based in the Dallas area with international ties and is represented by Clay Stapp of

CLAY STAPP+CO. Their name and the purchase price are confidential.

“It is a remarkable achievement to have sold this estate — and particularly to have done so in a five week time span,” stated Robbie Briggs, Broker and Owner of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty. “Champ d’Or is so unique that after years on and off the market with various brokerage firms, we knew that adding Concierge Auctions to the equation was the right move. The Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty team and Concierge Auctions collaborated to create a comprehensive marketing and public relations platform and ensure we identified every possible buyer. Our efforts attracted interest from around the world and instilled the urgency necessary to produce this successful transaction.”

“From public relations exposure including the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, CNBC, Inside Edition and more; to creative events such as a dinner with Sotheby’s International Realty owners from around the world and exclusive preview tours attracting over 500 attendees; to widespread global advertising, our outreach for this auction was unbelievable,” stated Eleazer. “We left no stone unturned.”

Modeled after the Vaux-le-Vicomte chateau in Paris, Champ d’Or is one of the grandest residences in the entire country. The property features endless unique amenities including a two-story mahogany library; a conservatory; two elevators; multiple staircases; a master suite with a steam room, hair salon, two-story Chanel-style “her” closet, an indoor lap pool and an exercise room. The entertaining prospects are endless, thanks to veranda seating for up to 450 people; a catering kitchen; a grand ballroom; an outdoor pool and pool house; a tennis court; an indoor bowling alley and racquetball court; a movie theatre; a wine room; a tea room modeled after New York’s Tavern on the Green; a commercial laundry room; and a 20-car garage.

“Champ d’Or is an incredible and unique property, and there was no doubt this auction presented a great opportunity,” stated Stapp. “My clients are experienced with buying at auction, and we were all impressed by Concierge’s execution. They are excited to be the next owners and look forward to living in and enjoying the home with their family.”

“We spent over a year researching auction firms before choosing to work with Concierge,” stated the seller, Alan Goldfield. “Ultimately I selected Concierge because they are the most skilled firm in the country in dealing with ultra-luxury homes, and their entire team is impressive. It feels great to have the property sold, and we are happy to be moving on with our lives and to have found a family who will love Champ d’Or as much as we have.”

“This is undoubtedly one of the most monumental property auctions ever completed in the

United States,” stated Laura Brady, Vice President of Marketing for Concierge Auctions.

“Champ d’Or is without comparison, so it was similar to selling a one-of-a-kind piece of art. Our auction platform is ideal for remarkable properties such as this — to identify interest and drive the highest price in an expedited period of time. I am thankful for the tireless efforts of our team and for our partners at Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, and I wish both our buyer and seller much happiness as they celebrate this transaction in the days ahead.”

 

This is Briggs Freeman agent Joan Eleazer and her beautiful real estate selling family in the main parlor up in Hickory Creek. Layne Pitzer is Joan’s daughter pictured here with her precious children, and Joan’s husband (Layne’s dad) Jeff Eleazer. They were all up at Champ d’Or weekend before last for the special invitation pre-view party before Saturday’s big auction. I loved it when Layne introduced her perfectly-mannered angels to me, adding they are doing just what she did as a child: hanging with mom while she works selling real estate. That was, she said, how she learned the business: toting along with her mother to open houses and showings. But I’ll bet Layne never played tag in a 48,000 square foot mansion while mom worked! Only thing I want to hug more than some listings is these precious babies. Joan et al are, of course, the current agents on the Champ listing and the one who has had the listing the most.

Awaiting word on who has signed up to bid on Champ. As you know, it takes a $250,000 refundable deposit to even get into the auction. No looky-loos but only those with the means to follow up with a check for at least $10.3 million need apply or wire transfer $250,000 over to Concierge.

In case you are undecided, wondering perhaps if you could afford the maintenance on Champ, here are some of the expenses for upkeep. The Goldfields had three to four full time home tenders or caretakers on retainer — people to not only clean but maintain, check for leaks, replace fuses, initiate repairs or obtain bids on, meet workmen, basically do everything we all do in a normal 2500 to 5000 square foot house but 9.6 times that amount of work. One source who deals in the auctioning of luxury estates like Champ told me maintenance costs on places like this can run as high a $400,000 a year, more if you have to cover health care and benefits for the caretakers. Taxes are actually surprisingly low for this place: $189,000 for Champ plus 5 acres. If you buy the other 39 acres, you will have to pay taxes on the acreage but something tells me a few grazing cattle might net you an ag exemption. Still, that’s pretty cheap considering I am paying almost $40,000 on a home that is about 1/10 the size. Maybe lower taxes are one reason why Alan Goldfield went north to build his dream castle. This estimate of course does not count utilities, and I will venture the electic bill in August is — $11,000 to $15,000 a month, sound right?

Then there’s the racquetball court and bowling alley. A wooden bowling lane is made of hard maple on the approach and for the first 20 feet, followed by 40 feet of pine, the pindeck is usually maple. On top of this wood is a solid resin coating that must be redone every few years: cut down the old resin coating and a little bit of the wood to make it flat, then recoat. So even if the lane’s a little torn up, you can make it usable again by recoating it. You can pay someone to do this, but they must be specialized. You also need to keep oil on the lanes whenever you bowl or risk tearing up the coating on the lanes or damage bowling balls. A machine that strips and oils the lanes runs about $25,000 and requires maintenance, plus the oil and stripping solution for the machine. I’m happy to tell you such a machine comes with the purchase of Champ!

Sprinkler systems are my pet peeve in my home, they are always breaking and I swear on a stack of bibles the height of Champ, no sprinklers in our next house. But swimming pools are not far behind in  terms of maintenance nightmares. For fun, I snapped a photo of the giant swimming pools’ (plural, there are two) equipment shed, which is as large as a four car garage. I also discover something new with each visit to Hickory Creek: there is a remote control gas log fireplace in one of the powder rooms, below. Gilded, of course.