Steve Brown breaks news that the residence of Sam Wyly at 3905 Beverly Drive has sold, listing agent — oh, I’ll give you three guesses. Starts with an A- then B then A: Allie Beth Allman. The home has only been listed since June 28th of this year, and had been owned by the Wyly’s since Sam bought it in 1965 for $160,000.

The home was appraised by the Dallas County Appraisal District at $9,027,500, but was listed for $12.5 million and never reduced in price.

It sold November 3 for $9,400,000. Steve says the buyer is a trust represented by Dallas mergers and acquisitions attorney Brian Lidji. And apparently someone will live in the home: it will not be torn down, or at least that is what they told Steve.

3905 Beverly was originally built in 1924 for Dallas business man Fred Schoellkopf, whose family was one of Dallas’ original founding business barons. 

(more…)

Stargate aerial

As you may have heard this week, our next Secretary of State, if approved by Congress, could be Exxon Mobile CEO Rex Tillerson. He is the head honcho at the Irving-based multi-national oil and gas corporation, but he lives in Bartonville. His recommendation is said to have come from former Defense Secretary Robert Gates and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Rice and Gates have a consulting firm that works with Exxon.

Bartonville is north of DFW International Airport, bordering Lantana, part of that loamy-soil rich horse country near Argyle and Pilot Point dotted with huge horse farms, like this Ebby listing for Mustang Ranch where I was kissing a fabulous horse.

The area was settled in 1878 and was named for T. Bent Barton. In 1886 there was only a post office, by 1906 there no longer was a post office but a population of about 100. Families love the quiet, country atmosphere and great Argyle public schools. Getting from Irving to Bartonville is about a 30 minute limo ride.

“Everyone in Argyle wants acreage,” says Marilyn Hoffman, Hoffman International Realty, “there are probably more equestrian spreads there and in Bartonville, than anywhere else in Texas.”

She should know: Hoffman listed the ranch the Tillersons bought from the late Charles Wyly which was called, at the time, Stargate Sport Horse Farm. The name was changed to Bar RR Ranches (Rex and Renda). She had it listed for two years at an asking price of $12 million. After her listing agreement expired, Tillerson and his wife bought the spread in September of 2009 for way less than what Wyly had been asking.

Arabian Horse Times

(more…)

Update: I’ve received a note from Mr. Wyly’s cousin (in comments) clarifying that the Michaels Arts & Crafts stores that were founded by Charles and Sam Wyly were sold while quite profitable. The business downturn apparently with subsequent owners.  

I am sad to report that Dallas philanthropist and billionaire Charles Wyly, whose name is on the Dee and Charles Wyly Theater in the AT&T Performing Arts Center, died this morning in Aspen, in an apparent auto accident. The Wylys have a second home in Aspen and Charles was out running errands in his blue Porsche Targa. Here is the release from the Colorado State Patrol:

 

On August 7, 2011 at approximately 10:50 a.m. a blue Porsche Targa was northbound on Airport Rd. attempting to make a left turn onto Colorado Highway 82. A gray Ford Freestyle was traveling in the right lane eastbound on Colorado Highway 82. The Ford struck the Porsche on the driver’s side.

The driver of the Porsche, Mr. Charles Wyly, age 77, from Woody Creek, CO was transported to Aspen Valley Hospital where he died of his injuries just after noon. The driver of the Ford, Ms. Genezi Lacerda, age 40, of Snowmass Village, CO sustained moderate injuries and was also transported to Aspen Valley Hospital. Both drivers were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash. Alcohol/drugs are not suspected to have contributed to this crash. This crash remains under investigation.

Charles and Sam Wyly are self-made Dallas entrepreneurs and businessmen, and the billionaire co- founders of Sterling Software. They grew up on a Louisiana cotton farm. They also dabbled with ownership in Bonanza Steakhouse, Michaels Stores (arts and crafts, I believe they went bankrupt or closed) and Maverick Capital, a hedge fund, among others.  In 2010, the SEC charged brothers Samuel E. Wyly and Charles J. Wyly, Jr. with violating federal securities laws governing ownership and trading of securities by corporate insiders. The Wyly brothers, the SEC said, reaped more than $550 million in undisclosed gains while sitting on corporate boards by trading stock in those public companies through hidden entities located in foreign jurisdictions  — i.e. offshore tax havens — to conceal their ownership and avoid Mr. Tax Man. The Wylys have also been major league donors to Republican and conservative causes over the years. According to The New York Times,

“The Center for Responsive Politics found that the brothers and their families donated nearly $2.5 million to roughly 200 federal-level candidates and committees in the last 20 years. But after it was reported in 2006 that the Wylys were the subject of federal tax investigations, some Republicans distanced themselves from the pair. That year, Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, who was planning a presidential bid, and Senator Bill Frist, Republican of Tennessee, then the Senate majority leader, returned $20,000 and $5,000 in donations, respectively, from the Wyly brothers and their relatives.”

The brothers dismissed the investigation as a waste of tax dollars and seemed confident they would beat the charges.

“They’re gonna lose,” Sam Wyly told The Dallas Morning News in 2010, “That means we’re gonna win.”

But in March, a federal judge refused to dismiss the case. Two weeks ago the brothers were ordered to turn over several documents they had sought to withhold under attorney-client privilege.

Charles lived with Dee in an amazing 11,000 square foot home in the honeypot of Preston Hollow with a gorgeous conservatory, overlooking fountains. The home has hosted many charitable events and countless parties. The Wylys also employed Chef Darrin McGrady, who once was the chef of princess Diana.

Sam has been very involved in environmental businesses the last few years, including buying the landmark Explore bookstore in Aspen in 2007, which was founded by  Katherine Thalberg. Explore staff members reported seeing Sam Wyly sitting on the floor at the store often, reading books, and cherished having an independent bookstore in the community. Went it was up for sale, he bought it. Sam Wyly is also reported to be a vegetarian and founder of Green Mountain Energy. The Wyly brothers also developed nine homes on  245-acre Woody Creek ranch near Aspen in 2001. 

The Dallas Observer reports that the driver of the Ford didn’t have a stop sign, and that no charges have been filed.

Our very deepest condolences to the entire Wyly family at this difficult time.