Last we heard, Champ d’Or had been sold to Walters Hospitality, with plans to make it an entertainment venue/private club. Now, trouble is brewing up in Hickory Creek over the new owner’s mighty plans.

Champ d’Or is a magnificent property in Hickory Creek we have written about extensively from its birth to the nine years and eight agents it took to sell the monster mansion. Once listed at $72 million, the 48,000-square-foot estate — yes, 48,000 — was put on the market the minute it was finished. It took years to build. The owners even bought a home across the street to live in while they built it. The various sales and auctions and marketing attempts to get it sold have given us more copy than a real estate blogger could ever dream of. 

Cellstar Corp founder Alan H. Goldfield and his wife, Shirley, built Champ d’Or starting in 2000, but never really moved into it. It is modeled after a chateau on the outskirts of Paris, and the two-story women’s closet in the master suite is modeled after the Chanel boutique in Paris.

C’est bon? Mais no.

The “Champ” is now drawing the ire of the many homeowners who live around it. The original estate was on 39 acres, but much of the land was sold off to create housing developments. We hear plans to turn the estate into a private club have now been abandoned. Developers with the new owners, T. Chateau Event Center, LLC, plan to make it into a wedding and event center that has gotten a little steroidal (kind of like the mansion itself) with a hotel or two, restaurant, bar, and spa on the property.
 
The estate, once the lone structure on a North Texas prairie, is now in the middle of a residential neighborhood, across the street from an attractive community of homes selling in the $500,000 range with a 32-acre equestrian center, and walking paths that lead directly to Lake Dallas. Steeplechase North is to the west of the estate, with a smattering of nice homes in the $300K-ish range. Megatel Homes is one of the builders, if that tells you anything. And the only access to the community, Turbeville Road, is still just a two-lane road off I-35.
 
So a large part of the town of Hickory Creek’s population, which has grown considerably over the years because of the Champ, is in an uproar.

Hickory Creek has blossomed around Champ d’Or, once the sole structure on Turbeville Road.

 
 

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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?

 

No kidding! Recall the piece I wrote earlier this week on a gadzillion bathrooms being the newest building craze? I spent the afternoon up at Champ D’Or in Hickory Creek shooting a video, and you learn something new every day. I have been to Champ a few times but never, ever knew the mansion has heated drawers tucked in the Master bath.

These are impressive: they are deep, metal-lined drawers right next to the vanity, you pop in a robe or towel, turn it on and voila! Toasty warm snuggly towels and robes! I thought I had seen it all in this house. In 20 years you could not see it all.

I also overlooked, the last time I toured, the huge sauna off the Master bath, across from the coffee bar, down the hall from the Chanel closet and beauty salon room. It has beautiful tile work and was patterned after the sauna in the movie The Rat Pack. It also has a Lalique handle on the door. There is so much Lalique in this house, you wonder if they had to set up a temporary factory in Hickory Creek during construction.

Counted bathrooms: 6 regular, 8 powder for a total of 14. One powder off the first elevator has a double sink, much like a commercial powder room.

I interviewed Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s Joan Eleazer, the first, middle and (hopefully) last agent who will represent Champ, at least for the Goldfields. I asked her how she got the listing, since she was the very first agent. (Remember, we had a contest here on CandysDirt.com asking people to name all the agents to win tickets to Agent ReBoot: Joan, Doris Jacobs, Greg Cagle, Joan, Elaine Whitfield, Cindy Frey, Joan. By the way, each agent spent about $100,000 marketing the Champ, except for Greg Cagle who spent $150K.) Joan told me that it was because of Sotheby’s that she got the listing. Briggs was affiliated with Sotheby’s initially, then Christie’s, and now back to Sotheby’s. Shirly and Alan Goldfield, the owners, had decided to sell the home before they even finished it. (And they spent five years building it!) They called Sotheby’s, who contacted Robbie Briggs. Out drove Robbie and Joan up I-35 to Turbeville Road in Hickory Creek for the shock of their life: 48,000 square feet of a near replica of Vaux le Vicomte, a  17th century French château  35 miles southeast of Paris, not too far off the highway. Workers were still on scaffolding finishing up all the work. Shirley Goldfield was a perfectionist, and every inch of the home had to be utter perfection. I noticed little things today like sound-proof doors to the home theater and storage, storage everywhere. The Goldfields even bought a jewelry store in Paris, Texas and brought in all the cabinets and shelving to create their Butler’s pantry. There is an island in the Butler’s pantry that opens at one end and stores a full size Brown Jordan serving cart. There is nothing, nothing Shirley didn’t think of. The house is 48,000 square feet and has a tea room, garden room, ballroom and mini-theater. The over 30 acres of property include a swimming pool, tennis court and a lake. The style of the house mimics a French Chateau and the center dome is 78 feet high. There’s a two-story mahogany library with cabinets for books so you don’t see them, that private hair salon, Rat Pack steam room, weight room, gift wrap room and as well as a bowling alley, ballroom and racquet ball court. The house has two elevators but you still need GSP inside. Joan also told me that there were not that many showings because, after all, who could qualify for a home of this price? I would be surprised, she said, if I knew which high profile (and very qualified) Dallas families seriously looked at it, liking the location. Alas, they did not bite. Not one nibble. Anyhoo, the folks from Channel 8 were up there today, my pal Steve “Stole-her” and crew, Steve telling me he had always wanted to see inside the Champ. See he did, today.

Or Mini Champs. McMansion Champs –McChamps! This could be why Alan Goldfield has decided to auction off the over the top dream chateau with the Chanel Boutique-replica closet etc. etc. that he has been trying to sell for almost ten years up there in Hictory Creek. A few weeks ago I found out that a chunk of Goldfield properties in Hickory Creek surrounding Champs were sold to Centurion American Development. As in the man I call Saint Stoneleigh,  Mehrdad Moayedi, head of Carrollton-based property developer and investor Centurion American Development Group, who paid $4.55 million for the Stoneleigh Hotel.

Readers tell me the Centurion signs are up already:

I was driving home just now, I saw workers putting up the signs. A single “For Sale” sign still lingers in front of the guard shack at the entrance to Champs D’Or, along with 39 acres.

Centurion bought 1745 Turbeville Road, 20 acres that includes a 13,439 square foot house with six bedrooms, five and a half baths, three car garage listed for $5.6 million, which is exactly what it sold for according to MLS. The home also has a pool with cabana, sauna and kitchen in cabana, commercial grade construction and 3000 square feet of patios. Centurion also bought 1850 Turbeville Road, listed for $15 million, that being 116 acres including a 12,588 square foot home with five bedrooms, four and a half baths, billiard room, covered terraces, ten stall horse barn, log cabin home, riding corral and private lake loaded with ducks and geese. The game plan is, I think, to create a housing development here that may very well be called Gold Fields surrounding the House of Gold! Prices will begin in the $400,000 range with minimum square footage of 2500 square feet — most will likely be around 3000 to 4000. I got a whiff of a zoning change in Hickory Creek for single family homes, and that’s when this all came together. Centurion closed on the properties December 20, 2011.

The total acreage is 137, and if you get 3 homes per acre that’s about 400 homes. Of course, the existing homes could be converted to club houses, or just retained and sold, and that horse barn will be an attractive amenity. Plus all the homes will surround and gaze upon the golden pinnacle of twenty-first century Real Estate dreams, or, perhaps nightmares: Champ D’Or.

As one reader speculated:

Rumor is, Texas will legalize gambling in the near future and the Champ will be bought by an Indian tribe or mega-church and turned into a casino or bingo hall.  Plenty of parking, looks like a casino, easy access to I-35, tax revenue, it’s all there.

He teases us, obviously. But I could see Prestonwood Baptist buying the place to revive those amazing Christmas pageants maybe, recall the ones with live camels? Will Centurion pick up Champ at the auction next month as the ultimate club house for his new development? If not, who will and what will they put there? How will that fit into the housing development plans? Surely it will not become, as one writer speculated, the best little tear down in Texas? Will The House of Gold eventually be surrounded by starter homes from DR Morton, Megatel, Gehan, Seina, etc? Maybe Alan Goldfrield is a shrewd businessman, bluffing? This could be the most interesting real estate story to hit North Texas in years…  stay tuned.