$135 Million Dallas Palace Is America’s New Most Expensive Home For Sale
While rumors swirled Friday about the alleged sale of a $117 million home in Woodside, Calif., another abode far from the center of the tech universe quietly began attracting attention as the new most expensive home for sale in the United States.
The Crespi-Hicks Estate, which is being quietly shopped off of the Multiple Listing Services, wants a staggering $135 million. The best part: it’s not located in San Francisco, or even New York City. America’s new most expensive home for sale is in Dallas, Texas.
The Dallas estate sits behind wrought iron gates in the ultra elite Mayflower Estates neighborhood. Spanning 25 acres, the compound boasts roughly 42,500 square feet of living space including a five-story main house, a two-story guest house and a three-story pool house. It’s owned by Thomas and Cinda Hicks, former Forbes 400 listmakers whose personal net worth swelled as large as $1.4 billion in 2008.Tom Hicks is the former chairman of private equity firm Hicks and current chairman of Hicks Holdings. He is also the former owner of several professional sports teams including the Dallas Stars, Texas Rangers, and Liverpool Soccer Club.
The Crespi-Hicks Estate, commissioned by Italian Count Pio Crespi, was the last residential creation of architect Maurice Fatio before his death in 1943. When the Hicks purchased the property 16 years ago, they enlisted architect Peter Marino to restore it. The process reportedly took nearly a decade and as much as $100 million.
Among the home’s outrageous amenities are a a library paneled in 19th-century Italian walnut and burl, a main kitchen tiled in 10th-century Dutch Delft manganese tiles, a mirrored art-deco bar room, and an exercise room. The pool house boasts an outdoor living room and kitchen, an indoor catering kitchen, a massive game room, and a home theater spanning an entire floor. The grounds encompass two guest houses, a tennis court, several greenhouses, a tree house, rose and vegetable gardens, and a second hidden driveway entrance onto the property.
“In this home, one experiences an awe-inspiring majesty along with a gentle warmth and intimacy. The formal rooms have accommodated throngs of guests and received United States Presidents and international dignitaries,” writes Douglas Newby, the real estate agent representing the property, adding that the home is “warm and fun.”
According to Dallas real estate blogger Candy Evans, land in Mayflower Estates commands a lofty $2 million per acre, accounting for $50 million of the asking price; the buildings are valued at $85 million. Mayflower Estates is home to Dallas’ richest and most powerful residents, including former President George W. Bush who is rumored to have moved here to be close to the Hicks family. The home is minutes from downtown Dallas.
It’s not necessarily surprising that the opulent spread has come to market now — and toting such a stratospheric price tag. Billionaires have been plunking down extravagant sums for trophy homes the country over since 2011, injecting would-be sellers with confidence to try their hands at turning a hefty home sale profit. Since the beginning of January alone, two confirmed record-breaking sales have transpired: a $27 million Miami, Fla. penthouse purchase (the area’s highest price ever paid for an apartment) and a $75 million Malibu, Calif. beach house purchase (the city’s most expensive sale ever). And if the blogosphere is indeed correct and a Woodside, Calif. house fetched $117.5 million, then the country even has a new most expensive home sale.
At $135 million, the mega mansion’s asking price tops the $125 million Fleur de Lys estate in Los Angeles, which has been the single most expensive home publicly listed for sale since Miami’s Casa Casuarina reduced its price tag to $100 million in November. Other uber expensive listings include the $100 million CitySpire penthouse in New York City, two additional $95 million apartments in New York, and the $95 million Beverly House in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Hospitals super-sizing equipment for obese patients
Health-care facilities are making accommodations to take care of their heaviest patients.
Hospitals are getting super-sized. Waiting room chairs are being built with wrought iron for heavy patients. Wheelchairs and beds are made to sustain extra weight. And toilets are being mounted to the floor, not the wall.
In response to America’s obesity epidemic, health-care facilities nationwide are making accommodations to make sure they can take care of their heaviest patients.
The trend started about a decade ago when bariatric surgery took off in popularity and the American public began ballooning in weight. By the mid-2000s, hospitals had started to update with these patients in mind. That can mean anything from wider doorways to bigger commodes.
“It really runs the gamut,” said Cathy Denning, a vice president at Novation LLC, an Irving, Texas-based health-care supply chain company that produces an annual report on the cost of bariatric care.
And they’re finding that those products have uses for other patients. Vein viewers can locate veins in patients whose fat obscures their vascular access; they’re also useful in patients with difficult-to-find veins. Scanners need wide enough holes and strong enough tables to accommodate larger patients; patients with claustrophobia may also appreciate them.
Some doctors are developing reputations for treating larger patients. They use longer needles to deliver injections into thicker arms or special surgical equipment that let the surgeon reach deeper inside a patient’s abdominal cavity.
to be continued
Santa Cruz Chocolate Festival benefits UCSC re-entry students
By Cathy Kelly
More than 800 people turned out for the 6th annual Santa Cruz Chocolate Festival at the Cocoanut Grove Sunday, turning a love of everything chocolate into scholarships for re-entry students at UC Santa Cruz.
A representative of the UCSC Women’s Club, which organizes the event, said they hoped the event would raise about $15,000 for scholarships.
The festival offered six samples of chocolate for $15 and crowds milled about Sunday trying chocolate toffee, truffles and things such as chocolate-covered coconut curry cashew candies.
Other creations included a balsamic chocolate ganache and brie atop poached pear crostini by Lifestyle Culinary Arts of Santa Cruz and a Seattle-based company called Theo that claims to be the only one in the nation creating chocolate “from bean to bar” with organic, fair trade cocoa.
Lead organizer Ann Berry-Kline said the festival added wine tasting for the first time this year and that about half of the 38 vendors were new. They included several area chocolatiers, as well as ice cream makers and others.
“It’s been amazing; it’s going really well,” said Berry-Kline, a realtor with Bailey Properties. “We’ve got lots of great stuff.”
A new confectioner, Boulder Creek Candy, made their debut at the festival, selling mostly chocolate-covered caramels.
Jackie Young of Boulder Creek had a box of their chocolates under her arm, saying she wanted to support the new business. She also had something from the silent auction — a red, wrought-iron chair used as a planter with “hen and chicks” succulents growing from the seat.
“We’re really here to support the UCSC re-entry program,” Young said. “This is a great gathering of local talent. It was very enjoyable.”
The event also included naming of the Chocoholic of the Year — festival founder Lorraine Margon of Santa Cruz.
Margon’s husband, Bruce, is vice chancellor of research at UCSC. The couple moved to Santa Cruz from Maryland not long before she agreed to organize a new fundraiser, Margon said. She said she had her doubts about whether she could pull it off, especially since she was new in town.
But Joe Marini of Marini’s Candies was the first to agree to participate, giving her a verbal promise he made good on, and others followed, she said.
It has become a great fundraiser that has also brought the Women’s Club closer together, Margon said.
“I’m happy to see it going strong,” she said. “I didn’t realize how open Santa Cruz would be to a new festival. And it’s a great cause. A lot of students fall through the cracks and need help with summer tuition or childcare or a new laptop.”
Larry Mosely of Scotts Valley attended with his wife, Becca, and some friends.
“It’s wonderful,” he said. “I had a lot of fun. I tasted a lot of chocolate and decorated a cupcake.”
And ate it, his wife chimed in. Mosely smiled and gave a nod.
SUV plunges into California apartment pool
Merced police say 69-year-old Pamela Gwyn was in her Chevy Blazer on a city street Wednesday when for an unknown reason she failed to make a right turn and lost control of the vehicle.
The SUV went through a wrought iron fence outside the apartment complex and continued about 50 feet before landing in the pool.
Sgt. Jay Struble says a good Samaritan, 57-year-old Craig Lafleur of Kingsburg, saw the SUV, pulled it to the edge of the pool by its roof rack and broke its back window. He then helped Gwyn out of the vehicle before it sank.
Shakespeare’s ‘Lost Play’ Cardenio fulfils
Clifford Graham: Cardenio is in many ways a fulfilling play and Roy Sergeant’s staging for the 2013 season at Maynardville will be remembered for some time. I suppose it makes perfect sense, before going into a review of the current production of Cardenio at the Maynardville Open Air Theatre, to touch on the origins of this play and why it is referred to as Shakespeare’s lost play. Director Roy Sargeant in his programme notes points out that the play is the product of research by Gregory Doran, currently the Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, rather than a long lost manuscript found in someone’s attic or buried under a pile of documents in an obscure English archive.
The original play was known to have been performed by the King’s Men (a London Theatre company) at the court of King James I as early as 1613. It is attributed to William Shakespeare and John Fletcher. The work was probably based on an episode of Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote involving the character Cardenio, a young man who has been driven mad with love and betrayal and lives in the Sierra Morena. After 1613 the play seems to have disappeared and appears only sporadically under varying titles. No original text for the play survives.
However the play as it is presented using Gregory Doran’s text, re-imagined after William Shakespeare could be said to be in the style of Shakespeare. No matter, it is a very good play none the less. The synopsis of the play reads like a Mozart Opera, love triangles become foursomes with an evil don hell bent on seducing every vulnerable wench in sIght. Well yes, there is a lot of that, but there are some very human threads to the plot which enrich the story and keep the audience guessing throughout. It’s hard to be sure just how much of the play is the work of Messrs. Fletcher and Shakespeare, but perhaps it’s best to forget the complex provenance and just sit back and be entertained.
Set design by Dicky Longhurst is simple but effective. Wrought iron gates and window bars are reminiscent of Moorish architecture. Costume is detailed and for the most part accurate to the time. Roy Sargeant’s vision is clearly defined in the Spanish qualities that imbue the production. Light references to Catholic ritual, wild fiesta dances and obsessions of sex and death leave us in no doubt as to the plays’ Spanish temperament.
And of the ensemble? Some dazzling performances made Cardenio a pilgrimage I would have been happy to make on my knees. Francis Chouler’s Fernando, filled with menace and glimpses of a tyrant in the making, provides a pivot for the rest of the cast to react to. Jenny Stead’s Luscinda, filled with measured innocence, is charming, allowing audience sympathies to grow at each twist in the plot. Terence Bridget comes close to stealing the show with his sometimes comic, often bumbling take on the role of Don Bernardo, Luscinda’s father. Marcel Meyer as Pedro brings an air of reason to the plot.
But for me it’s the pairing of Armand Aucamp (Cardenio) with Francis Chouler (Fernando) that heightens the production as a whole. They were last seen together in Mary and the Conqueror (Artscape Spring Drama Season 2011). The chemistry between these actors seems to spur them on to greater performances.
Cardenio is in many ways a fulfilling play and Roy Sergeant’s staging for the 2013 season at Maynardville will be remembered for some time to come. Pack your picnic and make the pilgrimage. Cardenio is a must see! Cardenio is in rep with “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the Maynardville Open Air Theatre in Cape Town until 9 March.