$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.
Views just one of home’s luxuries
By Beth Sitzler
It was these features that drew Hazel and Alfred Coelho to the 1.23-acre property, located on a cul-de-sac in the gated Coronado Ridge Subdivision.
“We came here from the Palm Springs (California) area,” Hazel Coelho said. “It was one of the first houses we looked at.
“My husband really liked it. We had built several homes ourselves, so we recognized the quality of the finished work and we liked the floor plan a lot. And we loved the everchangingview.” As luck would have it, the couple was able to sell their California home in a matter of months and began 2007 in their new Las Cruces residence.
Located at the bottom of the cul-de-sac, the residence features a flagstone path that leads past a wrought iron gate into the enclosed front courtyard. Not skipping any detail, the entrance of the courtyard is lined with a Southwest-inspired tile trim.
“It is used around the doors and windows,” Coelho said. “(Coyle) took the indoor theme and brought it outside.” Coelho said the courtyard is a nice feature of the home because it offers privacy as well as a relaxing environment thanks to its waterfall and pond, which provides ambiance, easy-tocare- for landscaping and abundance of covered seating space.
“We really enjoy the front courtyard in the warmer weather,” Coelho said. “It’s a wonderful place to read the paper in the mornings.” Inside the large, carved front door, guests are greeted by tall ceiling accented with skylights and a breathtaking view of the Organ Mountains courtesy of a large window found in the living room.
“Everyone mentions the view when they open the front door,” Coelho said. Tile covers the floor and a mosaic element with stone inlays and granite chips is located at the entrance, which looks into the living room.
In addition to showcasing a framed glimpse of the Organ Mountains, the living room also contains several large wood beams along the 20-foot-high ceiling. A Southwestern-inspired fireplace is placed in the corner. “He did a wonderful job with all of the formal areas with all of the trim and details,” Coelho said.
Along with Venetian plaster covering the walls, the formal areas include other artistic details. “There is this chiseled-edge flagstone throughout,” Coelho said. “He also did these rounded corners. It has a soft, Southwest feel, but is still very Italian.”
Connected to the living room is the dining room. Coelho said a lot of detail is featured on the ceiling, which showcases a tray element lined with latillas. While the room includes a large window peering out to the backyard and Organ Mountain view, window shades cover it and other windows in the home to block the heat of the sun.
The dining room opens to the kitchen, one of Coelho’s favorite areas. “I love this kitchen,” she said. “It has tons of storage and a big gas, Thermador range with a griddle and pot filler, which comes in handy.”
Granite composed of pink, black and spots of green covers the countertops as rich cabinets with inlays and crown molding fill the room. The cabinetry features fully expanding drawers as well as pullouts.
In addition to the elegant elements and high-end appliances, including a wine refrigerator and warming oven, the kitchen has good lighting, Coelho said. Accompanying a skylight, the room features cast lighting along the top and bottom of the cabinets as well as ornate pendent lighting. Off the kitchen is a bonus room.
“It’s a wonderful room to watch TV with the fireplace and view,” Coelho said. The home features a split floor plan with two bedrooms, which include their own bathrooms, located down a beam-covered hallway.
Across the way is the media room, which includes access to a half bathroom accented in red paint and has a copper sink bowl. In this area is the oversized three-car garage as well as the master suite.
The master bedroom features a red accent wall that Coelho added to make the architectural element around a window pop. There is also a door that leads to the covered patio. Electronic nightshades cover the windows.
The master bathroom has a snail shower lined with tile and etched glass. A five-jet bathtub is located beneath a window between the his-and-her sinks. Walk-in his-and-her closets complete the bathroom. One of the closets connects to the laundry room, a feature that has provided convenience to the couple.
Coelho said the home has a sound system throughout, which extends to the front and back exterior of the residence.
The covered patio extends the length of the home and includes several different areas for dining, grilling and relaxing by a fireplace.
“This is great for parties,” said Coelho, adding that the patio is in the shade in the afternoon.
Coelho said they wanted low-maintenance landscaping, so in addition to the native plantsthat are scattered among the rocks is artificial grass.
While the home features an abundance of amenities, another great feature is the Picacho Hills area, Coelho said.
“The country club is a wonderful place for socializing,” she said. “The golf course is a fine golf course and there is a swimming pool and tennis courts. You can make friends and participate in the sport you like. “This is the best side of the valley to live on.”
Bok Tower to Celebrate its 84th Anniversary
By Phil Attinger
“We’re very excited that Roberto Díaz will be here performing and that we’re continuing to work together in celebration of Bok’s vision for both organizations,” said David Price, president of Bok Tower Gardens. “It’s going to be a wonderful evening.”
Price said it is only fitting to have Curtis Institute musicians perform at the Gardens, since Edward W. Bok’s wife, Mary Louise Curtis Bok, started the Institute in 1924 in Philadelphia.
The music school is funded 100 percent for only 160 students at a time — based entirely on talent — from all ages and economic backgrounds. It also boasts such renown alumni as Leonard Bernstein, Samuel Barber, Juan Diego Flórez, Alan Gilbert, Hilary Hahn, Jennifer Higdon and Lang Lang.
Bok Tower’s Founder’s Day Festivities kick off at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 1 with a special moonlight carillon concert performed by Geert D’hollander. Admission is $5 per person and free for members.
Throughout the weekend, visitors will be allowed to enter the wrought iron gates at the Tower and cross the moat to see the Tower and brass door up close.
Tours around the exterior will be included with the usual general admission price during the anniversary weekend.
New paint job for historic viaduct
by Marc Johnson
One of Britain’s oldest railway bridges has been repainted as part of a £10 million renovation project. Pyeroy has completed a two-year £1.5 million refurbishment of the Ouseburn Railway Viaduct in Newcastle upon Tyne.
The viaduct, which towers 108 ft above the River Ouseburn, was built in 1839 using laminated timber before being replaced in 1869 with a nine-span structure featuring five central wrought iron arches.
Pyeroy worked alongside Carillion, who is the main contractor for the £10 million Network Rail project to strengthen and repair the Grade II viaduct, which carries the East Coast railway line over the Ouseburn Valley.
Repainting the viaduct required workers to grit blast all the ironwork on the 918 ft-long structure before final surface preparation and painting.
Brendan Fitzsimons, director of Pyeroy’s infrastructure services division, said: “This is another prestigious project demonstrating how we deliver cost effective solutions with unparalleled experience in bridge refurbishment.”
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