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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The $100 Million Homes For Sale That You Have Yet To Meet

Lynnewood Hall in Elkins Park, PA, the inspiration for Goldwood House (courtesy of Michael Frilund)

When it comes to mind blowingly expensive real estate, certain for sale homes immediately spring to mind. Among them, the $125 million Fleur de Lys estate in Los Angeles, the $90 million Woolworth Mansion in Manhattan, the $75 million Tranquility estate in Lake Tahoe, the $74 million spec home in Palm Beach and of course the recently sold Spelling Manor in L.A. which was bought for $85 million. Well, add two more mega mansions to the list.

The homes, called Goldwood House and Rose Terrace, are estimated to cost between $75 million and $100 million apiece. Inspired by two famed turn-of-the-20th Century American estates, the mansions will rank among the world’s biggest single family homes.  Goldwood House, an estimated $100 million abode, boasts a mind blowing 107,000-square feet. It’s fashioned after Lynnewood Hall in Elkins Park, PA, the infamous 110-room abandoned mansion built in the Neo-Classical style that has sat vacant and embroiled in legal battles for decades.  Rose Terrace, an estimated $75 million project, encompasses nearly 65,000 square feet and replicates the torn-down Beaux-Arts estate  Whitemarsh Hall.

Why is this likely the first time you have heard mention of these hulking homes? Because they have yet to be built. “We are trying to sell the construction documents and we are hoping a client would be interested in buying something very exclusive,” explains Michael Frilund, the developer and mastermind behind the pricey projects.  A Finland-based neophyte to the world of ultra luxury real estate, he was inspired by billionaire Ira Rennert‘s $200 million Fair Field estate in Sagaponack, NY.  “I thought, well, if he’s building something that large there could be a market for other people interested in building on the same majestic scale.” But unlike most spec home developers, Frilund is not fronting the cash to build these homes himself upfront; rather, he’s selling the two sets of blueprints, sans land, but with a team already in place to carry them out.

“I was originally looking for an investor  who has land already so we could build [spec homes] but I couldn’t find one,” says Frilund.  Given the fact that many a spec home built in the hopes of snagging a billionaire buyer has languished the past several years on the MLS, that might be for the best.

Whitemarsh Hall in Wyndmoor, PA, the inspiration for Rose Terrace (courtesy of Michael Frilund)

The architect for the homes is William Hablinski of William Hablinski Architecture — the designer behind Russian billionaire Yuri Milner’s $100 million Silicon Valley house. Interior designs and some furniture will come from British royal David Linley, the bespoke furniture maker and chairman of Christie’s.

The documents are being shopped around real estate circles by Lauri McNevin, an Austin, Texas-based real estate agent with Keller Williams Luxury Homes.  “It’s a different take on selling property than I’ve ever experienced before and it’s taking a lot of thinking outside of the box to market these properties,” notes McNevin, whom Frilund enlisted after seeing her marketing strategies for s a $12 million Austin listing. She has been busily contacting brokers and listing agents that represent billionaires, as well as owners of huge tracts of land in notoriously expensive ZIP codes around the country that may want to market their properties with to-be-built home plans attached. She plans to target Russian, Chinese and Singaporean billionaires and multimillionaires. And the documents, which Frilund notes are open to negotiation, are available for construction anywhere in the world.

McNevin, who started marketing the projects only several weeks ago, has been building websites expected to launch with new content by or before December. Renderings of the anticipated homes will be made public then, at which point we will display them. (For now you have to settle for images of the formerly great estates they will aesthetically mimic.) The team hesitates to release the asking prices for the design plans themselves, but Frilund does say that $75 million to $100 million for Rose Terrace will be a “reasonable cost of construction” and that Goldwood will be much more expensive to build. Update: Frilund says that Hablinski estimates that “for the architectural work, depending on the level of detail and construction service involved,” the designs themselves will cost between $3 million and $5 million apiece.

McNevin believes the projects will sell within a year. Frilund, too, is confident he’ll find buyers. In fact, he’s already found a client through these blueprints: a buyer that didn’t want to recreate Lynnewood Hall or Whitemarsh Hall, but did want a 40,000-square foot manse fashioned after English stately homes. Work on that estate, for which Frliund declines to release details or locale, is just getting started.


Special thanks to Carl, the reader that brought this project to our attention.


The $100 Million Homes For Sale That You Have Yet To Meet. In today's market you get something pretty special for $100 million.
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