Morgan Brennan, Forbes Staff
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1/16/2013 @ 12:04PM |4,585 views
The Most Opulent And Lavish Amenities Invading Luxury Homes
Depending on where in Washington, Utah you are standing, the brightly colored LED lights illuminating the 55-foot-tall glass atrium of 1445 West Grande Circle may be visible. From faraway, the “bat signal” as real estate agent Joe Allen jokingly calls it, is quite impressive. The adjustable lights can be programmed for red and green at Christmas or orange at Halloween, Empire State Building-style. They are just one of the outrageous goodies stocked inside the $7 million Tuscan-style estate.
“This is the ultimate playground for kids and adults,” says Allen, the Realty Absolute agent peddling the property. “The family never really has to leave the house.”
Flanked by palm trees and encompassing 24,500 square feet, the St. George-area mansion feels more like Las Vegas than the Utah desert. It has not one but two home theaters (a brightly hued “kids” theater and a more refined “main” one), a sports pub equipped with its own kitchen and suspended scoreboards, an arcade room, and a two-lane bowling alley lit by your choice of neon or black lights. Don’t feel like waiting for the elevator to access those rooms? Take the wooden slide that spirals down from the main living space down to them.
The unusual private playground amenities have been one of the biggest draws for the pro athletes, business executives and well-to-do families that have been touring the place as prospective buyers, according to Allen.
It’s almost a given that a newly listed multimillion dollar mansion will have a home theater, a wood-paneled library, an appliance-lined commercial-grade kitchen, and a swimming pool. Even massive walk-in closets, outdoor kitchens and exercise rooms have become somewhat commonplace in the world of high-end housing. But some owners have gotten exceedingly creative with the dream home extras, carving out party palaces like 1445 West Grande Circle. With the help of Realtor.com and Trulia.com, we sorted through luxury home listings to find the most outrageous amenities currently gracing the sale block.
“People are traveling abroad and experiencing a lifestyle in resorts and then they bring that back into their everyday life. They want spas, hairdressing stations, indoor swimming pools, massage rooms,” notes Joan Behnke, an interior designer whose eponymous Beverly Hills-based firm caters to ultra wealthy clientele around the world.
One Bel Air Country Club estate in Los Angeles epitomizes that concept. Listed for $29.9 million, the 20,000-square foot manse has an entire floor dedicated to resort-like folly. Besides the gym, there’s an exercise-yoga studio, a steam room, a Jacuzzi and a beauty salon with a hair washing and cutting area and a manicure-pedicure station. Down the hall lies even rarer offering: a exercise pool, which acts as a water-powered treadmill.
Some wealthy owners incorporate massive sports complexes into the layout of their estates. Basketball courts, hockey rinks, baseball diamonds, putting greens, even archery fields, can be found on the sale block right now, including several properties (perhaps not surprisingly) owned by pro athletes.
A $28 million ranch in Aspen, Colo.’s McLain Flats boasts a 13,000-square foot standalone fitness facility touting a regulation NBA Basketball court, a tennis court, a racquetball court, and hugging the structure’s circumference, a second-story indoor track. An $11 million Argyle, Texas equestrian estate comes not only with stables and riding rinks, but a professional Zip line and a massive jungle-themed tree house. And its interiors are just as splendiferous thanks to a top floor “man cave” packed with an arcade room, an antique coin-op display area, a poker lounge that seats up to 32 and a cigar closet.
Speaking of man caves, garages continue to command some of the most indulgent and unique home features. “Garages have really become a place of entertainment and display. We did one house where glass penetrated from second floor to the basement so you could look through down into the garage. We are working on another that has a rotating turntable,” says Behnke.
Some auto enthusiasts take it even further, installing gas pumps, car washes and mechanic stations. In Chicago a recently listed $3.4 million one-bedroom condo in Lake Point Tower comes with a separate 2,714-square foot, 12-car auto showroom currently decked out in Ferrari red and yellow from the seating areas to the cars displayed under the track lighting. Behind the gates of Fairfield, Calif.’s $18 million Suisun Valley Road estate, the auto amenities include a maintenance bay, an antique gas station and a roadside-inspired “diner” with bar stools, kitchen and 50s-style décor.
Other outrageous offerings include subterranean nightclubs equipped with dance floors and DJ booths, soundproofed indoor shooting ranges accessible by finger-print identification, and outdoor life-size garden mazes and labyrinths.
The Most Opulent And Lavish Amenities Invading Luxury Homes - Forbes