Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Price Cut To End All Price Cuts

Patricia Kluge, wine maker, philanthropist and former wife of billionaire John Kluge, listed her 300-ish acre estate in rural and horsey Charlottesville, VA in October of 2009 to much publicity and hullabaloo due to the teeth chattering and bone chilling asking price of $100,000,000.

Ex-Mrs. Kluge–that's pronounce cloo-gee, lambs–built the English Country style manor house in 1985 when she was still married to Mister Kluge. They christened their palatial new pad with the very English sounding name of Albemarle. But alas.... In 1990 the wildly rich Kluges went their separate ways but not before they duked it out in the court of dee-vorce the result of which left ex-Missus Kluge as the owner of Albermarle and, it was widely reported, granted the ladee of the house alimony in the amount of $1,600,000...per week. Spend a minute or two thinking about that children. Be honest, what wouldn't y'all do for a million six a week?

Anyhoo, we don't know if the alimony amount is accurate but what is true, according to listing information, is that neo-Georgian style pile measures in at a monstrous 23,538 square feet and has 45 rooms including 8 bedrooms and 13 full and 2 half poopers. The brick built house was designed by noted classical architect David Easton and in addition to all the expected public rooms, the house includes a state of the art home theater, library, an in-home fitness center with spa and sauna, a card room and an Islamic gallery with an antique Syrian fountain.

The extensive grounds include a pool, pool house, a greenhouse, several staff cottages, three stocked ponds, a croquet lawn, an authentic log cabin guest house, and a front yard large enough to play polo or to accommodate the 18-hole Arnold Palmer designed golf course that was drawn up but never built.

Now here's the meat of the matter children: With no titans, tycoons or foreign potentates barking up her real estate tree, ex-Missus Kluge did what most people do who are eager to sell their house. She lowered the price tag. But children, ex-Missus Kluge didn't just lower the asking price, she chopped, lopped, hewed, hacked and whacked it all the way down to $48,000,000. That's a heart stopping 52% cut according to our hardworking and bejeweled abacus.

Your Mama cain't wonder in our itty-bitty and booze saturated brain why if ex-Missus Kluge was willing to list the property at forty-some million she would first go through the motions of listing the estate with such an outrageous, even ludicrous price of $100,000,000? Could it be all the brouhaha and free publicity the estate has received from all us naughty real estate gossips? Hmm. Could be. Or did she simply have a real estate reality check and realize there just ain't nobody but no-bah-dee spending a hundred million clams on a high maintenance country house nowadays?

source: TTR Sotheby's

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mama, the reason it is called Albemarle is prolly becuase Charlottesville is in Albemarle County, VA. In the UK it would be "Albemarle House" or something understated like that. Interesting note: Kluge used to keep a Scot to make sure there were lots of pheasants and other tasty helpless birdies around so he could invite the King of Spain, et alia, to visit and shoot. The gameskeeper, eager to protect the birides, killed lots of hawks that preyed on them and when this was discovered Kluge was fined but good. Afterward regarded in those parts as a environmental baddie.

Anaheim Real Estate said...

Perhaps billionaires from other countries might be enticed by the very English atmosphere at Albemarle. Who knows? One of them can cash in with that monstrosity by converting it into a hotel or a private resort, or something.

Anonymous said...

Whether she is in financial difficulties is not clear. She tried to convert the estate into a winery and also carved out super expensive lots for sale that haven't sold very well. One report has her selling off all her silver recently. Not going to the poorhouse, I presume, but may be "overextended."

Anonymous said...

I had to take a break from reading after the second paragraph....I need a little lie down after thinking about how to spend 1.6 a week!!!!!

StPaulSnowman said...

At thirty percent less than The Manor, and in a location which observes a mild, Currier and Ives winter, this lovely brick rambler is certainly worth 48 million. With interior walls, fixtures, staff and silver, it would be worth the full hundred million. Mama says there is already a Syrian fountain so the appeal to real money, in the Gulf, is already built in. When are people going to stop whining about these prices.....it's only money and "a thing of beauty is a joy forever"

Mrs. Potter said...

waiter, i'll have the kloo-gee lamb, thank you.

StPaulSnowman said...

Warning........ Mama was protecting the chillun...grab one of her Neufpils before following the Sotheby's link to view the interior shots of this place. It's a gold medal example of how badly money can recreate French interiors and the basement Bierstube look.......yikes!

Syd said...

StPaulSnowman, you beat me to it. There is a decorator or three out there who deserve a good old Southern ass-whoopin over that mess.

Grrrowler said...

StPaul and Syd, agreed. The interiors are migraine-inducing to say the least. Who puts chairs like that in a home theater? I thought the idea was to stretch out and enjoy a movie, not feel like a midwife waiting for an impending birth. And is that a tile floor in the theater? Great acoustics...

I have to admit that the Bierstube kitcheny (or whatever) room is my favorite, and I prefer the log cabin on the grounds over the main house.

Anonymous said...

Ah, yes. Ms. Kloo-gee.

It was in reference to her that I first heard that saying about removing chrome from trailer hitches via . . . oral . . . methods.

Anonymous said...

And yet Candy still thinks she can get 150 for her pile. Truly a delusional ol broad living in Candyland.

Michele said...

Well, her alimony (if she was still getting it) would be down over 95% by now. The agreement was supposedly she would receive the interest on a billion dollars. At 1.6mil/week, that's an annual rate of around 8.3%, which looks close to the FedFundsRate in early 1990. It's scraping zero lately.

Now, she'd probably be getting less than $2 million for the WHOLE YEAR.

Except, it seems she remarried years ago. That must be some love. Or she foresaw that interest rates would plummet.

Anonymous said...

Gaudy excessive and cluttered.
The only saving grace of this home is the magnificent grounds and I like the little log cabin.
I like how the could not spring for a real theater or proper theater chairs in the $100 million home.

My guess is this will sell in the $30 to $35 million range.

Anonymous said...

This would be a great spot for the Jolie-Pitts. Privacy and not far by helicopter to DC and by jet to NYC.

Carla Ridge said...

Then again, I wouldn't be so very surprised if one of the Saud craud swooped in on a magic carpet, and snatched this up, at such a discount. They do like their horses. Arabians, natch.

Denise said...

Holy Smokes ... 1.6 a week? gives me goosebumps thinking about how silly the world really is!

Denise
http://a-home-for-sale.blogspot.com

Princess Koo-Koo said...

Oldest trick in the book (no, not Mrs. Kloo-gee) is to price a property at such an ass-tronomical price that you delude a buyer into thinking they got a huge price chop. The price chop price is probably the real price, if you get my drift. This is old school selling at it's finest!

Anonymous said...

I will admit the home theater is a bit odd, but that aside the rest of the interiors are tasteful in my opinion.. Far too stuffy and fussy for my taste but they fit the whole "English Manor" vibe. The grounds are pretty.

Anonymous said...

An Islamic gallery with nudes? I don't think so . . .

Anonymous said...

I'm gonna have to agree with Anonymous 2:44 p.m. - the interiors emulate the interiors of some of the great English Country houses. The gallery is definitely influenced by Vanbrugh - Castle Howard and/or Blenheim.
Maybe not quite to many modern tastes but still pretty damn impressive for being built in 1985!

Candi Speling said...

I did a Napa wine-tasting tour many years ago and enjoyed every minute of it. I think among the chirrun there must be some wine snobs, including Mama herself, so if you have not attempted the tour I would highly recommend that you do so before leaving this planet.
Mama, I just love this blog. Keep on doin' what you do for all the butter beans. As a good mother you always place our best interests above your own!

Anonymous said...

You’d think for 48M the real estate agent would know the difference between a photo of the media room (as ugly as it is) & a kitchen and between an exterior patio and a theater.

Julian said...

IT IS ABSOLUTE PERFECTION.DAVID EASTON!

Anonymous said...

Hope the selfish "ho" enjoys it, because she won't take it with her to hell!

It simply amazes me how some of these super rich - especially those who started out as low class strippers and porn stars - can turn a blind eye to what's going on in the world around them. Think this witch loses sleep at night worrying about the millions of people across America out of work, or the growing homeless population? Think again. The only thing she can wrap her head around is HERSELF.

Remember, it's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich person to get into heaven. If God favored people like this, Jesus would have lived in a palace and worn jewels. Instead, Jesus was one of the poorest people to ever walk the earth.

Think about THIS, Mrs. Gotrocks.

Kendra said...

This house is still listed and I saw the price tag was $24,000,000. That's 76% off the original price. OUCH!

Anonymous said...

$1.6 million a week! That's almost what Charlie Sheen makes per show.

Michele said...

Oy.

Like I wrote in my earlier comment up above, that must have been some love to give up the alimony.

Pradanna said...

You’d think for 48M the real estate agent would know the difference between a photo of the media room (as ugly as it is) & a kitchen and between an exterior patio and a theater.