Bandar edges Trump by $10 million |

Bandar edges Trump by $10 million

Chad Abraham
Aspen Times file photoAspen Times filePrince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdul Azizs Starwood property is on the market for $135 million, making it the most expensive home ever listed for sale in the United States.

ASPEN Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdul Azizs Aspen-area compound is on the market for $135 million. The price tag trumps Donald Trump, who had the previous highest offering on the national market, $125 million for a beachfront home in Florida.Bandar is the former Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States. His 95-acre Starwood Ranch property includes a nearly 56,000-square-foot mansion and several smaller homes and buildings. The main home is larger than the White House and includes 16 bathrooms, 15 bedrooms, stables, a tennis court, an indoor swimming pool, outdoor water features and a snowmelt driveway.Real estate agent Joshua Saslove said his brokerage is handling the sale through the real estate arm of Christies, the exclusive auction house. Saslove, who previously represented the buyers of Hollywood mogul Peter Gubers $46 million property, is the regional affiliate of Christies.He said Bandar is spending too much time in Saudi Arabia, chairing his nations new national security council, to enjoy his Aspen home.

I have therefore concluded to allow some of the property to pass on into other hands, Bandar said in a statement released through Saslove. The prince will retain ownership of some homes and property at the ranch.While he will no longer live in Aspen part time, Bandar said he intends to still visit from time to time and enjoy its unique natural beauty and the generous welcome of the Aspen community.The area proved to be a welcome retreat during his 22 years of ambassadorship, he said, and he has always enjoyed his time here with friends, family, diplomats and other figures of renown.He has become very close to Aspen, said Saslove, a friend of Bandars who has visited the home numerous times. Im sure he gave this (decision) considerable thought.Saslove said the home is a magnificent residence with many amenities, including ponds, trails and buildings for staff housing.There are a considerable number of people in the world who can afford the asking price, he said. The sale will be offered through the Christies network and private marketing in the future. No immediate advertising is planned.There has never been a sale of that size in this area, and to my knowledge it is the largest single-family residential listing in the United States, Saslove said. And maybe the world, he said.It is definitely the nations highest priced property, confirmed Nick Antonicello, director of sales at Unique Homes, a magazine that covers luxury real estate. But for how long is unclear.Antonicello said there is speculation that the widow of TV mogul Aaron Spelling will put her 56,500-square-foot mansion in Los Angeles on the market for $150 million.But that property is on only six acres, as is Trumps Florida property. Given the acreage at Starwood Ranch, Rich Wagar of Rich Wagar Associates said he was surprised Bandars asking price isnt more.Wager represents the sellers of a home on Central Park West in New York City that is about $5,500 a square foot. Wagar noted Bandars mountain palace is on the market for $2,400 per square foot.I know it comes with a fair amount of land so [the price] is not too bad from that standpoint, he said. The hard part is, how many people want to spend $135 million? How many people need 55,000 square feet?Bob Starodoj, president and CEO of Mason & Morse Real Estate, predicted Bandars land will be tough to sell.

Its a very personalized, specialized property, he said. Im not sure what you do with that. My sense is the only guy whos gonna buy it is some guy whos in the same financial stratosphere as Bandar.And the number of such people is apparently increasing. Wagar said the number of billionaires he speaks with now is phenomenal compared to how many I used to come into contact with just 10 years ago.Bandars main home needed special review from Pitkin County before it was approved in the late 1980s, remembered Cindy Houben, community development director. The maximum number of bedrooms allowed at the time was five, she said. Bandar was allowed to have a lot more.The commissioners were the ultimate authority on the special review, she said. There were tons of hearings on it because it was just such an enormous home that was being proposed.Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado

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