Dallas' Most Expensive Spec Home Ever Sells for 30% Under Original Price

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Ever since 2008, many thought brand-new 3500 Beverly Drive in the high-net worth community of Highland Park, smack in the middle of Dallas, was destined to be the home of former president George W. Bush and his wife, Laura. But here we are, two years later and the home remained unsold, until it was reduced to $12.5 million and found a buyer -- Dallas billionaire Scott K. Ginsburg.

It has a basement that parks 8 to 10 cars (or could be a bomb shelter); it was constructed with a solid concrete shell (to withstand a terrorist attack); it was huge and elegant, befitting the former leader of the free world. But 3500 Beverly turned out to be the city's most expensive spec home ever built.

Originally priced at $18 million the 26,000-square-foot home was more than loaded. But when it was completed in fall of 2008, multimillionaires were scarce, running scared; the timing could not have been worse. Financial conditions were not conducive to selling such a mansion to the kind of person who could afford it, even if they could afford it. So 3500 Beverly sat. And sat.

Ginsburg also has a contract on the house next door to (west of) 3500 Beverly, because the one constant complaint I kept hearing from everyone who looked at this home was "the property is not significant enough for a home of this size and stature."

And no room for a real pool, a Texas must-have. So Mr. Ginsberg did what many multimillionaires do in Texas: They buy the home next door, tear it down and create a recreational playground.

The house at 3500 Beverly may be the most significant home in Dallas in years, but there have been a rash of high-end sales recently within the brokerage firm of Dave Perry-Miller and Associates. A $4,950,000 builder's home in the Hillwood (as in Perot, Ross Perot) enclave called The Creeks of Preston Hollow, also just sold, leaving one happy spec builder named Geoffrey Grant. The final price was kept confidential, as some sales are in Texas, but a reliable source told me the house at 10731 Bridge Hollow Court sold for just over $4 million to a Chicago couple. Since the builder paid $2.9 million for the lot, and then spared no expense in the finish-out, that would mean that the new owners have a 13,000-square-foot home that they essentially stole for a bit over $1 million.

Two other significant properties that had once belonged to Kelcy Warren of Energy Transfer Partners (properties he traded for his $46.5 million purchase of Bootjack ranch in Colorado), also just sold: 9122 Inwood Road, listed for $4.995 million and 5323 Rockcliff, listed for $1.895 million.

But Dallas still has a lion's share of high end properties over $3 million that are moving as slow as molasses. There are 119 homes over $3 million listed in Areas 10 (Addison), 11 (Preston Hollow), and 25 (Park Cities) over $3M. Of those, only three, yes just three, have a contract on them.

Now here's a fun bit of irony: One of those listings at over $3 million belongs to Scott Ginsburg, who just bought 3500 Beverly. His 4.66-acre Dallas estate suffered a fire several years ago, and he never rebuilt 4707 Park Lane, Asking price: $10.25 million.

See more homes for sale in Dallas, TX at AOL real estate.
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