Half-Finished Home Listed for $75 Million

$75 million unfinished mansion versaillesIf you thought the economic downturn and housing crisis would lead to more modest homes, you are wrong -- at least in this case. And in this case you'd be very, very wrong.

It's a 90,000-square-foot mansion listed for $75 million. It sits in a prime spot, on 10 waterfront acres in a gated community outside Orlando, Fla. It has plenty to boast about, including 10 kitchens, a 20-car garage, 13 bedrooms, a bowling alley and an indoor roller rink.

Actually, make that space for 10 kitchens, a 20-car garage, 13 bedrooms, a bowling alley and an indoor roller rink, because the house has one big catch: It's not finished.
The home, Lake Butler Mansion, was created by and for real estate tycoon David Siegel, owner of the largest privately held time-share company in America. He admittedly could use a lot of room for his 12 children. But his company, Westgate, has suffered in the downturn and there's no longer ready cash to finish. "He just stopped construction because of the banks not being as free on the credit lines with his own company," says Lorraine Barrett, the Coldwell Banker real estate agent handling the listing. She says the Siegels are good neighbors who donate over $3 million a year to charity and have 6,000 employees to feed: "He's putting his own money back into the business and not into his house."

While $75 million seems a lot for a half-finished home -- it is about five times the amount of Barrett's other luxury listings -- just look at what you'd get: According to Yahoo, the house is as long as "nearly two football fields, is almost double the White House and about 36 times the size of the average American family home." It will have an Olympic-size swimming pool, tennis courts, its own fitness center. It is modeled after -- and nicknamed -- Versailles, which Siegel and his second wife visited on their honeymoon, says Barrett.

And it's not as if you'd be getting an empty shell, some of the wiring is in place, as is the facade. But the stone for the stone-walled, gated entrance sits in boxes in the garage -- at least the new owner won't have to buy all the building materials. A chain-link fence marks the property now. The elevator shafts are empty. The steel beams await their housing. The baseball field-to-be is choked with weeds.

$75 million unfinished mansion versaillesOne boon for new owners: If they have different taste in finishes, they won't have remodeling to do. If Versailles isn't their thing, they can choose another style. But if they trust in Siegel's sensibility, they can purchase the whole thing, finished, for a cool $100 million.

And it's certainly not the most expensive house for sale in America. Yahoo reports that there's still a "$150 million mansion in Holmby Hills, Calif., owned by Candy Spelling, widow of television giant Aaron Spelling."

But these properties have been listed for a long while -- one of them for four years. That's actually good news for Siegel. Barrett says that if his fortunes change, the listing might come done.

"If the credit lines free up," she says, "he'd be the proud owner again of his own house.

See homes for sale in Orlando, Fla. and luxury homes elsewhere at AOL Real Estate.

$75 million unfinished mansion versailles

$75 million unfinished mansion versailles

$75 million unfinished mansion versailles

$75 million unfinished mansion versailles

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