Prince Bandar bin Sultan, a Saudi royal and former ambassador to the U.S., owned several ranches in Aspen, Colorado. The largest amongst them called Hala Ranch was listed by him way back in 2006 for $135 million. It was the highest asking price and the listing became America’s most expensive home for sale. However, the markets changed dramatically as the economic crisis struck and it was not possible to find a buyer willing to invest that kind of money in real estate. The property was never listed again but according to Forbes the 90 acre Rocky Mountain ranch has found a new owner finally. It is John Paulson, the hedge fund billionaire worth $12.5 billion who has paid the Saudi Prince $49 million for the ranch. It is the highest price paid for a home in Aspen this year.
The Twin Ranch Mega Deal
John Paulson has made the bulk of his fortune by shorting subprime securities in 2007. He confirmed the sale and commented that he got the 90 acre ranch located in the Starwood community for a substantial discount. And what has made the deal even more attractive is the fact that the purchase also includes the Bear Cabin located on a separate 38 acre parcel that was never previously offered for sale. The purchase was made through a limited liability company which can now boast of the biggest and the best deal in Aspen. The other properties in the area neither have as much land nor boast of a completed house. The Star Mountain ranch with a 15,000 sq ft house on 67 acres of land had fetched $36.5 million in 2007. The ranch was also owned by Bandar.
Large Main House with Golden Fixtures in Bathrooms
Starwood community is a gated residential neighborhood on the slopes of Red Mountain and the Hala Ranch is tucked inside. The sale of the ranch was drawn up as two separate transactions; the 90 acre ranch for $41 million and the Bear Ranch, a 38 acre parcel for $8 million. Bandar had purchased the property in 1989 for a mere $3.5 million. The Saudi prince built the main house and two other mansions on it over the next two years. The property together now boasts of a massive 56,000-square foot main house with 15 bedrooms. The master suite comes with a beauty and barber room for massages, pedicures and styling. The house has 16 bathrooms with many gold fixtures. Apart from the massive main house there are several other smaller construction on the ranch. There is a tennis court, an indoor swimming pool and stables. It is a self contained ranch with its own water-treatment plant and a mechanical shop equipped with its own gas pumps and car wash. There is a high-tech security system in place to protect the property and its residents. Joshua Saslove of Joshua & Co. that is affiliated with Christie’s International Real Estate, brokered the mega deal. The moneyed buyers today prefer pocket listings like this one over the public listings. Paulson, who resides primarily in New York City had purchased another home just outside Aspen in 2010 for $24.5 million. He and his funds have interests in real estate and constantly looking for new opportunities.