Article Published by: Forbes
The property is considered one of the most architecturally significant private estates in the country. It has been owned by four of the wealthiest individuals in Dallas, re-named, and now its most recent owner, North Texas developer and investor Mehrdad Moayedi, is carving the 25-acre estate in one of Dallas’ most prime neighborhoods into an exclusive luxury community in North Texas.
The Crespi Estate is back again, on the market this time for a mere $38.5 million for just the house and 14 acres.
The original mansion was designed in 1938 by world-renowned architect Maurice Fatio, commissioned by Italian Count Pio Crespi and his American wife, Flo Crespi. The Count had been sent to Dallas by his family to manage their cotton empire, back when Dallas ruled as the nation’s cotton capital. The Crespis entertained lavishly in their estate, hosting presidents, celebrities, and dignitaries. Flo Crespi actually lived in the main house until 1997, even after it was purchased by former Texas Rangers and Dallas Stars owner Tom Hicks.
In 2000, Hicks embarked on an aggressive, extensive three-year renovation, rebuilding and enlarging the house. Scores of contractors, artisans, and craftsmen worked seven days a week for three years. The Hicks worked with renowned architect Peter Marino and interior designer Alexandra de Champalimaud to perfect the expansion and help match Fatio’s original vision for the estate.
Case in point: When they needed stone for the new wings, the original quarry from whence Fatio found stone was re-opened after decades of closure to make sure the stones matched as closely as possible to perfection. The home was enlarged to 28,996 square feet. The main house has seven bedrooms. The master suite alone is over 3,000 square feet and includes his and her baths, dressing rooms and closets. The home easily had millions in improvements and structure on land valued at $51 million in 2013, when Hicks first put it on the market for $135 million, billed as the most expensive listing in the U.S. The price was later lowered to $100 million when Hicks changed agents.
That price was for 25-plus rolling acres, the 28,996-square-foot house, the pool, tennis courts, 3,300-square-foot guest house and a 4,800-square-foot pool house complete with movie theater, game room, and spa.
Now the property for sale is the home, albeit updated again, plus guest and pool houses, but on a mere 14 acres. The man who bought the estate at auction last December, Moayedi, is flipping the main house and creating exclusive estate lots of the remaining acreage. The new gated residential development will be called “Crespi Estates.”
But let’s flash back to January of 2016. The estate’s third owner, who took it off Hicks’ hands, was Dallas billionaire financier Andy Beal. He bought the estate for a reported $58 million (the price was not disclosed), but never moved into the house. In fact, he bought another estate home in Highland Park and spent the year pondering which estate he wanted. Ultimately, Beal chose the 6.1-acre home of the late real estate developer Trammell Crow, a circa 1912 estate, which he reportedly paid about $34 million for and promptly tore down.
So Moayedi bought the entire 25-acre estate from Beal at auction last December. He paid $36.2 million lock, stock and barrel, and set a U.S. record for the highest price paid for a residential property on an auction block.
Moayedi spent months analyzing the vast property as he fixed up the interior of the main mansion, completely remodeling the kitchen with gray and white marble covering the walls, huge bookend marble islands, stone floors, and a wall of windows to the back yard and creek. A waterfall has been put in, and the kitchen now opens into a large breakfast room and morning room replacing the original conservatory. The helipad has also been updated.
On the vast ground floor, which is as large as a hotel basement, there is now a 500-bottle-capacity wine cellar kept at a constant 55-degree threshold with alarm if the temperature veers warmer or colder, a walk-in vault, an intimate movie theater, and a “safe” room with armored doors. The mechanical systems have been replaced, including heating and air, and the exteriors have been revamped: redone swimming pool, greenhouse, gardens, and more than 200 new trees planted.
As for his new development, Moayedi has said he wants five mansions of 10,000 to 15,000 square feet each on lots that will be around two acres each. (An acre of dirt in this part of town is roughly $2.5 million currently.) Two smaller houses may be constructed on the north side of the property. But he is leaving the northwest corner of the estate vacant, to avoid building anything directly behind former president George Bush’s property on Daria Drive.
The entire property is zoned for one-acre lots. The home is listed with Allie Beth Allman, founder of Dallas-based Allie Beth Allman and Associates, and Kyle Crews. This is the third time Allman has listed the house. She is also the Dallas realtor who sold the Bushes their Dallas home, right around the corner.