Chateau-inspired Springbank estate sells for less than a third of original $20M asking price

It's still the most expensive home sold in Alberta so far this year, says real estate Mark Evernden.

It's still the most expensive home sold in Alberta so far this year, real estate agent says

Terre Blanche is a 17,500-square-foot home on 2.6 acres of land in Springbank, a rural community west of Calgary. (Sona Visual/Mark Evernden)

It took about six years, three real estate agents and an auction, but a sprawling Springbank estate has finally sold.

The French chateau-inspired property known as Terre Blanche sold at an auction on Monday for $5.88 million — less than a third of the original $20 million asking price.

And according to Mark Evernden, the Century 21 Bamber Realty agent who advised the listing, it's still the most expensive home sold in Alberta so far this year.

"It's a very unique home, in regards to not just the size, but the actual finishings throughout the house," Evernden said.

"It was a full-custom home, built around a family of five children and the parents, and it was their estate."

The home was designed by Arthur Fishman, and not built to be sold; rather, real estate agent Mark Evernden says it was initially intended to be a family home. (Sona Visual/Mark Evernden)

Terre Blanche took four years and over $15 million to build, and was completed in 2008.

The 17,500-square-foot property boasts 10 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, four floors, an elevator, a movie theatre, a basketball court, six fireplaces, a six-car garage and sweeping mountain views.

It was designed by Arthur Fishman, and not built to be sold; rather, Evernden said it was initially intended to be a family home.

"It was really set for a large family to enjoy and entertain," he said. "It was a very warm and … livable home. You know, at that level, it was very impressive."

However, life changes, plans evolve, and Everndem said owners of real estate like this often consider moving into one of their other residences — even if it means leaving behind what was intended to be a legacy home.

Designer Arthur Fishman has worked previously with hotels. Evernden said the influence of Fairmont hotels could be seen throughout the home. (Sona Visual/Mark Evernden)

But when the homeowners eventually decided to list Terre Blanche for $20 million in 2015, it sat.

Then, in 2017, it was listed again — for $15 million — and it sat.

Earlier this year, it was listed a third time, for nearly $10 million.

It sat.

"They've been trying to sell this house, unfortunately, for approximately six years … [but] the market did not support that asking price at that time, and the reductions then followed," Evernden said.

"You're dealing with a very small percentage of the population that can afford these types of homes, and the economic landscape of Alberta has definitely put higher pressure on the reduction of these types of properties."

The property includes a theatre, library, extensive French country gardens and a 1,250-bottle wine cellar. (Sona Visual/Mark Evernden)

An auction became the option the homeowners gravitated toward after trying to sell the mansion without success.

It's a unique process, Evernden said, because instead of waiting around for qualified buyers, they come to you.

"The auction process brings the buyer to the property, as opposed to waiting for the buyer to come to the property. It's a unique process, and the owners felt that was the path they wanted to go down," Evernden said.

That doesn't mean the selling price wasn't disappointing for the homeowners.

"The abundance of interest was extremely high in this economic landscape. So, we felt we had a really strong opportunity here ... we were disappointed, myself included, disappointed in the result," Evernden said.

"[But] they're happy it's sold, they're happy for the new owners."

And the new owners, Evernden said, are happy, too.

"They know the value, they're very savvy as well," Evernden said. "They're very, very pleased with the results for themselves, absolutely."

The half-length basketball court. (Sona Visual/Mark Evernden)


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