A Record Breaking Sale: Inside the $76 Million Aspen Mansion Acquisition

Stephanie Kroll

In a spectacular turn of real estate events, Aspen, Colorado witnessed a jaw-dropping property transaction as a mansion nestled in the luxurious ski destination exchanged hands for a staggering $76 million, shattering previous sales records. The Wall Street Journal unraveled the story, revealing that the opulent dwelling belonged to Florida-based real estate magnate Leathem Stearn before being acquired by a limited liability company associated with none other than Terry Taylor, a prominent figure in the Florida car dealership scene.

Architectural Digest had previously showcased the Ute Avenue residence in 2022 when it adorned the market with a hefty price tag of $75 million. This 20,740 square-foot, four-story architectural marvel boasts seven bedrooms, seven full bathrooms, three half-bathrooms, and an array of luxurious amenities, including an indoor pool, bowling alley, media room, gym, spa, and a wine-tasting room. Its prime location near the Aspen Silver Queen ski gondola allows the fortunate residents to ski right into their estate.

Noteworthy is the innovative design by Stearn, incorporating custom materials and discreet utilities such as kitchen ovens concealed behind opaque sliding doors and bedroom entrances seamlessly blending into contiguous wood panels. Adding to the allure is a unique lazy-susan breakfast nook that rotates like a turntable, offering guests ever-changing panoramic views of the breathtaking Colorado landscape.

Leathem Stearn, the previous owner, expressed his sentiments to the WSJ, saying, "The buyer got himself a great property, and I hope he enjoys it half as much as I did."

The buyer, Terry Taylor, is renowned as a private car dealership mogul with a penchant for investing in high-end properties. Recent reports from TheRealDeal indicate Taylor's acquisition of the Tiffany & Co. building's penthouse for $18 million, signaling his substantial real estate portfolio expansion in Palm Beach and South Florida.

Interestingly, the Aspen mansion wasn't officially on the market when the deal materialized. Stearn had initially discreetly listed the property for $95 million but struck a unique agreement with Taylor. In a strategic move, Stearn reduced the price by $25 million in exchange for a residence owned by Taylor in Aspen's Little Cloud subdivision, adding a distinctive twist to the transaction.

The transaction, executed partially through a house swap, breaks records in Aspen, surpassing the previous benchmark set in 2021 with a $72.5 million sale. The Ute Avenue mansion, with its ski-in, ski-out convenience, epitomizes luxury living, featuring a bowling alley, arcade, bar, and an open-plan living and dining room with stone walls and a double-sided sculptural fireplace.

Reflecting on the sale, Stearn, who occasionally rented the Ute Avenue home for up to $50,000 a night, revealed, "I wasn't that anxious to sell it, to be honest. The only reason I sold this is because my life priorities have changed… I wanted to do some other stuff and it was a good business deal, so I moved on."

In the end, Terry Taylor stands as the new owner of this extraordinary Aspen masterpiece, setting a new benchmark in the realm of luxury real estate in one of the world's most coveted ski destinations.

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