Listen Up Y’all, Paula Deen Lists Savannah Compound

SELLERS: Paula Deen and Michael Groover
LOCATION: Savannah, Ga.
PRICE: $12.5 million
SIZE: 14,500+ square feet, 8 bedrooms, 9.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: Thanks to a couple of celebrity real estate-obsessed southern belles, we’ve learned that American comfort food queen Paul Deen has tossed her riverfront compound on fancy-pants Wilmington Island outside Savannah, Ga., on the open market with an asking price of $12.5 million. Property records show the still somewhat beleaguered celebrity chef and her shaggy-bearded tugboat captain second husband, Michael Groover, acquired the gated and fully landscaped spread in April 2006 for $3.75 million.

In 2012, after it was revealed she’d been diagnosed as a Type 2 diabetic years earlier, the butter-, salt-, and sugar-loving Daytime Emmy winner was publicly pilloried for giddily and some might say recklessly continuing to push her profoundly caloric and proudly unhealthy recipes. (Can y’all you say fried butterballs and Twinkie Pie?) The following year a female employee filed a sexual harassment and racial discrimination suit against Miz Deen that brought an even more brutal blow to her growing culinary empire that then included a popular and nationally televised cooking show, several restaurants, more than a dozen cookbooks, a line of cookware, a full range of mid-priced home furnishings and a slew of product endorsements. The suit was soon settled and dismissed with prejudice but not before the sixtysomething-year-old Georgia born and bred Miz Deen admitted in a deposition that she had in her lifetime used the “N” word. The Food Network quickly dumped her along with more than half a dozen sponsors, and her lucrative relationship with home shopping juggernaut QVC was severed. Since then she’s explained and apologized profusely, regrouped and, last year, in a decidedly Phoenix-like effort, launched an eponymous digital network reportedly backed by a $100 million private equity investment. But we digress, don’t we?

Dubbed “Riverbend” for its rather plum location on a scenic curve in the Wilmington River that provides it with 300-or-so-feet of private water frontage, the Deen-Groovers’ approximately 5.5-acre multistructure compound is anchored by a sprawling French Caribbean-style mansion that measures more than 14,5000 square feet, according to digital marketing materials. In addition to a “dramatic living room,” a study with saltwater aquarium and — naturally — a probably butter smothered cook’s kitchen with English pantry, commercial-grade appliances and aviary — that’s right, children, she’s got a damn aviary in (or very near) her kitchen — listing details also call out an exercise room and a state-of-the-art media room with projection equipment, soda fountain and ice maker.

We’re not sure how many bedrooms and bathrooms are contained in the main house — the entire property has 8 bedrooms and 9.5 bathrooms per listing details — but it does have a master suite with French doors to a private terrace, a custom-fitted walk-in closet and dressing room and a bathroom large enough to accommodate a sitting area. The property additionally includes two guesthouses, a three-bedroom apartment, a dockhouse set out over the river and a 10,000-square-foot barn with an eight-car garage. Outdoor amenities and recreational features include a stocked pond, a croquet court, a swimming pool with dive-in theater and pool room — whatever that is — and an extensive outdoor kitchen fitted and kitted with three grills, four refrigerators and one smoker. Other notable features include five fireplaces, six water heaters, eight air conditioning units, an emergency generator and a back-up propane tank.

Our research shows Miz Deen and Mister Groover, reported to be headed for the court of divorce a couple of years ago after it was salaciously alleged in one of the more famously unsavory tabloids that he had a secret mistress, also maintain a second, two-residence riverfront compound on Wilmington Island that they appear to have owned since at least 2005, and likely much longer. They also keep a two bedroom and 2.5 bathrooms Tybee Island cottage playfully named the “Y’all Come Inn” that was purchased in early 2009 fort $294,000 and is currently available as a vacation rental at a rate of about $2,500 per week.

Listing photos: Seabolt Brokers

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  1. Desert Donna says:

    And who put that price stamp on it anyway? Does the agent think this is East Side NYC?

  2. Desert Donna says:

    She is a vulgar woman who got everything coming to her. Her home reflects her bad taste.

  3. Jamiekins says:

    This home is wonderful. warm natural tones. Just a great Riverside home. I would love to own this property. Large acreage and there isn’t a water problem in Georgia, so you could garden all you wanted with no one whining about your grass or plants.
    And although it’s probably not a good idea to eat her recipes everyday…. Her food is wonderful, I save meals like that for special occasions…. So carry on Paula, you are  not only the Queen of Southern Cooking you are the Queen of Holiday meals as well !
    Or really any celebratory function… I love your food !

    Oy ! This poor woman has been so unfairly maligned and abused it’s unbelievable.
    You know, Madonna (the self proclaimed Queen of Pop) used  (the dreaded N word) and nothing was said and she told everyone to calm down. Nothing happened to her at all.
    Justin Bieber told the filthiest (N word) joke that I have heard in decades and his career hasn’t suffered at all just like Madonna… and it doesn’t matter what the spelling or pronunciation is, it is a non word. And should never be used by anyone for any reason and that includes AFRICAN AMERICANS. Black people use it, which keeps it alive. Even among themselves it has to die. You can’t blame people for using the word when they put it in their poorly written bad music, for crying out loud. Are their fans supposed to stop singing when that word pops up in a song they bought and paid for ? Stupid !

    But this little lady from Savannah admitted that she used it 20 years ago and (Just because she is from the SOUTH ) she has been deep fried and ostracized by the politically correct heathens, politely drawn and quartered by her condescending majesty Whoopi, as well as the duplicity of others. Our nation is full of hypocrites and back biters for any given cause of the day.
    Anything to get a headline or some ink !

    I will never watch Food Network again because of the way they vilified this woman. I will never support any of the businesses that dropped her like that. Big Business Greed & Posturing at it’s finest. Business has no business trying to direct social behavior.
    It’s absolutely filthy of them to do this to her. This has been all wrong from the beginning and if it isn’t…. why aren’t people doing the same to Madonna and Justin Bieber ? hypocrisy !
    It’s just as bigoted to revile anyone from the south as it is to hate them for the color of their skin. I wonder what everyone said 20 years ago that they are sorry for now ?
    I have never been to the south, but it seems to me that they have a target on their backs
    because of the region they are from.

  4. Watcher says:

    Mama, the “second” compound was, and maybe still is, used only to film her tv show.
    When she was on the food network the second smaller house was furnished like hers but was actually a fully functioning tv studio, sans audience.

    • Sandpiper says:

      I once read that her neighbors were furious over the TV crew parking up and down their sleepy narrow road. Always wondered what kind of an IRS write off she got for the dedicated taping space. Not surprised she’s selling it. Hell of an income hit after everything imploded.

      • Jamiekins says:

        The trouble with the neighbors is the other house ( she owns not far away) there is a long
        strip of land along the road in front of the house that her crew parks in. And the neighbors said that the added traffic makes them nervous about letting some of their children play outside. But the strip they park on is not near anyone else’s house it’s in front of her house along the road leading to the house. On the backside of parking area is an industrial or commercial site.
        I saw it on a map once.
        And it is used as her studio now and also the guest house is where the finished dishes are cooked after she puts them together on the show. It used to be her home until this home was built.

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