BUYER: Lachlan Murdoch
LOCATION: Aspen, CO
SIZE: 44.62 acres, 13,491 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 6 full and 2 half bathrooms plus a 1,550-square-foot guesthouse with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and a 2,750-square-foot stable block with bathroom
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: British-born Australian-American mass media scion Lachlan Murdoch, executive co-chairman and presumed heir apparent to his father’s global communications conglomerate News Corp as well as the executive chairman of Australia’s NOVA Entertainment and executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, shelled out $29 million for the “Mopani” estate that occupies 44.62 scenically wooded acres atop Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen, Colorado. The transaction was first revealed by The Wall Street Journal, which is owned by News Corp, and the seller appears in property records as a Bethesda, MD, based limited liability company linked to tech entrepreneur Mark Schaszberger and his wife, Trami.
Sequestered at the tail end of a private road with easy ski-in/ski-out access to the West Buttermilk Express chairlift, the multi-structure equestrian compound first popped up for sale in 2011 before construction was complete at $29.5 million and as the various structures neared completion the price kept going up. By late 2013 the asking price had spiked to $38 million and the following year, in August 2014, the price was raised again to $46 million where it languished until March of this year when it was re-listed with an even more boldly sanguine price of $49 million. The price was chopped to $44 million before 46-year-old Lachlan and his model/TV presenter wife Sarah O’Hare successfully made a lowball offer for the sprawling and exceptionally private contemporary compound that reeks of modern-minded Rocky Mountain über-luxury.
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A 1,800-foot-long driveway meanders through the mountainside property to a circular motor court at the front of the architecturally adventurous wood and glass main residence that weighs in at 13,491-square-feet with six bedrooms and six full and two half bathrooms. A self-contained guesthouse of 1,550-square-feet provides another two bedrooms and two bathrooms plus a two-car garage and a 2,750-square-foot stable block will accommodate four horses and also includes a luxury lounge with fireplace and a bathroom.
A 10-foot-tall pivoting glass door set into a soaring wall of glass opens to a hotel lobby-worthy foyer of the main residence where lustrous, wide-plank walnut floors extend into an airy, sun-flooded living room that features an arched, cedar-clad ceiling, an ebony stone fireplace and three towering walls of floor-to-ceiling glass sliders that open to a wrap-around terrace with spectacular views of Mt. Sopris, Red Mountain and the Continental Divide. Just off the entrance gallery there’s a formal dining room as well as an office/library with double-height vaulted ceiling and a linear firebox set into a towering, match-booked black marble chimney. A sleek kitchen with marble-topped imported Italian cabinetry, two work islands, and commercial-style appliances adjoins a cavernous combination family room/informal dining area with a soaring, cedar-clad barrel-vaulted ceiling and a huge, book-matched black marble fireplace with cantilevered raised hearth.
All guest and family bedrooms have spacious, expensively finished en suite bathrooms while the master suite, accessed through a private art gallery, encompasses a sitting room and adjoining bedroom, a decadently finished bathroom where an egg-shaped soaking tub sits in front of broad bank of floor-to-ceiling windows and a walk-in closet/dressing room that opens through a glass slider to a slender, glass-railed balcony. A lower-level entertainment wing includes a cozy den, a small but well-stocked fitness room and a home theater with leather recliners. The house opens to a series of multi-level terraces and outdoor entertaining areas that incorporate two outdoor kitchens, a couple of outdoor fireplaces, several water features and rolling lawns ringed by picturesque stands of Aspens,
The Lachlan Murdochs are certainly no strangers to the international property gossip columns in which they made headlines in 2009 when they shelled out a then record-breaking $21 million for “Le Manoir,” a grand, Georgian-style pile on an elevated parcel of just over an acre in the tony Bellevue Hill area of Sydney’s Eastern suburbs. About two years later, the deep-pocketed couple shelled out another $2.8 million for the property next door. Like their newly acquired Aspen compound, their Sydney compound sits at the tail end of a narrow private lane and since their purchase has undergone a multi-million dollar renovation that was reported in the local press to include a new swimming pool and pool house, an extensive conversion of the attic, the addition of a screening room in the basement and a tunnel to link the house to a detached garage.
For at least the last couple of years, the Lachlan Murdochs have addditionally maintained a home in Los Angeles. In 2015 they made a $12.5 million off-market deal to acquire a rambling, 1939 Cliff May-designed ranch-style residence with five bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms on a secluded 2.3-acre parcel that, like their other homes, is secreted at the end of an exclusive private lane in the rustic but posh Mandeville Canyon area of Brentwood where Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart live close enough they can easily send one of their personal assistants or private chefs over to borrow a cup of sugar or a splash of vinegar. Since they acquired the Brentwood spread it has undergone extensive renovations that include the motor court being replaced by a vast expanse of lawn and a thorough re-landscaping of the terraced hillside below the house.
listing photos: Douglas Elliman Real Estate