After years of legal wrangling, Lance Armstrong finally settled the $100 million fraud lawsuit filed against him by the U.S. Postal Service — he will pay $5 million to the federal government and another $1.65 million to cover legal costs incurred by former teammate and whistleblower Floyd Landis — and the sale of his Austin, Texas, mansion, now up for grabs at $7.5 million, would certainly help towards pulling together the funds required to pay his restitutions. The once globally celebrated pedal pusher, who had his seven Tour de France titles stripped from him and was barred for life from Olympic sports in 2012 after it was determined he’d used performance enhancing drugs, purchased the stately Central Austin spread for an unrecorded amount from longtime Democratic Party mover and shaker Ben Barnes in May of 2013, just months after he admitted in a televised interview with Oprah Winfrey he had, in fact, doped for all seven of his Tour de France wins. Armstrong first and unsuccessfully attempted to sell the comfortably sumptuous mansion in 2016 with an in-hindsight pie-in-the-sky $8.25 million price tag.
Originally built in 1924 and worked over in a comfortably sumptuous manner for a more modern-day lifestyle by Armstrong’s long-time decorator Roy W. Materanek to highlight Armstrong’s impressive collection of contemporary works by artists including Andres Serrano, Francis Bacon, Danny Lyon and Ed Ruscha, the 8,158-square-foot Mediterranean villa is tucked behind electronic wrought-iron gates in the historic Old Enfield neighborhood with five and potentially six bedrooms and 7.5 bathrooms plus a detached pool house with spacious, sky light topped media lounge, kitchenette and another full bathroom.
Graciously proportioned public reception and entertaining spaces include a stone-floored foyer with gently curved wrought iron accented staircase and a step-down formal dining room under a glitzy, bowl-shaped crystal chandelier. French doors connect the back-to-back living and family rooms, both with fireplaces, lustrous hand-plastered walls, espresso-toned hardwood floors and remarkably thick crown moldings. An archway connects the living room to a study/office lined with arched casement windows and the family room links through an informal dining room with bowed bay window to an arguably somewhat small but unquestionably carefully arranged and expensively outfitted galley-style kitchen with marble countertops and top-end designer appliances. Beyond the kitchen, a cozy breakfast nook with banquette seating and a wall of built-in storage with integrated TV and media equipment has direct access to the backyard through a glass door.
Four en suite guest or family bedrooms are located on the second floor along with a master suite that encompasses a sizable separate sitting room, a pair of walk-in closets and dual bathrooms, “his” trimmed in black marble and “hers” in white marble with an adjoining dressing area. A bonus room and full bathroom tucked up into the third floor attic space is easily convertible to another guest or family bedroom, a gym, a home theater or staff suite.
A sheltered, exterior staircase leads down to a climate controlled wine cellar and tasting room under a groin vaulted ceiling and French doors in the family room open to a flat and grassy backyard shaded by beautifully gnarled Live Oaks, one of which arches precariously over the swimming pool and spa. At one end of the yard a pergola-covered al fresco lounging and dining terrace includes an integrated system to keep the mosquitos away.
The 46-year-old father of five, engaged last year to longtime girlfriend Anna Hansen and nowadays the host of a weekly podcast, “The Forward,” in which he interviews authors, actors and sports figures, is no stranger to the celebrity property gossip columns having bought and sold a healthy handful of multi-million dollar homes in and around Austin. In 2004 he paid an unrecorded amount for a 1.7-acre spread near Camp Mabry set behind gates with a Spanish Colonial mansion and guesthouse that he extensively remodeled over a two year period and had professionally decorated before it was photographed for the July 2008 issue of Architectural Digest. Armstrong sold the property in 2013 for an unrecorded amount to local businessman Al Koehler, an oil, gas and mineral rights tycoon who, at the time of his purchase, told the Austin American-Statesmen publication that he didn’t pay ‘“anything close to”’ the $10 million asking price.
In the spring of 2013, right about the time Armstong sold the Camp Mabry spread, the Plano-born and bred Texas native shelled out $4.34 million for a stunningly photogenic Arthur Andersson-designed contemporary villa inspired by the Cistercian Abbeys of Europe on 3.6 acres overlooking Lake Austin that he rather curiously, lickety-split flipped just six weeks later for an unrecorded amount to race car driver Bret Curtis who, in turn, sold it eleven months later for $5.35 million.
Armstrong currently maintains and/or previously owned homes Hawaii, the Bahamas, Spain and the South of France. In New York City he once leased a two-bedroom and two-bathroom Central Park South duplex penthouse previously occupied by Liza Minnelli and, more recently, Lady Gaga, and in Aspen, Colo., he owns a a 5,816-square-foot residence with five bedrooms, five full and two half bathrooms at western edge of downtown that he acquired in the fall of 2008 for $9.175 million and briefly had available in 2016 as a luxury rental t a bug-eyed rate of $6,500 per night with a 10-night minimum stay.
listing photos: Gottesman Residential Real Estate