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The Château d’Armainvilliers could become the most expensive house in the world

The Château d’Armainvilliers could become the most expensive house in the world

There are quite a few houses in the three-digit million range. There is, for example, the mansion “The Holme” in London’s Regent’s Park, the penthouse in the New York skyscraper 432 Park Avenue or Jack Warner’s former villa in Beverly Hills. But a so-called “off market” advertisement probably outshines them all. As “” reports, the current owner wants to sell the French Château d’Armainvilliers for an incredible 425 million euros. It is not known who this is. The seller from the Middle East is said to have commissioned the broker Ignace Meuwissen with the sale, who is only offering the property to a small group and is probably not advertising it publicly.

If the Belgian were to succeed in selling it at this price, the Château d’Armainvilliers would be by far the most expensive residence in the world. So far, no house, palace or penthouse has changed hands for nearly this much money.

First the castle, then the revolution, then the Rothschilds

Armainvilliers Castle was originally a castle and was first mentioned in the 12th century. It was then the seat of the Lords of Tournan and Gretz-Armainvilliers and other nobles until the complex was partially destroyed during the French Revolution. In the 19th century it was restored by a noble family, and from 1877 it belonged to the Rothschild empire.

Baron Edmond James de Rothschild expanded the property and the surrounding lands, many additions date from this period. About 100 years later the property went to the King of Morocco. It was last sold in 2008 for around 200 million euros to an unknown buyer from the Middle East, with some sources citing Bahraini businessman Esam Janahi as the current owner.

According to “”, the Château d’Armainvilliers’ offering today covers around 1000 hectares of land. The house offers 100 rooms on three floors, 17 bedrooms, a hairdressing salon, a hammam, stables for up to 50 horses, accommodation for servants and a wide variety of buildings spread across the extensive grounds. The house will also contain a dental clinic, a pharmacy and several medical facilities – the idea could partly date back to the time of the First World War, when the facility was used as a hospital.

The King of Morocco left his mark

The house is currently furnished with Moroccan interiors and has hardly changed since its previous royal owner. This is probably because it hasn’t been used since 2008, as realtor Ignace Meuwissen revealed. The “” writes that the property also has a lush tunnel network called “The Metro”. Among other things, storage rooms and kitchens will be found there.

According to the broker, the location is also what makes the property so exciting, reports “Mansion Global” with reference to an email from Meuwissen. The Château d’Armainvilliers is located about 50 kilometers southeast of the Eiffel Tower, bordering the outskirts of the French capital. It takes around an hour to drive to the city center.

The land is about three times the size of New York’s Central Park, plus a lake. The property is therefore characterized by “its enormous size and development potential,” writes Meuwissen. He could therefore imagine that a golf course, apartments, villas and shopping centers could easily be built there. According to his own information, Meuwissen already has interested parties, he told “Mansion Global”. “One from Eastern Europe, three from Asia and one from Mongolia,” the broker stated.

The current record holder is located about 71 kilometers from Château d’Armainvilliers. There is the Château Louis XIV, a residence of the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who bought it in 2015 for around 275 million euros from Cogemad, Emad Khashoggi’s real estate company. Emad Khashoggi is the cousin of journalist Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi, who, according to the US secret service CIA, was murdered in 2018 on the orders of bin Salman.

“Absurd price”

The record set by the Château Louis XIV would be shattered if the Château d’Armainvilliers were sold. But it is unclear whether Meuwissen can reach this milestone. As the French daily newspaper “” writes, experts have doubts that the Moroccan-style property will actually find a buyer who will pay the highest price in history for this house.

“Le Figaro” quotes anonymous specialists in luxury properties and castles who consider the price to be excessive and call the offer “absurd”. A source claims to have had the opportunity to buy the property at a “much lower” price two years ago, but did not agree to it. According to another expert, a sale for 425 million euros would probably even call the state-owned basic project and land development company Société d’aménagement foncier et d’établissement rural (Safer) into action to check whether the property was overvalued. If you want to buy land in France, you usually need the approval of this authority.

Source: Stern

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