HICKORY CREEK -- Down Ronald Reagan Avenue and off Swisher Road, past the town hall and not far from Wal-Mart, where kayaks were selling Wednesday for $199, sits one of the most expensive homes ever built in North Texas.
And it's for sale.
Champ d'Or, a 48,000-square-foot mansion on 39 acres with a 1.5-acre lake, stands apart from much smaller estates and burgeoning development nearby. After going on and off the market for a decade, the French-inspired chateau will go on the auction block Friday.
Minimum bid: $10.3 million.
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Modeled after the Vaux-le-Vicomte chateau near Paris, Champ d'Or (that's French for "field of gold") was built by cellphone mogul Alan Goldfield and his wife, Shirley, and finished in 2002 after five years of construction. The Goldfields lived there for a while, hosting grand parties, but quickly decided that the $46 million home with six bedrooms, six full bathrooms, eight powder rooms and a 20-car garage wasn't what they wanted for everyday life.
It went on the block in 2003, listed for $45 million. In 2003 and 2004, Forbes included it on its lists of the nation's most expensive homes.
There was another push to sell the home in 2006, when the economy was still riding high. The asking price was raised to $60 million, which included additional land.
The house "was a collection of dreams," Shirley Goldfield said in a 2007 YouTube sales video. "I wanted every room to be special ... a collection of all the things I like."
It's now listed for $35 million, but a $10.3 million reserve price has been set for Friday's auction. A reserve price is the lowest price the property will be sold for.
The auction will be at the property, 1851 Turbeville Road in Hickory Creek, between Lewisville and Denton. The Goldfields' adjacent 37-acre commercial parcel is being auctioned separately. Concierge Auctions is handling the auction in cooperation with Briggs Freeman Sotheby's International Realty.
Laura Brady, Concierge's vice president of marketing, stressed that the Champ d'Or auction is not a distress sale.
She was tight-lipped about how many bidders have registered. The auction time is also private, only for registered bidders and their agents -- no one else will be allowed in. The Goldfields haven't lived in the house for a number of years, she said, but there are caretakers, and it's still used for events.
"We've had a good deal of interest," Brady said.
The four-story home has oodles of amenities: a two-story library, a conservatory, a two-story black lacquer closet modeled after the Chanel store in Paris, a lap pool, an outdoor pool, veranda seating for 450, three kitchens (including a catering kitchen), tennis and racquetball courts, a two-lane bowling alley, a theater, wine and tea rooms, and a ballroom. At 48,000 square feet, it's about the size of a traditional supermarket, or a football field without the end zones.
One room resembles the garden room at the famed Tavern on the Green restaurant in New York's Central Park. The ballroom is inspired by the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles. The rotunda dome's cloud mural was being painted when 9-11 happened, so the owner requested that it include an American eagle and doves dropping rose petals to signify peace for the U.S.
Goldfield founded CellStar, a logistics company for the cellphone industry, and was its chairman and CEO. He retired in 2001, and the company was later sold. In a 2006 interview with the Star-Telegram, Shirley Goldfield said the couple built the home at a time when they did a lot of entertaining. Many fundraisers were held there as well, she said.
James Tredway, who opened Tredways Texas BBQ at Swisher Road and Parkridge Drive 21/2 years ago, said the Goldfields have eaten there many times. Local residents don't really talk much about their property, he said, although they did when it was being built.
"I live right by it," Tredway said. "They're good people. Mr. Goldfield once told me I had some of the best ribs he's ever eaten, and that made me feel good."
Along Turbeville Road, many large estates are for sale. Carrollton-based Centurion American Development Group has claimed some of that land. The company has signs up for two residential communities west of Champ d'Or and across the road to the east.
Pricing a house as distinctive and as large as Champ d'Or can be tricky, said Marshall Boyd, co-owner of Williams Trew Sotheby's International Realty in Fort Worth. Usually, real estate agents use "comps," or information about comparable properties that have sold or are for sale. There aren't many of those in this case, he said.
"I'm just as curious as everyone else to see how that goes," Boyd said of the auction. "Anytime you get into that stratosphere of price, properties are priced individually."
The property was No. 2 in the U.S. last week at TopTenRealEstateDeals.com.
Bob Walsh, project manager at the website, said Champ d'Or looks like a good deal but still may be a tough sell in today's economy. But he said he's optimistic that the home will sell this time.
"People just don't want these big homes anymore," Walsh said.
But he added: "There's a lot of money in Dallas and there's a lot of money in Fort Worth. I think someone will jump at it. The Texas housing market is strong compared to the rest of the country."
Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727