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Attack of the $125M Mansions: an Exhaustive Retrospective

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With Casa Casuarina—Gianni Versace's old Miami mansion that telecom entrepreneur Peter Loftin turned into a glitzy hotel—freshly on the market for $125M, America now has not one but two homes priced at this stratospheric level. The other? Fleur de Lys (above), the 35,000-square-foot Los Angeles mansion that Suzanne Saperstein got from her billionaire ex-husband, David, in the divorce. So what's special about the number whose cube root is five, other than sounding mighty impressive in conversation ("That guy seems fine, he just bought a $125M house!")? Sure, there have been $100M homes and $150M homes that sell for $85M. But here now: properties past and present that have, at one point or another, been listed for $125M.


? Real estate developer Donald Trump put the price point on the map in 2006, when he listed his massive Palm Beach manor for $125M. He had purchased the 76,000-square-foot oceanfront spread—named "Maison de l’Amitié," or "House of Friendship"—two years earlier for a mere $41.35M, rescuing it from bankrupt healthcare investor Abe Gosman. A $25M renovation convinced Trump that he could reasonably shoot for 100 percent commission, more or less, but he was forced to settle: the estate sold to Russian fertilizer king Dmitry Rybolovlev for some $100M. Can't win 'em all, Donald!

? Designed by Richard Robertson III, Fleur de Lys was completed in 2002, first listed for $125M in 2007, pulled off the market in Oct. 2009, and put on the market in July 2011 for its original ask. (It's had exactly zero PriceChops thus far.) What's inside: 100 total rooms, including 12 bedrooms, 15 baths, marble walls, limestone floors, a ballroom, accommodations for a 10-person staff, two kitchens, a 50-seat screening room, a nine-car garage, and a three-bedroom caretaker's house, not to mention rare Louis XIV and Louis XV antiques galore.

? The 23,000-square-foot Dunnellen Hall, in Greenwich, Conn., was put on the market for $125M in 2008, after its very famous former owner, the notoriously flamboyant businesswoman Leona "Queen of Mean" Helmsley, passed away. Standout features include a 1,125-square-foot living room, an 86-foot-long gallery, and a wine cellar with tasting room, a library with a 15th-centuray mantel, a staff area with six bedrooms, an indoor pool, and a 75-foot outdoor pool with a terrace and a cabana. All extravagances, for sure, but none all that convincing: after a series of embarrassing PriceChops Dunnellen Hall sold for $35M in Oct. 2010. Even more curiously, the 40-acre estate was relisted for $42.9M exactly a year ago.

? Finally, the latest ambassador of $125M: Casa Casuarina, where the fashion designer Gianni Versace lived until he was gunned down at the doorstep. Versace bought the aging apartment building in 1992 for just under $10M and spent more than three times that amount outfitting the mansion to his liking. With that remodel, he converted the building to single-family status, adding a 6,100-square-foot wing and "a 54-foot-long mosaic-tiled pool lined with 24-karat gold." In 2000, telecom entrepreneur Peter Loftin purchased the property for $20M and has since converted it into an ultra-luxury hotel, and that's how it's being sold. Only time will tell whether the mansion will revert back to a private palace or continue life in the hospitality biz.

· Come, Let's Tour the Most Expensive Estate in the Country [Curbed National]
· Versace's Miami Villa Tied For Most Expensive Home in the U.S. [Curbed National]
· Leona Helmsley's Former Manse Hits the Market Once Again [Curbed National]
· The Magnificent Homes of Donald J. Trump, Presidential Candidate [Curbed National]
· $100M Homes Perfect For Yuri Milner and Other Modest Folk [Curbed National]