Those in the market for a four-kitchen, six-bedroom, 16-bathroom home have a bargain on their hands with The Houston Mansion, former home of media magnate Douglas R. Johnson and his now-ex-wife Melanie Johnson. But you'd better act now — it's in quick sale mode.
The couple poured more than $16 million of expansions and improvements into the Piney Point manse, which was initially priced by Douglas in April of 2007 for $19 million — an inflated price despite its 25,000 square feet, generous granite and marble appointments, elaborately-carved Corinthian column capitals and walnut and cherry plank floors.
Alaniz says he has had three to four people calling each day, with multiple showings this week.
It was reduced to $9.5 million once Melanie secured the rights to control the sale herself in 2009, but still no takers. Just a week and a half ago, the price was further slashed to a mere $5.9 million, including a bonus furniture package — and now potential buyers are coming out of the woodwork, says Alberto Alaniz, owner of Prime Texas Properties.
Alaniz tells CultureMap that he has had three to four people calling each day, with multiple showings this week and a wealthy oilman even "flying his private jet down to look at it" next Wednesday.
He also alleges that Beyoncé herself is rumored to have an interest in the property, possibly with an eye on it for her mother, Tina Knowles.
Among the mansion's selling points, Alaniz says, are stained glass windows featuring Eva Perón's family crest and French panels from "the Palace of Muret," plus numerous other luxurious elements, all of which Melanie hand-selected herself.
Alainz notes that prospective buyers have been impressed by the architectural attention to detail, the craftsmanship and especially the yard — all two acres of it — which abuts the bayou.
So why is the price so "low"? "Not to get too personal, but it's part of the divorce deal," explains Alaniz. "But I see it going for over $5.9 million in a bidding war."
The mega mansion advertises availability for wedding and events, and has been listed on VRBO for nightly, weekly and monthly rentals.