Billionaire John Goff, the self-made co-founder and CEO of Crescent Real Estate Holdings, and his wife, Cami, are unloading their 8,000-plus-square-foot compound on Eagle Mountain Lake, about 15 miles northwest of downtown Fort Worth. It hits the auction block on October 8, and there’s no reserve, which also means no minimum, although one will probably be quickly established by the bidders.
In addition to an expansive lake, pool, tennis court, kids pavilion, and two-story boat dock, there is a putting green where one of the most significant decisions in financial history went down.
Not only are the Goffs selling the compound they reshaped from an existing home on Eagle Mountain Lake, but they also are selling every piece of furniture, plate, bedsheet — even the fluffy white towels monogrammed with the compound’s Jack Sprague-designed logo, Mariposa del Lago.
“We are even selling the margarita machine,” jokes Cami. “And the mix that comes with it!”
Mariposa del Lago, or “Butterfly of the Lake” (based on the tremendous number of monarch butterfly migration patterns on the grounds each year), has been the central family retreat for the couple’s five children since 2001. It’s also where a lot of business deals have been made. It was on that famous putting green where John Goff convinced Morgan Stanley to buy the company he and Richard Rainwater built, Crescent Real Estate Equities, for $6.5 billion in August 2007.
One year later, in September 2008, Lehman Brothers would file for the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history, setting off a domino effect that resulted in the greatest recession since the Great Depression. Goff’s timing was so impeccable it was almost telepathic. In 2009, he bought back his company from the bank holding the note on Morgan Stanley’s purchase for less than 50 cents on the dollar.
Before all that high-powered finagling, Goff, who grew up in Lake Jackson and worked for Houston developer Kenneth Schnitzer before moving to Fort Worth in 1981, had purchased a contemporary home with an inside waterfall on a perfect Eagle Mountain Lake location. Goff loves to sail, and Eagle Mountain is one of the best lakes in the area to do that. He also bought the lot next door and set about remodeling the main house down to the studs, adding a guest home and dock, and building the outdoor sports centers.
Dallas architect Richard Drummond Davis, a personal friend, managed the architectural design and remodel, while antiques expert extraordinaire Joseph Minton helped furnish the interiors. Fort Worth builder David Lewis constructed.
The Oklahoma river stone and white cedar main house has four bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms on three floors. The huge foyer features the two-story waterfall from the original house.
The main floor consists of lounging rooms divided into cozy nooks (with fireplaces), plus dining room with wet bar, gourmet kitchen with hammered copper sink and top-of-the-line everything, and a breakfast room that opens to an outdoor cooking and dining area complete with a pizza oven.
The two-stories-tall great room has a double-sided stacked stone fireplace and French doors with Blenko glass accents as transoms. Downstairs are three bedrooms, a game room, an arcade with bar, and access to the dock. An outside porch is protected by a deep overhang.
“This is where the family likes to sit with a glass of wine and watch thunderstorms roll in over the lake,” says Sandy Lambright, project sales manager for Concierge Auctions, the firm managing the auction in cooperation with Kyle Crews and Daylon Pereira of Allie Beth Allman & Associates.
The entire second level is dedicated to the master suite. There is a huge bedroom, bath with car-wash-sized shower and infinity bathtub with overhead waterfall faucet, and long dressing hall that features more of those Blenko glass accent panes. The suite also includes a his-and-hers study.
It’s all quite a work of art. But, Cami says, it’s time to let another family enjoy the home and make more beautiful memories on the water.
Outside the main house, past the pool, is a Moroccan-inspired, 1,500-plus-square-foot guest cabana with a lower-level bunk room. The upper story features a seamless pane of windows right on the waterfront, so it seems as if you are floating on a ship. There is a kitchen with a precious mini dishwasher, a full bathroom with steam shower, and a Moroccan Murphy bed made of mahogany camouflaged by ornate screens with mother-of-pearl inlay.
The bunk room has concrete floors, twin trundle beds, and another bathroom. It’s virtually indestructible to the biggest brood of kids.
Outside the guest house is a small sandy “beach” with lounge furniture. By bridge, guests can reach the two-story dock, with a diving board into the lake and another grill and bar for entertaining guests on the second story.
“This is the best opportunity there will ever be on Eagle Mountain Lake,” says Allie Beth Allman, founder and CEO of Allie Beth Allman & Associates. “It’s one-of-a-kind.”
As for price, the Goffs are selling Mariposa del Lago without reserve through Concierge, with help from Crews and Pereira, who worked with Concierge to successfully sell off the huge Timber Creek Ranch at Lake Cypress Springs. That ranch was valued at $15 million plus, and although the winning bid was confidential, rumors put it somewhere north of $8 million.
Often the luxury property auction comes in after the sellers have exhausted every possible means to sell. But the Goffs chose the Allie Beth team and Concierge because they knew their property was so unique and, like Timber Creek, not suited to conventional real estate marketing.
What is the actual value of Mariposa del Lago? With the easy $10 million Goff poured into the home, $8.9 million seems like a fair price. The Tarrant County Appraisal District has the property valued at $1.5 million for taxes. But of course, that’s the appraisal district.
The house next door is listed at $949,500, reduced from $999,900, but it’s a simple, 1978-built family home with a plain-Jane dock.
A version of this story originally was published on Candy's Dirt.