It didn’t take long for word to get around that online-gaming pioneer and space tourist Richard Garriott de Cayeux’s Lake Austin ranch is on the market, asking a sweet $45 million—possibly the most expensive asking price ever seen on the Austin MLS, the listing agent told the Austin Business Journal.
The 65-acre property is listed (on its own WordPress site) as simply “Lake Austin Ranch,” downplaying the fact that it’s a rather spectacular place that Garriott made into a fantastical party and event location for many years.
The property features more than 2,700 feet of lake and Coldwater Creek frontage, as well as views of the river and the Pennybacker Bridge. Included are a 1,000-square-foot guest house, a private marina with eight covered boat slips, a carriage house, a caretaker’s office, and covered parking.
What makes the property extra-unique, of course, are the special features Garriott has added, including a 300-seat outdoor theater modeled after Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.
According to the Austin American-Statesman’s Omar Gallega (via the Wall Street Journal—yes, a bit of a walk, source-wise), it also includes a lighthouse, a pirate ship, a medieval village with small, portable houses.
In addition, “Richard built a haunted forest that’s all sensored with features that jump out at you,” listing agent Gary Dolch told the Austin Business Journal’s Jan Buchholz. (Dolch and his wife, Michelle, own Austin Luxury Group and are executive vice-presidents with Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty.)
The listing suggests a cliffside location for what could be a 25,000-square-foot home—perhaps a reference to original plans for a house that size with secret tunnels and a tower that was not completed, according to Gallega.
Even more special, to many, is that the property is located between several tracts of the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve and has a conservation easement that stipulates that it cannot be subdivided or partitioned and can only be used as a single-family residence.
Garriott told the Statesman in a written statement that he has no intention of leaving Austin, and that he and his wife, Laetitia Garriott de Cayeux, will always maintain a residence in the city. Dolch told Buchholz that the couple plans to build a smaller home in Austin once the ranch has been sold.
• 7400 Coldwater Canyon Drive [Lake Austin Ranch]
• Richard in Space [RichardInSpace.com]
• Mystique, cachet of Austin creative wizard reflected in $45M estate for sale [Austin Business Journal]
• Richard Garriott property, once home to giant themed parties, on the market for $45 million [Austin American-Statesman]
• A Party-Friendly Estate In Austin Seeks Record $45 Million [The Wall Street Journal]