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Billionaire Paulson Lists Aspen Ranch for $29.9 Million

May 10 (Bloomberg) -- Billionaire John Paulson, who last year acquired the largest residential property in Aspen, Colorado, is selling his smaller, 13,000-square-foot home there.

Paulson is seeking $29.9 million for the property known as Aspen Lakes Ranch, a 22 percent markup from what he paid in June 2010 to buy the house off McLain Flats Road, according to a listing for the property.

“Every few years, a truly one-of-a-kind property comes along. This is it,” the listing by Aspen brokerage Bowden Properties reads.

The 8.4 acre (3-hectare) estate includes the home and 9,200 square feet (855 square meters) of patios, according to the listing. The main house, with seven bedrooms, seven bathrooms and a movie theater, is surrounded by “stocked ponds with year-round natural springs,” waterfalls and a private sand beach.

The sales listing comes almost a year after Paulson bought Hala Ranch, a 90-acre property in Aspen that belonged to Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and a separate site for a combined $49 million. The ranch, built by the prince about 20 years ago, is Aspen’s largest residential property and includes a 55,000-square-foot main house. It was initially marketed for $135 million, making it the most expensive U.S. home listing, the Aspen Times said in 2006.

Paulson, who has been renovating the property, has renamed it Star Ranch, Armel Leslie, a spokesman for Paulson & Co. Inc, said yesterday in an interview.

“He’s selling the house because he’s moving to Star Ranch,” Leslie said. “He said back then he’d be doing some work on the house and eventually moving in, so now he’s moving in.”

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Paulson rose to fame in 2007 with a successful bet that subprime mortgages would tumble. The wager produced $15 billion in profits for his hedge fund. He’s among the world’s richest hedge-fund managers, with an estimated wealth of $10.2 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

His new home will probably remain the largest property in Pitkin County, according to Tim Estin, a broker with Coldwell Banker Mason Morse Real Estate in Aspen. After the prince built the estate, county officials limited home sizes to 15,000 square feet, Estin said.

“Because of the Pitkin County land-use code, there would be no way that one could replicate the size of the ranch in today’s current environment,” said Estin, who wasn’t involved in the deal. “There’s value in that.”

The dollar volume of Aspen home sales declined 23 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier to $148 million, according to the Estin Report, a quarterly analysis of the Aspen home market published by Estin. The market was dominated by sales of homes for less than $1 million, after a wave of higher-priced deals completed in December before expected increases in capital-gains taxes, according the report.

The listing was previously reported by the Aspen Business Journal.

To contact the reporter on this story: Oshrat Carmiel in New York at ocarmiel1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kara Wetzel at kwetzel@bloomberg.net

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