Buy a Massive, Newly Renovated French Château for $11.4 Million
When interior designer Timothy Corrigan bought Château du Grand-Lucé, an 18th century neoclassical mansion in France's Loire Valley, for €2.2 million ($2.46 million) in 2005, "I figured I'd be there at least one weekend a month," he said. "Last year, I was there a total of six days. This year, I haven't been there once."
Now he's putting the château on the market for $11,400,400. "It's actually listed at two prices," Corrigan said in a phone interview from his office in Paris. "€10 million [$11.4 million] for the house empty, and €13 million with everything in it."
By "everything," Corrigan is referring to the $10 million, six-year restoration he undertook immediately after purchasing the property. "I spent a solid three-and-a-half years to get the first 10 bedrooms ready, along with electricity and plumbing," he said. The next two years saw the restoration of an additional five bedrooms and the château's chapel, a painstaking project that was documented in Architectural Digest. "I've had all these other château owners over, these old French aristocrats, and they come in and say, 'This is how a château should look like," said Corrigan. "They're always so amazed an American has done it."
The house has 29 rooms in total, with 15 bedrooms, 17 bathrooms, and extensive entertaining rooms. It has an elevator, two wine cellars, and crucially, wireless Internet; Corrigan said that was no small feat, given the house's massive stone walls. "I had to put all these transmitters everywhere," he said. "But now you get Wi-Fi in the gardens."
Abutting the main house is a horseshoe-shaped compound that houses the orangery and staff apartments. (Corrigan employs five full-time caretakers.) The former stables were converted into a theater, and an adjacent building houses a gym and game room. There are also two greenhouses and six garages on the property. Indoor space totals approximately 40,000 square feet.
The grounds, about 74 acres, include manicured gardens and rolling fields. The front of the house faces a small town. "The village grew up around supporting this chateau, so you walk out the front gates and you're in this charming little French village with two boulangeries and a pharmacy," Corrigan said. "But then you go through the house gates and you're in this eden." A helicopter pad rests on the property, a 20-minute flight from Paris. A train ride takes about 45 minutes.
Astute observers will note that the list price of $11.4 million is actually $1.4 million less than what Corrigan said he spent buying and renovating the property. He acknowledged, seemingly without regret, that he'll be selling it at a loss. "I met with all the French real estate agents and they said, 'Look, this is the most you can get.' Châteaux are always a buyer's market," he said brightly. "Yes, it was a folly, and yes, someone's going to get a good deal."
Check out additional photos of (someone's) good deal below: