It’s not exactly the terrain in which you’d expect to find a French estate rising like the Taj Mahal out of the Texas horizon, but in the heart of Texas, that’s what you’ve got: The palatial digs called Champ d’Or.

The one-of-a-kind mansion sits in Hickory Creek, about a 15-minute drive from the Dallas-Fort Worth airport. Nearby, there’s an extra-large Walmart, a few farms and a collection of home developments. These surroundings help make the dome-topped French estate seem more grand, more immense, as it is set back behind iron gates.

Inside, the French-inspired estate features interiors that mimic landmarks from around the world: A master closet designed to look like the Chanel boutique in Paris; a hall of mirrors designed like Versailles’ own; a tea room mirrored after New York City’s famed Tavern on the Green.

Owners Alan and Shirley Goldfield spent five years and $46 million constructing Champ d’Or — French for “field of gold.” But, surprise! When it came time to move in, the two decided that the 49,000-square-foot home was too big.

Before the exterior scaffolding was even removed, the property was placed on the Hickory Creek real estate market for a whopping $45 million. And that was just the start of one of the more interesting real estate odysseys.

For the past eight years, the home has been for sale with prices ranging from $72 million to its current price of $35 million. Now, however, with the owners eager to move the process along, an auction has been set for March 30 — a growing trend among sellers of high-end properties.

In the case of Champs d’Or, the home will go to auction with a reserve of $10.3 million. But this isn’t a bank auction. Run by Concierge Auctions, Vice-President of Marketing Laura Brady likened the auction to something for a priceless piece of art or jewelry — something so unusual it’s incomparable.

“We feel like we create a transparent atmosphere of what the property is worth,” said Brady. “It’s only worth what someone is willing to pay, otherwise it’s hard to say what a property like this is worth.”

And it’s true: Champ d’Or cannot be compared to anything else on the Texas real estate market or, for that matter, anything listed in the U.S.

Most significantly, the home is enormous, said Candy Evans of the Dallas real estate blog Candy’s Dirt.

“We had eight people in there once and we didn’t even know it,” she said. “You could get lost in there!”

While the home has 6 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms, it’s the other amenities that put the home in a category all its own:

  • a veranda with seating for 450 people
  • an ionized lap pool off the master suite
  • a master suite that includes a breakfast bar, steam room with room for 2 and a two-story Chanel-styled closet
  • a soundproof-theater room with adjacent lobby
  • three kitchens: private, catering and staff
  • third-floor private suite with its own dining room, living room and two bathrooms
  • bowling alley
  • wine room
  • full-sized ball room
  • gift wrap room
  • commercial-sized laundry room with sheet press

As Evans says, whoever lives in Champ d’Or would have no real need to ever leave the house.

Despite the extensive detailing to the property, it hasn’t been an easy sell. According to Evans, four different agents have represented the property, with each spending at least $100,000 in marketing. But what Evans believes has kept buyers away is the cost of the upkeep.

The house require a year-round staff, and currently has four people hired full-time to maintain it, Evans said. It also carries enormous property taxes and maintenance costs. In addition to a hefty mortgage of $132,677 a month, (according to Zillow’s mortgage calculator and assuming a 20 percent down payment on a 30-year-mortgage on its current listing price of $32 million) Champ d’Or doesn’t come cheap.

Last note: There are many interesting anecdotes about Champ d’Or, but one is related to the events surrounding 9/11. Watch the video (above) to hear what special item was painted into the mural of the home as a result of 9/11.

About the Author

Erika Riggs, the Zillow Digs manager, covers home design and trends.

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