Since its launch in February 2008, Headline Homes has become one of the most popular features in The City Paper. The monthly look at the abodes of the wealthy, privileged, well-born, celebrated, hard-working and lucky — or some combination thereof — draws voyeuristic eyeballs. Is it the personalities? Is it the well-appointed homes? Is it the sometimes-scandalous or litigious histories of the homes and their owners?
All we really know is that it’s beloved. So every May, we look back at the crème de la crème of the past year’s Headline Homes entries. So here they are, the largest single-family home transactions recorded in Davidson and neighboring counties, May 2010 to April 2011, ranked by dollar value.
1. 1301 Moran Road, Franklin, 37069
Buyer: Willis J. Johnson and Reba J. Johnson Revocable Trust
Sale price: $28 million
Sellers: Alan and Denise Jackson
Agents for both sides: Rick French and Dana Battaglia (French Christianson Patterson)
If there were a Nashville Home Sales Hall of Fame, this would be a first-ballot entry. The Williamson County home of country megastar Alan Jackson sits on 135 acres, has a 20-car garage, a gymnasium and two two-bedroom guesthouses.
Even adjusted for inflation, the $28 million sale price makes this likely the most expensive home buy in Middle Tennessee history. And yet, Jackson fetched $10 million less than he wanted for it.
The lucky buyer, Willis Johnson, is the founder and chairman of Fairfield, Calif.-based Copart, a company that auctions off wrecked cars for insurance companies. He resigned as CEO in February 2010, and his 11.4 percent stake in the company was worth $340 million at the time of his home buy.
Even a year later, it’s not totally clear why Johnson moved to Nashville. Copart has an operation in the area — on Stumpy Lane in Lebanon — but that doesn’t seem a significant enough facility to draw the company’s founder to town. Maybe he just always wanted a 20-car garage.
2. 3395 Bailey Road, Franklin, 37064
Buyer: Michael A. Wells
Sale price: $4 million
Seller: F. David Bender
Seller’s agents: Susan M. James and Mary Catherine McAnulty (Viva Properties LLC)
Buyer’s agent: Darla Duncan (Redd Realty)
That the top three sellers of the year came in the same month is a little unusual. And that this, the second-ranked home, sold for one-seventh of the price of the Johnson (neé Jackson) estate should in no way detract from the fact that it’s the only other home sold this year for at least $4 million.
Wells, second-in-command of insurer Jackson National Life Insurance Co., bought this 68-acre equestrian spread in Leiper’s Fork the day after he announced the Michigan-based company’s plans to locate a 400-employee regional headquarters in Cool Springs. Wells was previously based in Jackson National’s Santa Monica, Calif., office.
Bender put the four-bedroom home and lands on the market in October 2008 at $4.9 million. He had paid $2.3 million for the property in 2004. Amenities of the gated estate include a riding ring, stables and two stocked ponds, with more than a mile of paved roads connecting them.
3. 5155 Fire Tower Road,
Buyer: Avi Properties
Sale price: $3.298 million
Sellers: John and Elizabeth Menefee
Agent for both sides: Cindy Garvey (United Country)
May 2010 was a merry month indeed. The Menefees, whose names frequently grace the society pages, sold this Leiper’s Fork home to AVI Properties, a wealth-management firm. The 12-room rustic home sits on 207 acres — though a lake takes up an acre of that. It also includes a cabin. And the garage includes a lift and car-painting equipment.
4. 5508 Stanford Drive,
Buyer: Robert L. Scruggs, trustee for Jim and Jennifer Morrison
Sale price: $3.035 million
Seller: Show House LLC
Agents: None of record
This 12,000-square-foot Forest Hills palace first went on the market in November 2007, priced at $4.45 million with a listing that noted: “Cost in excess of $4.7 million.” When it didn’t sell, the builder rented it out for a while. Nearly three years after its initial listing, the home sold at 35 percent less than its stated cost.
Brad Bolton of Nashville is manager of Show House LLC. Realty listings described the six-bedroom, six-bath house as having a surprise in every room, with “detailing over the top, comfortable with a fit and finish that will blow you away.” The structure includes six fireplaces, an elevator, a wine cellar, a 2,000-square-foot terrace and a saltwater pool.
5. 17 Oxmoor Court, Brentwood, 37027
Buyers: Tom and Denise Vogel
Sale price: $2.725 million
Sellers: Jim and Jennifer Morrison
Sellers’ agent: Laura Baugh (Worth Properties)
Buyers’ agent: Betsy Peebles (Pilkerton Realtors)
The Morrisons, buyers of 5508 Stanford, had their Governors Club home on the market for 207 days after listing it in March at $3.1 million. Tom Vogel is CEO of restaurant chain Logan’s Roadhouse.
6. 2450 Hidden River Lane,
Buyers: Michael J. and Shana Rosengarten, trustees of a family trust
Sale price: $2.65 million
Builder/sellers: G. Steven & Janice D. Hulen
Owner/agent: Janice Hulen (Keller Williams)
Buyers’ agent: Lisa Culp Taylor (Bob Parks)
Hulen built this 10,500-square-foot home in 2003. The Rosengartens moved to Nashville from Pasadena, Calif.
7. 1030 Overton Lea Road,
Oak Hill, 37220
Buyers: Rodgar and Reba R. McCalmon, trustees of a family trust
Sale Price: $2,599,750
Sellers: Michael and Mary Taylor
Sellers’ agent: Lydia Armistead (Freeman Webb)
Buyers’ agent: Richard B. French (French Christianson Patterson)
The McCalmons are coming into Oak Hill from Solano County, Calif., east of San Francisco. There, Mr. McCalmon was the founding pastor of Living Grace Fellowship, a nondenominational church. According to the church’s website, “Pastor Rodgar and his wife Reba were called away from Living Grace Fellowship and on to other ministries in Franklin, Tennessee.”
Their new home was originally listed at $3.1 million and was on the market for 77 days. It features three private acres,
a nanny suite, a pool suite (with kitchen) and a theater (also with kitchen).
8. 459 Canterbury Rise, Franklin, 37067
Buyers: Thomas R. and Patricia G. Petty
Sale price: $2.538 million
Seller: Cadence Bank N.A.
Seller’s agent: Alison Davis (Keller Williams)
Buyers’ agent: Gail Wallin Johnson (Crye-Leike)
Homebuilder Kenny Hale put this property, located in the Avalon development, on the market in May 2008 at $3.5 million. Two years later, the bank that foreclosed on the unsold spec home sells it for almost a million bucks less than the original asking price.
The 22-room home encompasses more than 10,000 square feet of living space, including seven bedrooms, seven full bathrooms and three half-baths, a saltwater pool, travertine flooring and granite counters.
9. 107 Treemont Lane, Franklin, 37069
Buyers: McKellar Real Estate Investments Ltd.
Sale price: $2.5 million
Seller: Tonna Heath
Agent for both sides: Tonna Heath (Tonna Heath & Co.)
Glenview Trust Co. represented McKellar Real Estate Investments in the deal. The latter owns other high-end property in California and Montana; the former is a Louisville-based boutique trust firm. Heath is the proprietor of her own Brentwood real estate company.
The house sits in the exclusive, 14-home Treemont Estates development, and its 8,200 square feet are on a sloping three-acre lot described as “totally beyond private.”
10. 1066 Vaughn Crest Drive,
Buyer: James W. Carell
Sale price: $2.3 million
Builder/sellers: Ronald W. and Caye B. Davis
Agent for both sides: Caye Beaver Davis (Keller Williams)
If Alan Jackson’s home was a first-ballot hall of famer, the Laurelbrooke development is the New York Yankees of Headline Homes.
It just wouldn’t be Headline Homes without at least one sprawling, six-bedroom mansion from the gated community, off Vaughn Road just inside the border of Williamson County.
Jim Carell is CEO of CareAll Home Health Care in Nashville.
11. 826 Windstone Blvd.,
Buyers: Jake and Letitia Nicole Eaton
Sale price: $2.25 million
Seller: Pinnacle National Bank
Agent for both sides: Corbi Parker (Benchmark)
The house’s nickname hints at unspeakable horror — even if it’s just of the real estate variety.
This massive home, dubbed “the Lyndhurst Manor” in its property listings, first went on the market in March 2008. Its listing price topped out at $3.69 million. When it still had not moved by last April, developer Graymont Group LLC deeded the property to Pinnacle in satisfaction of a $2.9 million loan. Pinnacle has finally rid itself of this house at a substantial loss, but as part of the deal, the bank actually purchased the Franklin home of the Eatons at a price of $850,000.
12. 204 Thornhill Crescent,
Buyer: Manford E. Rydholm, trustee for Todd R. and Kristi L. Wurth
Sale price: $2.2 million
Sellers: Lane and Amy Wallace
Sellers’ agents: Yvonne Kelly and Donnie Creighton (Zeitlin & Co.)
Buyer’s agent: Andy Beasley (Brentview Realty Co.)
The new home of Vanderbilt orthopedic surgeon Todd Wurth and family, in the Annandale development, is an English-style manor house with just under 8,100 square feet of living area.
13. 2010 Fransworth, Nashville, 37205
Buyer: Tiburon Trust
Sale price: $2.14 million
Sellers: Edward and Kim Karrels
Sellers’ agent: Janet Barnette (The Lipman Group/Sotheby’s International)
Buyer’s agents: Trudy Byrd and Rita S. Puryear (Fridrich & Clark Realty)
Is there an animal as mysterious as the shark: stealthy, steely and sleek, swimming through the water with deadly efficiency? The Spanish name for the scary boneless fish lends its name to the trust that bought this home.
The Mediterranean palazzo comes complete with a saltwater pool and has views of Hillwood Country Club. Originally offered for $2.54 million, it spent more than a year on the market — lining its listing up with charges filed by two federal regulators against Morgan Keegan for security funds tied to subprime mortgages.
One of the victims of the alleged scheme was Edward Karrels, who co-owns Old Natchez Country Club and claimed “substantial” losses.
14. 5250 Hayes Place,
Buyers: Michael and Paula Portacci
Sale price: $2.12 million
Sellers: Robert and Jane Hughes
Sellers’ agent: Susie Plant (Pilkerton Realtors)
Buyers’ agent: Debbie Hewitt (Lifestyles Realty)
Michael Portacci is a senior vice president with Community Health Systems, which runs more than 130 hospitals throughout the United States. For a price 10 percent under the original list, the Portaccis picked up the largest lot on the fringe of the Brentwood Country Club. The home itself is a six-year-old, nearly 7,500-square-footer, with all the fun stuff and a storm shelter.
15. 132 Steeplechase Lane,
Buyers: John A. and Leila Udick
Sale Price: $2.1 million
Seller: Don Cunningham
Seller’s agent: Jack Miller (Bob Parks Realty)
Buyers’ agent: Wayne Bennet (Bob Parks Realty)
Builder Don Cunningham sold his Warner Park-adjacent home to the Udicks, who moved to Brentwood from Hollywood, Fla.’s extra-tony Hollywood East subdivision. The listing advertised this as a short sale. The 12,756 square-foot square-footer has a master bedroom both up and downstairs and a saltwater pool, hot tub and cabana on its nearly three acres.
16. 11 Northumberland, Nashville, 37215
Buyer: William H. Eskind Living Trust
Sale price: $2.08 million
Seller: Charles Wilford Brinkley Jr., trustee of the Sherry Lynn Hendley Brinkley Revocable Trust
Seller’s agent: Laura Baugh (Worth Properties)
Buyer’s agent: Franklin Adam Pargh (Keller Williams)
Billy Eskind, a financial adviser with Wells Fargo Advisors who previously worked with his father, Dick Eskind, in the local A.G. Edwards office, settled into a cozy 7,300 square feet of luxury living space just around the bend from fellow Northumberlanders Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman. After three months on the market at $2.5 million, the house fetched $286 per square foot. Seller Charlie Brinkley is a veteran banker who was formerly with Fifth Third in Nashville.
17(tie). 1216 Waterstone Blvd., Franklin, 37069
Buyers: Heather and Thomas Pacconi Jr.
Sale price: $2 million
Sellers: Peter A. and Summer A. Furler
Sellers’ agent: Mary Suto (Crye-Leike)
Buyers’ agent: Janet T. Jones (Worth Properties)
When you are the scion of a giant Christmas-ornament business, you want to live in Laurelbrooke. First listed at $2.5 million, this 11,200-square-foot home in the enclave spent 11 months on the market. The Pacconis moved from the Palm Beach, Fla., area, and Tom Pacconi is involved in the family business of producing Christmas ornaments and other collectibles.
17(tie). 1585 Old Hillsboro Road, Franklin, 37069
Buyers: Joseph F. and Shannon Welborn
Sale price: $2 million
Sellers: Pamela and James Beuerlein
Sellers’ agent: Tim Thompson (Johnson & Thompson Inc.)
Buyers’ agent: Gavin J. Moon (The Garrett Co.)
After spending nine months on the market, this home closed at the end of March at nearly $700,000 less than the ask. The colonial, sitting on 35 acres, is a classic Williamson County equestrian estate. Joseph Welborn is an attorney at Walker, Tipps & Malone.
17(tie). 245 Governors Way, Brentwood, 37027
Buyers: Richard W. and Beverly I. Mehrlich, trustees of a family trust
Sale price: $2 million
Sellers: Kimberly and Keith Schumacher
Sellers’ agent: Kimberly Schumacher (Zeitlin & Co.)
Buyers’ agent: Mary Jane Cochran (Bob Parks Realty)
Situated on the Governors Club’s 11th fairway, adorned with all the luxury trappings buyers expect in that august development, this nearly 11,000-square-foot house sold after almost six months on the market. The original listing price was $2.425 million.
The Mehrlichs were in the health care information technology business for at least 25 years. They now spend their time as independent film producers. Rick Mehrlich also serves as a volunteer pilot for Airlifeline, a charity that transports poor patients to hospitals.
17(tie). 1044 Vaughn Crest Drive, Franklin, 37069
Buyers: Emily T. and Wake L. Warthen
Sale price: $2 million
Sellers: Wesley E. and Sharon Campbell
Sellers’ agents: Laura Baugh and Ryan Miller (Worth Properties)
Buyers’ agent: Tom Andrews (Weichert Realtors)
Designed as a replica of a 17th century French chateau, this 10,000-square-foot Laurelbrooke home was the Symphony Show House in 2003, according to its listing.
17 (tie). 9816 Sam Donald Road, Brentwood, 37135
Buyers: Donald Leon and Kerma L. McCain
Sale price: $2 million
Sellers: Tony and Teresa Moorby
Sellers’ agent: Susan Collins (Prudential Woodmont Realty)
Buyers’ agent: Kelly Rowe (Coda Realty)
Described as a “Georgian estate,” the 11-year-old, 10,000-square-foot home sits on 15 acres just outside Brentwood and includes a pool and a koi pond outside to go with its cherry-paneled interior. Tony Moorby is the president of Acacia Automotive, an auto auction firm. The McCains are retirees.