Monday, January 5, 2009

Lance Armstrong's Hill Country Hideaway

SELLER: Lance Armstrong
LOCATION: Deadman's Hole, Dripping Springs, TX
PRICE: $12,000,000
SIZE: 4,241 square feet, 5 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms (total0
DESCRIPTION: Spectacular resort like ranch with 447.8 acres (hcad). Ownership in Deadman's Hole & 1886' of Pedernales frontage (per survey). Extensive clearing of underbrush, paved roads, beautiful grassy pastures & 7 miles of hike/bike trails. Fab 4bd, 4ba main house on hilltop w/ exquisite landscaping, neg. edge pool & firepite overlooking endless hill country views. Great 1bd/1ba guest house.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Seven time Tour de France winner and cancer survivor turned advocate Lance Armstrong not only has a penchant for famous ladees like Kate Hudson, singer Sheryl Crow and New York socialite/designer Tori Burch, he also has a habit of owning houses and hideaways that create quite the kerfuffle in the communities in which they're located.

Not only was there that big brouhaha over his newly built Tuscan style mansion on the outskirts of Austin, TX using more than 25 times the amount of water the average Austin household uses–a situation he claims to have remedied–the Texas born bicycler also ran afoul of his nearby neighbors out in the boonies of Dripping Springs, TX where he owns a 447.8 acre ranch that, thanks to Two-Stepping Trudy, we've learned he recently listed for sale.

A peep into the property records does not provide much in the way of purchase price, but previous reports and current listing information reveal that the sprawling Hill Country ranch is comprised of two tracts that total 447.8 acres and include 1,886 feet of frontage on the purdy Pedernales River. What makes Mister Armstrong's property most unique, however, is ownership in Deadman's Hole, a pool of pristine water that can be accessed and used only by the 17 neighboring landowners whose deeds grant them ownership. In his memoir about conquering cancer, Every Second Counts, Mister Armstrong states one of the reasons he purchased the property was because he was drawn to the stunning swimming hole where jumping off the 45 foot waterfall became his, "own personal way of checking for vital signs."

It is Deadman's Hole, beloved by all that use it, that has made Mister Armstrong less than popular with some of his neighbors with whom he shares ownership. According to many, many, many reports, back in 2005 Mister Armstrong began building a small dam on a creek that runs across his property and feeds into Deadman's Hole. Neighbors claimed the dam construction caused sediment to run into the swimming hole and cloud the once uncommonly clear waters.

After much wrangling and bickering, Mister Armstrong agreed to arrange and pay for the clean up of the swimming hole, an endeavor which he says cost him around $850,000 in clean up charges, consultant costs and legal fees. Most reports indicate the neighbors are satisfied with the result.

However, all the finger pointing and big bucks spent cleaning up Deadman's Hole must have left a bitter taste in Mister Armstrong's mouth because sometime in October of 2008 (or maybe it was in September?) he listed his Hill Country hideaway for sale. Listing information Your Mama turned up shows the current asking price is $12,000,000.

Listing information indicates the Armstrong hideaway was built in 2003 and includes a four bedroom and 4 bathroom main house as well as a 1 bedroom and 1 bathroom guest house. A previous report on the property–which did not identify it as belonging to Mister Armstrong–reveals the main house measures 3,928 square feet while current listing information shows it at 4,241 square feet. We're not sure of why there's a difference, but it might be that the larger figure includes the floor space of the guest house.

Listing information and photos show the main residence features and open plan program where the main living space, dining area and gore-may kitchen share the same prodigiously peaked and beamed ceiling. Floor to ceiling windows and several sets of french doors allow the long and lovely vistas over the Hill Country west of Austin to create an ever changing and mesmerizing back drop for the clean lined but cozy looking interior spaces.

The kitchen includes a giant work island and breakfast counter where Your Mama would surely sit sipping gin and tonics while Chef prepared dinner and has been kitted out with top grade stainless steel appliances, natch. In place of overhead cabinets, three rows of plank shelves provide easy access to all the daily dishware. Presumably the kitchen area includes a large pantry where food and other kitchen necessities can be stowed away and out of site and there is little Your Mama loves more than a giant pantry for hiding kitchen clutter.

A media room has been tucked up under the peaked roof line on the second floor with a u-shaped seating arrangement that allows everyone to view the big screen boob-toob.

We imagine some of the children will remark and complain that the interior spaces look a little hotel-like and without the sorts of personal touches that make a house a home. And we'd agree that some books, magazines and knick-knacks strewn around would make it all seem a bit more homey, but we also imagine the place has been staged and stripped of Mister Armstrong's personal belongings for the selling process.

The manicured grounds immediately around the house include covered patios overlooking rolling green lawns where a negative edge swimming pool and spa visually spills into the scrubby Hill Country horizon. Listing information also states the property includes 7 miles of hiking/biking trails which photos and at least one report reveal are marked with yellow "Livestrong" directional signs. The grounds also include at least one fire pit and a heated and cooled work shop and bathroom where Your Mama imagines Mister Armstrong and his team of peeps toil away to make his collection of two-wheeled contraptions lighter and faster.

And then, of course, there's dee-lishus Deadman's Hole which by any standards looks to be a spectacular spot to get away and a place Your Mama would give our molars in order to skinny dip in the moonlight with the Dr. Cooter and several of our closest and better built buddies.

It's difficult to imagine that Mister Armstrong would want to sell such a pulchritudinous place, but desire to sell he does. Perhaps he has plans for another even more spectacular location for his next rural getaway? Or maybe he's just planning on spending more time in the Bahamas where Your Mama read somewhere (but can not confirm) he's building and decorating his own island paradise.

No comments:

Post a Comment