Members of the Austin fee that critiques plans to renovate historic properties are annoyed that the proprietor who bought the Pease Mansion in 2021 refuses to determine itself.
The thriller proprietor has been a subject of dialog for the previous 18 months. Because the American-Statesman uncovered earlier this yr, whoever purchased the mansion in June 2021 went to extraordinary lengths to cover their identification, conserving it a secret from the earlier proprietor and from folks concerned with the house’s renovation. Property data present few clues, exhibiting solely that it belongs to a restricted legal responsibility firm referred to as Dix Hills Paradise.
The secrecy has irked the Historic Landmark Fee, which met on Dec. 13 and voted to approve in depth plans to modernize and broaden the getting old residence, whose previous house owners embrace two Texas governors, the College of Texas, and the state of Texas.
“I do know all of us wish to know simply because that is such an enormous a part of Austin’s historical past, such a distinguished website, and inquiring minds wish to know,” stated Terri Myers, the fee’s chair.
Beforehand:Pease Mansion proprietor nonetheless secret, however potential modifications to property coming to gentle
Emily Little, a historic preservation marketing consultant, stated she and others concerned within the undertaking are prohibited by nondisclosure agreements from naming the proprietor — not that they know who it’s.
“We do not know who the house owners are both,” Little stated. “And I’ve simply come to simply accept that I do not know if we ever will. We rejoice the individuals who lived there, however we’re in several instances now, and the safety and privateness are of the utmost significance to those house owners.”
The 8,000-square-foot Pease Mansion, which is often known as Woodlawn, stands on practically 4 acres at 1606 Niles Street. It was accomplished within the 1850s by Austin grasp builder Abner H. Prepare dinner. The primary proprietor was James B. Shaw, the state comptroller, who stayed there for 4 years. After he left, the following proprietor was Gov. Elisha Marshall Pease.
For the following 100 years, the house remained with the Pease household till, in 1957, it was bought to outgoing Gov. Allan Shivers and his spouse, Marialice Shary Shivers. In 1975, the Shivers household donated it to UT on the situation that they might keep there till they died. Allan Shivers died in 1985 and his spouse in 1996. With no use for the property, the college bought it to the state for $2.6 million.
However the state additionally had no use for it. Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock, who served from 1991-99, wished to make the Pease Mansion the brand new Governor’s Mansion, however the two governors throughout that point, George W. Bush and Rick Perry, had no real interest in dwelling there.
The state put the house up for bid, setting the minimal value at $3 million. It was scooped up by Jeff Sandefer, an oil and gasoline entrepreneur.
Might it’s 50 Cent?
After 18 years, the house exchanged fingers to the mysterious new proprietor, who, based on public data, took out a mortgage for practically $19 million. A rumor unfold that the client was the rapper 50 Cent, apparently triggered by an announcement that he had moved to Texas, and since he as soon as owned a house in Dix Hills, an prosperous hamlet in New York that shares a reputation with the proprietor’s LLC. The rapper, whose actual title is Curtis Jackson, seems to stay in Houston, not Austin.
Or Elon Musk’s brother?
The most recent rumor circulating within the neighborhood is that the proprietor is Kimbal Musk, the brother of Elon Musk, who lives in Texas and introduced Tesla to Austin. The rumor was introduced up on the Historic Landmark Fee assembly by Jim Christianson, a former fee chair who lives close to the Pease Mansion within the Previous Enfield neighborhood.
“I feel the town of Austin folks have a proper to know who they’re giving a tax (profit) to,” he stated. “Is it Elon Musk’s brother?”
A consultant for Kimbal Musk stated he isn’t the proprietor.
“The rumor just isn’t true; Kimbal Musk just isn’t the mysterious proprietor,” stated Courtney Walsh, who works for Musk.
The rumor seems to have originated on Reddit, a web based dialogue discussion board, the place a poster who has since eliminated their title stated his supply is Sandefer. Sandefer says that is not true.
“I merely have no idea who purchased it,” Sandefer stated. He stated he by no means met the client and by no means requested for his or her identification.
The renovation will deliver large modifications to the property. On the primary home, plans embrace two additions: one story on the storage, and, on the west facet, two tales totaling 4,330 sq. ft that can change an addition constructed within the early 2000s. There can be three new indifferent buildings: a pool home, an adjunct dwelling unit and a visitor home.
Pathways and gates can be restored, a tennis court docket changed, and a swimming pool relocated.
As a result of the property is a historic landmark, any exterior modifications, large or small, couldn’t proceed with out the Historic Landmark Fee’s approval.
Although the fee spoke favorably of the modifications, it does want the proprietor would finish the thriller and at last go public.
“Perhaps sometime we’ll discuss with it because the Nameless Mansion,” Vice Chair Ben Heimsath stated.
“Or the Nondisclosure Mansion,” Myers, the chair, responded.