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Audacious Tiburon Mansion Sells For Half Price: $12 Million

Originally offered at nearly $25 million almost a decade ago.

Who wouldn’t want to live in a sprawling, luxurious, seven-bed, nine-bath, nearly 14,000-square-foot Tiburon mansion?

Many people, it seems, because 185 Gilmartin Drive was lurking around the market for nine years before finally confirming a sale on Wednesday to the tune of $12 million.

That’s good money, unless of course you were expecting something closer to the $24.9 million it was originally listed for back in February of 2009. That’s 52 percent off for the proud new owner. The palatial offering shaved its price six times in seven years, most recently to $12.5 million back in April.

And yet, for all of this trouble, it’s a knockout property, 1.4 acres in all with the usual ultra high-end fare of tennis courts, grand chandeliers, temple-like spa, closet proportions usually reserved for bedrooms, a wine cellar that would cost nearly as much as the house itself to fill, skylights and atriums galore, and everything else the Tiburon set loves.

Realtor Lydia Sarkissian, who along with her partner Bill Bullock finally took the place to a sale, suggested that it was partly bad timing—specifically, 2009 was not the ideal window for selling $25 million pieces of real estate in the Bay Area. According to Sarkissian, it was a matter of waiting until the timing and the price were both finally right.

It’s also possible that some shoppers knew the home’s checkered past. It was built in 1997 by a Ukrainian businessman (who dubbed it "Shangri-La"), and it was here he was arrested on fraud charges in 1999. It was raided by the FBI a second time in 1997, in an effort to nab two renters indicted on charges of running a phony diamond racket.

The property’s previous sale in ‘99 was for $1.37 million, which comes to a little under $2 million in 2016 dollars.