For the third time in the past 11 years, Orono's Southways estate has hit the market.
Businessman Jim Jundt purchased the palatial property -- once the summer home of John S. Pillsbury Sr., son of flour tycoon Charles A. Pillsbury -- for $5 million in 1992. Since 2008, Jundt has listed it for $52 million, $24 million, and, as of last month, $7.9 million.
Why the bargain price? Because the 13-acre lot was recently subdivided into five parcels, Coldwell Banker Burnet agent Meredith Howell tells City Pages. Three sections of the Lake Minnetonka peninsula have already sold; only sections boasting the main house and the pool house remain for sale.
"As hard as we have tried, we could not find somebody. It’s really a heartache for everybody," Howell says of the home at 1400 Bracketts Point Rd, which now sits on 3.4 acres. "It’s really a gift to Minnesota, the work [the Jundts] put into this house."
One possible culprit: The market for $1 million-plus suburban homes is frosty, the Star Tribune reports. At least the ultra-rich have those tax cuts to fall back on...
But back to Southways: Designed by famed New Jersey architect Harrie T. Lindeberg, the seven-bedroom, 13-bathroom, 32,461-square-foot home belonged to John's wife, Eleanor, until she died in 1991 at age 104. "A house can be elegant without being ostentatious," Eleanor said of Southways, according to the property listing.
And Jim Jundt really wanted that elegant house.
"The minute [Eleanor] died, [Jundt] said 'I want to buy this,'" Howell says. "He was the first one in."
The Jundts extensively rehabbed the 1918 mansion, which includes nine fireplaces, a spa, a wine cellar, and 415 feet of lakeshore. Jundt, a hedge fund manager who co-owned the Vikings in the '90s, hosted a Michele Bachmann fundraiser that lured President George W. Bush to Southways in 2006. The Jundts now live in Arizona.
Here's a photo tour of Southways, courtesy of Coldwell Banker Burnet: