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This is one way to unload a few homes quite quickly.

Robert Knutson, the now-retired CEO of the Education Management Corporation—one of the largest for-profit operators of secondary schools and colleges in the U.S.—and his wife Miryam (also a former executive at EDMC) spent their early retirement years buying properties in nearly every climate in the lower 48 and now that they have put down roots in Beverly Hills (as next door neighbors to billionaire Steven Udvar-Hazy, No. 572 on Forbes Billionaires List) they have decided to sell four of their homes at auction rather than wait for each one to sell individually.

The homes had been listed on the market at a combined value of $46 million. The two auctions take place via Platinum Luxury Auctions on Thursday, January 10th in Denver and Saturday, 12th in Chicago with each home being listed without reserve. A link to each auction page with more photos and details about each house is in each of the descriptions below.

EDMC started out as a private enterprise but first went public in 1996. Ten years later it became a privately held company when it was bought by Providence Equity Partners and Goldman Sachs for $3.4 billion as the first going-private trade in the for-profit, post-secondary education market. The Knutsons retired from the firm and earned an estimated $132 million from stock sales. EDMC went public once more in 2009 and is still traded on the NASDAQ.

The luxurious homes range from a Pueblo Revival in Santa Fe to a modern waterfront in Florida. The home pictured above is the 7 bedroom, 9 bathroom waterfront house on Little Gasparilla Pass in Boca Grande, Florida. It comes with a boat dock that is the last permitted dock before entering the Gulf of Mexico and a number of unique touches, including artifacts from the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair along the water wall at the far end of the pool. It had previously been listed for $13.5 million. The auction takes place on January 10th in Chicago at 7pm.

Pictured above is their Santa Fe home that has had an illustrious set of owners ever since it was built in the 1930s for Jack Dempsey, former governor of New Mexico. He subsequently sold it to someone from the Weyerhaeuser timber family and a few generations later an heir to the Martini & Rossi company bought the 11 acre property. It unfortunately fell into disrepair and when the Knutsons bought it they spent a whopping $18 million renovating it from top to bottom with no detail overlooked. Mrs Knutson told Bloomberg, “There are 64 kinds of windows in the house, and every single one is different and had to be special-ordered.” There are also two custom Paul Ferrante chandeliers, two master suites, a clay tennis court and numerous design touches such as the antique Portuguese wall tiles embedded in this solid wood door as seen below. The house originally listed for $11.5 million. The auction takes place on January 12th in Denver at 4pm.

A little further east is this four parcel sale in the Animas Valley of Colorado. Beaumont Ranch encompasses 86 acres of land, with a 7,000 square foot main house and a number of other buildings including several guest cottages, barns and workshops. The main house sits at an elevation of over 6,600 feet and has one-of-a-kind features unique to the area such as stair railings created by local blacksmith, Rod Pickett (see photo below). There are 1,700 feet of the Animas River running through the land, which is known to be a good fishing spot for rainbow trout. Six trout-filled ponds are also on the property. It had been listed for $13.5 million. The auction takes place on January 12th in Denver starting at 4pm.

In Pennsylvania this classic style 5-bedroom, 6-bath house on 198 acres was initially listed for $7.5 million and comes with a 2,900 square foot guest house. The master suite comes with two bedrooms and a private outdoor terrace. Another of the five bedrooms has its own private kitchen and bathroom. The property also has a 2-bedroom staff house, manager’s office, and three barns. There is also a heated dog kennel, shooting range, pheasant pen and nine stocked fish ponds. The auction takes place on January 10th at 7pm.

While the homes all range in climate and design themes, they have a number of things in common. Each of the remodels paid close attention the details staying true to the history and location of each house and they gave every room the full treatment. Not to mention the great views.


Follow Amy Dobson on Twitter @amydobsonRE

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