A 40,000-square-foot South Jersey estate that originally hit the market last year with an asking price of $24.95 million has been reduced by more than 20% and re-listed with some modifications to help attract a buyer.
The listing for the 7.7-acre property, which is owned by the former husband-and-wife leaders of Tabula Rasa HealthCare (NASDAQ: TRHC) in Moorestown, was reactivated last week at $19.75 million after being removed for a short period of time. When the massive mansion was first put on the market last November, the almost $25 million list price was believed to be a record in South Jersey.
The four-floor home has seven bedrooms, eight bathrooms, three powder rooms, six fireplaces and three elevators.
Other amenities include a golf simulator that lets you virtually play any course in the world, a game room, pub room, gym, sauna, movie theater and a wine cellar.
“Anything you think of that you could want, they have in here,” said Kevin Steiger, a real estate agent with Kurfiss Sotheby’s International Real Estate who has the listing.
Steiger said a residential property of this size and scope often takes years to find a buyer. Still, there have been some changes in strategy.
Work has been stopped on a wing of the mansion that was under construction at the time of the original listing so that a buyer can instead do a custom buildout of the space. The unfinished portion of the home would have included a display space for cars, but Steiger said he’s heard interested buyers float alternate ideas like putting in a bowling alley.
Steiger has also opened up the marketing to an international buyer pool, though he said the majority of interested parties so far have been from the Philadelphia area.
The substantial price drop was partially driven by the loss of the estate’s “indoor pool house,” which Steiger said had to be removed after the pool was found to be in violation of a new regulation from the New Jersey Department of Environment Protection.
He’s had a handful of showings and even had a movie filmed in the home for a few weeks, but hasn’t yet found the right buyer for a property that is unique in that part of South Jersey for both its extravagance and its price tag.
“I’m being asked to do something that’s never been done before,” Steiger said.
There are a number of challenges associated with selling a home of this magnitude, he said. Chief among them is its size. While potential buyers have said they love the property, they aren’t sure how they will adjust to or maintain one of the largest homes in New Jersey.
Another is the location. It doesn’t sit among similar megamansions in pockets of privacy on the wealthy Main Line. Instead, it faces a busy main road and straddles Cinnaminson and the more affluent Moorestown. While the estate carried a Moorestown location on the original listing, it has now been updated to reflect its Cinnaminson address. Steiger added that the price adjustment was also partially done to bring it more in line with the price point of Main Line mansions.
“A lot of folks don’t want to have the biggest home in the neighborhood,” Steiger said. “It’s a mini resort, and people want to have supporting real estate around them.”
The home is also only within reach of a small buyer pool. In order to get a showing, interested buyers need to provide documentation that they can make the payments on the home, and New Jersey’s high real estate taxes only add to the expense. Another obstacle is a changing and uncertain stock market. Though high mortgage rates may not impact cash buyers as much, the stock market and general economic uncertainty does. That has prompted Steiger to test international waters in hopes of identifying more potential buyers.
“It’s a lot to take in,” Steiger said. “It’s a complicated property.”
The property owners, Dr. Calvin H. Knowlton and his wife Dr. Orsula V. Knowlton, have now invested about $28 million into building the opulent home over almost six years, according to Steiger. The Knowltons stepped down from the helm of Tabula Rasa, a health care technology company, last September amid pressure from an outside investor.
At 40,000 square feet, the estate is one of the most expansive in the region. Steiger referenced banker Vernon Hill’s 55,000-square-foot Moorestown compound — which is regarded by many to be the largest in New Jersey — as one of the only homes in the state that out-sizes the Riverton Road estate.
Steiger said if someone wanted to build something in the same realm as the Knowlton mansion it would take them five or six years, which warrants the asking price for the mansion. And with inflation, it likely couldn’t be done for the $19.75 million now being asked.