Barron’s: French Chateau-Style Mansion in Wisconsin Hits Auction Block

A grand, newly constructed French chateau-style mansion in the Green Bay, Wisconsin, suburb of Oneida will be sold at an on-site, no-reserve auction on Feb. 8.

The home, which by design still needs finishing touches, and its nearly three-acre wooded property were initially put on the market in the middle of 2019 and were relisted on Jan. 7 for $6.95 million by Brooke Kwaterski of Keller Williams Home Team. Florida-based Elite Auctions is handling the sale.

The estate, in a secluded setting that’s 10 minutes from the Lambeau Field sports stadium, home of the Green Bay Packers, includes a three-level, 22,590-square-foot main house with seven bedrooms, eight full baths and three half baths, two attached garages that have parking for eight vehicles and a sport court that can be used for basketball, volleyball, dancing or even golf.

“It’s the most spectacular property in the Green Bay area,” said Tara McLean, president of Elite Auctions, adding that the house has never been lived in. “It looks like a castle. Because it’s still under construction, it’s a great opportunity for the new owner to add a personal touch.”

The turreted house, which is clad in cultured stone from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, was designed by Wisconsin architect Jim LaPlant for the previous owner, a developer who, according to property records, bought it in 2011 for $2.872 million and was building it as his own private estate.

The current owner, 64-year-old Green Bay businessman Gary De Caster, bought the foreclosed property from the lending bank in 2015 for a price he would not disclose and that property records don’t reflect.

Mr. De Caster said that at the time, he had sold a manufacturing warehouse and was looking to buy real estate for a 1031 Exchange, a strategy that allows an investor to defer paying capital gains taxes on an investment property by plowing the sales profits into the purchase of another “like-kind” property.

“I thought it was a crime that it was sitting empty and only 60% finished, so I made an all-cash offer with the idea that I would complete the construction and sell it,” said Mr. De Caster, a general contractor who has 40 years experience in real estate development.

He said he has spared no expense on the house, which is 90% complete.

“I left things undone, such as carpeting and the master bedroom and bathroom, so the new owners can pick their own fixtures,” he said.

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