37,000-square-foot home once the Philadelphia region's most expensive listing, heads to auction

A nearly 37,000-square-foot mansion that was previously the most expensive listing in Greater Philadelphia is headed to auction nine years after first hitting the market.

Known as Arbor Hill, the Fort Washington estate was designed by Rafael Vinoly, the world-renowned architect who also designed the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. The property is owned by Dennis Alter, the former CEO of defunct Advanta Corp. Alter built the home in 1999 at an estimated cost of between $50 million and $80 million.

Roughly 22 miles from Center City, the 70-acre property hit the market in 2011 for $30 million and has steadily reduced in price over the years. The current list price is $12 million for 50 acres.

The Sheaff Lane home will be auctioned from Oct. 20-22 via Conciergeauctions.com. There is no reserve price.

Divided into three wings, the home features nine bedrooms, nine full bathrooms and six half baths. The space includes two formal dining rooms, a wet bar, indoor basketball court, theater/game room and a tower with 360-degree views of the property.

Outside, the estate features a swimming pool and pool house, entertaining pavilion, sprawling lawn and pastureland.

Selling a property of Arbor Hill's size — and price — can often be a challenge and requires a super-specific buyer.

Wendie Steffens of Kurfiss Sotheby's International Realty said "the buyer pool now gets a little bigger" with the property being reduced to $12 million. Steffens is co-listing the estate with Janet Rubino of Long & Foster's Devon office.

Steffens said the property is drawing attention from prospective buyers in both Philadelphia and New York who are "going back to wanting land" amid Covid-19 restrictions. Arbor Hill is under a two-hour drive to Manhattan and a seven-minute drive to the Fort Washington SEPTA station.

Reprinted from the Philadelphia Business Journal

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