Yankee Candle Founder's Estate: "like having Disneyland in the backyard"
Michael Kittredge started making candles as a teenager and selling them to friends and family. One of his first products was a Christmas candle he made for his mother on the family stove out of his melted crayons and a wick from a shoelace. Within a few years, he had opened his first Yankee Candle Shop in his hometown of South Hadley, Massachusettes. The business expanded to become the wildly successful Yankee Candle Company whose candles are sold all over America. Kittredge cashed out in 1998, selling 90% of his company for $500 million. He used the money to jet around the world, collect luxury sports cars, drink $20,000 bottles of wine, and construct a fantastic compound on over 60 acres of parkland in idyllic Western Massachusetts. With the entrepreneur's passing in 2019, the estate his son described as "like having Disneyland in the backyard" has been listed for $23 million.
Generous with friends, family, and employees, Kittredge designed his compound to entertain his guests in the utmost luxury. Sparing no expense, the eight Colonial-style structures on the property were constructed with the finest materials from all over the world. The main house includes five bedrooms, six full bathrooms and five half baths, and over 25,0000 square feet of living space. The home features 11 fireplaces spread across multiple levels, a solarium, an oval office with glass walls, a pine-paneled living room with built-ins, and a stunning two-story great room with a balcony and an atrium-like ceiling. Two commercial-grade kitchens, one with five islands, and a wine grotto allow for large-scale entertaining.
Meandering paths on the property wander past ponds, fountains, waterfalls, and gardens to connect the main home with the estate's many amenities. Several guest homes and staff quarters bring the bedroom total up to sixteen. Three tennis courts, a T-shaped pool with expansive deck and fully equipped cabana, and a nine-hole golf course offer hours of athletic fun. For relaxation, the compound includes an epic 55,000-square-foot spa complex complete with multiple gyms and massage areas, saunas, a steam room, and an indoor tennis court with stadium seating. The state-of-the-art, 4,000-square-foot outdoor stage has hosted such bands as Hall & Oates, The Doobie Brothers, KC and The Sunshine Band, and Eric Burdon & The Animals. A two-story arcade features pinball, slots, arcade games, and a three-lane bowling alley. Two huge garages offer plenty of space for high-end toys while a full-sized auditorium offers another venue for concerts and shows. A truly spectacular indoor water park, modeled after the Bellagio in Las Vegas, with palm trees, water slides, and pools, completes the one-of-a-kind entertainment pavilion.
A sleepy town with less than 2,000 residents founded in 1750, Leverett, Massachusettes is best known for the Buddhist monument New England Peace Pagoda, historic churches, and a scenic chasm called Rattlesnake Gutter. It is close to the five-college area of Amherst, Hampshire, Smith, Mt. Holyoke, and the University of Massachusetts.
The listing is held by Johnny Hatem Jr. of The Sarkis Team at Douglas Elliman.
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