Friday, August 12, 2011

Another Massachusetts Mega-Mansion or Alternative Investments Can Be Very Profitable

From the John W. Henry Company Website:

Founded in 1982, John W. Henry & Company, Inc. (JWH®) is an alternative asset manager that is one of  the longest established managed futures advisors in the world. Utilizing global markets in foreign exchange,  financial, futures and commodities, JWH historically has generated returns non-correlated to those of equity  and fixed income investments. The firm manages assets for retail, institutional and private investors in the  Americas, Europe and Asia. JWH's investment programs, and funds for which JWH acts as manager or  co-manager, offer investors a wide variety of investment solutions to suit various portfolios and investment  strategies. 
JWH is located in Boca Raton, Florida
From the Boston Globe:
The Red Sox poobah joins a very exclusive club - owners of the most egregiously overbuilt mansions in the state

Above: An aerial view of John Henry’s new home in Brookline. Below: Governor Deval Patrick’s house in Richmond. 
Above: An aerial view of John Henry’s new home in Brookline.
I have always wanted to organize a bike tour of the area’s most grandiose and overbuilt ego-monuments masquerading as private homes: the Deval Patrick Berkshires manse; Chez Pallotta in Weston, and now, one of the most jumped-up single family dwellings ever seen: John Henry’s Fieldstone Monster in Brookline.
I’ll make it a charity ride. I’ll call it the Pan Crass Challenge.
We’ll be starting in bucolic Richmond, where governor Patrick has erected a $4 million mansion on a 77-acre plot he owns there. The original plans allowed him to build a 24-room house, though now it has been scaled back to a mere 10 rooms-cum-pool and 1,000-foot driveway. What about that squash court he got permitted? Not yet built, says spokesman Brendan Ryan.
From Richmond we pedal east to one of Boston’s several high-value “W’’ exurbs, to gawk at the “House That Ate Weston,’’ as Boston magazine memorably called Celtics co-owner Jim Pallotta’s egregious $22 million, 27,000-square-foot wannabe Hearst Castle. From there it’s just a little hop to Newton, where you can see the grandiose helipad in front of “modest billionaire,’’ New Balance chairman Jim Davis’s stately pleasure dome. I’m sorry - that’s not a helipad. It’s merely the largest inlaid brick and stone courtyard I’ve ever seen, outside of the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, that is.
Of course, we wouldn’t want to miss former Reebok chairman Paul Fireman’s goliath 25,000-square-foot “aesthetically offensive’’ - that’s how a local characterized it in a 1999 Globe story - Chestnut Hill mansion, which overlooks the Country Club.
Our ride ends in the gentle hills of Brookline, where yet another vulgarian Xanadu is rising. Henry, the principal owner of the Red Sox, is building what looks like a medium-size prep school, code-named “Summera House’’ in the public filings, on a 6.3-acre plot overlooking one of the city’s many scenic ponds.
Henry bought the property from Frank McCourt, the notorious, soon-to-be-ex owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who was once Henry’s rival for ownership of the Sox. McCourt’s loss is Boston’s gain. Hostage to his bitter divorce and business litigation, the Dodgers are floundering, while the Sox have thrived under Henry’s stewardship.
After paying $16 million for the property four years ago, Henry chose to raze McCourt’s 13,000-square-foot red brick Georgian Revival mansion, and an adjacent home. Both originally belonged to Charles Sprague Sargent, the first director of the Arnold Arboretum.
What’s Henry replacing it with? Columns, many Doric columns. I counted a total of 30 when I looked at the plans on file at Brookline Town Hall. From the street, you can see a grand entryway, which has a Hyatt Vacation Club feel to it. It is no accident that Henry’s architectural firm, Shope Reno Wharton of South Norwalk, Conn., also designed the Pallotta estate and Fireman’s sprawling excrescence.....MORE