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Helmsley Estate Goes to Mystery Buyer

After 829 days on the market, the Helmsley estate in back-country Greenwich has finally sold for $35 million, to a mystery buyer. The new owner got a bargain, saving $90 million over the original asking price.

Jaws dropped when the summer home of the late Harry and Leona Helmsley on Round Hill Road first went on the market with a sticker price of $125 million. It was the highest listing price ever for a property in town. But that was back in 2008, just as the real estate market was starting to wobble.

Dunnellen Hall, a Jacobean style mansion, was built in 1918 by New York Financier Daniel Grey Reid, as a wedding gift for his daughter, Rhea Reid, and her husband Henry Topping. Rhea named the house for her mother, Ella Dunn. The Helmsleys bought the estate in 1983 for $11 million from Ravi Tikoo and added 14 acres of adjacent property. Tikoo had paid $3 million for the house in 1974.

According to reports, the upkeep of Dunnellen Hall has been neglected in recent years and some serious TLC is going to be needed to whip it back into shape. And that's good news for local business.

Proceeds from the sale will be going to the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, which contributes to health, animal and cultural organizations. The Trust has donated generously to Greenwich Hospital.

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