Trump buys deceased TV mogul's Albemarle mansion
The Trump Organization, owned and operated by celebrity CEO Donald Trump, purchased Albemarle Mansion last week.
The mansion in the Albemarle countryside belonged to entrepreneur and TV mogul John Kluge, who was worth $6.5 billion in March 2010. The property sold for $6.2 million, said Roger Voisinet, an associate broker at RE/MAX Realty Specialists.
“John Kluge was the wealthiest man in the country at one point,” said Eric Trump, the Trump organization’s executive vice president for development and acquisitions. “There is no more beautiful piece of land than that piece of land anywhere in the country.”
After Patricia Kluge, Kluge’s first wife, lost the house to foreclosure, Bank of America repossessed it. The Trump Organization began incrementally purchasing the estate two years ago when it bought the front yard and the land surrounding the home, Trump said.
“We were the first people who got in there,” he said. “After we bought that front yard, it almost made the notion of anyone else buying that house [impossible].”
The land the organization purchased two years ago includes the largest winery east of the Mississippi. It has won awards for its wine and is a popular spot for weddings, which are already booked through next September and October.
The Trump Organization saw potential in the Charlottesville and Albemarle County area because of population growth driven by the University and because of the booming wine industry.
“Wine is something very sexy that represents the brand very well,” Trump said.
Kluge donated more than $63 million to the University. He helped fund the Medical School and Children’s Hospital. In 2001 he gave Morven Farm and a number of nearby farms to the University. The properties totaled nearly 7,400 acres and were then valued at $45 million.