Former Estate of Beyoncé’s Mom Goes Back on the Market, Mid-Renovation, for $2.85 Million



Whatever the renovation vision might have been appears to have been suspended for the Farnham Park property previously owned by fashion designer Tina Knowles, also known as Solange and Beyoncé’s mom. Among the work interrupted: peeled back ceilings and notches in the colonnade encircling the vast main room, left empty but for a lingering set of plans near an abandoned work table.

Pastor and developer Kirbyjon Caldwell and his wife Suzette Caldwell bought the property from the Knowleses in 2012 for $2.9 million, when the ask was $3.4 million. In its listing earlier this month, the house appears to be half gutted and in a state of disarray. Its price tag starts a bit lower too, at $2.85 million.




Compared to the way the room looked when it was last for sale (at right), much has been scraped away. Step-up sections and window swags survived the melee (above). But ceilings have been skinned and the columns and pilasters lining both sides of the combo living-dining room have been notched, as if by really short lumberjacks:



Between listings, the square footage has grown a bit — to 9,028 sq. ft. (It was 8,885 sq. ft. in the previous listing.) HCAD, meanwhile, weighs it at 9,533 sq. ft. The floor plan once carried 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, and two half-baths, a connected kitchen-den (at right), and balconies on both levels. Such distinctions are a bit tricky to detect in the stripped-down spaces of the new listing:




Renovations do not appear to have reached the storybook poolscape with island and bridges, the adjacent pool house, or the grounds that roll toward a bend in Buffalo Bayou located west of S. Voss Rd. and south of San Felipe Rd.: They’re all intact on the 2.6-acre property.








18 Comment

  • The grounds are lovely. The outside facade still looks like an office building…

  • Looks like they were looking for termites.

  • Someone explain to me how this “pastor” with the peculiar name has all this money to throw around. He buys all these multi million dollar properties then seems try to flip them at what always seems like is at a loss, perhaps he needs to consult an accountant. As for this house, he’s ruined it, then splits. No way he gets this for a gutted mess in Farnham Park. It was fine when Ms Knowles owned it, then he goes and f’s it up, then quits. Maybe his holy money tree finally stoped producing for him.

  • Wasn’t this also J. Howard Marshall’s house?

  • I once did some financial work for a company contracted by an entity that he effectively controlled. It’d be crazy stupid for me to talk about that; I wish that I could, though.

  • so wait, this isn’t a finger furniture store?

  • @Shannon I was curious as well. Apparently Kirbyjon is a pretty big deal, like an Olsteen. It also looks like (from the little I read on his wiki page), that he got rich as an investment banker before he became a pastor.

  • @Shannon,
    I can’t tell whether you’re being cynical, but no, the property never belonged to J. Howard Marshall. Farnham Corp. sold the property to James and Martha Hutchison in 1972, and the house was built for them in 1973. From then until now, none of the owners has been named “Marshall”.

  • I have a feeling that the Caldwells will end up on an episode of American Greed within the next 10 years. I recall he was very cozy with the Bush family, and was their go-to black guy when they wanted to court the black vote.

    It’s particularly sad because once again, a once respected and esteemed leader of a minority community is doing disgraceful things and will eventually be caught. In the long run, such activities by key leaders only serve to hurt the credibility and sympathy with their cause by mainstream voters. I’ve also said this in relation to the Southmore Post Office debacle…same line of thought here.

  • I guess the tithe money dried up

  • it looks like the office building my dentist used to lease space in.

  • @TheNiche – “a company contracted by an entity that he effectively controlled”

    This sounds like something straight out of Bonfire of the Vanities. Kirbyjon Caldwell = Reginald Bacon?

  • @Super Dave, what disgraceful things is pastor Caldwell doing? He may not be the best real estate investor, but what he’s doing certainly isn’t criminal. How is he any different than the Osteens, whose Lakewood Church takes in more than a half-million dollars in donations every weekend?

  • Super Dave you speak as if you’ve done some sort of investigation and have all the answers. As someone said he got rich as an investment banker a long time ago. “’It’s particularly sad because once again, a once respected and esteemed leader of a minority community is doing disgraceful things and will eventually be caught.”

    Can you expound on exactly what disgraceful thing he is doing that’s so criminal? I’m curious since you seem to know it all…

  • @roadchick – What makes you think I have any more respect for the Osteens? They are even worse, IMO. As are the Catholic bishops living in mansions. I find it disgraceful for religious leaders to amass millions of dollars on the backs of the naïve, many of them poor (which is their only real source of capital – they generate no other real economic activity).

    @Texas Exe: He grew up middle class, then worked for one year on Wall Street in a non-boom period, before quitting to enter the Methodist seminary. That is hardly the stuff of a multi-millionaire, and not a credible source of his fortune. (

    In this particular case, he bought a boutique property in Houston (arguably an architectural gem), stripped it of several hundred thousand in furnishings and materials, then is spinning it off, nearly guaranteeing that it becomes a tear-down. Usually this activity is lambasted on Swamplot as audacious and tyrannical by the preservationist crowd.

    Third, in his book about how Jesus wants everyone to be rich, and in the La Maison deal, he uses religion and “prayer” as a cover to conduct business transactions, and to attribute financial success. That sounds a lot like smoke and mirrors to me.

    Finally, the crowd he hangs out with is no pack of saints, and is cause for suspicion. He is intimate with the Bush’s, the Clintons, the Laniers, the Boykins’ (wife featured in paragraph above, husband is now District D Councilman), among others. All of these are entrenched political machines. I would argue that a professed “real estate developer” with these connections is more dangerous than a lion in a meat factory, especially one who writes off his success as a religious endeavor.

  • @ Superdave, Wow
    @pictures, wtf is going on?

  • @Superdave
    Wow, thanks for the clarification. That’s…yeah I think that’s probably not great.

  • @SuperDave. You’ve got the makings of a great op ed piece for the Chronicle or a spread in the Houston Press. Id read it for sure.