Now that photos have been posted — and the asking price has been chopped a full 7 percent — the whole world gets to peek inside the full-floor condo in The Huntingdon that belonged to Enron founder and CEO Ken Lay and his wife Linda. The buildout on the 33rd floor of 2121 Kirby Dr. was designed in the late nineties by Houston architect Leslie Barry Davidson, who’s proven herself versatile in many historical styles that pre-date highrise construction. But the listing photos show what looks like a glum castle retreat for a king and queen who’ve lost their jester.
Oh, but those 360-degree skyline views of Houston! And really, with angry investors and Californians likely to approach from any direction, you’d maybe want a hideout with 4 good corner balconies, just so you can assess the risks:
You’d probably also want plenty of places to relieve yourself, and this dowdy lair certainly provides: There are 9 bathrooms in the 5-bedroom home, though 5 of them skip the shower and bath.
The 12,827-sq.-ft. aerie was posted on MLS just last week, after a well-publicized “private sale” for a cool $12.8 million begun last fall failed to produce results. Good thing you waited: The asking price is now just $11.9 million. How much further will it fall?
There’s also the small matter of the $10,182 monthly maintenance fee, which sadly does not include regular trims for those topiary balls on the balcony. However, this little pied-à-terre does come with 6 elevators, as well as 10 parking spaces “in premier locations.”
The Lays bought the condo in 1995 and completed most of the latest renovations in 1999. Ken Lay died suddenly in 2006, shortly after being convicted of 10 counts of securities fraud and related charges. A spokesperson for his widow told Houston Chronicle reporter Claudia Feldman last year that the Huntingdon condo was Linda Lay’s last real-estate holding — the 17 other properties the Lays owned (in Houston, Galveston County, and Aspen) had apparently already been forfeited or sold.
But neither Lay nor her spokesperson would explain why she hadn’t been forced to sell the condo earlier and use the proceeds to repay Enron creditors. Feldman took a couple of guesses anyway. Ken Lay’s timely death, before he could be sentenced or launch his appeal, caused all his convictions to be abated. Maybe that stopped the government from taking further action? Or maybe there is a deal:
Perhaps some proceeds from the sale will go to creditors. Perhaps she’ll get to pocket all the money. But court records are sealed, and a Justice Department spokeswoman said she has no public information to share.
- 2121 Kirby Dr. Unit 33 [HAR, via Swamplot inbox]
- Ken and Linda Lay’s condo for sale for $12.8 million [Houston Chronicle]