A slideshow featured on the website of the Houston Business Journal (and noted in our Headlines post this morning) features the 7 most expensive homes sold in Houston last year. Coming in at No. 3 is the full-floor Huntingdon condo unit where former Enron CEO Ken Lay used to live. 2121 Kirby Dr. Unit 33 and its mopey-castle-in-the-sky interior (shown below after the furniture was removed) was listed for sale by his widow, Linda Lay, back in 2010 and featured on Swamplot occasionally over the following years as it hopped on and off the market a few times and descended in fits and starts from an initial (off-market) asking price of $12.8 million to the mid-single-digit millions. MLS and county tax records show the 9-bathroom, 6-elevator, 12,827-sq.-ft. pièd-a-terre with the $10K+ monthly maintenance fee finally sold last February to an entity controlled by another local CEO, for a (still-record-making, but more than half-off) $5.5 million, though the list price had by that time fallen $100K lower.
But Linda Lay may not have received the bulk of the proceeds. A 2011 report indicated that the federal government at that was still seeking to recover at least $2.5 million from the sale of the property, as part of a civil forfeiture case against her begun 3 months after her husband’s death in 2006.
- Ken Lay coverage [Swamplot]
Photos of 2121 Kirby Dr. Unit 33: NuHabitat
Why would you need 6 elevators?
fdm: Common man. Because 5 elevators are for dirty 99%’ers.
I got to go up there once! The elevator I took was not large and some of the others are probably service elevators. Multiple elevators come in handy for hosting a crowd, since you’re not going to take the stairs to the 33rd floor. (At least, I’m not.)
For epic grocery store shopping trips. 1 man, 1 trip!
Alas, the reality is much more benign, it just happens that all of the building’s elevator cut through his unit’s footprint. Not intentional, just coincidence.
The “castle in the sky” decor is terrible. Kenny Boy didn’t have very god taste.
If she got a dollar from this sale it’s too much. I had friends at Enron locked out from selling any shares while the company cratered all the while Kenny Boy and Skilling had taking out millions since of course they knew for months the company was going down. It matters not if Linda Lay was oblivious (I highly doubt she was) this money is blood money.
As for The Huntingdon, I’ve always loved the high ceilings and the huge windows to take in the sumptuous views. I went up to the Laniers pad on the 34th with my parents in the 90’s, the views were amazing, but wow was it windy on those corner balconies
I think I saw a West U backyard from the view! Gasp!
Somebody had control of that much money from such a convoluted scheme and THIS was the best thing they could think up with to do with it? What was even the point!?
The architect who worked for the Lays is a family friend. Linda Lay was the one in charge of this project, and her focus was showiness. Marble would be imported from Italy, installed, and then ripped out because she decided it wasn’t fancy enough.