Preserving mature trees on a large parcel of land is common when building a magnificent mansion. But importing a California redwood to create an indoor treehouse for the kids? That's different.
The redwood play structure is one of many distinguishing features in the most expensive home in Arkansas. Listed for $10.9 million in Fort Smith, AR, this 18,367-square-foot estate is situated on 20 acres.
It starts with the room with the treehouse, which owner Kenny King had built for his grandchildren.
Aside from the redwood, the mansion features fireplaces made of Italian marble, a 106-foot-long sports bar room, and an 86,000-gallon swimming pool. That amount of H2O is about three times the average outdoor pool, and this pool comes with not one, but two infinity edges and a beachlike walk-in feature.
"It's truly magnificent and it's very livable and it's just done with such great taste," says listing agent Marshall Yantis. "The woodwork, the molding, the details; there were some real craftsmen that performed excellent work. There's nothing like it around this area."
Indeed, two workers spent seven months building the twin circular staircases in the front entryway. The fireplace required tens of thousands of pounds of marble imported from Italy. Marble was also used to create the range hood in the kitchen, which opens to a family room and features both an island and an eating counter.
The main living room sports 24-foot-tall ceilings, while the master bedroom ceiling reaches 14 feet.
Reflective glass was made for a curved, two-story back window, providing a dramatic backdrop for the pool area -- this was a feature King and his wife had seen in Florida and wanted in their home. The glass "looks as good, if not better, from the inside of the house as it does from the outside," says Yantis.
The estate is a popular site for a holiday helicopter tour of Christmas lights in the Fort Smith area. King says he puts up between 100,000 and 150,000 Christmas lights. "We do it for the kids in the area. The Fort Smith area has been very good to us," says King, who made his dough in the restaurant business.
Yantis is certain a similar house in a major metro area would fetch millions more. But King wanted to stay in the Fort Smith vicinity when he decided to build in 2005. He and his wife had liked Mediterranean-style homes they'd seen in Florida and decided to go with that style for their planned home. Construction of the eight-bedroom home took nearly three years.
King has enjoyed his years in the home but now wants to downsize. It's someone else's turn to enjoy what is currently the highest-priced listing in Arkansas. And perhaps to try scaling the treehouse before the grandkids get there.