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Since then, the palace's price has been raised to $159 million, but the estate's claim to fame is no more. The lavish, French-inspired spread in Hillsboro Beach, not far from Fort Lauderdale, has been surpassed as the most expensive private residence in the country by several estates, including the recently sold Playboy mansion and an outrageous estate being built in Bel Air, CA, that's purported to have an asking price of $500 million.
As a matter of fact, Le Palais Royal isn't even the most expensive home in Southern Florida. That honor is currently held by an 82,000-square-foot mansion in the Boca Raton area, listed at $195 million.
When will Le Palais Royal be finished, and why is it taking so long?
"The property has taken so long to be completed because they kept improving the quality and continue to raise the bar at each construction milestone. It's being built like a crown jewel," says listing agent Mayi De La Vega of One Sotheby's International Realty.
However, the agent noted that Phase 1 -- the main residence -- is indeed complete. Yes, those 11 bedrooms, 17 bathrooms, and the $2 million white African marble staircase are move-in ready. The decor, which includes $6 million in gold leaf finishes and imported marble stones, is complete. The 150-year-old Austrian crystal chandelier, worth more than $500,000, is hung and ready to dazzle the new residents.
The "Le Cuisine du Chef" kitchen, with its mahogany cabinetry, Brazilian marble countertops, La Cornue range, and hand-molded plaster with 22-karat gold leaf finish, is just waiting to be fired up.
The 4,500-square-foot infinity pool is all set for the new owners to dive in. Named Le Piscine, it includes a 12-foot cascading waterfall and an LED waterslide. The 13 water features, some with 22-karat gold leaf and mosaic designs, are already flowing.
And the private Imax theater, one of the first residential models in the country, with its music production -- level audio system and stadium seating, is primed for the new owners to plop down into the microsuede seats and enjoy first-run films, for an extra fee, of course.
What's left to build?!
What's not move-in ready is Phase 2 of the estate, which is expected to be complete in 2018. It will include two guesthouses with their own pool, a go-kart track, an ice skating rink, and a nightclub, among other luxe amenities.
So what kind of buyers would be interested in such a lavish spread, far from flashy industry centers like New York City or Los Angeles?
"The buyers that are being attracted are mostly from the Gulf region, India, and also New York," says De La Vega. In Hillsboro Beach, there's also plenty of room to park a yacht. However, the yacht is about the only feature not included in the purchase price.