INDIANA RACING icon Tony Stewart is selling his Columbus-area home. And what a home it is, essentially a massive log cabin built with lodge pole pine trucked in from the northern Rocky Mountains. It’s got two stories, a basement, six bedrooms and eight baths, and sits on 415 heavily wooded acres, with a nine-acre lake just outside the backdoor. Stewart built the place from scratch and took up residence in 2011. “It was a labor of love,” says Realtor Carrie Holle, who’s representing the property for Compass Indiana. Here’s the skinny:
You can’t afford it. Stewart is asking $30 million for the mansion and grounds. The property is so expansive that it’s actually being shown by two agents. Holle handles the main house, while the grounds are shown by a guy they fly in from Texas. They need the extra help because …
The grounds aren’t just a bunch of woods. They’re a state-licensed hunting preserve. An eight-foot-tall fence surrounding the entire property contains herds of deer and elk, all carefully managed by a full-time gamekeeper who lives on site. And of course the lake is stocked with trophy-size bass and other game fish.
Why is Stewart selling? He was so busy that he typically could only spend maybe two or three nights there each month. “It’s a lot of house and a lot of upkeep for so little time,” Holle says.
His great room actually lives up to the name. The home’s expansive centerpiece is roughly the same size (and with the same design sensibility) as the lobby of a Bass Pro Shop. There’s a massive fireplace made from Indiana bedrock, a chandelier made out of antlers, walls cut from the aforementioned lodge pole pines, and a koi-filled stream that’s spanned by a wooden bridge. Yes, a stream cuts through the great room.
There’s also an aquarium big enough to make SeaWorld jealous. The great room’s most over-the-top feature is a massive aquarium filled with bass, bluegill, and other game fish. It’s so large that the maintenance guy has to put on scuba gear and dive inside to clean it.
The basement isn’t a man cave. It’s a man cavern. The 8,500-square-foot subterranean party zone includes pretty much every fun-time accoutrement known to humanity. There’s a two-lane bowling alley, a pool table, a full-service bar, Stewart’s personal collection of arcade games, a room displaying dozens of his racing helmets (along with a wall-mounted IndyCar racer), a golf simulator room, and a collection of old-timey gas pumps.
Unfortunately, a lot of the fun stuff leaves with Tony. That includes the gas pumps, race car, helmets, and the arcade games. But hey, if you’ve got $30 million to drop on a mansion with its own hunting preserve, you could probably find enough spare change in your couch cushions to replace the pinball machines.
They’ve already held showings for potential buyers. A $30 million mansion in the precise, geographic center of nowhere might sound like a white elephant to you, but not to “high net-worth individuals” (aka the 1 Percent). To them, it’s a secluded luxury compound located just one hour from Indianapolis International Airport—the perfect fly-in getaway. For people who typically chill on isolated Western ranches and Caribbean islands, a slice of wilderness isolation in the American Midwest might actually be more convenient.
But if a private buyer can’t be found, there’s always Plan B. The property is licensed both for individual ownership and for use as a bed-and-breakfast. So it might wind up as a hotel or a hunting lodge. Time will tell.