Town Balks at $110M Mansion Teardown: 'It's Kind of Gross'

Estee Lauder heir William Lauder is said to be razing $110M home in Palm Beach, irking locals
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2022 9:20 AM CDT
Updated Oct 29, 2022 4:50 PM CDT
Town Balks at $110M Mansion Teardown: 'It's Kind of Gross'
William Lauder is seen during the TFWA World Exhibition opening conference, in Cannes, France, on Oct. 19, 2009.   (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

Just six years ago, construction on a 35,000-square-foot mansion with 16 bathrooms, a barbershop, and even a theater was completed on a 2-acre lot in Palm Beach, Fla.—a monument to excess that irked neighbors. That annoyance just increased exponentially, after it was announced that the residence known as "The Castle" is now officially set to be razed to the ground by its apparent third owner: a company tied to William Lauder, billionaire heir to the Estee Lauder cosmetics fortune. Per the Daily Beast, Palm Beach officials gave the green light Wednesday for the demise of the mansion, which reportedly sold for $110 million, and some of the locals, including other billionaires, are now speaking out. "Complete waste," a "prominent resident" tells the outlet. "I mean, normal people don't do that. It's kind of gross."

Some Palm Beach residents are raising a ruckus because of the seemingly never-ending construction that's taken place at the property. "They keep renovating it and rerenovating it," another local tells the Daily Beast, which notes past damage to neighbors' cars and property, and flooding from newer mansions onto adjoining lots—federal rules mandate that new-construction homes are required to be built higher up, meaning trouble during storms. Others worry about traffic woes with the building of a whole new mansion. "I couldn't get out of my driveway for four years," one resident says of the construction of three homes in the area during the presidency of Donald Trump, who also clogged roadways when he visited nearby Mar-a-Lago. Some also fear that, since Lauder supposedly owns an adjacent lot, he plans on merging the two and building an even bigger home.

Lauder is said to have razed the home on that lot after he bought the property for $25.4 million in April 2020, reports the Palm Beach Daily News, via the Daily Mail. A Palm Beach official tells the Daily Beast there haven't been any plans submitted yet for what the owner wants to do with the property in the future, after the current abode is gone. Meanwhile, Lauder just finished wrapping up the drama surrounding another mansion: Global Cosmetics News reported last month that Lauder settled a complaint with the mother of one of his children over a $7 million residence in the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles. Lauder had claimed he shouldn't have to make payments anymore on the home where Taylor Stein lives, as he says a confidentiality deal had been breached. It's not clear what the settlement entails, or whether Stein will remain in the home. (Read more William Lauder stories.)

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