In 1997, Paul Fireman, the founder and then-chairman and chief executive officer of Reebok International Ltd., was living with his wife Phyllis in an historic house. “It was a very nice house, but it was old and I wanted it renovated,” Fireman says.

After hearing from architects that his plans would basically involve a gut renovation, “I said, I’m not going to destroy this house. I’ll look for another piece of property.”

Fireman paid about $4 million for a 12-acre plot a mile and a half away, in the Boston suburb of Brookline, Mass., and later added two acres for a further $2 million when an adjacent parcel went up for sale. He hired the architecture firm Shope Reno Wharton to design a new home. “It started when I was just looking for a family room, and one thing led to another,” Fireman says. “I just got carried away a little bit.”

That is, perhaps, an understatement. The final product is a 26,623-square-foot limestone mansion with eight bedrooms, seven baths, and five half-baths. “It’s a little large for me right now,” Fireman says. “But 20 years ago it was OK.”

Now, in an effort to downsize, he’s putting the property on the market. The house and a 7.3-acre plot of land are listed with the Sarkis Team at Douglas Elliman for $38 million; an additional seven acres are listed separately for $17 million, meaning that, if someone wants to buy Fireman’s property as is, it will cost $55 million.

That might sound like a lot, but it’s about what Fireman says he put into the property. In total, he spent “between $40 million and $50 million,” he explains. “To be honest, I didn’t have a budget; I just built it,” he continues. “I know it’s a shameful thing. But meanwhile, what’s left is a beautiful home.”

Built to the Extreme
“The most incredible thing,” Fireman says, “is that it took only 19 months to build.”

Every room has ceiling heights of at least 11 feet; the floors, walls, and ceilings have from three to five inches of plywood, in order to make the home “as soundproof as you’ve ever heard.” His contractors, Fireman says, “built it to the extreme.”

The main entry, which spans the depth of the house, has a massive foyer with a curved staircase leading to upstairs bedrooms, a gym, and a massage room. The ground floor contains a formal dining room, library, living room, billiards room, and an office. Each floor can also be accessed via an elevator.

First « 1 2 » Next