20 Langhorne is back on the market with new owner/builders and a new price, $5.995, for which they will build you a 9,100 sq.ft. home on its five acres. This was once another of the ill-fated Patriot Bank/Jinhua Tsoi collaborations, where Patriot would provide (lots of) money and Mr. Tsoi would build an unsalable home. Other people’s money flowed like water and the energetic Mr. Tsoi did his worst: Langhorne, Montgomery Lane, Byfield, Boulder Brook – I’m sure there were other disasters out there, but you get the drift.
In any event, Tsoi paid $1.9 for this collection of rock and swampland and Patriot, being the inscrutable geniuses they are, loaned him $6 million to build a $14,900,000 18,000 sq. ft. mansion. Wouldn’t you have loved to be in the room while Patriot’s lending officers discussed that one and concluded it was a wise investment? Remind me again why no one’s in jail over there.
So the price dropped, down to $10,000,000 by 2009, no one wanted it, the house was never built and the land returned to nature. Last February Patriot finalized its foreclosure, wrote off its $6 million and sold the land to the present owner for $1 million. They even tossed in a new $3 million mortgage to build a more modest mansion, “but this time we really mean it – you’ve got to build something”. Better a performing asset than a liability, I suppose.
Is there a market for a back country mansion at $6 million? We’ll find out, but at least the new price seems closer to reality. And it will have as its neighbor the Antares Boyz’ empty, 45,000 sq. foot fiasco, so this one will appear modest by comparison. Modest is the new black, I’m told.