Hedge fund manager John A. Paulson, president and founder of Paulson & Co., Inc. has purchased Saudi Prince Bandar’s former Hala Ranch in the Starwood subdivision.
Paulson’s spokesman, Armel Leslie, of the New York public relations firm Walek and Associates, confirmed that Paulson bought two of Bandar’s properties on May 31 for $49 million.
Paulson bought the 90-acre Hala Ranch for $41 million and a 38-acre parcel known as the Bear Cabin for $8 million.
The property represents one of the most pristine working ranches in Aspen with 130 acres of aspen trees, pine groves, paddocks and farmland, according to Leslie’s statement.
“Our goal will be to both upgrade and reduce the scale of the house while preserving the uniqueness of this beautiful property,” the statement reads. It has been renamed Star Ranch.
“Mr. Paulson has vacationed in Aspen for more than 25 years and two years ago purchased a home in Aspen,” the statement reads. “He and his family intend to stay in Aspen for many years to come.”
In June 2010, Paulson bought a 12,500-square-foot home near Hala Ranch for $24.5 million, located on Sunnyside Lane on eight acres off of McLain Flats Road.
The home on Sunnyside Lane was completed in 2009 by John Olson Builders, according to Pitkin County documents.
It has five bedrooms, six-and-a-half bathrooms, seven fire places, a spa and a home theater. It has man-made lakes on the property and sweeping views of the Elk Mountain Range, with the upper slopes of the Snowmass Ski Area directly in view.
The Starwood property is located farther up the slopes of Red Mountain from the Sunnyside Lane home, with even more commanding views.
The buyer of public record for the Sunnyside Lane property is Aspen Lakes Ranch LLC. The LLC was registered with the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office on May 7, 2010 by the Aspen law firm of Oates, Knezevich, Gardenswartz & Kelly, P.C.
The buyer for Hala Ranch is identified in public records only as Starwood Mountain Ranch LLC, which was incorporated in March by the same law firm.
Paulson is a billionaire who made a fortune in 2007 betting against the subprime mortgage sector.
Prince Bandar was Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States from 1983 to 2005. He listed his 95-acre ranch and the 56,000-square-foot home in 2006 for $135 million, but officially pulled it off the market 16 months later.
The Pitkin County Assessor values the Bandar property at $84.2 million, although assessor’s staff have conceded in the past that the holding is difficult to put a value on, as such numbers are calculated using comparable sales data. Little to none of that exists for a property like Hala Ranch.
Bandar bought the land in 1989, and built the main residence in 1991.
Starwood Mountain Ranch also purchased two interests in the Aspen Residence Club for $500,000.