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This $15M private island ‘spy’ lair features underground car wash tunnel entry

This wild mansion located on a private island in Minnesota comes with an especially unique amenity: unlimited underground car washes.

A one-of-a-kind home fit for a mysterious international spy is located on Lake Minnetonka, and has just listed for $15 million. To get to the home, the owner must wheel through an underground tunnel — complete with car wash — to park in an eight-car garage.

Visitors must take a regular bridge to the terraced motor court, but from there, they have the option to enter the tunnel on the right or the garage and car wash on the left. The two sides join and lead to an outlet in a mysterious undisclosed location.

“By [having guests enter] the garage on the side, there is an opportunity to screen the entrance from adjoining properties… another consideration was security,” said the builder, David Erotas, to the Greenwood city council according to 2014 meeting minutes.

“The parking area is intended to be a direct access to the house for family and friends,” the owner, Kam Talebi, told the city council.

The private island is in St. Albans Bay on Lake Minnetonka in Greenwood, Minnesota.
The private island is in Saint Albans Bay on Lake Minnetonka in Greenwood, Minnesota.
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“We’re starting to get quite a bit of interest globally” from potential buyers, listing broker Jessica Prudden of Prudden & Company told the New York Post.
The home, which includes several underground tunnels, also comes with a pool.
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The buyer can dry off from a dip in the lake or the pool next to one of the home’s six fireplaces.
The buyer can dry off from a dip in the lake or the pool next to one of the home’s six fireplaces.
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The entrance isn’t the home’s only underground tunnel. The two-winged mansion has an oversized glass dome-topped pool house (and heated outdoor pool) that is accessible via a subterranean tunnel as well, according to the listing.

What else do Batman-like millionaires like to do, other than sneak around underground? In this house, they can drink in the bar lounge and wine rooms, or they can puff a cigar in the poker room, according to the listing.

For exercise and relaxation, the home offers an indoor grotto with gold-colored tiling, a full gym, a sauna, a locker room and a relaxation room. The buyer can dry off next to one of the home’s six fireplaces.

An indoor pool with a gold-colored tiling inset is pictured.
An indoor grotto pool with a gold-colored tiling is pictured.
Realtor.com
Want a drink? The home has a bar lounge, double wine rooms and a cigar and poker room.
Want a drink? The home has a bar lounge, wine rooms and a cigar and poker room.
Realtor.com

The heated outdoor pool has views of the lake.

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Two main wings are connected by an interior courtyard, and a dome-topped pool house is accessible via an underground tunnel.

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The mansion is a hybrid of Mediterranean and modern style. Terracotta roof tiles provide sharp contrast to the huge, arched 80-feet by 18-feet skylight in the center of the house. It is one of the largest glass-enclosed atriums in Minnesota, centered around a steel-cable glass elevator.

“We’re starting to get quite a bit of interest globally” from potential buyers, listing broker Jessica Prudden of Prudden Company told The Post. 

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The atrium has a glass elevator with steel cables servicing four floors of the home.

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The home’s asking price is about two and a half times more expensive per square foot than other homes in the area, which typically ask about $1.2 million, according to Realtor.com.

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This is the scaled-down version?

The completion of the home end caps almost two decades of fraud, false starts and finally, a restaurateur with a vision. Now, for the first time, it is finished and on the market — giving the public a glimpse of the mega-mansion shrouded in rumor.

Beginning in 2003, eccentric onetime-millionaire developer Jeffrey Wirth allegedly spent more than $5 million of his company’s money — fraudulently — to build this mansion in St. Albans Bay on Lake Minnetonka.

The formal dining room is decked out in geode-like wallpaper.
The formal dining room is decked out in geode-like wallpaper.
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He named it the “Isle of Windemere” after Ernest Hemingway’s boyhood summer cottage in Michigan.

But he paused construction in 2006 and listed it for sale in 2010 for $6 million. “The Isle of Windemere” sat half-finished and overtaken by weeds while the price dropped to $4 million.

The city received “a lot of phone calls complaining” about the eyesore, according to City Clerk Gus Karpas, and Greenwood ordered Wirth to finish the exterior by July 2012. But by then, he pleaded guilty to tax fraud and went to federal prison, the Star Tribune reported.

The home has five bedrooms. This bedroom is staged with a deck area.
The home has five bedrooms, including this one which is staged with an office area.
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This bedroom has a red ceiling tray and a large vanity.
This bedroom has a red tray ceiling and a large vanity.
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‘Crave’ owner drops a few million to finish the project

Local complaints about the “eyesore” were relieved by local restaurateur Kam Talebi, who purchased the island for somewhere between $1 million and $2 million in 2013.

He appears to have spent at least $5 million to finish renovating the five-bedroom, nine-bathroom property over the better part of a decade, records show.

Talebi turned to the original developer, luxury homebuilder David Erotas, to finish the mansion, according to Artful Living magazine

The primary bedroom suite has a huge walk-in closet.
The primary bedroom suite has a huge walk-in closet.
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This sitting room has a huge slab fireplace.

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Round seating complements rounded windows.

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Wirth faced divorce in 2008, halting construction, and by 2012, he pled guilty to tax fraud and went to federal prison.
Wirth faced divorce in 2008, halting construction, and by 2012, he pleaded guilty to tax fraud and went to federal prison.
Realtor.com

“[Talebi is] going to scale down the interiors — which were admittedly pretty over the top… but many of the unusual features he’s going to keep,” Erotas told Artful Living when the project resumed in 2013.

Asking $15 million, the home is listed at about two and a half times more expensive per square foot than other homes in the area, which typically go for about $1.2 million total, according to Realtor.com.

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