Dean Gardens Headed for Demolition & Subdivision
5100 Old Alabama Road, Johns Creek, Georgia, United States
One of Georgia’s finest and most talked about private homes could be heading for demolition to make way for dozens of single family homes if Lennar Homes gets their way. WSB-TV Atlanta reported that Tyler Perry is planning to sell the 58-acre estate to Lennar Homes who will raze the 32,000 square foot mansion as well as the extensive formal gardens which were partly modelled after The Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia to develop the property.
The mansion was designed & built over four years in the late 80s & early 90s by entrepreneur Larry Dean & wife Lynda for close to $25 million. The property had previously been listed as high as $40 million which gained interest from Michael Jackson in the mid-90s before selling in the summer of 2010 to entertainer Tyler Perry for $7.6 million. It had been reported at the time that Perry planned to raze the mansion while keeping the mature formal gardens as a backdrop to a new mansion.
Mike Bodker, Mayor of Johns Creek, had said shortly after it sold in 2010, “Perry’s desire to keep the land as a private residence will likely come as a relief to many in the area.” An estate sale was held at the mansion in August of 2010 where furniture, antiques, and several pieces of architecture were removed & sold. The interiors of the mansion were stripped of anything valuable leaving the future of the mansion unknown. A little over three years later and there’s been a change of heart. Below you can see a site plan of what Lennar Homes is planning to do with the estate.
Irene Sanders, president of the Thornhill Homeowner’s Association, told WSB-TV Atlanta, “The gardens are gorgeous, they’re beautiful. If there had been anyway to work to buy this property or possibly Tyler Perry could have donated it to the city, to the state, to be a botanical gardens, that would have ultimately been the best solution.”
WSB-TV Atlanta says neighbours are set to meet with the Lennar developers Tuesday for a community meeting before the project goes before the city Planing and Zoning Commission on April 1st, then City Council April 14th. I was fortunate enough to visit the mansion in August of 2010 with the family who had originally designed & built it. Other features on the property include a 2-acre lake with wedding chapel, a private amphitheatre, an 18-hole, par-72 golf course, caretaker’s house, gardener’s cottage, and helipad.