By Rob BearPaul Allen, the one-time partner of Bill Gates in the founding of Microsoft, has always, it seems, been a flamboyant spender. In 1988, just two years after the Microsoft IPO, he paid $70M for the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers.
An avid musician, Allen owns the white Fender Stratocaster wielded by Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock. When he decided to take to the high seas, he did so in supreme style, commissioning the 414-foot Octopus, the world’s largest private yacht at the time of its 2003 construction.
So it should come as no surprise that Allen—who appeared this week on 60 Minutes as part of the media blitz surrounding a tell-all he penned about the rise of Microsoft—has one smashing real estate portfolio. Last year, he bought this 5,800-square-foot Malibu, Calif. beach house right on famed Carbon Beach, for $25M. Let’s just call that pocket change for the man of many toys and many billions.
When Brangelina needed a place to stay with their brood for the Cannes film festival, they borrowed Allen’s French escape, Villa Maryland, a hilltop stucco spread with a staff of 12 located in the exclusive enclave of St. Jean Cap-Ferrat.
Here, where estates like this trade for upwards of $30M, Allen counts Bono and Andrew Lloyd Webber among his sun seeking neighbours.
Allen is partial to his childhood home of Seattle, and saves his most extravagant purchases for upscale Mercer Island. The 10,000-square-foot waterfront home features a floating heli-pad for ease of access, a dock that’s not nearly large enough to accommodate Octopus, and a small front lawn.
So what makes this estate so special? How about five adjacent mansions Allen owns, just up the hillside from the main house? The billionaire bachelor’s mother lives in one, while the enormous tree-shrouded building houses a full-sized basketball court, fitness centre, and swimming pool with water slide. For some mind-boggling interior views, be sure to check out the 60 Minutes segment.