A Houston home built in the 1980s for a Saudi prince is going on the market for $20 million.
The property, in the city’s exclusive River Oaks enclave, is one of the most expensive homes for sale in the Houston area right now, although listing agent Walter Bering of Martha Turner Sotheby’s International Realty said the area has seen home sales above $20 million in the past. It was built around 1986 by Prince Abdulrahman bin Faisal, son of the late King Faisal and brother of former Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal, according to J. M. Little, a Houston attorney who represented the prince at the time.
Mr. Little said the prince was involved in commercial real estate in Houston in the 1980s and needed a place to stay while in town. The Faisal family couldn’t be reached for comment. The current owners are Nijad and Zeina Fares, who bought the house in 2007.
The contemporary-style main house measures almost 24,000 square feet, Mr. Bering said, with 9 bedrooms plus staff quarters. Renovated by the Fareses, the house has an elevator, a wine room and a dining room that can seat more than 40 people. The master suite includes a sitting room, an exercise room, a sauna and steam room.
The roughly 3.1-acre gated compound, with water frontage on Buffalo Bayou, also includes a staff cottage with offices and living quarters. By the pool there is a bar and a gazebo with a hibachi grill. The grounds also include an outdoor pizza oven and a playground the Fareses built for their four children.
Nijad Fares is the son of Issam Fares, the former deputy prime minister of Lebanon and head of Wedge Group, a Houston-based international investment firm with interests in real estate, manufacturing and oil field services. Ms. Fares said they are selling because, with their children now starting to leave for college, the house is “starting to feel too big.” And while the house has been “a wonderful home,” she said, maintaining it is “a lot of work.”
She said the couple will stay in the Houston area but may build a house on a smaller scale.
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