A handful of luxury cars lined the street outside a towering Ooltewah mansion on Friday, as auctioneers attempted to get the best possible price for one of Chattanooga's most expensive mansions.
The 1 p.m. absolute auction wasn't open to the public or the press. Bidders were required to submit bank routing numbers and a $100,000 deposit in advance. Swinging gates opened and closed for each car.
A total of seven bidders ultimately attended, but the sale fell well short of the sprawling home's $5.3 million listing price, which would have made it the city's most expensive house ever sold. It also missed the current record of $4.15 million, set in 2012 for a Riverview home bought by Billy Oehmig.
Auctioneers did not discuss the actual price paid for the home or the name of the buyer, who was only identified as a local doctor and his family. But New York-based Concierge Auctions confirmed that the mansion was the most expensive home sold in Chattanooga so far in 2013.
Only a moneyed few or their agents were allowed past the temple-esque Corinthian stone columns and into the home of Elizabeth Fuller, wife of the late trucking magnate Clyde Fuller.
The lavish 8,700-square-foot mansion, which cost $15 million to build, is one of a kind. It sits on 10 acres with panoramic mountain and city views, and includes a separate 2,800-square-foot guesthouse with two bedrooms and two bathrooms of its own.
Four bedroom suites, each with its own bathroom, sit in separate corners of the main house. A full bar serves guests in the open, soaring great room, which is marked by a marble staircase that descends toward the grand front entrance.
Out back, there's room for hundreds of partygoers around the multiple infinity pools and patios, and up to three cars can be stored in a heated garage.
The bid party ended early for some on Friday, as valet parking attendants began running for cars after just 20 minutes.
The closing is planned for June 7.
According to a news release from Concierge Auctions, a global marketing campaign brought 4,400 website visits from 44 U.S. states and 26 countries. The company eventually identified 504 prospective buyers for Fuller's home.
Contact staff writer Ellis Smith at esmith@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6315.
Ellis Smith joined the Chattanooga Times Free Press in January 2010 as a business reporter. His beat includes the flooring industry, Chattem, Unum, Krystal, the automobile market, real estate and technology. Ellis is from Marietta, Ga., and has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication at the University of West Georgia. He previously worked at UTV-13 News, Carrollton, Ga., as a producer; at the The West Georgian, Carrollton, Ga., as editor; and at the Times-Georgian, Carrollton, ...