A look at the State Department’s 174-home portfolio

As a taxpayer, your real estate holdings are actually pretty sweet

New York /
Oct.October 02, 2016 05:00 PM

From a 15th-century Roman villa to a redbrick neo-Georgian mansion in London, the U.S. government owns some of the most valuable houses in the world. In fact, the State Department has a portfolio of 174 residences.

In Rome, the American government’s Villa Taverna sits on seven acres in one of Rome’s most exclusive neighborhoods. It includes a Roman sarcophagus dating to the third century, ancient Egyptian granite columns, a swimming pool and a tennis court, according to the Wall Street Journal. But here’s the real kicker: a 2010 Office of the Inspector General’s report estimated its value at anywhere from “$500 million to $1 billion.”

The U.S. owns a similarly valuable property in London, a 12-acre estate next to Regent’s Park named Winfield House.

Then there is the neoclassical limestone residence in the upscale Miramar neighborhood of Havana, where President Barack Obama stayed in March, and the Beaux Arts villa in Hanoi. And those are just the tip of the iceberg.

So how many billions is the government’s residential portfolio worth? Turns out, there is just no way to say.

Christy Foushee, spokesperson for the Overseas Buildings Operations bureau, told the Journal that there is no program to track the current property values.

“The task of performing regular appraisals for such a diverse mix of historic properties in capital cities across the globe, many in opaque markets, would be an expensive and time consuming effort that hasn’t been considered a good use of taxpayer dollars without a compelling reason, such as an imminent sale,” Foushee said. [WSJ]Christopher Cameron


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Ricky Stenhouse with 355 Pelham Lane (Getty, Corcoran HM Properties)
The NASCAR effect: How racers turned Lake Norman into trophy home heaven
The NASCAR effect: How racers turned Lake Norman into trophy home heaven
One of the two Avalon lots sold to an unnamed businessman (Google Maps)
Two Jersey Shore lots sell for record $21M
Two Jersey Shore lots sell for record $21M
The house on Britten Street in Chelsea, London (Harding Green, Getty)
School-bus sized London apartment lists for $1.4M
School-bus sized London apartment lists for $1.4M
Frank Lloyd Wright and 7,000-square-foot modernist residence in Weston, Massachusetts (Gibson Sotheby's International Realty, Getty)
Mansion inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright lists for $38M
Mansion inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright lists for $38M
MacKenzie Scott and the Beverly Hills home (Getty, Google Maps)
Mansion donated to charity by MacKenzie Scott sells for $37M
Mansion donated to charity by MacKenzie Scott sells for $37M
A photo illustration of Ignazio and Maggio Cipriani along with Mr. C Seaport at 33 Peck Slip (Getty, Mr. C Residences, Google Maps)
Korean firm in talks to buy Cipriani hotel in Seaport
Korean firm in talks to buy Cipriani hotel in Seaport
Rendering of the new San Siro Stadium (Populous, iStock)
Fans calling foul over plan to replace Milan’s soccer stadium
Fans calling foul over plan to replace Milan’s soccer stadium
Chinese President Xi Jinping (Getty)
China bans government elites from holding overseas real estate assets
China bans government elites from holding overseas real estate assets
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...