Some people renovate to increase their property value; others, like art dealer W. Graham Arader, plant $2 million worth of trees.
Arader bought the 6,000-square-foot mansion, which dates back to the 19th century and was formerly the home of actress Helen Hayes and Rosie O’Donnell, for around $6 million in 2005, according to Bloomberg. O’Donnell had recently renovated many of the interior spaces, so Arader focused his energy on landscaping the 1.2 acre estate about a 40-minute drive outside New York.
Why not a more fragrant kind of flora? Before he became an art dealer, Arader was a tree surgeon so his knowledge and enthusiasm for rare trees prompted him to order “60 to 70 trees that would be driven across the country by my nurseryman” every six months.
Non-native species he introduced include redwoods and sequoias, and, with them, he developed special irrigation methods, though he still lost a few trees.
“I’ve had about an 85 percent success rate,” he told Bloomberg — and spent a few million in the process.
But despite all the toil Arader put in over his 13 years in the house, he listed the property for under $5 million — a loss he’s willing to take to get the house sold fast — with Ellis Sotheby’s International Realty. [Bloomberg] — Erin Hudson