Mystery buyer of $48M Lake Tahoe mansion revealed

Blockchain entrepreneur got lakeshore lodge with grand piano, 28-foot power boat in the deal

Blockchains CEO Jeff Berns and 859 Lakeshore Boulevard in Incline Village, Lake Tahoe, Nevada (LinkedIn/Jeffrey K. Berns, Zillow)
Blockchains CEO Jeff Berns and 859 Lakeshore Boulevard in Incline Village, Lake Tahoe, Nevada (LinkedIn/Jeffrey K. Berns, Zillow)

It’s taken seven months to identify the buyer peering out from behind the curtains of a Lake Tahoe home bought for $47.5 million. He’s Jeff Berns, CEO of Nevada-based Blockchains.

The veteran tech entrepreneur and his wife, Mary Berns, bought the nearly 12,000-square-foot lakefront lodge at 859 Lakeshore Blvd. in Incline Village, Nevada, reported. The sale closed on Nov. 10.

The sellers of the four-bedroom, seven-bath property known as “Spirit of the Lake” were retired PIMCO managing director Dean Meiling and his wife Madylon, who built it in 2005.

It marked the third-highest price recorded for a lakefront property in Lake Tahoe, according to the Reno Gazette Journal.

The Meilings initially asked $44 million in August 2020 for the two-story house. The owners of Nevada-based Chemeon Surface Technology then pulled it into the harbor before sailing it back onto the market last October for $49 million.

The home relisted as an “entertainer’s dream” – a multi-gabled, shingle-and-stone lodge nestled inside a bower of pines on 1.4 acres beside the shimmering lake.

The gated home has an open floor plan with soaring ceilings, French limestone floors, Venetian plaster faux-painted walls, Loewen windows and doors, Lutron lighting and floor-to ceiling walls of glass.

Its double-height living room comes with a wood-beam ceiling with eight chandeliers, a stone fireplace, two seating areas, plus a lounge containing a Yamaha grand piano included in the deal.

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Its gourmet kitchen has an eat-in island, breakfast nook, and a formal dining room. In addition to a 1,200-bottle wine cellar, the home came with an elevator, movie theater, wet bar and gym, plus a master retreat with a stone fireplace and lakefront outdoor seating area.

A meandering creek winds through seasonal gardens alongside a pool and spa and a seven-car garage with a whole-house generator.

The Berns’ deal came with 150 feet of lakeshore, a dock, plus a 28-foot Cobalt power boat.

Tracey Allyn Cutler of Corcoran Global Living held the listing. The buyers were represented by Clif Chase of Chase International.

The highest price paid for a Lake Tahoe property was in 1998, when the Thunderbird Lodge — also known as the Whittell Estate — and its 140 acres of private land were sold for $50 million to developer Del Webb.

The second highest was the Tranquility estate of Tommy Hilfiger co-founder Joel Horowitz, which sold for $48 million in 2013, according to the Gazette. The fourth highest was a lakefront estate that sold in December to an unknown buyer for $46 million, following an ask of $60 million.

Other high-profile Tahoe buys include two properties bought by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for $37 million and $22 million each in 2019. Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison also bought four Lake Tahoe properties for between $15 million to $20 million each, which he razed to build a new home.

[Dirt] – Dana Bartholomew

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