Mark Wattles’ unfinished riverside mansion in West Linn is on the market for $ four million: The founding father of Hollywood Video has lengthy since disappeared

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Mark Wattles' unfinished riverside mansion in West Linn is for sale for $ 4 million: The founder of Hollywood Video has long since disappeared

“You will never find another property like this,” said the marketing materials for an unfinished riverside mansion that was frozen in a rural part of West Linn for 24 years and is on sale for $ 3,999,999.

“When completed, the residence will be the largest in Oregon and will even tower over the governor’s mansion,” says the brochure, which advertises the 49,240-square-foot stalled structure at 32020 SW Peach Cove Road.

There are walls that have long been covered in waterproof tyvek, but no windows or finished floors.

The shell is made of steel beams, concrete and wood and extends over three floors and extends over an area equivalent to three football fields.

The incomplete mansion is part of a 32-acre farm and sits in a bend in the Willamette River. It offers 270 degree views and a water front of 2,700 feet.

The neighborhood has “upscale farmhouses, equestrian facilities, and tiny vineyards,” which she describes as “unprecedented riverside opportunities,” according to Kendra Ratcliff of Luxe Christies International Real Estate.

She explains some of the luxury options a new owner could add:

  • A helipad for a quick get to downtown Portland
  • A boat dock for access to the river from the back yard
  • The 25-foot gym with a full basketball court under a wood-beam ceiling could turn into an indoor pool or tennis court
  • The entire lower level of the massive structure, which is planned as a showroom for 60 cars, garage and mechanics with heated and cooled concrete floors, could hold a vintage car collection or become a bowling alley or a shooting range

The plans for the mansion included a spiral staircase and a glass atrium that led to a large room with two-story glass panels. Media and theater rooms, home offices and nine bedrooms were also on the drawing board.

The master suite, which took up half the top floor, was to have a 1,200-square-foot closet, private theater space, kitchenette, his and hers bathroom, two sitting areas, and two wraparound decks.

The property was originally owned by Mark Wattles, best known for opening and selling Hollywood video stores that were successful at the time and buying bankrupt Ultimate Electronics.

The entrepreneur paid $ 1.25 million in 1994 for the land that is used solely for agricultural purposes. That designation can lower taxes and allow the owner to make money farming or running a horse riding business, Ratcliff says.

About five acres are now planted in blueberries. Annual taxes are approximately $ 30,000.

Wattles received planning permission in 1996 to build a mansion the size of the White House.

The next year he won a publicly known lawsuit from a neighbor sponsored by the 1000 Friends of Oregon land use group and the Ball Janik law firm.

“I don’t think there is a nicer place than this point on the peninsula,” Wattles said in 2018, adding that he had “gone overboard” with his plans for the house and stated that he was at the time was in her thirties.

He said he put $ 12 million into his unfinished trophy house near Canby.

“It would have been spectacular for the family,” he said, “countless places for the kids and me to play on the river and in the house.”

Instead, he moved to Las Vegas with his wife and five children to take advantage of tax breaks and escape the limelight.

“Founding a fast-growing business is not the center of gravity in Las Vegas as it is in Portland,” said Wattles, who owns a Dallas, Texas home and founded 151 Coffee and is a co-owner of Firebirds Wood Fired Grill Restaurants.

Wattles had the architectural plans for the unfinished manor house remodeled from a traditional style to a north-western craftsman with a stone facade by Tom Avgerakis of Avgerakis Custom Homes in Lake Oswego.

However, a new buyer could make the mansion look classic or modern. “Mediterranean, Northwest Lodge, modern … just bring your architect and your vision with you,” says Ratcliff.

The only construction work that has been done over the decades has been to expose the wood and other building materials to the elements.

Twice a year, documents are sent to Clackamas County to keep the controversial building permits active.

Clackamas County valued the property at $ 5.3 million.

In 2018, Terry Sprague of Luxe Christies International Real Estate and Ratcliff listed the Peach Cove Road property and partnered with Platinum Luxury Auctions to sell it.

The winning bidder was Richard L. Stanley of Camas, Washington, who founded Rick’s Custom Fencing & Decking and owns log yards in Oregon. He planned to create a Tuscan villa-style winery and maybe open a wine tasting room.

Stanley said he would update the old plans to reflect advances in building materials and technology.

In July 2018, he paid $ 2.27 million for the auctioned item.

In June 2020, he listed it for $ 3,999,999, still unfinished.

“If you are interested in starting a winery, the property’s great location, amenities, and land are all good for the business,” writes Ratcliff.

The property has 29 acres of irrigation rights, a well ready to be plugged in, and completed plumbing for ponds and water features, she adds.

The temperature-controlled garages on the lower level could be used as barrel rooms, and the sunken racquetball court could be converted into a room for winemaking, she adds.

A large store could store machines and the villa could have a tasting room for the wineries.

. – Janet Eastman | 503-294-4072

jeastman@oregonian.com | @janeteastman

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The property tax amount has been corrected in this story.