Friday, February 19, 2016

Super wealthy homeowners are parking more money and attention into their garages - and the results are stunning


Luxury homeowners are parking big bucks, 5-star amenities, and hi-tech innovations into one area of the house like never before.

It might include 3,800 square feet of marble floors, bay windows, a full bar, bathrooms that would be the envy of even the most grand hotel and even an elevator. But we’re not talking about some palatial mansion for the rich and famous – that’s just the garage.

Never mind the level of opulence in the rest of the home, the wealthiest people in America and around the world are sprucing up a long-neglected and typically Spartan area of their homes: the carport. It’s no coincidence that some of these multi-millionaire and billionaire homeowners are automobile aficionados, as their taste for the finer things – and the space to showcase them – now extends to the garage.

Some of the nicest garages in America feature unbelievable amenities like wet bars, wine cellars, cigar humidors, gambling and card rooms, movie theaters, mahogany pillars, libraries, basketball courts, sports memorabilia rooms, oriental rugs, immense exotic fish tanks, and more flat screen TVs that you can count. The ultra rich are even putting their own brand of personality and hometown pizzazz into their garages, as one homeowner imported bricks from his native New Orleans to build accent walls, another recreated a whole old fashioned functioning diner, and yet another features its own replica “Welcome to fabulous Las Vegas” sign.

While garages and adequate parking space do add value to any home, in once you get to the level of super-luxury and high-end custom homes, the use and “wow factor” afforded its owners by far outpaces any added value to the property. In fact, upscale garage additions don’t often pencil out financially, recouping only 52% of their cost, according to the Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report. But still, wealthy homeowners love to showcase and pamper their 4-wheeled “babies” with all the trappings fit for a king or queen.

So let’s roll up the door and take a look at ten of the most stunning celebrity luxury garages you’ll ever see!

Jerry Seinfeld’s garage
Famed television funnyman Jerry Seinfeld is such a lover of fine vintage automobiles that he has a comedic series, Coffee With Comedians in Cars, in which he features a new car every week. In his down time, Seinfeld parks one of his favorite Porsches in his Manhattan subterranean garage, accessible by an elevator platform. In all, Seinfeld’s garage is three stories with an 844 square foot chill-out space with a clubroom, billiard table, kitchenette, bathroom, and office - plenty of room to admire his 46 Porches. While this is impressive by any standards, it’s even more incredible that Seinfeld lives just three blocks from Central Park on the crowded Manhattan streets.

Jay Leno’s Big Dog garage
Never one to be outdone by his East Coast comedic counterpart, Jay Leno takes the idea of home parking in luxury to a whole new level. Living in Southern California, Leno actually houses his many priceless automobiles and motorcycles in two buildings. They’re EACH about 17,000 square feet and feature a machine shop, fabrication shop, and plenty of living space like recreation areas, kitchens and bathrooms. Leno even spent big bucks recently to turn his luxury garages green, installing solar panels that power the whole operation.

John Travolta’s garage
But iconic actor and celebrity John Travolta might take the cake when it comes to the nicest garages you’ll ever see, as the car lover is also an airplane enthusiast and amateur pilot. Reportedly, Travolta has not only room for 15 luxury automobiles, but also two airplane hangars where he garages his private Gulfstream jet and Boeing 707 airplane. Of course any airplane owners needs support vehicles to fuel and taxi his or her aircraft - pretty impressive considering that Travolta has not only driveways for his cars, but a 1.4-mile private runway leading up to his garage!

Mitt Romney’s garage
Another run for President may not be in Romney’s immediate future, but that means he can spend even more time in his La Jolla, California beachfront $12 million estate. Once Romney moved there in 2008, one of the first things he did was do a complete remodel of the 11,000 square-foot mansion, including a showcase garage that includes split-levels accessible by elevators.

Ralph Lauren’s D.A.D. garage

World-renowned designer Ralph Lauren likes to drive in style, and with his enviable collection of at least 60 fine automobiles, he doesn’t need a fashion runway but a world-class garage. But when it proved impossible to build a whole underground complex beneath his New York country home in Westchester, he bought a nearby vacant car dealership and converted it into his own personal car mecca. Once completed, the D.A.D. Garage (named after his children David, Andrew and Dylan) shows like a multi-level museum where cars sit among white stainless steel counters, ceiling, and walls, and pillars on jet-black floors, with ultra-bright halogens lighting every glorious detail.

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