Those of y’all who have been following this blog for some time should know that one of Yolanda’s all-time favorite subjects is a lady named Tina Trahan. We have written about her real estate exploits and other such matters at least two or three times on this blog. And here we go again. Hey, it isn’t our fault she provides us with gobs of juicy property fodder.
Now Ms. Trahan is not a famous actress, businesswoman, singer, model, or heiress. But people seem to love reading about her, for whatever reason. Her stories on here get a lot of clicks. Clicks up the wazoo, in fact. But anyway, If you’re a newbie and want to know more about Ms. Trahan, click here to read our original article on her. Suffice to say that she was once linked (non-romantically, allegedly) to Tiger Woods (she was a member of his “private plane posse”, ooh la la). She has also long been romantically involved with a powerful media CEO named Chris Albrecht. Yolanda originally thought Ms. Trahan was just Mr. Albrecht’s girlfriend, but as was revealed by Page Six, the couple recently got married. Mazel tov!
Anyway, Yolanda knows for a fact that Ms. Trahan reads our blog, so we are a bit disappointed that our wedding invite got lost in the mail. Why didn’t you just email us, gurl?! Shoot.
For those of y’all keeping track, this is the marriage #3 for Mr. Albrecht. Yolanda is not sure if Ms. Trahan has been married previously, but she does have a teenage daughter from a prior relationship.
On to the real estate. Nearly two years ago, Ms. Trahan (and Mr. Albrecht) paid $7,150,000 for a big (and somewhat bland) spec-mansion in a leafy part of Santa Monica, CA. It was this house that Yolanda originally wrote about. And on our original story, we received a comment from someone claiming to be a neighbor, who tattled that Ms. Trahan had illegally cut down a large cypress (?) tree in front of her home. We weren’t sure if the post was serious, but whatever.
But lo, kiddies. Yolanda happened to be cruisin’ by Ms. Trahan’s house the other day — we were on our way to do some arduous shopping, you see — and we couldn’t help noticing the huge stump right in front of Ms. Trahan’s house. A stump! Oh, the horror. We slammed on the brakes and had to back that ass up to snap a quick iPhone pic of the newly-barren front yard. What a disaster!
The house looks ugly without the tree. But the really bad thing, kiddies, is that the tree was situated on public land and not in Ms. Trahan’s yard. Yolanda cannot fathom how her removal could have been legal?! Maybe a Santa Monica tree trimming/removal expert can chime in and let us know.
We digress. It also appears to Yolanda that Ms. Trahan and Mr. Albrecht are doing some sort of remodel to their mansion. The driveway gate seems to have disappeared, and there are new walls surrounding the front grass area. Clearing a pathway?
Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Mr. Albrecht and Ms. Trahan recently spent more than $1 million to book Snoop Dogg and DJ Khaled for a kids’ Halloween party at their home? According to Page Six, the performers rapped for 75 kids ages 7 to 12. (How does a 7-year-old even know who DJ Khaled is?! But we digress again…)
Anyway, the other big news about Ms. Trahan is that she now, as of about two weeks ago, owns nearly the entirety of what might be the second-largest mega-mansion in all of Wisconsin. That’s right, Wisconsin. Our Ms. Trahan originally hails from Chicago, you see. And Lake Geneva — located about 1.5 hours northwest of Chicago by car — has long been a popular resort destination for wealthy financiers and businesspeople from the city.
Stone Manor is probably the most talked-about mansion in the area. Originally called Younglands, the nearly 50,000-square-foot beast is situated with 400 feet of frontage on Lake Geneva’s shore, and was built way back in 1899 by a Chicago-based German immigrant named Otto Young. The exterior walls feature Bedford limestone, while the interior walls are covered in Tennessee marble. Hand laid parquet tile floors and 14kt gold plated fixtures are spread throughout the main level. There’s an epicly-scaled ballroom, and the basement has a bowling alley. On and on it goes. And it reportedly Mr. Young cost nearly $2 million in construction fees, a colossal amount of money in 1899. What is that in today’s dollars, like $200 million?!
After Mr. Young’s death in 1906, the house remained in the family until 1939, when his granddaughter donated it and the surrounding land to the Episcopal Church to be used as a private girl’s-only school. Unfortunately, the school failed financially and the mansion was sold in 1945 to a Korean businessman. By the 1960s, the mansion had been seized for back taxes and was eventually sold to a developer who transformed it into a restaurant. Eventually, the house became a hotel and eventually a Christmas tree museum (?!).
By 1990, the humongous spread was in derelict condition and close to facing the wrecking ball. But a local Lake Geneva developer swooped in to save the day! He renovated and transformed the manor into a luxury condo co-op with three units on the top floor, three units on the second floor, and one mansion-sized ultra-swank unit spanning the entire main floor. Eventually, a buyer combined two of the three units on the top floor, leaving a total of six units in the entire mansion.
Last November (2016), Ms. Trahan steamrolled into town (via private jet) and paid exactly $5,995,000 for the entire first-floor unit (above). And while that might not seem like a huge amount to us jaded Californians, it was one of the biggest sales of the year for the entire state of Wisconsin.
But what happened next really surprised Yolanda. Ms. Trahan proceeded to buy both third-floor units in March (2017). Then she swooped in and picked up one of the three second-floor units in August (2017) and another in November (2017).
Yes, everyone. But for one small unit, Ms. Trahan now owns the entirety of Stone Manor.
Yolanda isn’t great at reading Wisconsin property records, so we’re not sure exactly how much Ms. Trahan has spent on her purchases thus far. But the Geneva Shore Report themselves said that she has paid approximately $18,000,000 for her five units. According to the local paper, Ms. Trahan would very much like to spend more to acquire the last unit, but the owner — some dude named Craig — is being a feisty old coot and is so far refusing to sell. The nerve! Nobody puts Ms. Trahan in a corner.
Luckily, Ms. Trahan is married to a guy who can afford to buy out those pesky neighbors. In 2013 alone, Chris Albrecht hauled in a $30.5 million salary. Cha-ching! (It’s worth noting, however, that Mr. Albrecht’s name does not appear on any of the Stone Manor unit deeds. They are all, technically speaking, owned solely by Ms. Trahan).
But what could Ms. Trahan, whose hubby is based in LA, want with a 50,000-square-foot, 100+ year old shopping mall-sized mansion in Wisconsin? And why would she spend a record $20 million to buy up the whole thing? And the renovation costs! This isn’t the sort of place where you can just slap a new coat of paint on the walls and call it a day. Every change — even a little change — on 100+ year old limestone needs to be overseen by legit craftsmen, or else it’ll just end up looking a hot mess.
And just imagine what the annual maintenance bill for a property of this size must be. A 50,000-square-foot antique limestone box on 10 acres of landscaped land. Let’s also not forget that the house has a huge pool — a heated pool — on top of the damn roof. Um, all that has gotta take enough money to give any run-of-the mill millionaire heart palpitations.
Anyway, it’s all simply insane! And in Wisconsin! And if Ms. Trahan gets her way and purchases the last unit, she’ll have spent upwards of $20,000,000 on her residential magnum opus. That might just end up being the highest price ever paid for a home in the entire state, so stick that in your juice boxes.
And she will get her way, y’all. Money talks, and money always wins. And Ms. Trahan has plenty of money.
Stone Manor photographs: David Curry