Real Estate News

Castle-like Bluffton mansion listed for $9M will be sold ... in Hong Kong. Here’s why

Take a look inside the castle-like Bluffton mansion that’s up for auction in China

A 20,1000 square-foot mansion sits on Seven Oaks Drive in Colleton River Plantation. The Bluffton home has an asking price of $9 million, and is going up for auction in Hong Kong in mid-December.
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A 20,1000 square-foot mansion sits on Seven Oaks Drive in Colleton River Plantation. The Bluffton home has an asking price of $9 million, and is going up for auction in Hong Kong in mid-December.

Editor’s note posted on Dec. 19: Concierge Auctions has shifted the original December auction date forward until after the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. Bidding is expected to open Jan. 15, and the home will be sold Jan. 18.

A castle-like mansion listed for sale for $9 million — the most expensive single-family home formally listed in Bluffton — will have a new owner soon.

It is being sold at an auction in Hong Kong.

The home, which measures 20,700 square feet and sits on 10 acres at Seven Oaks Drive, is being marketed specifically to Chinese investors by realty firm Concierge Auctions. The firm is working locally with Engel & Volkers.

The potential buyer “is interested in a luxury property in a target destination,” said Renee Corrigan, project sales manager with Concierge Auctions.

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Corrigan said big selling points for the estate in Colleton River Plantation include the deep-water dock that can handle a 125-foot yacht and the Jack Nicklaus-designed and Pete Dye-designed golf courses.

“For Chinese buyers right now, all indications show that they are looking for premier golfing,” she said.

Why an auction?

The auction, which will be part of a live event in Hong Kong on Dec. 20 (or Dec. 19 local time), includes 18 different properties.

Estates in Galveston, Texas; Highlands, North Carolina; Vancouver, British Columbia; Barbados; and Costa Rica, among others, are included. The Bluffton residence is the only one from the Lowcountry.

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“We are going to get eyes on it from all over the globe,” Corrigan said. “(Buyers) are going to come from all over the world ... within the United States, outside the United States.”

The bidding will happen both live and online, so anyone who wants to watch can log onto Concierge Auction’s website and see how much interest the property draws.

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There is no reserve price set on the property, so there’s no way to pinpoint the price the property will bring.

“We truly, truly never know,” Corrigan said.

About the Bluffton property

The home’s owners, Brock and Elizabeth Rowley, still live in the home but are planning to downsize, Brock Rowley previously told The Island Packet.

“We’ve had enough of the big house and big entertaining,” Brock Rowley said in August.

He said the home is a great place for parties. Each New Year, the couple hosts a black-tie event for about 150 people, and they’ve also hosted many fundraisers over the years for charities and organizations.

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One living room — which Brock Rowley calls “the embassy room” — features gold-leafed oak paneling that once was in the Hungarian embassy in Paris. The Rowleys purchased the paneling, which had been carved in the 1830s, at an auction and had it installed in their home.

The 28-seat dining room features a mahogany mantle that was hand-carved over a period of two years, according to the Concierge Auctions listing.

A tea room has an antique leaded glass ceiling that originally was in a New York hotel.

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“Stepping into the library is akin to walking into a church,” wrote the Washington Post when it featured the home in 2017. The newspaper noted the room’s hardwood flooring design that is identical to flooring in the Louvre and the ceiling is 35 feet high.

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The master suite is around 3,500 square feet and features his-and-hers bathrooms and dressing areas, as well as a sitting room and three fireplaces.

There are 10 fireplaces altogether in the home, according to Concierge.

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In addition to the main house, the property also includes a three-bedroom guest house near a pool with a spa and waterfall.