Bayard is a new construction, gated subdivision in Johns Creek that has become one of the most desired new construction neighborhoods in Johns Creek. It’s a small Ashton Woods developed community set on 58 acres that consists of 61 residential lots and 3 spec homes with approximately 1,200 feet of development frontage along the banks of the Chattahoochee River.
Homes in the Bayard subdivision range from $660K - to over a million and 3,257 - 4,055 sq. ft and buyers can choose from 12 floorplans. Each floorplan has a minimum of 4 bedrooms and includes a three car garage. Bayard is zoned for some of the best public schools in Johns Creek (State Bridge Crossing ES, Autrey Mill MS and Johns Creek HS) and is a short drive from some of the finest private schools in North Fulton (Wesleyan, Perimeter School, Providence Christian Academy, Woodward Academy North Campus).
What makes the location Bayard sits on even more interesting is the interesting backstory of the property that many Johns Creek residents are familiar with. Bayard sits on what was the Dean Gardens property, which once held the title of being the largest private residence in all of Georgia. At one time it was also said the Deans Garden estate was the highest priced home in the entire United States.
According to the Dean Gardens Memoriam Facebook page, The 42,000 square foot Neoclassical mansion was built from 1988 to 1992 by entrepreneur Larry Dean and wife, Lynda, as a private sanctuary for their large family. The project reportedly cost upwards of $25,000,000 with an additional $1,000,000 annually in upkeep.
Dean imported antique fountains from Italy, installed more than 1 million pounds of imported stone for the hardscaping, and over 1 million plants. The estate was known for its formal gardens, which was partially modelled after Victoria, British Columbia’s famed Butchart Gardens. The manicured grounds included a 2 acre lake, wedding chapel, private amphitheatre, an 18-hole par-72 golf course, caretaker’s house, gardener’s cottage and helipad.
According to Wikipedia, the inside of the mansion was a so called "Liberace-meets-Napoleon” design, which included pink themes, a Moroccan theater, 24-karat-gold sinks, a Hawaiian art gallery, a 1950s-style dance hall, French Empire-style furniture, 13 fireplaces and a 24-seat dining room with a wall-sized aquarium called the Predator Tank.
Shortly after construction finished in 1992, the home was put up for sale for $40,000,000. The estate languished on the market for nearly two decades and at one time there was even a rumor that Michael Jackson once visited to possibly purchase the home.
According to PriceyPads.com, after numerous price reductions, the 58 acre property sold in mid-2010 for $7,600,000 to filmmaker Tyler Perry. At the time of the sale, the rumor was that Perry would be demolishing the home to make way for a new eco-friendly mansion, but instead the estate was left abandoned for several years before he sold it to Lennar Homes to develop a 70 home subdivision. Lennar Homes began demolition in 2014 and finished in 2015, spending close to $13,000,000 prepping the property. Construction began on the new development and was quickly halted before Lennar Homes abandoned the project. Finally, it sold once more to Ashton Woods for $14,300,000 and Ashton Woods developed what is now known as the Bayard community.
We have represented numerous buyers in the community and as of today, there are six quick move in homes and sixteen homesites remaining for purchase in the subdivision. Our team leader Eric Robb lives less than a mile away from Bayard and would love to give you a tour if you’re curious about learning more about the historic property.
Photos in this article are courtesy of Ashton Woods and the "Don't Demolish Dean Gardens" Facebook page.