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Crescent’s John Goff Selling Family Lake Retreat in Auction; Historical Note: Goff Closed a $6.5 Billion Deal There

John and Cami Goff are selling this family lake house retreat in an auction.

John and Cami Goff are selling this family lake house retreat in an auction.

FORT WORTH – John Goff, chairman of Crescent Real Estate Holdings, and his wife Cami, are selling their secluded family retreat on Eagle Mountain Lake northwest of Fort Worth in an auction. The whisper number is $10 million.

The Goff’s 6,500-square-foot lakefront home has a 1,500-square-foot guest cabana. Concierge Auctions will auction off the property, on Oct. 8 in conjunction with Dallas Realtor Kyle Crews of Allie Beth Allman. Crews has directed sales at Crescent’s Ritz Carlton Residences tower in Dallas.

Last year, Goff announced plans to build 6 Houston Center, a proposed 30-story office tower at Walker and Caroline streets in downtown Houston. But that was before the sudden decline in oil prices deleted the demand for new office space and 6 Houston Center has not broken ground.

The Eagle Mountain Lake home was where Goff closed his $6.5 billion deal to sell Crescent Real Estate Equities to Morgan Stanley in August 2007.

Two years later, in the Great Recession, Goff bought back the Crescent assets for less than 50 cents on the dollar.

A self-made man, Goff, grew up in Lake Jackson, Texas and went to the University of Texas, reports Candace Evans of, a Dallas-based residential-focused publication. Excerpts from Evans’ excellent report are below:

In 1981, fresh from college, Goff joined the Fort Worth office of Peat Marwick, now KPMG. The Bass family were major clients. Goff was assigned to Richard Rainwater, who was then the Bass family’s chief financial adviser. Soon Rainwater left the Bass brothers and launched his own company in 1987. And he wanted Goff to be with him.

 “That was my big break,” Goff says. “It was a small, scrappy office doing interesting things. I was blessed that he believed in me and trusted me.”

When the stock market crashed a few months later, Rainwater handed over $50 million to Goff and told him to find companies worth picking from the ashes. That was the only directive Goff was given.

 That and to invest some of his own money in it. He was about 32 years old and had no net worth except for his personal home. When Rainwater told him he wanted his “skin in the game”, Goff cashed in a $15,000 401k and paid the penalty.

 “It was scary. It’s all I had,” he says. “I did well for both Richard and me.”

The Goff’s gated Fort Worth lake retreat, known as Mariposa del Lago, or “Butterfly of the Lake,” (based on the tremendous number of monarch butterfly migration patterns on the grounds each year) has been the Goff’s central family retreat for the couples’ five children since 2001. It’s also where a lot of business deals have been made.

 Eagle Mountain Lake is about the size of lake Grapevine and one of North Texas’ best lakes for sailing. Located 15 miles out of downtown Fort Worth, or about a 45 minute drive from Dallas, it is part of the Texas Yacht Racing Circle and home of the Fort Worth Boat Club, founded in 1929. Club members have participated in races all over the world, even bringing home an American Cup in 1971. The lake is deep, accessible nearly year-round, and offers 60 miles of shoreline.

 Outside the main house, past a pool below a stone spa water cascade, is a Moroccan-inspired, 1,500-square-foot-plus guest cabana with a lower-level bunk room.

 Editor’s Note: Candace Evans has an outstanding article on Goff’s home on and lot of photos. Take a moment to check out this great story. And thank you to Candy for sharing it with Realty News Report.

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