Stretched across 3,929 acres in the Finger Lakes region of Central New York is a majestic piece of property that is truly in a world of its own. Known as Savannah Dhu, the property is listed with an asking price of $65 million.
The main road entering the property is about three miles long, and it meanders through a seemingly infinite expanse of woods and rolling hills and pass lakes and ponds, punctuated by an abundance of wildlife darting through. Aptly named Attitude Adjustment Road, the path harkens back to simpler times of less hustle and bustle.
As you look out upon passing deer, turkey, fox and elk, you can’t help but enter Savannah Dhu with a sense of anticipation. And as Lou Izzo, broker and owner of Select Sotheby’s International Realty in Saratoga Springs, New York, notes: Savannah Dhu “is just as beautiful as you could possibly imagine.”
It would be wise to grab powerful binoculars for wildlife close-ups. Izzo said, “I don’t do it justice when I describe it, but you’re going around about a 150-acre lake with rolling trees. You’re definitely going to see beautiful white-tail deer. You’re probably going to see turkey, maybe a fox or two, all kinds of waterfalls, probably red-tail hawks if you’re lucky. And I’ve seen a few bald eagles on the property.”
The property encompasses over 80 parcels of property accumulated over 35 years and woven into the fabric of the landscape. In fact, Savannah Dhu is so large that it shares a border with four towns. From a managed wildlife preserve to organic gardens and a greenhouse, the ultimate benefit of Savannah Dhu is its contribution to a sustainable future for the next owners to enjoy.
“The current owners are conscious of the environment, and the property has been meticulously designed and planned to be in concert with the environment,” said Izzo. “For example, the lakes are stocked with fish. And the way that the water is handled for the lakes, the way that the water is oxygenated, the way that it flows, the number of fish that are on the property, it’s all very carefully planned. And all of the fish that are on the property and that have been stocked in the lakes are indigenous to New York state.”
Savannah Dhu was conceived and created as a hub and a homestead with the intention to fulfill several purposes: a meeting place for innovation, discussion and exploration; a compound for friends and family to unite and enjoy; a protected preserve where one can return to their roots and live off the simplicity of the land.
Roads wind throughout the property, where you can find lodges, a conference center capable of accommodating hundreds of guests, barns filled with livestock, organic gardens and greenhouses, as well as several residential homes and outbuildings. Intellectual exchange houses, intended for inspirational idea sharing and creation, are punctuated throughout.
At its core, the approximately 25,000-square-foot Pines Lodge is an architecturally striking building that overwhelms the senses. The four-story, 11-bedroom lodge was constructed in Colorado, disassembled and then re-assembled on site. The building has extensive entertainment spaces.
“As you work your way through the property, there’s a theater room, a grotto with an amazing spa, a kitchen that has everything from a pizza oven to a wok station to roasting oven to a state-of-the-art range,” said Izzo. “And behind it is the chef’s kitchen, where the chef will personally cook for the owner and his guests in a commercial kitchen. It’s what you would expect in a world-class restaurant or conference center.”
It took 54 tractor-trailers to transport the Pines Lodge logs from Colorado and Utah, which was no easy task because two of the logs that hold up the main portion of Pines Lodge are over 300 years old and about 70 feet long. All of the logs were harvested to salvage the dead trees.
The lodge interior is furnished with antique furniture, lighting, cabinetry, a tavern bar, and a subterranean wine cellar and tasting room. The boulders that were used to frame the 70-foot high fireplace were primarily sourced from the Finger Lakes region of New York state.
Despite its vast size, the Pines Lodge radiates a cozy feeling. Izzo said, “The comment that we get from the people that tour the property, and I feel as well, is that no matter where you are in the Pines Lodge, you feel like you are present in that room and that it’s not an overwhelming presence because each room and each area is very well decorated and ecompasses itself. So there’s a very warm, almost cozy feeling in a very large building.”
Adjacent to Pines Lodge is a 15,000-square-foot post-and-beam construction conference center. It is interconnected to the main lodge by an underground parking garage that accommodates 55 vehicles.
This late 1800’s Pennsylvania-New York Dutch-style barn with its shed roof extensions and silo has 11 bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms to accommodate 30 guests. The facility was inspired by the need for a visionary space for international guests to meet, discuss and develop ways to enhance the world.
The large waterfront porch is ideal for summer dining and relaxing. The main gathering hall and state-of-the-art kitchen are capable of accommodating up to 300 guests and are the site of cooking classes. An underground parking facility and serene meeting space are just some of the other amenities. The structure also contains a meat processing plant, smokehouse, large wine cellar and a room for making maple syrup.
Not far from the buildings is Bear Camp with 10 bedrooms, which can sleep up to 40 people, depending on how the rooms are configured. The six-bedroom West Lodge is another part of the campus and can accommodate 12 to 14 people.
Wine rooms are in all of the buildings. In addition, the Pines Lodge has a tasting room for commercial spirits as well as beers that have been created by the chefs using the hops that are grown on the property.
Twelve staff members maintain the property on a seasonal basis, including housekeepers and those who are responsible for everything from the lawn care to maintaining the fences to maintaining the animals. “Many of the staff have lived on or near the property their entire lives,” said Izzo, pointing out “this is a very seasoned group of people who know the property very well.”
With thousands of acres, Savannah Dhu has the ability to expand its usage while still maintaining the natural wildlife and beauty. Golf courses, corporate and educational retreats, or using this property as a private resort are just a few of the opportunities available. Izzo believes the would-be buyer could fall into one of three categories:
1. A private consumer: “Obviously, it would be a person who is very high net worth,” he said. “It takes a person of substantial wealth to be able to afford a property like that and maintain it. A true connoisseur of life is what we think of as our likely buyer, someone who wants something like this to have the experience of owning it and seeing their own vision come true not only with these buildings but the almost 4,000 acres that comes with it.”
Would-be buyers can use the property to relax, hike, hunt and fish. “You can do all of those things including boating,” said Izzo. “There’s a nature trail with adventure bridges that goes through the whole property or a large portion of the property. There’s a skeet-shooting facility that’s state of the art, radared and electronically controlled.
2. An environmental organization: “It could be an organization that is out there and sees this as part of the continuation of their vision because the uses of the property include hundreds of hundreds of acres of forested land with beautiful hardwoods on them, cherry and oak and some of the best woods indigenous to the Northeast,” said Izzo. “In addition, there are hundreds and hundreds of acres of grassland that could be converted into farmland. Then there are hundreds and hundreds of acres of water. And there also are some of the farming components, which include all the natural farming and the greenhouse on the property. The entire facility is 95% or more farm to table. Very few things are consumed at Savannah Dhu that are not grown or developed right on the property.
3. A corporation: “It could be a corporation that could see this for commercial use,” Izzo said, pointing out that the conference barn has “tremendous possibilities.”
Izzo has been in the real estate business his entire career and been exposed to high-end properties in the western, central and northern New York State area. Still, he said Savannah Dhu is in a class by itself.
“I’ve never seen a property that would come close to Savannah Dhu, and I’m not exaggerating,” he said, adding that “with 4,000 acres and buildings at this level of quality with the infrastructure to support it is unheard of. Savannah Dhu is truly a unique property.”
Click here to watch a video showcasing stunning views of Savannah Dhu. For a private preview and discussion about an exclusive tour of Savannah Dhu, contact Lou Izzo at firstname.lastname@example.org.