Appraisers: Biltmore House, land, extras worth nearly $300M

AP News
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Posted: Feb 10, 2017 4:48 PM
Appraisers: Biltmore House, land, extras worth nearly $300M

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Tax appraisers in North Carolina have put a price tag on the iconic Biltmore House, the land it sits on and related development: nearly $300 million.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reports (http://avlne.ws/2kuqrwE) Buncombe County officials this week released numbers showing the approximately 135,000-square-foot home with 250 rooms is valued at about $37 million.

The county tax department also says the approximately 2,194-acre property is valued at more than $64 million. With hotels, restaurants, outbuildings and private residences, the total value of public areas of Biltmore Estate is nearly $300 million.

Keith Miller, who oversaw the tax department appraisal, said appraising Biltmore Estate is "one of the most complex tasks that we have."

Miller said the job has more in common with appraising a factory or a big box store than with a typical residence.

"Comparables for the house are pretty much nonexistent, at least in America," he said. "Really you've got to go somewhere out of this country to see a chateau like that."

The tax department examined Biltmore's revenues to determine a value. Square footages are recorded, but they're not as relevant as they would be to a residential appraisal, Miller said.

As for the Biltmore Co. itself, it's not concerned with value, said Kathleen Mosher, director of communications.

"As a national historic landmark, we're in the business of preserving things for generations, so it's not something that is our focus," Mosher said. "Our focus is preserving these objects and preserving the estate for generations to enjoy, so if valuations need to take place, those external people seeking those valuations do them themselves."

Mosher said as a privately owned company, the Biltmore Co. pays taxes like any other business. She referred all questions about its new tax rate to the county tax department.

Biltmore Estate has gained value since the last reappraisal was released in 2013. The land immediately surrounding Biltmore House increased in value by 40 percent, and the value of the buildings, including Biltmore House but not the hotels, increased by 27 percent.

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Information from: The Asheville Citizen-Times, http://www.citizen-times.com