Photo courtesy of Douglas Elliman

One of the most expensive homes in Texas is on the market for $20 million in Southlake - and it's drawing more than a little attention on social media.

And, no wonder: The opulent 31,000-square-foot mansion, at 1469 Sunshine Ln., features such over-the-top amenities as a full-size basketball court, bowling alley, batting cage, movie theater, and "indoor glass-enclosed" trampoline.

The transitional Mediterranean estate hit the market in December for a whopping $19.99 million. A January 30 post on the Zillow Gone Wild Facebook page called it "the most Southlake, TX home we’ve ever seen," and made it instantly social media-famous. Thousands of people have chimed in to comment.

Seated on 3.6 acres and boasting 31,234 square feet, the home was built in 2016 and features - at first glance - all the "normal" nice things that a nice mansion has: seven bedrooms, six full bathrooms and four half-baths, an open floor plan, smart home technology, and plenty of natural light to experience Texas sunsets.

A wide-angle view of the transitional Mediterranean mansion at 1469 Sunshine Lane.

Photo courtesy of Douglas Elliman

The mansion at 1469 Sunshine Ln., Southlake, is on the market for $20 million.

Then the listing gets to the part about it being “an entertainer’s paradise,” and that's where things get wild. The home can accommodate multiple athletic activities, has designated yoga and beauty rooms, a spa, wine room, and nine attached garage spaces.

Other features include:

  • Chef’s kitchen
  • Elevator
  • Gym
  • Game room
  • Two guest suites with a private entry
  • Turfed backyard

Elsewhere on the grounds is the perfect solution to enduring the hot Texas summers – two climate-controlled saltwater pools and hot tubs with a hidden waterslide, jumping rock, and diving board. The outdoor space is completed by an enclosed heated terrace, outdoor living area, and kitchen.

Zillow Gone Wild commenters have, predictably, expressed their awe or disdain for the extravagant manse. One commenter said they could imagine fictional mafia boss Tony Soprano “walking down that driveway in his bathrobe to get the paper,” after looking through the listing’s photos.

“This is the first mansion where I’m like, yep. I’d buy this if I was rich,” another admirer said.

A more sarcastic commenter wrote, “I’m sorry, but only one lane for bowling? I’m out.”

Critics were quick to call out the home’s opulence while others in the state struggle with homelessness or financial stability. “This kind of wealth actually makes me sick to my stomach. There’s so much better that could’ve been done with all this money,” one critic commented.

Others focused on guessing who the mansion belonged to. Southlake, after all, is home to plenty of celebrities and professional athletes.

Some guesses landed on a former baseball player’s home. “Serious question, is this A-Rod’s former house? It looks familiar, and he did play for the Rangers,” asked a curious viewer.

Other commenters believed the home belonged to a former Los Angeles Lakers player, after witnessing the signature gold and purple colors decorating the walls of the basketball court.

While Douglas Elliman listing agent Breah Brown said the owners wish to remain private (one might imagine the security concerns when a house goes viral on social media), she revealed they constructed the home themselves and are behind all aspects of the design and customization.

As for the next owners ... they can brag that they live in one of the top 10 most expensive homes in Texas in the richest city in the state.

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'Yellowstone' stars to greet fans at Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo

Yellowstone news

Yellowstone fans, get your comfy shoes ready - there'll be a long line for this one. Cole Hauser a.k.a. "Rip Wheeler" on Yellowstone, and Taylor Sheridan, the show's co-creator, executive producer, and director of the series, will meet fans and sign autographs at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo.

The event will take place from 4:30-6:30 pm only on Friday, February 3. Location is the 6666 Ranch booth near the south end of Aisle 700 in the Amon G. Carter, Jr. Exhibits Hall.

According to a February 2 announcement from FWSSR, "fans will have the opportunity to snag an autograph as well as purchase some distinctive Yellowstone and 6666 Ranch merchandise while also enjoying all the features the Stock Show offers."

The event is free to attend (with paid Stock Show admission) and open to the public.

It's the second year in a row for Hauser to appear at FWSSR; in 2022, he and fellow cast mates drew huge crowds.

Sheridan, a Paschal High School graduate, is no stranger to Fort Worth; he lives in a ranch near Weatherford and filmed 1883, the prequel to Yellowstone, in and around Fort Worth. Currently, another spinoff, 1883: The Bass Reeves Story, is filming in North Texas.

The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo is winding up its 2023 run on Saturday, February 4.

Fort Worth Symphony Opening Night Celebration ushers in new season with grace and gusto

Opening night ovation

Thunder crashed and lightning crackled outside, but a freak Friday night thunderstorm couldn’t dampen spirits at the Fort Worth Symphony Opening Night Concert and Celebration on September 8.

First a performance by the FWSO and 19-year-old pianist Yunchan Lim, under the direction of Robert Spano, lit up the audience inside Bass Hall. It was Lim’s highly anticipated return to the stage where he became the youngest-ever winner of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2022 (and has since become a piano rock star).

After their performance of Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor, Spano bear-hugged Lim, the audience rose for several curtain calls, a patron in the front row presented Lim flowers, and he returned the adoration with a solo encore.

Spano and the orchestra book-ended Lim’s performance with two beloved works by Brahms, his Academic Festival Overture and Symphony No. 1 in C minor. It was an electrifying start to the 2023-24 season, which marks Spano’s second as FWSO music director.

Following the concert, FWSO's most devoted supporters braved gusty winds of a coming storm to walk to City Club for a dinner party. Hosted by chairman Mercedes T. Bass and the FWSO board of directors, the Opening Night Celebration honored Alann B. Sampson for decades of service to the orchestra, the Cliburn, and the greater Fort Worth arts and cultural community.

While a pianist serenaded, patrons filed in and grabbed glasses of wine and champagne or visited the bar for a mixed drink or shaken martini. A towering violin-shaped ice sculpture provided both the focal point of the elegant room and a popular photo opp.

The opening-night party is as much a celebration of the FWSO musicians as it is of those who support the music-making. Relaxed and fresh from the stage, musicians including concertmaster Michael Shih, principal bassoon Joshua Elmore, assistant principal trumpet Cody McClarty, violinist Camilla Wojciechowska, violinist Albert Yamamoto (and many more) mingled with CEO Keith Cerny and wife Jennifer and other symphony leaders.

Guests dined on a buffet supper that included sliced beef tenderloin, lamb chops, cold salmon, an assortment of finger sandwiches, salad, and charcuterie; a mashed potato bar; and a tower of mini desserts.

FWSO principal pianist Shields-Collins “Buddy" Bray introduced Sampson as winner of the prestigious FWSO Medal of Excellence. Sampson joined the FWSO Board of Directors in 1991 and has been involved with the Cliburn since its inception.

“Alann has been a proselytizer for music, and evangelist for music in the city of Fort Worth, and this has been her story her whole life,” he said, describing how she passed out programs at the first Cliburn competition in 1962.

In her heartfelt remarks, Sampson called it a “privilege of a lifetime” to share the celebratory evening with Lim and the FWSO leadership and musicians. “Please know it is I who celebrates you,” she said.

She acknowledged family members in attendance, including her daughter Anne and husband Brett Leonard and granddaughter Madeleine Leonard, son Edward Sampson and wife Jennifer; and friends with whom she has shared many decades of service and support.

“To the musicians," she added poetically, “I’m just the backstage girl, and my instrument is my heart … Indeed the musicians, with Maestro, you are the strings to the stars, you are the winds for the celestial orbs, and with unceasing beat, you give awareness to the presence of the eternal. You bring harmony to the marking of time in this world through times of sorrow, praise, and joy, we can’t live without music.”

Among those offering Sampson warm applause were friends and fellow FWSO patrons Carla Thompson, Marcia French, Frasher Pergande, John Broude, Connie Beck, Priscilla Martin, Charles White, Richard Moncrief, Marsland Moncrief, Gail Rawl, Capera Ryan, Ken Blasingame, J. Brooks, Lee Hallman, Yann Coatanlem, and Tommy Smith.

FWSO Opening Night Celebration 2023

Photo by Karen Almond

Brett Leonard, Madeleine Leonard, Anne Leonard, Alann Sampson, Yunchan Lim, Jennifer Sampson, Edward Sampson III

U.S. Gymnastics Championships land atop this week's 5 hottest Fort Worth headlines

This week's hot headlines

Editor's note: A lot happened this week, so here's your chance to get caught up. Read on for the week's most popular headlines. Looking for the best things to do this weekend? Find that listhere.

1. U.S. Gymnastics Championships come to Fort Worth ahead of 2024 Paris Olympics. For the country's top gymnasts, the road to the Paris Olympics will run through Fort Worth next year: The 2024 Xfinity U.S. Gymnastics Championships will take place at Dickies Arena, May 30-June 2, 2024. The four-day men's and women's competition will crown national champions and determine the members of the U.S. National Team who will then compete at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Minneapolis, June 27-30, 2024.

2. Fort Worth neighbor booms as 6th fastest-growing U.S. college town, report says. Fort Worth might be one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S., but there's one North Texas city that's outdoing it in a different category of population growth. A new study by university scholarship website BrokeScholar has deemed Denton the No. 6 fastest-growing college town in the country.

3. RSVP to the 13 must-attend galas and fêtes in Fort Worth this fall. To borrow the oldest pun in the checkbook, philanthropic events are putting the "fun" in "fundraising" around Fort Worth this fall. With themes like "Disco Cowboy" (Cowtown Ball), "Rewind to the '90s" (Behind the Mask), and "Out of this World," (Monster Mash), who wouldn't want to RSVP to every gala and soiree this season?

4. Fort Worth chef Hao Tran plots new gourmet grocery for Magnolia Ave. A new grocery store and take-out food market is coming to the Near Southside, courtesy of one of Fort Worth’s most well-known chefs. Called Hao's Cho Bep, it’s a new concept from Hao Tran, who earned acclaim in Fort Worth foodie circles for her dumplings, and will open in early 2024.

5. Wondrous wine shop in Fort Worth's Sundance Square salutes the ladies. A new wine spot has opened in Fort Worth’s Sundance Square – one with the ladies in mind. Called Wines From A Broad, it's from popular Fort Worth chef-restaurateur Dena Shaskan, and features wines made entirely by women winemakers.