After renting homes in Wellington for a total $1.1 million for two equestrian seasons, Microsoft founder Bill Gates finally became a Palm Beach County landowner!
Gates, the richest American, plunked down a paltry $8.7 million on a house with about 4 acres of pasture in the fancy Mallet Hill section of Wellington.
Of course Gates, 57, who may have as much as $67 billion to his name, paid with cold, hard cash.
Property records show the house at 3155 Mallet Hill Court was bought by a secretive trust — the Mallet Hill Trust — from longtime owner and equestrian Linda Juckette.
One of the trustee is Bill McCaughan, a partner at the Miami branch of the Seattle-based K & L Gates. The law firm was founded by Gates’ dad and often represents Microsoft in legal matters.
“I have no comment about this purchase,” McCaughan said when asked if Bill Gates was indeed the buyer.
One neighbor who asked to remain anonymous, however, tells Gossip Extra residents are fully aware that Gates is the buyer after the homeowners association was approached to replace the enclave’s unmanned gate to a gate guarded by a worker 24/7.
Gates, wife Melinda and their family rented the same house for four months in January for $500,000, Gossip Extra reported then.
It was their second winter in Wellington, where teenage daughter Jennifer is training to become a world-class show jumping rider. She has competed in the Winter Equestrian Festival.
The property, meanwhile, boasts a 7,230-square-foot main house with four bedrooms and bathrooms. But it has show jumping training grounds and two barns with space for 20 horses.
With just 13 homes, Mallet Hill is becoming quite the hangout.
Gates’ neighbors include: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg; new arrival Frank McCourt (as first reported by Gossip Extra), who recently sold MLB’s Los Angeles Dodgers for $2.1 billion; Sulhail Rizvi, a private equity banker whose firm owns the rights to The Twilight Saga; and man-about-town Stuart Roffman, the entrepreneur owner of mega-yacht Lion Share.