Inside Look: Wooded Urbandale Estate to be Sold at Luxury Auction

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URBANDALE, Iowa – The multi-million dollar estate owned by businessman Ted Townsend went on the market more than a year ago. He’ll sell it later this month in a way that’s unique to Iowa.

The more than 9,000 square foot home is located on Oak Brook Drive in Urbandale in a secluded woodland.

“To have this level of privacy and nature, generally you’d have to be much further out of the city,” Realtor Heather Starr with Re/Max Real Estate Concepts said.

She said the home is unique inside as well.

“The seller personally worked with the designers and the architect to design this home back in 1982,” Starr said.

The four level home features a two story great room, gourmet kitchen, theater area and workout space.

“All the walls and ceiling are covered in suede and back over there is a little tunnel to a private massage room to reward you after working hard to get a massage,” Starr said, as she was showing the exercise room.

The home has four bedrooms, each with its own bathroom and balcony. The master suite takes up the entire top floor. You’ll find a fireplace, heated granite tub and a sauna, but no door.

“The seller had this drawbridge installed as security and to prevent people from coming into the bedroom with no door,” Starr said.

A spiral staircase leads you up to a lookout tower providing a view of the wooded lot with a private pond and dock.

“This property has hundreds, if not thousands of fans in people who love it, but the buyer pool who have the ability to purchase this home is rather small,” said Starr.

After being listed for nearly $5 million for a more than a year, it will now be sold at a luxury auction. Aaron Carmody with Platinum Luxury Auctions based in Miami, Florida said, “From my understanding, it’s the first time any company has done anything like this in Iowa.”

The auction through Platinum Luxury Auctions is June 27th. Interested buyers must register by 5 p.m. Friday, June 26th. They’ll need to show proof of funds of $100,000. The reserve bid for the property is $1 million.

“This is a very unique property, and a lot of times you want people throughout the country, not just in Des Moines, actually on an international level, you want people to know this property is available for purchase at potentially a great buy,” Carmody said.

Interested buyers can check out the property at an open house. Those are scheduled Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. until the auction.

The house is located at 13031 Oak Brook Drive in Urbandale. You can get more information at

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