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Continued: Homegazing: Inside Irwin Jacobs' retreat on Lake Minnetonka

  • Article by: LYNN UNDERWOOD , Star Tribune
  • Last update: February 22, 2014 - 3:21 PM

Down memory lane

For the Jacobs kids, it must have been a blast growing up surrounded by two lakes and a bevy of boats. Jacobs previously owned Genmar, a U.S. boat maker, and still runs six boat companies, as well as Watkins Inc. and FLW Outdoors. He also is a consultant for the recently sold Jacobs Trading.

“We have so many memories,” said Jacobs, adding that they’ve staged four weddings on the grounds. “My kids will never let me forget the time they were riding in a brand new boat, and I drove it under the bridge between Tanager Lake and Minnetonka and tore the top off. They were so embarrassed.”

Living large on the lake has been a fulfilling ride, but the couple are looking forward to simplifying their lives, said Jacobs.

“After we leave, I wonder what it will feel like when I drive by and look up at the hill,” he said.

There could be a neighborhood of new homes in place of the Jacobs estate. With so much valuable shoreline, real estate agents say the land is ripe for development.

“I’ll never tell somebody how they should spend their money,” said Jacobs. “But it’s most likely what will happen.”

Other features:

• The 13,000-square-foot main house has six bedrooms, 10 bathrooms and a six-car garage.

• Jacobs tore down a poolside cabana and built a 3,500-square-foot, two-story guesthouse outfitted with a full kitchen, family room with wet bar, TV/game room, fireplaces, two bedroom suites and sauna.

• The finished lower level is a teen’s dream with a kitchen, media room and fireplace.

• The property includes two caretaker houses, a gatehouse and a barn.

• Includes 720 feet of shoreline on Smith’s Bay and 1,231 feet along Tanager Lake.


Bonnie Velie and Michael Steadman of Coldwell Banker Burnet have the listing, 952-476-3639.


Lynn Underwood • 612-673-7619


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