The 22,000-square-foot mansion along Lake Minnetonka where famed music producer James “Jimmy Jam” Harris lived for many years and hosted hitmaking pals is now a pile of rubble.
The contemporary, flat-roofed house south of Mound on nearly 300 feet of shoreline was razed last week, said Scott Stabeck, the property owner’s real estate agent.
“It was in dilapidated condition, and it was time for it to come down,” he said. “It’s the end of an era.”
Some people saw the mansion on Hardscrabble Circle in Minnetrista as “legendary property,” said Stabeck, who added that “I’ve gotten calls from neighbors, ‘When is this thing going to be torn down?’ ”
The residence went into foreclosure before it was last bought by Edina-based GAHF Enterprises for $2.7 million, but no one has lived in it since, Stabeck said.
Stabeck declined to identify the person behind GAHF — a common tactic to protect privacy — other than to say he lives in the Twin Cities. He also would not disclose what’s next for land under the mansion, which won a spread in Ebony magazine soon after it was completed for a rumored cost of more than $10 million.
In the time leading up to its most recent sale, Stabeck called the mansion “a Hollywood, look-at-me kind of property” worthy of the pop star roster that Harris and Terry Lewis built while running Flyte Tyme Studios: among them Kanye West, Mary J. Blige, Janet and Michael Jackson, Usher, Luther Vandross, Gwen Stefani and George Michael.
The house had seven bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, indoor and outdoor pools, a sauna, 12 garage stalls including one deep enough for a limo, a three-story master suite and a theater — complete with box office.
But wait, there’s more: a hair salon, an exercise studio and two staff apartments with their own elevator from the garage.
Janet Jackson, godmother to the eldest of the Harrises’ three children, was rumored to stay for stretches of time in the elegant lakeside guest room.
Harris bought the 3.5-acre Hardscrabble Point lot in 1987 for $420,000 and designed the house himself. Construction was completed in 1991.
When Harris moved to Los Angeles in 2005, he listed it for $11 million. It sat on the market until June 2007, when Christopher and Sandra Hintz bought it for $7 million with a $150,000 down payment, according to public records.
Staff writer Kim Palmer contributed to this report.