Having settled into a brand-new, family sized bachelor pad mansion in Los Angeles — a bit more on that in a minute, Ben Affleck has decided to part with his secluded riverfront hideaway near rural Riceboro, Ga., setting it out for sale with an $8.9 million price tag. As noted by the property gossips at The Wall Street Journal, the two-time Oscar-winning writer, actor and producer paid $7.11 million for the approximately 87-acre, multi-residence compound overlooking the North Newport River on the ultra-private Hampton Island Preserve back in 2003, while dating Jennifer Lopez. Non-resident visitors to the approximately 4,000-acre, picturesquely pristine and mostly undeveloped island about 35 miles south of Savannah must obtain the permission of an island resident before crossing the bridge that provides access to the exclusive enclave that has a golf course and equestrian center.
Comprised of three spacious and casually but luxuriously appointed residential structures linked by oyster shell pathways, the compound is approached along a long drive that cuts through unspoiled woods. A postcard perfect picture of rustic-luxe southern gentility and used by Affleck and his family as a vacation hideaway, according to listing broker Dicky Mopper at Engel & Völkers Savannah, the compound is anchored by what’s called the “Big House,” an historically accurate Greek Revival-style plantation house of more than a 6,000-square-feet that was custom built by timber executive John Morgan in the late 1990s. Unadorned square pilasters and 24-foot-tall fluted Doric columns embellish the elegantly symmetrical exterior and period-appropriate interior details include heart of pine floorboards, tremendous, ten-foot tall sash windows and stately, 18-inch plaster ceiling moldings. Deep porches on the front and rear façades open to a spacious central receiving room with 16-foot ceiling off of which open four spacious rooms; dining room; bookshelf-lined library/study; master bedroom; and homey country kitchen and family room clad walls and ceiling in reclaimed wood. Three more en suite bedrooms for family and guests are tucked away on the ground floor.
A second and decidedly more rustic three-story structure ringed by deep verandas and dubbed “Oyster Cottage” spans about 10,000-square-feet and can comfortably sleep more than twenty in three master suites plus six more bunkhouse-style bedrooms fitted with built-in bunk beds salvaged from a merchant ship. The third structure, known as the “Summer House,” was designed for languidly hot and ungodly humid southern summers with a breezy screened living and dining room and both indoor and outdoor fireplaces. The property also includes a dock complex where a 38-foot mahogany sport-fishing boat christened Pilar is permanently moored and can be used as quirky additional guest quarters.
Now romantically linked to New York City-based “Saturday Night Live” producer Lindsay Shookus, Affleck previously lived in a plush spread in Pacific Palisades, Calif., he and ex-wife Jennifer Garner bought from Hollywood heavyweight Brian Grazer in 2009 for $17.55 million. Garner still resides there but the blockbuster “Batman” franchise star recently moved into a brand-new, spec-built Pacific Palisades mansion of his own he scooped up earlier this year for $19 million. The 12,853-square-foot white brick mansion, in the ritzy Riviera neighborhood and only about half a mile from his former home, contains seven bedrooms and seven full and two bathrooms plus a 600-square-foot guesthouse.
photo: Atlantic Archives/Richard Leo Johnson (via Vie Magazine)