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For sale: an English manor in Lexington

For that special person with deep pockets and a hankering for more space: The largest house in Fayette County with a little over 24,000 square feet is for sale for $6.5 million.

Alan and Irene Bloomfield built their "dream house" at 1202 Delong Place patterned after a 17th-century English country house they had seen in England. "I took her to England one too many times," Alan Bloomfield said of his wife on Tuesday. "She fell in love with the architecture."

Planning began in 1997, and the couple moved in on May 6, 2000 — Derby Day.

Asked why they are selling, Bloomfield said, "It's just time to downsize, and for estate planning reasons. We're getting to the age, instead of leaving five kids stuck with this, we think we'd better sell it."

The Bloomfields spend six months of the year in Naples, Fla., where they have a condominium.

If the house sells, they plan to buy a smaller place in Lexington. "This is home," Bloomfield said.

Bloomfield was asked how marketable he thinks the house will be during this troubled economy. "The lady listing it says it will sell," he said. "If it should sell, it sells. If not, we'll stay here."

The Lexington-Bluegrass Board of Realtors lists on its web site 126 active properties priced at $1 million and more.

Bloomfield is former owner of Galls Inc., an equipment-supply business for police and fire departments, federal agents and emergency medical teams. He sold Galls to Aramark in 1995.

The mega house, built of Indiana limestone, has five bedrooms, five full bathrooms, five half-baths, a library, exercise room, great room and first-floor master bedroom suite with his-and-her walk-in closets.

The third floor, reached by an elevator or stairs, is finished with a game room and movie theater. One wing is a three-car garage that houses Alan Bloomfield's antique car collection. A similar two-story wing is Bloomfield's office.

The 30-by-30-foot kitchen has 12-foot-high ceilings and was designed for large-scale entertaining. On the marble counter island, 70 plates can be prepped at one time.

Appliances are commercial grade: two Sub-Zero refrigerators, two Sub-Zero freezers, a six-burner gas range, four warming drawers, three dishwashers and an ice machine.

Everything about the house is over-sized. A walk-in size fireplace greets visitors in the 80-foot entry hall. A motor opens and closes custom drapes at the 24-foot floor-to-ceiling windows.

The house has a geothermal heating and cooling system with 16 furnaces.

The house sits on 11 acres with a formal garden and swimming pool.

David O'Neill, Fayette County property valuation officer, said of Bloomfield Place, "It's still the largest, completed single-family residence in Fayette County." Total assessment is $6 million fair cash value, according to PVA records.

Hoffman International Properties has the listing. Owner Marilyn Hoffman described her Lexington real estate firm as specializing in "large homes and equestrian estates."

Asked who might be a potential buyer, Hoffman said probably "not somebody from Lexington." She described a wealthy individual, perhaps from Europe, who might live in the house during Keene-land sales or races or use it "for their Derby parties."

Hoffman plans to advertise the house in Architectural Digest, the New Yorker, Town & Country and Conde Nast Traveler.

Another way she reaches clients is by making large contributions to high-end charity events where "tickets are $10,000 to $100,000" and the guest list includes movie stars and studio heads.

In exchange for her donation, Hoffman can put a real estate flier in the guest gift bags and have a display table at the event with pictures of the house.

Bloomfield Place is furnished with antiques, many bought in Europe, including an 18-foot dining room table in the formal dining room. After Irene Bloomfield decides which ones she wants to keep, "the rest are negotiable" for whoever buys the house, Alan Bloomfield said.

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