However, on May 21, according to county clerk records, New Brandon LLC, an limited liability corporation registered to the same Hong Kong address as Jack Ma’s residence in the Branksome Crest tower, purchased the Franklin County property, which includes two parcels in the town of Santa Clara and one in Harrietstown, for $22,975,000.
Ma joins a line of American royalty that has owned the property in the unspoiled wilderness region known for compounds known as Great Camps built by some of the country’s most prominent families beginning in the 19th-century. Ma’s parcel in the middle of the six-million-acre Adirondack Park was previously part of William A. Rockefeller, Jr.’s Bay Pond estate, which he established in the early 20th-century and spanned 110,000 acres. (William was the brother of John D. Rockefeller, at the time the richest man in the world.)
The Chinese magnate’s parcel includes more than nine miles of the Saint Regis River and 11 brook trout ponds; an online listing calls it “perhaps the finest brook trout fishery in the eastern United States.”
As reported by the Adirondack Almanack, the land includes eight homes and more than a dozen other structures, including guest cabins and a fish hatchery, and roughly 40 miles of roads. An easement donated to the Nature Conservancy by the previous owner forbids commercial development but allows for timber harvesting and the construction of nine additional homes, according to a prospectus prepared by Lake Placid real-estate broker Merrill L. Thomas Inc.
The land is close to Adirondack Regional Airport, whose 6,573-foot runway can accommodate the Gulfstream 550 jets on which Ma reportedly flies.
It’s unclear whether the Alibaba founder, with a net worth of $25.4 billion and whose hobbies reportedly include “tai chi and kung fu novels,” will take advantage of the trout fishing. The 2,200-foot peak on the property should provide ample space for the “meditation in the mountains” he is also said to enjoy.
“This is probably one of the last family-owned holdings in the Adirondacks,” Vincent McClelland, a realtor at LandVest, the Christie’s International Real Estate affiliate that had the listing, said in an online video about the property (below). “It’s a great opportunity to join in a distinguished history of stewardship.”
Welcome to America, Mr. Ma.