Who Owns This Jaw-Dropping $6.5million House North of Battle Creek?
You may have seen the listing, a $6.5 million home on a private lake in Pennfield Township, north of Battle Creek. If you scroll down you can take the tour. It’s amazing! Just come back. Who owns it is an interesting story.
My jaw dropped when I saw the article this week. Its 323-acres on the now privately-owned Deep Lake. It’s a 14,000 square foot finished multi-level home overlooking the lake, a 5,000 square foot underground bunker, a state-of-the-art greenhouse, a video surveillance security system, and on and on. The owner bought up all the other property and houses on the lake before building the house. Reports say the actual cost to build it was around $10 million. The driveway is reportedly about a mile long and heated!
Who in Battle Creek Michigan could afford to build such a house?
And why is it suddenly for sale, just a couple of years after its owners moved in?
Per Wickstrom (Per rhymes with Pear) and his wife Svitlana started building the home in 2013. Former Pennfield Township Supervisor Dave Morgan said they enjoyed working with Wickstrom through the permitting and inspection process, which he says was far more extensive than most new construction projects. “We never had any issues with him through the various phases of the project,” said Morgan. “I think that house is a steal for $6.8 million.”
So who is Per Wickstrom? He’s a Scientologist who made a lot of money operating drug treatment facilities like the one at St. Mary’s Lake, north of Battle Creek. According to Wikipedia, Narconon International is a Scientology organization that promotes the theories of founder L. Ron Hubbard regarding substance abuse treatment and addiction. Wickstrom has credited Scientology and Narconon for his own recovery.
In 2003, Wickstrom and his then-wife Kate opened the Narconon Stone Hawk Rehabilitation Center at 216 St. Mary’s Lake Road. The Battle Creek Enquirer reported at the time, nearly two decades ago, that patients at Narconon Stone Hawk paid about $29,000 for a few months of drug treatment. In April of 2008, the Enquirer reported that it closed and that 75 patients at the facility were transferred to Albion’s Narconon Stone Hawk East facility (formerly Trillium Hospital). Four months later, Wickstrom re-opened it under a new name, “A Forever Recovery.” Wickstrom has a controlling interest in several treatment centers in Michigan and has offices at 121 Capital Avenue NE in Battle Creek.
The home off Pine Lake Road in Pennfield is listed on Zillow for $6.8 million. His Torch Lake Michigan home is also for sale. He also owns a modest million-dollar home in Clearwater, the home base of the Church of Scientology.
Online blogger Anita Senkowski, who goes by the online handle of "Miss Fortune", said Wickstrom recently sold a home in Florida for $6.8 million.
Why are they for sale? Wickstrom and his wife, Svitlana, entered divorce proceedings earlier this year right after the government issued substantial tax liens on their property.
So, if you’ve got a few million lying around, there are some great opportunities for you right now. It's a buyer's market.