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Kyrene Mansion

The Kyrene Mansion is on Kyrene Road between Warner Road and Ray Road just north of the little canal which is at Knox Road. Their is another huge mansion in the area, but I think it is in Tempe, either on the south side of Warner or Ray somewhere in the area of Kyrene Road.


Some items for Chandler mansion auction reportedly stolen

by Luci Scott - Sept. 12, 2009 03:27 PM

The Arizona Republic

Andy Wylde of Tempe had his heart set on bidding on a 1941 Navy diver's helmet that had been made into a lamp.

So he stood in line early Saturday before the doors opened at the Kyrene Mansion, the most expensive house in Chandler, which is in foreclosure.

The bank was taking bids on the house, and hundreds of treasures were on the auction block. A crowd of up to 1,500 was expected, said Deb Weidenhamer, CEO of Phoenix-based Auction Systems/

As soon as Wylde got inside and looked around, he was disappointed.

"The diving helmet was stolen," he said.

Last week burglars broke into the mansion and stole the helmet, big-screen TVs and bronze sculptures.

Details about the theft were not immediately available from police.

Stolen items aside, hundreds of treasures were left to lure the throng to the 10.5-acre site on Kyrene Road.

Being auctioned off were an espresso machine, fine furniture, vintage books, guns, Persian rugs, a Mini Cooper and a BMW.

Mary Tierney of Queen Creek was thrilled with a pool table she bought for $1,800. Similar ones sell for $4,000 to $15,000, she said.

Also waiting in line early were Thomas and Karen Woodhouse, who were interested in a 90-inch-tall Neptune bronze statue water fountain. Online bidding had reached $1,800 before the live auction began.

Thomas Woodhouse pictured the fountain in the entry of their Gilbert home.

"Our house looks like a museum," said Woodhouse, who owns 63 oil paintings.

Later, he said he did not bid on the fountain after all because the base was too big. The fountain sold for $5,000.

The mansion is for sale at $8.7 million.

"It's the most expensive house in Chandler by far," Weidenhamer said.

The site's monthly maintenance runs $35,000, she said.

The house was built in 1984 by Phil Erikson, an architect and businessman who now lives in California. The next owner was Cable Rosenberg, who made his wealth with Internet porn. Three years ago, he sold the house to a dentist, Stephen Soraya, who died in June.

The house and grounds have been used for filming TV commercials and movies, including the film "Jolene."


Contents of Chandler Mansion Auctioned

Published : Saturday, 12 Sep 2009, 6:39 PM MDT

CHANDLER - "Everything must go" was the attitude Saturday at an auction at this Chandler mansion.

The turn out was much bigger than expected. They expected 500 people -- but got 1,500 -- to bid on more than 500 items.

Buyers lined up at this grand Chandler mansion for a close-up look at the contents of the multimillion dollar estate, and a chance at owning something at a bargain price.

Jordan Ali got two ornately-carved chairs. He thinks they're worth about $5,000 apiece, and he bought them for $3,600.

Jason Stancill says the response to the auction has been overwhelming. He says a Persian rug and a bronze statue of Poseidon got the most interest. But there was something for everyone, if they had curious and high-end taste.

One person's receipt totaled more than $42,000.


Chandler mansion being auctioned Saturday

by Luci Scott - Sept. 10, 2009 04:20 PM

The Arizona Republic

For sale at bargain prices: a bank-owned, 20-room mansion in Chandler and its contents, including a grand piano, artwork, fine furniture, pool table and flat-screen TVs.

An auction begins at 9 a.m. Saturday at Kyrene Mansion at 1220 N. Kyrene Road.

Also to be sold are the contents of the 20-car garage, which includes a Jaguar, Mini-Cooper, Toy Hauler, Indian Motorcycle and tools. Items can be previewed and inspected Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on auction day from 8 a.m. until bidding starts at 9.

The items for sale are online, and bids are being accepted online until midnight Friday. Live bidders will compete with those proxy bidders Saturday.

A press release offers this description: "The gable style home looks more like the homes of the elite of New York's Hamptons then something you would find in Arizona. From entry into the sprawling grounds as you drive by the tennis court and the lake with its own lakehouse and paddle boat to the cobble stone circular drive, you are struck by the majesty of this unique house. The hand carved front door opens into a rotunda complete with chandelier and domed stained glass ceiling."

Bids will be taken on the mansion, and the price is expected to be in the millions, but a buyer won't be immediately decided; the bids need to be taken to the bank for a decision.

However, the mansion's contents will be sold without a minimum price, said Deb Weidenhamer, CEO of Auction Systems Auctioneers & Appraisers of Phoenix.

The house is in the estate of a Valley dentist who bought the mansion three years ago. His death in June this year forces the liquidation of his estate.

Prior to the dentist, the owner was a man who made his wealth with Internet porn sites.

The land has a tennis court, a cobblestone circular drive and a lake with its own lakehouse and paddleboat.

The mansion's rotunda has a stained glass ceiling. The house has a theater room, a library, a gym and a master chef's kitchen.

"This auction . . . will be perfect for those who have been searching to live the life of the rich and famous without having to spend a fortune," Weidenhamer said.

Web site:


Chandler mansion, contents up for auction

Ari Cohn, Tribune

September 10, 2009 - 4:36PM , updated: September 10, 2009 - 5:23PM

The famous mansion on Kyrene Road in Chandler is going on the auction block.

Darryl Webb, Tribune

The front entrance and staircase in the famous mansion.

Darryl Webb, TribuneA well-known Chandler mansion on Kyrene Road, with its hidden passages and rooms and even an underground dungeon, will reveal its secrets Saturday, when the home and all of its contents will be sold at public auction.

The 10.5-acre estate, partially hidden away behind a fence and hedgerow at 1220 N. Kyrene Road, between Warner and Ray roads, features a 20-room main house, a lake with a dock, a tennis court, and a luxurious outdoor pool and spa. It went into foreclosure after the June death of its most recent owner, Steven Soraya, 50, a Tempe dentist.

Donna Salim, Soraya's personal assistant, said he lived in the house with his wife and young daughter for a year before being diagnosed with bladder cancer. He had specialized in sedation dentistry.

"It was a dream house for him, a house he always wished he owned," Salim said.

After the diagnosis, Soraya and his family moved to southern California for treatment. His dental practice suffered as a result, she said. Salim said Soraya was well-loved, and about 500 people attended his funeral. His wife and daughter remain in Irvine, with no plans to return to Chandler, she said. His dental practice likely will be sold, as well.

At 9 a.m. Saturday, the doors will be thrown open to the public and all the peculiar furniture and artwork and even a couple of cars and a motorcycle will be auctioned off to pay creditors, said Deb Weidenhamer, CEO of Auction Systems Auctioneers & Appraisers Inc.

Weidenhamer said Soraya bought the estate furnished about two years ago from Cable Rosenberg, who has been linked to Internet pornography. The interior design leans toward Gothic, with a lot of carved hardwood fixtures and classical statuary, she said. One wall in the library features a large mural depicting a horn-helmed, axe-wielding warrior on horseback with several bodies at his feet.

"I'm not so sure that everybody needs a bronze statue of Neptune," Weidenhamer said, standing next to the 7-foot sculpture. "There is so much interest in the property that things could be selling very high. However, it's extremely specific to a kind of taste."

The mansion, which is bank owned, will also be offered at auction with a down payment required and a bid that must be approved by the bank.

Online bidding on the auction house's Web site is already under way. About 500 people are expected at the public auction this weekend, Weidenhamer said. There are no minimum bids, and each of the hundreds of items up for sale will go to the highest bidder.

Weidenhamer said she found several of the home's hidden passages herself. One of them, just off the master bedroom behind a wood-paneled wall, leads upstairs to two rooms designed to be maid's chambers. The entry had to be forced with a crowbar, she said. Another passage behind a bookcase leads up to a hidden room in a turret, with a high ceiling.

Another secret passage leads down a narrow stone stairway into an underground "dungeon."

It costs about $35,000 a month for utilities and landscaping to maintain the estate, Weidenhamer said. The expansive lawns have turned brown, and the landscaping has given way to weeds and lizards.

The house also features a butler's quarters; a 20-car garage; a game room with pool, poker and craps tables; and a movie room capable of seating 20 people in wooden pews. The grounds also feature a guest cottage that has been converted into a gym.

Check out the mansionís contents at:


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