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Irwin Jacobs Puts His Tanager Hill Estate on the Market for $22 Million

Jacobs’ 13, 000-square-foot mansion, overlooking Lake Minnetonka, is reckoned to be the second-most-expensive property in the Twin Cities region of Minnesota

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Irwin L. Jacobs has put his 32-acre estate, Tanager Hill on the outskirts of city of Orono on the northern shores of Lake Minnetonka in Hennepin County, Minnesota  on the market.

Jacob’s estate is dominated by a 13, 000-square-foot mansion, built in 1939,  which lies  in a wooded area about halfway between the lakes. The 10 bedroom property also includes  a 4, 000-square-foot guest-house, two caretaker houses, a pool and pool house, as well as barns and a guard house.

The Jacobs family has owned and lived on the Tanager Hill Estate property for the last 42 years, now Irwin and his wife are looking to downsize, although very interested in staying in the area in a smaller lakeside property.

Although the Jacobs estate has only recently hit the market, there is apparently already considerable interest, although many people suspect that property developers will be particularly interested in acquiring the Tanager Hill property for its development potential, with its 32 acres running along the shore of the lake.

Local people point to the fact that the last time a transaction of such a scale took place was way back in 2006. In that instance a 70-acre estate was bought by developers who promptly demolished the property in order to build 47 home lots in an entirely new community.

Irwin L. Jacobs  will be competing for potential luxury property buyers against Southways, at one time owned by the Pillsbury family of bakery fame, which has been on the market for several years.

Built in 1918, the Pillsbury estate,  as it is known locally, although it is owned by the family for a number of years, was put up for sale by its current owner James Jundt, with an original asking price of $53.5 million. Over the years the price has gradually reduced to around $25 million. What will make this property less attractive to developers that it sits on only a 13 acre plot.

When asked his feelings about whether he will like to  see his property fall into the hands of developers,  Jacobs refused to speculate too much on, although he did go as  far to say that, if this were to  happen, the more logical approach would be to keep the house with the southern part of the site and if there was any room for development, it  should be on the  1, 231 foot  long parcel of land stretching along the shores of the two Tanager Lake.

The city of Orono is renowned for the quality of its houses, and although there has been a downturn in demand in the last few years, the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors has reported an upturn in the last year, with more than 20 properties priced at more than $1.3 million changing hands during that time, an increase of  38-percent from the previous year.

Jacobs, who built up a strong reputation for his shrewdness in the field of business sums up his feelings on the possibility of the Tanager Hill being sold to developers by stating that when someone opens their wallet to buy something, then he will be the last person to  advise them on how to spend their money.


Irwin L Jacobs is the owner and CEO of several large corporations, with probably the best known being Genmar Holdings Inc., at one time rated to be  the  largest boat-building company in the world.

Jacobs is the owner and operator of Winona-based Watkins Inc., a manufacturer of personal health and home care products, among a number of other large trading companies.




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