Elin Nordegren is so rich that the “dream home” she’s building is just like the $12 million mansion she took a wrecking ball to and demolished just a week ago.
But don’t think she’s wasting any money in doing so. She’s actually saving a ton!
The 17,000-ft., six-bedroom home in a gated community in North Palm Beach, Fla., was built in the 1920s, Dan Reedy of Onshore Construction and Development, tells PEOPLE.
“It wasn’t built to the South Florida wind-loading codes of today that were put in place because of hurricanes. We had an architect and a structural engineer out here and everyone agreed that it made more sense – structurally and economically – to tear it down and start over.”
But it wasn’t a total loss. Nordegren gave Habitat for Humanity of Martin County, Fla., four weeks to methodically go through the structure and salvage tens of thousands of dollars worth of cabinets, hardware and fixtures. That’s when termite and carpenter-ant infestations were discovered, says Habitat’s director of deconstruction, Bobbi Blodgett.
“When we pulled out the windows, the bugs were everywhere,” says Blodgett. “To rebuild that house would have been ridiculous. We’re so grateful to Elin. It’s rare we get this kind of donation.”
Adds Reedy, “Elin could have had a garage sale and made a lot of money. But she wanted everything to go to charity.”
According to renderings of the new home (obtained by TMZ), the exterior elevation drawing is very similar to the original home that was on the $12 million property before Elin had it torn down.
Both homes are said to be traditional-style homes with very similar shapes and a nearly identical facade. “The drawing looks similar to the 9,000 square foot house that was demolished,” TMZ reported.
Though Elin’s new home and the home she demolished are similar in look, the new building will be modern and much more up-to-date.
Once construction is complete, the new home will boast: 9 bedrooms; 2 large living rooms; a huge formal dining room; 2 kitchens; a large pool with a grotto (A FRIKKIN’ GROTTO!); a pool cabana with a huge living room; 2 jacuzzis; a wine cellar; a master “wing” (not a suite, but a WING) with a ginormous walk-in closet; full basement (that runs the entire length of the house); detached guest house with 3 bedrooms; and 3 guest bungalows.
Elin, who just celebrated her 32nd birthday on New Year’s Day, is reportedly living in a nearby rental home with her 4-year-old daughter Sam and 2-year-old son Charlie while the new home is being built.
For those who are wondering about how things are going with Elin and her rich boyfriend Jamie Dingman, a friend of hers tells People, “They are still dating, that’s all. Nothing new there.”