Best known for inventing the FURminator deshedding tool, David Porter saw 1705 N. Woodlawn Ave. as a creative outlet when designing the property. “I wanted to enhance the experience of being at home—every room had to have the right mojo,” he explains. “Building the house was like a four-year art project.” That ‘mojo’ was in full effect when the estate, which is located on 7.5-acres, recently sold for $13 million—a historic sale cementing St. Louis’ place in the global market for ultra-luxury real estate.

Porter’s real estate agent, Stephanie Oliver of Dielmann Sotheby’s International Realty, notes that from the sweeping grounds to the luxury car showroom, the property is full of unique details. “From the moment you enter the gates, it’s like you’re in another country—it’s really breathtaking and magical,” she says. “The house itself is full of things I’ve never encountered in properties before. There are secret passages, an English pub, a $1 million smart home package and even a car wash. That only scratches the surface. It’s like Disneyland for kids and adults.”

There are extra challenges when it comes to marketing a property like Porter’s, notes Oliver. “While there was certainly a full-blown marketing campaign, there is a high level of discretion with luxury properties,” she says. “Our marketing was very targeted. The challenge is getting the message to the right people without compromising privacy.” Jeff Lottmann of Compass Realty Group, who represented the buyer in the sale, agrees that confidentiality is key to luxury sales. “A lot of homes sell without officially hitting the market,” he adds. “It can seem like there aren’t a lot of opportunities, but it’s all about finding the right fit.”

The most exciting element of the sale is what it means for the community, Lottmann says. “St. Louis has been home to many thriving corporate headquarters, but the city has been perceived to be in decline for the last 20 years,” he notes. “A home like this shows that we have the properties to accommodate ultra-luxury buyers. Hopefully, it gives St. Louis a shot in the arm and signals to the rest of the world that there is so much potential here.” Since joining Compass Realty Group, he’s been excited to use the brokerage’s network and resources to establish St. Louis’ place in the global luxury market.

As an entrepreneur and inventor, Porter is thrilled to see the city he calls home thriving. He’s preparing to launch his newest venture, Fur4, right here in St. Louis. “I could have moved away several times, but I love it here,” he says. “I’ve really enjoyed getting to know people and growing my business in St. Louis. As I embark on this next chapter in my life, it’s bittersweet to say goodbye to 1705 N. Woodlawn Ave. I had a lot of fun building the house, and it’s where I watched my family grow up. It can be a lot to take in—a little like drinking from a fire hose—but I hope the new family loves it just as much.”