Nov. 3 — CHAMPAIGN – For sale: your dream home of 8,338 square feet, six bedrooms, eight bathrooms, spread over four lots with a view of the Champaign Country Club and including a fully equipped shed, ceilings of 10 feet, a cellar / tasting room of 1,500 bottles and all top of the range.
Listing price: $ 2.995 million – which is a lot less than the seller says he has sunk in the property at 1002 W. Armory St. over the years.
“It’s way too overbuilt and we have about $ 8 million in it,” Jimmy John Liautaud told The News-Gazette Tuesday. “Someone’s going to get a hell of a house for a really, really good deal, so I hope the family that buys it stays there for a long, long time.”
Since selling Jimmy John’s, the sandwich empire he founded and headquartered in Champaign, Liautaud said he divides most of his time between Florida and Nashville, Tennessee, where his wife Leslie moved about two years ago.
He said he has a personal office, with a staff of 12, in Champaign and that he plans to return to the area about 30 days a year – some for work, others for play.
“We’re very active farmers here, and we’re very actively acquiring more farms,” with land in Champaign, Coles, DeWitt, McLean and Piatt counties, said Liautaud, who grows corn and beans. “I love agriculture.
Another passion was the reason for his return to central Illinois this month.
“I’m a hunter,” he said, “and the deer hunting here is amazing.”
At 57 with a net worth of $ 1.7 billion – making him the 1,833rd richest person in the world, according to Forbes – Liautaud said he had gone from “being in the sandwich business to (being) all over the country, doing all kinds of different things, “with stakes in companies that include Arkansas-based 7 Brew Coffee.
But since the sale of his namesake sandwich chain to Inspire Brands in 2019, the former chief taster is “100 percent” of Jimmy John’s.
“I’m still a champion – whenever they need me I’m there,” he said. “But they’re so sophisticated now.… The business is in good hands.”