The Transylvanian castle that inspired Bram Stoker's classic 1897 novel “Dracula” is officially on the market. Earlier this summer, heirs of the Habsburg family retained New York City-based property investment firm Baytree Capital to market their ancestral home to “the right purchaser under the right circumstances,” according to Baytree chairman and CEO Michael Gardner.
How much can a buyer expect to pay for Dracula's 13th century castle? Upwards of $135 million, according to Gardner. The castle, steeped in critical events from European history dating back more than 600 years, was converted into a museum in the 1950s. It is a top Romanian tourist attraction, drawing 450,000 visitors a year.
“With the expected boom in tourism generated by the mythological draw of Transylvania, the Habsburg family believes that a strategic plan for the development of Bran Castle is needed,” says Gardner. He adds that such a plan should enhance and preserve the historic property long-term.
The Romanian government currently pays the Habsburg family to run the museum, but the government contract expires in 2009. The government also has the right to match the best offer on the castle, according to Baytree Capital. Since Romania formally joined the European Union (EU) in 2006, Gardner believes that investor demand for the castle could be much stronger.