UWM’s Ishbia Building Michigan’s Biggest House, Complete With Amusement Park


Mat Ishbia may only be 5’ 10”, but the CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage likes things big — including his house.

Already the majority owner of the Phoenix Suns NBA team and the Phoenix Mercury WNBA team, the mortgage business billionaire is well on his way to building the largest lived-in residence in Michigan, complete with an amusement park.

Ishbia will have to tear down five existing homes — including his current 22,000-square-foot house — to build his 63,000-square-foot mega-mansion on a 14-acre lot in Bloomfield Township. It took the township’s zoning board 18 months of negotiating over variances and changes before giving Ishbia’s palatial spread its unanimous approval.

And it’s not just a mansion in the lush Brookdale Community 25 miles northeast of Detroit. According to Ishbia’s attorney Trey Brice, the project also includes a sprawling “Enchanted Forest,” featuring a trampoline park and a 200-foot-long serpentine swimming pool complete with lazy river jetting.

There will be plenty of opportunities for the former Michigan State walk-on point guard to get his exercise. Ishbia’s plan also includes a tennis court, pickleball court, and batting cages. Concerns from neighbors nixed a proposed go-cart track, but Ishbia is keeping plans for a massive tree house, an observation platform, and a reflection pool.

It is tough to say the final cost of the construction project, but Ishbia is said to be worth $7.5 billion.

Brice told zoning board members during their July 11 meeting that the “Enchanted Forest” will be gated and surrounded by atheistically appropriate fencing. It will contain crushed rock paths that move visitors through the art pieces and greenery to create an enchantment-like environment.

“It will feel like you are entering Never-Never Land or something,” Brice said. “There are several locations, especially around the forest, that will have a large amount of tall greenery. It will not be viewable by any of the surrounding homes, the greenery really dampens the sound, and there is no additional lighting.”

One commissioner jokingly commented that there will be so much to see and do on the property that it would make a good stop for Amtrak between Pontiac and Detroit. But the property is zoned for residential use, so it and the park will not be open to the public; the primary user of the property and amenities will be the home’s residents and guests.

Throughout the approval process, neighbors voiced concerns about all the activity and changes to the property. However, variances from the original plans have put neighbors at ease with what is planned at the site.

Linden Nelson is a neighbor and addressed the board in favor of the approval.

“I am here because I was a supporter of this project in the beginning and am a supporter of the project today,” Nelson said. “Along the way, there was a little bit of a hiccup. But I have talked to Mat, and things have worked themselves out the way I would have expected them to. But, because I did come in and voice some concerns, I wanted to come here again in person and voice that things were worked out. I think it’s a great project, and I think it would be good, and everyone would be on board with it. It is just a matter of communication.”

Rich Sorensen is the neighbor who lives right across the street and is president of the neighborhood association. He expressed concerns over how Ishbia’s team has and has not communicated with some of the neighbors and the association.

“While none of this really falls within the scope of our deed restrictions,” Sorensen said, “it would have been a nice courtesy to have at least talked to us. I don’t really have much of a problem with what Mat is doing. It’s caused a bit of a problem in the neighborhood, so it would be nice if there were a bit more communication. I expressed concerns about the height of the fencing, but they have addressed them, and I appreciate that. I look forward to better communication in the future.”

Brice responded to the comments made by neighbors.

“Communication is always a struggle to some extent,” Brice said. “Part of these changes is actually from neighbor input, so we look forward to interacting with the neighbors.”

As the motion was being made to the board, one commissioner went down the list of all the variances and requests made by Brice. The board approved all of them. Now Ishbia has a one-year limit to obtain the permits for the approved plans and can move forward with the project.


Read More Articles:

UWM, Rocket Best Profit Expectations For Q2

Feeling The Pain: Fed’s Hikes Affect Housing Market

Mortgage-Free Living: Are Americans Paying Off Their Houses?