What makes a superhero truly memorable? Sure, their powers are important, but most—if not all—of the seriously great heroes and teams have secret (and sometimes not-so-secret) lairs almost as famous at they are.
Batman’s got the Batcave and Wayne Manor, Superman has the Fortress of Solitude, Tony Stark works out of his palatial hillside home, and the X-Men have an entire school that serves as their headquarters. With the impending release of “The Wolverine” and the hotly anticipated “X-Men: Days of Future Past” hitting screens next year, I figured it was high time the Movoto Real Estate Blog used its superhuman fictional real estate evaluation powers to put a price tag on the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning, aka the X-Mansion.
Part boarding school, part base of operations, this piece of truly luxurious real estate is home to people possessing mutant superpowers—but the mansion’s market value is almost as extraordinary as its tenants. I found that if it were to go on the market today, Charles Xavier would be able to ask $58,180,386 for the X-Mansion, and that’s not even including all of the amazing technology it hides.
If you’d like to find out how I reached that finding, and learn more about the X-Men’s not-so-humble abode in the process, put on your Cerebro helmet and join me on my journey to the uncanny side of real estate.
Pricing Professor X’s Pad
Since I unfortunately don’t have a mutant ability to instantly know the exact value of any piece of fictional real estate on Earth—or on infinite other ones—there were a couple of things I needed to figure out before I could properly evaluate the X-Mansion. These included:
- The size of the X-Mansion (and which version I wanted to value)
- Where it would be located in the real world
- How much comparable properties in that area sell for on a price-per-square-foot basis
Before I tackle that first point, I’ll hit you with a quick optic blast of history on the extraordinary home.
A Brief History of X-Housing
Like most superhero hangouts, the X-Mansion has gone through several “X-Treme” makeovers in its lifetime. The house originally started out as a piece of property inherited by X-Men founder and leader Charles “Professor X” Xavier, but has been rebuilt (and renamed) several times over the years due to such things as obliteration by nuclear explosion and demolition by giant robots. It’s even had part of it become self aware and leave, only to return and smash the rest of the building to the ground.
Originally known as the Charles Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters and currently incarnated at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning, the mansion existed for a time as the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning. It’s that version I decided to use as the basis for my evaluation, for no better reason than the fact that it’s the one I feel most X-Men fans will remember. That, and it’s the version used in the first three X-Men films. (There’s a chance “The Wolverine” will feature the newer Jean Grey Institute incarnation, but that’s not 100 percent confirmed.)
I’ll go into some of what makes this mutant sanctuary so impression next.
Like a Superhero, This House Holds Many Secrets
The first thing I needed to do to evaluate the X-Mansion was to figure out how big the place is. With the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning incarnation selected, I began my search for information on exactly what the house has within its hallowed halls. As any comic book fan can tell you, the Internet is absolutely overflowing with this sort of stuff thanks to legions of obsessive X-Fans.
The X-Mansion comprised five floors; three above ground and two below. In its upper floors is the actual boarding school where young mutants learn to harness and control their powers, taught by a senior staff of X-Men including Cyclops, Emma Frost, Wolverine, Beast, Nightcrawler, Iceman, and Gambit (to name a few). The mansion has 60 dorm rooms in addition to various classrooms, offices, and rooms for the staff. It also features:
- Assembly hall
- Rec room
- Study halls / computer labs
In the first basement level are the:
- Training room
- Acrobatics room
- Staging area
It’s in the sub-basement where things start to get really cool. This is the secret lair of the X-Men and, as such, houses all of their best toys. It’s where the Danger Room—a training area capable of recreating all sorts of mission scenarios—and Cebro, a supercomputer used by Professor X for locating new mutants, are. It also has a disaster shelter (a good thing considering how many times the mansion has been attacked) and the ready room where the X-Men prepare for their missions. Connected to this level, and located under an above-ground basketball court, is the hangar that houses the team’s vehicles including their Blackbird jet.
In order to get a square footage for all this, I needed a starting point. Fortunately, I was able to find some great floorplans for the incarnation of the mansion I used. Unfortunately, there’s no scale on them, so I had to make one. We’re resourceful and creative, if anything, here at the Movoto Blog.
How’d I do it? Well, I tracked down the building codes for New York State (where the mansion is located; more on that in a sec) and looked up the required size for stairs in school buildings. Since my floorplans included standard stairs, I could then use that width—3.6 feet—to measure everything else. When I was done, I’d calculated that all five levels of the X-Mansion combined comprise a whopping 76,654 square feet.
Next up, I needed to place the mansion in the real world. Luckily for me, its original creators, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, have already done that.
New York Welcomes New Mutants
The Xavier Institute for Higher Learning (and all other version of the X-Mansion) is located at 1407 Graymalkin Lane in North Salem, New York—a very real place in Westchester County, Northeast of New York City. While filming locations for the mansion in the X-Men movies range from Ontario, Canada to Berkshire, England, I figured there wasn’t any good reason to relocate the home given that the comic book version is the definitive source material and, well, the information had essentially been thrown right at me like a Fastball Special.
Property prices, however, aren’t part of official X-Men lore. For those, I needed to do what we do best here at Movoto: search for some houses.
Cyclops and Colossus Go Searching for Comps
The way I came up with a price per square foot for the X-Mansion hasn’t mutated any beyond what we normally do for our fictional property evaluations. I simply needed to seek out some large homes in North Salem and get an average price based on those listings.
After locations a few very large properties—nothing nearly as big as the X-Mansion, though—I took their list prices and averaged them out, arriving at a price of $759 per square foot. That’s a far cry from the likes of Tony Stark’s mansion in Malibu, which we found to be worth $4,690 per square foot.
With that price in my non-mutant (I swear!) mind, I could put it all together.
Danger Room Not Included
I might not have the exceptional brain matter of Professor X, but I can handle the simple math needed to determine the final price for the powerful mutant’s mansion. By multiplying the square footage (76,654) by the price per square foot ($759), I ended up with the listing price of $58,180,386. That’s about half the price of Tony Stark’s pad yet three times larger. Three words for that: location, location, location.
Now, before you even ask, no, that price doesn’t include a lot of things—most importantly the Danger Room, Cerebro, and other technology found at the Institute. It also doesn’t take into consideration the grounds (which include a statue in memoriam of the late Jean Grey), cost of construction materials, or any value attributed to the fact that, uh, it’s the X-Men’s base. This is simply looking at the property as if you were going to buy it—and you can bet that if Charles Xavier pulled up roots, all the really special stuff would go with him.
Still, it would be an ideal property for any aspiring super-teams to set up shop in. You’d just have to contend with all sorts of villains, from Magneto to anti-mutant demagogue
to space aliens, wanting to destroy the place despite your insistence that “Charlie doesn’t live here anymore.” Hey, we did say it comes with a disaster shelter.