Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Joanna Krupa and Romain Zago List Miami Condo

SELLERS: Joanna Krupa and Romain Zago
PRICE: $1,975,000
SIZE: 2,139 square feet, 2 bedrooms 3 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: In September 2013, shortly after their long-coming nuptials in June, The Real Housewives of Miami's hot-blooded Polish model Joanna Krupa and her beefy-sexy-swarthy (and some might say smarmy) France-born and Brazil-raised husband, nightclub impresario Romain Zago, shelled out $1,369,000 for a two bedroom and three bathroom condo on the 42nd floor of the much ballyhooed Four Seasons Residences in downtown Miami, FL.

Less than a year later, amid deafening internet whispers and tabloid-y reports that the reality t.v. bigwigs at Bravo canceled the next season of The Real Housewives of Miami (RHOM), the passionate pair flipped the condo back on the market last week (April, 2014) with an asking price of $1.895 million. Within a few days the asking price plumped to its current $1.975 million. With no reality show—and hence no job—there's idle and unconfirmed chatter Miz Krupa—presumably with her man in two—will hightail it back to Los Angeles, her home before she moved to Miami to be with Mister Zago and be on t.v.

Current online marketing materials indicate the 2,139 square foot corner condo was "completely remodeled and updated with high-end finishes," although it's not clear to Your Mama if the renovations were done by Miz Krupa and Mister Zago or a previous owner. Whatever the case, interior fittings and finishes include, as per listing details, four foot square marble slab floors, a name-brand sound system, a water filtration system, electronic window shades, and a state of the art home automation system that allows temperature, sound and lighting systems to be controlled remotely by a smart phone.

Double doors open from the public corridor to a compact vestibule and a long hallway—some real estate agents might try to call it a gallery—that cuts through the apartment at a catty-wompus angle to the main living area. There appears in listing photos to be some sort of built-in entertainment unit and/or wet bar in the north- and west-facing combination living/dining room where Miz Krupa—or her decorator/stager—placed a cushion-y, low-profile taupe-toned sectional sofa and a zebra stripe ottoman in front of nearly floor to ceiling windows filled downtown tower vistas. At the dining room end of the space a glass door opens to an itty-bitty veranda with oblique Biscayne Bay views and just about enough room for two people to stand or sit (or crouch) in intimate proximity.

The kitchen isn't particularly big but is expensively and thoughtfully equipped with modern, flat-fronted cabinets with a rhythmic vertical pattern wood grain, high-gloss ebony counter tops (of unknown material), and top of the line stainless steel appliances that include a built-in microwave. A three-stool breakfast bar separates the kitchen proper from a compact breakfast nook/den area that looks out through the aforementioned veranda to the city and bay views beyond.

Both of the east-facing bedrooms have (windowless) en suite bathroom and the slightly larger master suite has two closets, one of them a decent but hardly huge sized walk-in.

At 789-feet the Four Seasons Miami is currently the tallest building in Florida and the 55th tallest building in the United States. The luxury complex offers its well-heeled residents a separate entrance with dedicated elevators and a residents only swimming pool and lounge so they need not co-mingle fraternize with the hotel guests. Residents are also given some sort of preferred membership at an upscale (and on site) health club but, seriously, children, that's not really a benefit in Your Mama's book since we'd sooner have our gin-sotted liver removed by an apprentice plumber than spend any amount of time in a place that bills itself a "health club." Anyhoo...

As was seen in the last season of the RHOM the couple moved last year or maybe the year before—don't know or care to figure out—to a fairly ordinary single-story bay-front residence in Miami Beach that property records show is not owned by Miz Krupa and/or Mister Zago but rather a corporate entity easily linked to retired Formula 1 race car driver turned Miami-based real estate mogul Eddie Irvine. (Mister Irvine, as it turns out, was sentenced earlier this year to six months in prison for a 2008 brawl in the VIP section of a nightclub in Milan. But we digress.)

Miz Krupa fashioned herself a bit of a real estate mogul on the last season of RHOM and a few peeps and pokes around various property records data bases reveals that in addition to the condo that's up for sale, her property portfolio of includes at least four, quite modest single family homes. While she may own forty fancy houses in Los Angeles the only one Your Mama could tie to the beautiful if blustery model/reality denizen is a humble 2,200-ish square foot ranch-style residence in a perfectly fine if decidedly lackluster area of Encino that she picked up in July 2004 for $670,000. Property records show Miz Krupa owns (at least) three modest homes in the western Chicago suburbs of Glen Ellyn, Villa Park, and Lombard. (The property in Lombard is co-owned with her younger and also fiery sister, Marta.)

 NOTE: While Your Mama first heard word about the Krupa-Zagos listing their Miami condo from a gal we'll call E.D. Brickell, it turns out the real estate matter was previously and first discussed by the mad-busy celebrity gossips at Radar. We went with it anyways because, well, for better and worse Your Mama loves us some Real Housewives of... franchise real estate dirt.

listing photos and floor plan: Piquet Realty and Radar Online

Monday, April 21, 2014

Let's Talk About Rihanna, Shall We?

Several weeks ago there were a couple of tongue wagging reports that international pop music superstar Rihanna, née Robin Fenty, moved into The Fortress, an industrial-edged and aggressively contemporary and much discussed concrete and glass edifice high above the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles. And she has, according to several of Your Mama's better connected sources.

Your Mama first (dissed and) discussed the lasciviously muscular and almost cathedral-like residence back in January 2009 when, after nearly two years on the market with a exceedingly optimistic original asking price of $14.995 million, it was sold by (unfortunately named) energy drink entrepreneur Russ Weiner for exactly $8,000,000 to then 29-year old DJ and producer Val Kolton.

A little more than two years later Mister Kolton put the illustrious property, perched prominently a private .6 acre promontory with 270-degree views that sweep across the whole of the Los Angeles basin and often poo-pooed by highly opinionated armchair architecture critics, back up for sale with an also wildly optimistic $12 million asking price. The price eventually tumbled to $8.595 million before Mister Kolton managed to unload the white elephant at a nearly million dollar loss, not counting carrying costs, improvements, and etc., in October 2012 to a still unidentified buyer for $7,212,500.

Listing details from when The Fortress was last available for purchase show there are a total of 7 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms including a second floor city view master suite with dual bathrooms and a curvaceously walled dressing room plus a detached guest house above the garage with two bedrooms and at least one bathroom.

Other features of note include a 60-foot long, double-height entrance gallery with glass panel roof, several seating nooks, a fireplace and a floating, glass-tread staircase that Your Mama would find terrifying and terrifically difficult to navigate after a few gin and tonics. Along the rear of the residence there's a double-height formal living room traversed overhead by a glass-floored bridge, a much cozier den with built-in entertainment unit, and a double-height library/billiard room.

A couple steps up from the dining room there's an impressive all-stainless steel center island kitchen designed by Porsche Design Group that Your Mama and our eagle-eyed housegurl Svetlana both agree must be a time-consuming and murderous endeavor to keep finger print free or at least reasonably finger print free. Listing details we dug up also indicate there's a spacious screening room with built-in booze bar and candy counter and a fully equipped fitness room filled with angry looking contraptions that Your Mama's fat ass would have no idea how to use.

Outdoor spaces include a gated motor court between the main house and the guest house, a small grassy side yard with unobstructed city views and a koi pond, and, out the rear of the residence, a slender swimming pool and attached 12-person spa that together form a shape luridly similar to the male anatomy.

We have no idea how long Miss Riri plans to reside in The Fortress but iffin we were the betting type—and we're not—we'd bet both our long-bodied bitches, Linda and Beverly, the itchy-footed Barbadian will soon move on to another rented residence because, although she's one of the highest earning entertainers on the planet, she doesn't seem to stay anywhere very long typically prefers to rent rather than buy.*

Late 2012 brought an avalanche of reports in the tabs, gossip glossies and property gossip columns that stated the Barbadian singer purchased an approximately 11,000 square foot contemporary in the affluent and somewhat staid, hence unlikely seaside community of Pacific Palisades for $11.9. However, children, a two minute search of public records reveals the property is actually owned by a corporation easily linked to the same non-famous fellow who purchased the property in 2004 for $1.32 and custom built the luxuriously appointed (if woefully specious) residence. **

Last fall, after one too many intruders managed to find their way onto the above mentioned Pac Pal property, Riri packed up her designer duds and hightailed it to New York City where she reportedly rented a $39,000 per month duplex penthouse in SoHo. Listing details and previous reports indicate the sun flooded penthouse was had been listed for $14.6 million and has four bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms in 4,660 square feet of interior space and a 2,400 square foot private terrace.

It was around the time she decamped L.A. for The Big Apple that word got out that Miss Riri had (allegedly) paid around $21.8 million for a 10,000-ish square foot townhouse villa with in Barbados that she'd leased the previous summer (2012) for an unknown amount of money. (Your Mama can not confirm or deny whether Miss Riri actually bought the super-luxe five bedroom and five bathroom or not because we really just don't know but it certainly makes sense she's set down some real estate roots in her homeland.)

In February of this year (2014), for her 26th birthday, the often touring seven-time Grammy winning entertainer was reported to have leased a nearly 19,000 square foot chalet in the celebrity-approved ski haven of Aspen, CO. Some of the features of the massive pseudo-chalet encompasses 7 bedrooms, 11, bathrooms, a 40-foot tall foyer, a five-car garage (with turntable), two elevators, and tennis court with adjacent clubhouse. The house, a short walk into downtown Aspen, is currently listed for $45 million.

NOTE: The children ought to keep in mind that listing photos of The Fortress are from the time the house last sold and may or may not reflect the home's current state of decorative affairs.

*Miss Riri spent $6.9 million on a newly constructed, 8500+ square foot contemporary in Beverly Hills in September 2009. Just about two years later Miss Riri filed a lawsuit against the property developers that claimed the house was riddled with design and construction defects that allowed water to enter and damage the interior areas. We don't know what became of the lawsuit—and, frankly, we don't much care—but property records show Miss Riri sold the property at a punishing loss, in late 2011, for $5,030,000. In September of 2012 the current owners, presumably after fixing whatever defects allegedly ailed the property, re-listed the property for $9.95 million. After (at least) two failed escrows, the property remains on the open market with a much lower asking price of $7.995 million.

**Not long after Riri packed her bags the house went up for lease at $65,000 per month and in late March (2014) the property popped up for sale on the open market with a $14.995 million price tag.

listing photos (Los Angeles, The Fortress): The Partners Trust
listing photos (New York): Town Residential (via Streeteasy)
listing photos (Barbardos): Chesterton International
listing photos (Aspen): Joshua & Co.

Your Mama Hears...

...from the kindly Rosetta Stone that word on the real estate street in affluent Watch Hill, Rhode Island, is that Taylor Swift may have caught a classic case of The Celebrity Real Estate Fickle and might be looking to quietly unload High Watch, the hulking 1930s ocean front mansion she purchased about a year ago for $17,750,000. (It's just rumor and gossip, children, rumor and gossip.)

Since she acquired the historic and exceedingly visible estate, once the summer residence of Standard Oil heiress Rebekah Harkness, the vindictive song penning crossover pop-country superstar has dumped a fair amount of dough on upgrades and improvements. No doubt she beefed up the security systems and she made much scrutinized and publicized repairs to the Hurricane Sandy damaged sea wall at the bottom of the steep bluff atop which the 11,000 square foot multi-story Colonial residence proudly perches.

Listing details (and other reports) from the time of Miss Swift's purchase show the 16-room Colonial-style pile sits on 5.23 hedged and gated acres with 8 bedrooms and 10.5 bathrooms. Inside there are several reception rooms (living room, parlor, library), an octagonal dining room with built-in china cabinetry, a 45-foot long sun porch, and an updated eat in kitchen. Many rooms on the main and upper levels open to various verandas, balconies and expansive terraces with sweeping views from Block Island to Montauk Point. Set on a plateau below the house there's an ocean view swimming pool with an adjacent, flat-roofed pool house/fitness center.

For a gal of her age—she's 23 or 24 or something like that—Miss Swift maintains an impressive portfolio of private residences. She owns eccentrically decorated 4,000+ square foot duplex penthouse in downtown Nashville she picked up in August 2009 for $1.99 million and she—or possibly her parents—shelled out $2.5 million in June 2011 for a semi-pastoral multi-acre spread with a large Greek Revival sprawler in the leafy Belle Meade area south of downtown Nashville. In Los Angeles she owns a  a micro-compound tucked deep into a quiet canyon in Beverly Hills—acquired in April 2011 for $3.55 million—and she's the much rumored buyer of an 8,000+ square foot duplex penthouse in lower Manhattan that writer/director/producer Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit franchises) sold last month (May, 2014) for $19.95 million.

listing photo: Seaboard Properties

Friday, April 18, 2014

Robin Williams Sells L.A. Pied A Terre

SELLER: Robin Williams
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $869,000
SIZE: 1,3,18 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Some of y'all may have already read in The Wall Street Journal this week that award-winning comedian and actor Robin Williams* will re-list his 650+ acre vineyard property in Napa and Sonoma Counties with a new and lower asking price of $29.9 million. (Yes, puppies, the estate straddles the county line so it's in both counties.) Mister Williams previously had the luxuriously fitted estate with its titanic 20,000 Tuscan villa on the open market back in August 2012 with a significantly higher and (apparently) optimistic $35 million asking price.

According to Your Mama's research, re-listing his baronial estate in Northern California isn't the only recent shuffle Mister Williams has made to his residential real estate portfolio. In February of 2009 Mister Williams, via trust, paid Gossip Girl co-creator/writer/producer Stephanie Savage $857,500 for a modest pied-a-terre in Los Angeles' historic and leafy Bronson Canyon.** Last September, to little or no hoo-ha or hullabaloo, the property popped back up for sale with an asking price of $939,000. Within six weeks the price dropped by $40,000 and in late January, according to property records, Mister Williams sold the house to a non-celebrity for $869,000.

Digital marketing materials show the 1920s Storybook Tudor*** retains many of its original architectural features and measures in at just 1,318 square feet with two bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms plus what listing details rather describe as a "unique screening room." More on that "screening room" in a moment.

A charming brick stairway curves up from the street to a steeply pitched portico where an arched front door opens into the tiniest of tiny vestibules. It's just one or maybe two steps through the tiny vestibule to the pleasingly voluminous living room with original wood floors, a raised and angled ceiling, and a period fireplace. A perfectly lovely set of arched, multi-pane French doors at the far end of the room lead out to the home's primary outdoor living space, a walled and shady-looking red brick terrace.

In the dining room, two steps up through an archway from the living room, built-in book cases surround a street-facing bank of windows. Next door, in the efficiently petite and not particularly special kitchen, listing photos show humble white cabinets with glass fronted uppers, white ceramic tile counter tops, stainless steel appliances, and—curiously—parquet pattern flooring. The parquet pattern floor inexplicably extends into the main floor powder pooper and Your Mama fears all that parquet might be some sort of laminate material.

A a slender stairway ascends to the upper level where two bedrooms—one with an excitingly vaulted ceiling, share a squeezy but thankfully sky-lit bathroom with dark tile floors and white ceramic tiles in the combination tub/shower.

As mentioned above, listing details point out a "unique screening room" where a carpeted platform consumes more than half the floor space and makes it impossible for anyone taller than a toddler to stand up. Presumably one is expected to crawl up onto the platform and then, minding one's tender noggin, fold oneself into the day bed in order to watch a movie? Gurl, pleeze. Just put a big ol' t.v. in the living room and call it a day. We don't know what some people are thinking, children. We understand that some people do not like to have their living room dominated by a television. And we get that. We feel your pain. But this is a small house and sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. For chrissakes, Your Mama feels our blood all hot up in our eyeballs with claustrophobia just looking at a picture of that room and we can assure y'all we would most certainly require a nerve pill and a stiff gin & tonic to muster the courage to wedge our fat ass up in there just to look at the damn boob-toob. We'll say it again because we think it's important: Put a damn t.v. in the living room and call it a day. Okay? Okay.

Mister Williams, now married to his third wife, graphic designer Susan Schneider, also owns a six bedroom and 7.5 bathroom bay front home in the über-affluent community of Belvedere-Tiburon. Your Mama's research shows Mister Williams purchased the large and luxurious if architecturally nondescript, 6,517 square foot single-story residence in the latter days of 2008 for $4,050,000.

*Mister Williams has been awarded 1 Oscar, 2 Emmys, 4 Golden Globes, and 5 Grammys.

**For the record: Your Mama can not say with certainty this house was occupied by Mister and Third Missus Williams. It's possible it was purchased for one of Mister Williams' several young adult children. Certainly, there's precedent for this. In the fall of 2007 Mister Williams, again via trust, paid $1,010,000 for a sunny one bedroom and two bathroom duplex condo with private roof terrace in Brooklyn's hipster haven of Williamsburg. The condo was later deeded over to his eldest son, Zachary, who subsequently sold in May, 2010, for $1.1 million. (As it turns out the top-floor condo is currently on the open market with an asking price of $1.695 million.)

***Is that what this house is? A Storybook Tudor? Anyone? 

listing photos: Keller Williams