SELLER: Rick and Fabienne Guerin
LOCATION: North Alpine Drive, Beverly Hills, CA
SIZE: 11,891 square feet, 7 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Early California Architecture Statement on Rare 2+flat acre BH Estate. Rolling lawn, formal garden, long gated drive, sunken tennis court, soaring beam ceilings, extraordinary tile detail, fabulous master with pvt veranda and city lights beyond. Huge pool, sensational kitchen, media room, separate guest house, 6-car garage, wonderful patio for outdoor entertaining, huge motor court, most prestigious north of Sunset location, terrific privacy and pristine condition. 4 bd suites plus 2 maids.
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: This is one of those ridiculously expensive properties that have languished on the market for years. This is really saying something given the scorching hot Los Angeles real estate market the last several years. The listing agent, the incomparable Joyce Rey, has done a stellar job presenting the property, but alas, it remains as yet unwanted. Your Mama has been following the trials and travails of this property for quite some time and we thought it was time we showed it to the all the children.
The two plus acre property, purchased in 1989 for around $6,500,000, is currently owned by Rick and Fabienne Guerin. According to a very well connected source we'll call Tina Tatler, the property was purchased from David Geffen as vacant land and the Guerin couple had the current house designed and built for the site.
The Mister Guerin is a big time investments dude over at Pacific Partners. Your Mama is not sure what the Mrs. Guerin does. For all we know she's a scientist working out a cure for cancer, but we prefer to think of her in a pair of kitten heels working the charity circuit all across the better parts of Los Angeles and spending her afternoons getting her hair highlighted at Frederic Fekkai on Rodeo Drive.
On a side note, Frederic Fekkai, hair guru to the rich and famous, is the "male friend" of Johnson & Johnson heiress Libbet Johnson who recently liquidated a number of New York real estate holdings including a townhouse in the West Village that once belonged to Meryl Streep as well as 20,000 square feet of conjoined apartments at the Trump International Hotel and Tower. We plan on posting some information on these transactions in the near future, so stay tuned.
Anyhoo, back to the Guerin property. According to a second source, an in the know Bev Hills real estate agent who has asked to remain anonymous, this house was on the market 2.5 years ago for $20,000,000 and slowly the price has ticked up to the current asking price of $31,000,000. Apparently, the homeowner feels even though the house is not selling, the price should be raised. Interesting theory, but not one Your Mama recommends. However, this Mister Guerin is obviously very good at making money, so maybe he knows something we don't about how to sell a home. When asked about the ever-increasing price Tina Tatler tells Your Mama it's "due to tremendous activity in the market and lack of inventory" for these types of estates.
Our second tipster birdie disagrees and tells Your Mama he thinks this style of house, in this price range, is a very tough sell in the flats. And you know what? Even though Your Mama likes this house quite a bit, we think the birdie might be correct.
Your Mama does not agree with all the furniture choices we see in the photos, but we are appreciating the juxtaposition of the white contemporary Florence Knoll-like sofas in the beamed-ceiling living room. We are a little confused about the grand piano in the entrance hall as it seemed a little obvious a choice for a rich person. Then we figured it's probably utilized during fundraisers where some tuxedoed musician tinkles the ivories for the hoi polloi and as such is most likely more functional that we first imagined.
The master bathroom we have mixed feelings about. The architecture is amazing and the wood beamed ceiling leaves Your Mama breathless. And while we are concerned the tile would give us a shock early in the morning when we are nursing a hangover, in theory, we like the vibrant multi-colored scheme considerably. On the other hand, the vanity in the middle of the room really must go. Your Mama would surely be tripping over that thing spilling our mirrors and atomizers all over the floor leaving a mess for the maid to pick up every morning.
Moving to the exterior...Your Mama always appreciates a proper gated estate with sunken tennis court and heated swimming pool. But what we are grooving on most of all is that long gravel drive. See Your Mama's Daddy's Mama had a long gravel drive. The sound of tires crunching on the wee pebbles always meant visitors were coming down the drive and it's an aural memory so strong Your Mama convinced the Dr. Cooter to do our driveways in a similar fashion.
Your Mama is unclear as to whether the Guerin's are still in residence at this property. We were told by one of our anonymous sources this couple recently purchased a (pre-construction) penthouse at The Californian, one of the Wilshire corridors newest and fanciest buildings. Reports show the penthouses are about 8,000 square feet and in the neighborhood of $9,000,000 to purchase. We can't imagine why anyone would give up an estate like this for an apartment, penthouse status not withstanding. But perhaps they intend to spend more time in another location and don't care to maintain such a large residential complex.
Sources: Coldwell Banker, Joyce Rey