Sunday, September 2, 2007

David Geffen: Is He or Isn't He?

WHO: David Geffen
WHAT: 10 acre estate
WHERE: Angelo Drive, Beverly Hills, CA
PRICE: rumored to be $100,000,000

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: A blurb in a recent Wall Street Journal article about insanely expensive homes mentioned that itty bitty billionaire David Geffen, who is believed by many to be the richest man in Hollywood, "has quietly shopped his historic 9.4-acre Los Angeles estate for $100 million, according to a broker who has shown the property."

You can imaging the firestorm of emails and phone calls that went from real estate gossips to high end real estate agents all up and down Sunset Boulevard. Two agents told Your Mama that the estate is NOT for sale, and Miz Nikki Finke at Deadline Hollywood , who typically has very accurate poop, also reported that the estate is absolutely not for sale and that Mister Geffen turns down offers in excess of $100,000,000 "all the time." The Wall Street Journal itself amended their article to reflect that Mister Geffen himself says the estate is not for sale. Hmm.

Your Mama hears something a little different. Not only did ol' Ms. Louella, who believes Mister Geffen's estate may in fact be worth close to $100,000,000, tell us that Mister Geffen, "has quietly been peddling his humble abode for some time." We have also heard through the gossip grapevine that the estate will soon be coming to the open market. Now children, please do not go repeating that rumor as truth, because it is NOT substantiated by anyone connected with Mister Geffen. It's just what we heard from a swanky and well connected real estate agent in Bev Hills who has visited the estate. Given that Mister Geffen has an ego at least as large and hungry as all the other billionaires with homes on the market for $100,000,000+, it's not such a stretch for Your Mama to believe that vanity will force Mister Geffen to put his big and beautiful house on the market. Keep in mind that just because it's on the open market, does not mean it's actually for sale.

Mister Geffen purchased the 9.38 acre former Jack Warner (of Warner Bros.) estate on Angelo Drive in Bev Hills in 1990 for a reported and staggering $47.5 million dollars. At the time that was the highest price ever paid for a private home in the United States. Your Mama hears that the price included all the interior fittings and furniture. Ms. Louella whispered to Your Mama that after purchasing the estate Mister Geffen had the priceless antiques hauled across the pond to London where they were sold for many millions of dollars.

Reports of the property say that Mister Geffen spent another $45,000,000 renovating the property, including a reported and shocking $20,000,000 on landscaping alone. Somehow we doubt the landscaping bills were anywhere near that high. Several acres of sod, a few dozen specimen trees and some extremely tall hedging just can't be that expensive...or can it? We do however, understand that the behemoth mansion houses a nice selection of Mister Geffen's outrageous contemporary art collection, some of which has been recently sold off at spine tingling and record prices.

According to the tax man, the impressive colonial style house, which is accessed by a long and swooping driveway, sprawls across 13,612 square feet and includes 8 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms. Since Your Mama has read no recent reports of the number of sleeping chambers and poopers, we're just going to have to go with what the tax man says. If any of you many, and we mean many, young, smooth and well toned gentlemen that have visited the estate want to clue us in to anymore more specific, we'd be happy to hear what you have to say.

Sources: Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Deadline Hollywood, Pacific Coast News (photo)

34 comments:

Phoenix said...

..turns down offers in excess of $100,000,000 "all the time."

Sure he does..

WrteStuf said...

I'd heard that when Geffen bought the house and its furniture that he'd intended to sell the many supposed "antiques"... until he discovered they were largely reproductions made by the Warner Brothers set/carpenter department. Anything to this rumor?

Aunt Mary said...

wrtestuf, that's a hoot, probably not true

Anonymous said...

should have had the roof fixed included in the 45 million renovation!

Tracy said...

Thanks Mama! I was curious about this estate when I saw it on googlemaps. Fleur de Lis is across Angelo to the west and the Harold Lloyd estate, Greenacres, is just to the north.

property pimp said...

Also.... the purchase included the largest collection of lesbian porn materials that belonged to the previous owner who passed away at 93yrs....true story... oh, and all that landscaping came at high price..one day mr. g was driving past my small humble w.hll abode and stole my 23yr old movie star gorgeous gardner... he did not meet a happy ending

so_chic_darling said...

I would love to see photos of the Rose Tarlow designed interior.I'm sure that it's very chic!

Miss Scarlett said...

Want a peek inside the house? Check out Rose Tarlow's book, "A Private House". It's never mentioned that it's DG's house but it is.

And the story about the "antiques" not being antiques is absolutely true.

I think the $20 million for landscaping include a few landscapers if you know what I mean.

But would Geffen sell this house with the market being a bit weak at the moment in L.A.? And why would he sell unless the rumors are true he's planning on pursuing the purchase of another newspaper or something big. It's not like he's hurting for cash.

TonyV said...

When the house was built it was decorated by famed interior designer William (Billy) Haines. He designed most of the furniture himself. His work has become extremely popular of late. Had DG held onto everything...

TonyV said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lucy said...

Maybe he's thinking of purchasing the Ross estate?

I have been trying to wrap my mind around 20 million in landscaping, and all I can come up with, notwithstanding Miss Scarlett's catty (but funny) comment about gardeners, is that perhaps maybe his nekkid pretty boy statues in the garden aren't made of marble...

Anonymous said...

About 25-30 years ago, Geffen was big into collecting Tiffany anything. He then sold his entire collection. Everything. A close friend said later about Geffen that was how he knew Geffen collected not for the love of it, but for the sheer value of it. He's unloaded several prizes in his art collection lately. Most collectors don't willingly part with their prize pieces because they love them. Geffen it seems doesn't love anything.

Anonymous said...

Is the building on the right the cabana?

Miss Scarlett said...

Yes sweetie, I do indeed believe the building to the right is the Cabana. No word on how many simply lucious pool boys it takes to keep the pool and the Cabana, not to speak of Mr. Geffen, in A-1 condition.

Seriously, take a look at the house on Google Earth or Google Maps. (Hint-house number is 1801) and it appears there's a long winding drive and that the pool is off to the right, hidden from the house by a grove of trees, with the house to the left. Also, check out the English Country Manor style gardens to the rear and left of the main house. Perhaps that's what cost the $20M in landscaping fees (other than the support and upkeep of the landscapers themselves). Yeah that's one hell of a big pool house but since I can't see another pool anywhere else near the house my guess is that that is indeed the Cabana and pool to Chez Geffen.

Anonymous said...

I prefer two houses to the North; Harold Lloyd's Green Acres.

Though Geffen's property/grounds are larger.

And its not surprising Geffen has parted with antiques and art. Besides his wealth he has always seemed very lowbrow in his behavior.

Anonymous said...

The taxes on the property are over 500k. That is unreal. It would be interesting to have a list of the most expensive properties to maintain. I feel so poor. The cabana is probably bigger than my house!

Anonymous said...

Wow, I just looked at this place on local.live and I never realized just how big 10 acres looks in BH! The old Pitt/Aniston house, just south on Ridgedale, looks like a pimple compared to this place.

Funny, driving by I never really thought about it.

Geffen's place is a truly gracious and elegant BH estate, in my opinion. Something that the Saperstein's should've taken cues from when building just across the street.

I'm curious just to see how other people's opinions stack up against mine...

POLL: WOULD YOU RATHER HAVE

A. DAVID GEFFEN'S ESTATE

B. FLUER DE LYS

C. THE BEVERLY COMPOUND

D. A MEGAMANSION WITH VAST ACREAGE IN A SUBURB, (I.E. CALABASAS)

Miss Scarlett said...

Geffen's estate for sure, but only if I had the billions to maintain it. Oh and only if Dave threw in a few of the Cabana boys.

PCH said...

The Geffen house, without question. Pleasant Paul William-ish architecture. Ample, but not insane, square footage. Shielded from the road by hedges, not subdivided lots.

The only negative: It probably has an unobstructed view of those ridiculous Saperstein gates.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mama, Strapping Hunk reporting in, back from the long weekend at the compound in Malibu. For more information on the Geffen Estate, stand by, "get me Barry Peele on the phone",. We'll get the details and be reporting Live from the Sunset Strip. Strapping Hunk out.

Anonymous said...

Tho I can't stand that man, I have to choose Trump's Miami compound. An ocean view is worth 10X million flat BH land. IMHO those might as well be in Kansas cornfields with same ie NO view.

luke220 said...

Don't you mean Trump's Palm Beach compound? Geffen's is a more convenient location.

Phoenix said...

I'd choose Woodside, Ca. Best place we ever lived, and am seriously considering moving back there.

Phoenix said...

Mama, question. A few days ago you mentioned you'd be posting more photos of the public rooms at the Ross estate. I'm still interested in seeing them if you still care to, thanks.

Anonymous said...

"Trump's Miami compound. An ocean view is worth 10X million flat BH land"

His proprty in PALM BCH is like a disney hotel - who in their right mind would find it appealing? Palm Bch is more a vacation spot ... not like Bev Hills in the middle of a major city ... You can't compare the 2 ... & if you're talking about oceanfront then Malibu per acre is probably more expensive than Palm Bch.

e said...

As far as DG wanting to sell...
I remember him giving an interview not long after he bought it ( i believe to Robert Hilburn of the Times) basically saying he regretted buying it and maybe the worst decision he'd ever made. Maybe buyers remorse at having bought at the top of the market? I also remember him mentioning what clinched it for him was Ann Warner throwing in all of Jack's annotated scripts.(He might have been there with Speilberg) I'll try to find the original story to check my accuracy.

Anonymous said...

There was a mention in "The Operator" that Geffen bragged about the deal he got on getting all the "antiques" with the house only to find out most were worthless props. I don't know if the Haines furniture mentioned was removed before he bought or if that is the furniture deemed "worthless" when the book was published.

luke220 said...

I believe that is Bea Arthur's house just behind DG's. Sort of close, actually.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I would rather have the Playboy Mansion rather then Geffen's house, Fleur De Lys, Beverly House or Trumps Palm Beach spec house.

Anonymous said...

Bea Arthur lives on Old Ranch Road in Brentwood, nowhere near David Geffen.

Ricardo said...

It only costed 5 millions to move the pool and cabana from the front of the house to the back of it... In this way the guests would not see the cars driving by or viceversa....also the long driway has antique pavers brougth from Europe and they all came from an old church especially for this project, Ms. Tarlow herself choose each of them before installation, afterwords they were all cutted to configure a beatiful pattern though out the enrire long driway...6 months of work .....
The trees were moved away and brougth back after construction...
Soil was moved away and storaged and later was brougth back so everything remains intact... architects and enginers from all over the world were there to ensure everything will work to perfection... includes ligthing and watering systems all computarized.... Yes His house is in the book by Rose Tarlow the private house.... but only a few people will understand the interior design.... It is heaven!!!
also there are reflecting pools and antique planters brougth from Italy, England and France.... all the work was orchestrated by Rose Tarlow herself... I was there.

Anonymous said...

Ricardo is right. Although I've never been to the house, I know Rose and her work, and I vaguely know Debbie Nevins, who did the property. Both of them do some of the finest work in the country!!!

I'd love to see the Perrenchio(sp) house, which was done by the late Henri Samuel, who was amazing, and the property was done by Francois Goffinay(sp) also amazing!!
Suzanne Sapperstein's house can't compare to either one.
Geffin did sell the Haines furniture- just before the Haines revival!

Amensistah! said...

The clincher is that he's supposedly turning down 100 mil + offers all the time. This is Hollywood real estate lingo for he's desperate to sell and make even most of the money he put into the property back.

It's for sale, but with the markets today I doubt there are many people buying this type of property.

Anonymous said...

The gardens were originally designed and created by the Landscape Architects
(& lifetime partners) Florence Yoch and Louise Council from 1935 -'37.
Jack Warner commisioned them, familiar with their gardens for others in industry and movie set 'landscaping'. They later did Tara's 'front yard' for "Gone with the Wind", and George Cuckor's gardens.

At Warner's estate it was Florence that conceived of making the driveway 'entering experience' as long as possible - as aerial shots show it goes from Angelo to near Green Acres Place then doubles back to the motorcourt.

A similar folly was done at 'Fleur de Lys', one enters next to pool area & chat-toe but schlepps up-canyon & back down, on axis, to get to the damn front door. Can be lovly when not burnished for intimidation.