Thursday, February 7, 2008

In Other Foreclosure News...

Oh dear.

Your Mama is guessing The Widow Hearst's desperate dance of debt refinancing didn't bear much fruit because her monstrous Manalapan mansion is indeed headed into the tawdry and messy world of foreclosure. The sprawling Mauricio Fatio designed Villa Venezia is currently scheduled to be auctioned off on the Palm Beach County courthouse steps on February 25th. GASP! Somebody pass Your Mama the smelling salts.

The 28,000 square foot, 52-room behemoth has been on and off the market for years and was recently listed at$27,000,000, far less than the $29,900,000 Veronica Hearst and newspaper heir Randolph Hearst paid for the oceanfront property just a few months before ol' Randy kicked the bucket back in 2000. But children, even a full price purchase by some filthy rich lock jaw won't begin to cover the three mortgages on the property which are reported to total a vomit inducing $45,000,000.

Yes children, Mister Hearst did leave a gigantic amount of money behind, but it must be tied up in all kinds of complicated trust that aren't very accessible to Miz Hearst because she wasn't able to convince the trustees to crack them open even though the aging Bible scholar can beg and plead in seven languages.

What Your Mama wants to know is did the apparently cash poor Miz Hearst mortgage the hell out of this Palm Beach property to pay for her lavish Fifth Avenue society bee-hawtcha lifestyle?

Although Miz Hearst claims to have plenty of money, the poor thing–and we mean it in the financial sense–is so strapped for cash to pay the $600,000+ per year maintenance bills for the Villa Venezia that she's reported to have mortgaged part of her art collection.

Oh children, unfortunately for The Widow Hearst, this can only end in tears and humiliation.

Foreclosing on Hearst Widow (NY Post)
Veronica Heart's $27M Must-go Manse (Radar Online)

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

sadness all around

Bigdaddyj said...

When was that house built? The lobby/foyer pictured looks very old-school and authentic, but I didn't think there were many truly old manses in Manalapan...that being said, if the Peninsula hotel chain ever decides to open a "Peninsula Manalapan", that lobby will do, LOL...

Bigdaddyj said...

When was that house built? The lobby/foyer pictured looks very old-school and authentic, but I didn't think there were many truly old manses in Manalapan...that being said, if the Peninsula hotel chain ever decides to open a "Peninsula Manalapan", that lobby will do, LOL...

lil" gay boy said...

Almost feel sorry for her . . . almost.

My guess is that the "plenty of money" she claims to have is tied up in such intricate trusts that she's not allowed to touch a penny of the principal, even if it were to keep her from her deathbed, and has been living the WAY too high life on the trusts' income and mortgaging everything that wasn't nailed down (and a few things that were, using her monogrammed crowbar.)

The Hearsts have always been a family on the outside looking in, despite their vast wealth (we all fondly remember William Randolph, don't we? Marion Davies had to sell the jewels he gave her to get him out of hock during the depression so he could keep his beloved San Simeon.)

Even as late as 1942, he was still trying to get his foot in the door by buying Beacon Towers from Alva Vanderbilt Belmont, not just because she was THE Mrs. Vanderbilt, but because it was the inspiration for Jay Gatsby's house in "The Great Gatsby".

He couldn't afford the taxes on it and after several unsuccessful attempts to sell it, he razed it in 1947.

Bigdaddyj, Addison Mizner designed the current Villa Venezia for Cornelius Vanderbilt in 1930.

Hmmm, a pattern emerges . . .

Grumpy old economist said...

A cold wind is blowing over the economy of the entire world,Sell your good art and furniture now before the crash.

High class lady decorator said...

The London auctions just did VERY well,but they always say that the art market stays afloat for about a year to six months after the start of a recession.So yes sell now.

Barren Karen said...

High Class Lady Decorator (henceforth to be known as HCLD), I love you.

lil' gay boy said...

Thanks for the acronym, BK; my fingers were getting tired.

Barren Karen said...

lgb, YOU'RE hcld?

oh.

High class lady decorator said...

Barren Karen you are so sweet my dear but I'm afraid that I am a true WASP and as chilly as a Park Avenue limestone facade in mid winter;I don't do the love thing very well.I'm sorry dear.

Bigdaddyj said...

Thanks LGB...I like the place a lot more now since i know it's authentic....I still think the lobby/foyer reminds me of the Peninsula hotel in Manhattan for some reason though...I think I love the "idea" of living in an actual 19th century or pre-war "Vanderbilt" mansion more than I would enjoy actually living in one, though this is an actual Vanderbilt mansion, so cooler still...My mother did own an authentic Mizner in Palm Beach briefly in the late 80's, but it was actually NOT very liveable, so after a few years she traded for a much tackier (but ultimately much homier) spread in the PBPCC in Wellington where she remained happily ensconced until her death two years ago...

Barren Karen said...

LGB, you don't fool me with your HCLD business.

Veronica Hearst is a mess and she's living on borrowed money. Can you spell trouble?

P.S. respectfully, this house was built for Howard Vanderbilt and not Cornelius as LGB suggested earlier.

http://www.forbes.com/2000/12/12/1214movers.html

Sorry lovers, I don't know how to embed a link.

lil' gay boy said...

No B.K., I'm not HCLD, just got tired of typing all those words. Where did you find the reference to Howard? I was following Mama's links . . .

;-)

Yes, bigdaddyj, an authentic Mizner does have its own breeding and charm, even though they may sometimes come across as cold. I've often found that to be the case when the client did not follow Mizner's advice on interior decoration.

Barren Karen said...

this house is not a mizner...its a fatio. there are many of references online to it being designed by fatio.

my work is done here.

Viva! said...

Veronica Hearst has been living in a financial house built on sand and with the market the way it is, plus the way her intricate trusts were designed, coupled with her outrageous lifestyle...the sand has been washed away and Ms Hearst is drowning in debt. She really should just cut her losses, sell everything, pay off her debts and get back to spending at Bergdorf Goodman.

lil' gay boy said...

B.K., where did you find the reference to Fatio?

Everything I found called it a Mizner.

Give.

Barren Karen said...

I posted this for you before LGB/HCLD

http://www.forbes.com/2000/12/12/1214movers.html

how is it the truancy officers aren't beating down michael's hotel room door to take his kids to school. can they read?

lil" gay boy said...

B.K., I need to get my eyes checked . . . thanks!

BTW, I'm not HCLD - let her have her own rep - I think she's going to be an interesting addition . . .

I've been called crazy before, but never had multiple personalities!

;-)

As far as The White Lady's kids are concerned, my guess is they move around so much that God only knows what municipality is responsible for their welfare.

Anonymous said...

She sewed the wind and she reaped the whirlewind.She is a wannabe Hearst heir. Ain't karma a bitch?

Dr. Bob said...

She sewed the wind and reaped the whirlewind. She is a wannabe Hearst heir. Ain't karma a bitch?

Anonymous said...

it's a very beautiful house, but, I believe that the Hearsts bought it from Bren Simon. Mrs. Simon filled it with hideous furniture- lots of 3rd rate 18th century style furniture- and the colors!!! OMG!!! A decorating catastrophe!!
In fact, it was for sale for quite some time before the Hearsts bought it.
I'm sure that the Hearsts bought it to gut it, and then he died. From what I understand, she isn't the beneficiary of his trust, so money might be tight.

Her apt. in manhattan is beautiful!! By Mongiardino.
You can see pics in his book, although they don't say her name.
It's sad when a widow is in a position like this.

lil' gay boy said...

Money-grubbing or not, it's sad to see a Pulitzer Widow in such dire circumstances . . . .

Sandpiper said...

Oh Little Buddy--my my my; wake up and smell the Botox (& you know I love you!)...
This lady had a bottomless pool of new-found cash via the much older husband who obvoiously knew how to structure a will for his last legal romp. I don't wish anyone financial doom, but I also cannot bleed for Veronica.

lil' gay boy said...

Bleed for her? I wouldn't sneeze for her.

With their age differences in mind, she knew what she was getting into; she should have gotten a better prenup.

The name Pulitzer used to mean something; she's just dragging it through the mud.