Sunday, March 2, 2008

Sidney Kimmel Kashes In

SELLER: Sidney Kimmel
LOCATION: S. Ocean Boulevard, Palm Beach, FL
PRICE: $81,500,000
SIZE: 32,316 square feet (total), 6 bedrooms, 12 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Jeezis, Mary and Joseph, some of you children really twist us up like a damn pretzel. So before one of you moe-rons work Your Mama's last frazzled nerve and force us to lay out a serious beat down (and you just might be surprised who we'd go after with our wooden spoon first), let's just move on to another pricey Palm Beach property that has hit the market with a scorching hot price tag...an $81,500,000 price tag to be exact.

Hold on to your design expectation boots though because the ocean front mansion, owned by Jones Apparel Company founder turned filthy rich film producer Sidney Kimmel (Nine and a Half Weeks, Blame it on Rio, Charlie Bartlett, Lars and the Real Girl, The Kite Runner), is most assuredly not one of those palatial Palm Beach piles designed in the 1920s by high society architects Addison Mizner or Maurice Fatio, but rather a leviathan limestone edifice designed in the mid-1990s by New York based and high fallutin' French born architect Thierry Despont.

For those few children who don't know who Thierry Despont is, let Your Mama provide a five second education: In addition to being the gentleman responsible for the centennial restoration of the Statue of Liberty and the designer for the interior galleries of the much bally-hooed J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the egotastic architect has built a big bizness designing and decorating lavish mansions only exceeded in size by the big egos of his big bank account bizness baron clients like super-billionaire Bill Gates, J. Crew CEO Mickey Drexler, shamed Canadian newspaper mogul Conrad Black, and The Limited's Leslie Wexner, who was dragging around a good looking and well built male assistant and some seriously blue hair the last time Your Mama was in the same room with him.

Anyhoo, way back in July of 1993, property records reveal that Mister Kimmel paid just $5,500,000 for the 4.27 acre property with 316 feet of ocean front on a particularly swanky stretch of S. Ocean Boulevard often referred to as Billionaires Row. Mister Kimmel had much larger real estate ambitions than the residence that stood on the property and he unceremoniously bull dozed the existing structures in order to make way for his tremendous Thierry Despont designed digs, a turn of events that surely left all the old-school Lily Pulitzer clad mummies in Palm Beach scandalized and clutching their frail hearts. Rumors, reports, and real estate press releases say Mister Kimmel spent the next 5 or six years and an eye popping and almost unbelievable 30 to 40 million clams erecting his ocean front dream house.

Now then, let's get out our bejeweled calculators and work some of our fuzzy math children. If those numbers are to be believed, our real estate savvy Mister Kimmel is in to his winter palace for 35 to 45 million smackers for the buy and build. Let's just say that, conservatively, it costs him another couple million each year in taxes, insurance and maintenance (his tax bill alone was $517,775 in 2007 according the the Palm Beach Appraiser), then Your Mama figures he's got about $55-65,000,000 total into this place. Using those mostly made up numbers, Mister Kimmel stands to pocket $15-25,000,000 if the property sells for anywhere near the asking price, a hefty return considering he's also had seven years usage and enjoyment of the resort like estate.

Property records indicate the chunky and formidable residence with its walls of glass measures 18,437 square feet. Press materials and multiple reports indicate the house sprawls across more than 26,000 square feet, and additional records show the property with 32,316 square feet of total square footage. All those different numbers leave Your Mama perplexed and befuddled about what the actual square footage is, so let's just say that it's ginormous and probably 8 or 10 times the size of your house.

Although Monsieur Despont conceives and constructs undeniably meticulous, sybaritic, and extraordinarily well considered structures for extraordinarily rich individuals, we personally think the exterior of Mister Kimmel's krib feels more than a little civic and the interiors too Four Seasons Hotel for our particular taste. Don't mistake Your Mama children, there ain't nuthin' wrong with a gorgeously designed county courthouse or being pampered at a Four Seasons hotel, and we are well aware that this property is just about as dee-luxe and well appointed as they come. In fact it's practically begging for a bevy of Architectural Digest editors to fly in, photograph and coo over the unflinching extravagance in a glossy and glowing article. It's just not working our happy spots, you know?

Without a doubt the 26 foot high atrium defines the central hub of the house where 34 gigantic rib cage-like Honduran mahogany beams form an undulating and momentous canopy over head. At the touch of a button, what is essentially an exceptionally luxurious covered porch is created when a row of six 20' tall glass doors slowly lower into the ground. Did you read that properly children? Those doors lower 20 feet into the damn ground. No matter what you may think of Monsuier Despont or this house, that is some bad ass engineering shit.

Current listing information for the property reveals there are six bedrooms and a whopping 12 bathrooms, which means there are two full time gurls who spend their entire days scrubbing terlits. Reports and press materials also indicate that in addition to the massive main house, there is a 2 bedroom guest house, garaging for five cars, and two pool cabanas, because one pool cabana is simply not enough when you have this kind of money.

Neighbors of Mister Kimmel include prune faced and gravel voiced rock star Rod Stewart, Netscape co-founder Jim Clark, billionaire bizness man Malcolm Glazer, and Terry Allen Kramer, the fantastically rich ladee whom the children will recall booted big haired shock jock Howard Stern from the ocean front house on Southampton's Gin Lane she leased to him so she could sell the place for a whopping $32,750,500. And of course, a few doors down from Mister Kimmel is the spectacular Casa Apava which Revlon Ron (Perelman) sold to house building baron Dwight Schar in 2005 for a staggering and record breaking $70,000,000, plus an additional $22,000,000 for a large lot across the Boulevard that fronts Lake Worth.

One might think that the octogenarian philanthropist, who has impressively and generously donated more that $500,000,000 to charitable causes, was simply scaling back his real estate portfolio, but that does not seem to be the case. Mister Kimmel is reported to own apartments in Los Angeles and New York and he recently forked over a reported $38-40,000,000 for late night television icon Johnny Carson's estate on Wildlife Road on the cliffs of Point Dume in Malee-boo.

33 comments:

Alessandra said...

It is exceedingly recto-linear. Kind of reminds me of a Tommy Bahama store.

bentley said...

The woodwork is incredible throughout. I love it.

I like the furnishings for the most part, but Four Seasons suite is exactly what I thought when I saw the dining room. It's surprisingly uninspired and cave-like compared to the scale and design of the other rooms.

That statue on the rear lawn - giant molar being hugged by something, Rubenesque woman with no feet lounging - not sure, but I do not like it one bit.

Anonymous said...

Nothing says class like full frontal nudity in the dining room.

Ms Wexner's assistant said...

He stole me from Calvin Klein after finding out that I offer the best service money can buy.

pch said...

This architecture does it for me in a big, big way. (The interiors, not so much.) I'm getting weak in the knees just looking at those spectacular slatted wood awnings and ceilings.

It's only a guess, but the women in that painting might be the Three Graces. They look a little ghoulish, but I don't mind their lack of clothing in a dining room setting. And I like the sculpture on the lawn -- kinda Henry Moore-ish.

London Calling said...

It appears that Mr Kimmel's nice gay decorators stole the living room lamps and curtains from the restaurant at the Delano after its recent and disappointing overhaul. Everything else makes me want to reach for the sick bag.

Anonymous said...

Love the house, love the furnishings other than the dining room tables/chairs & chandeliers

Parker said...

I love the exterior and the interior with the views. I'm not as wild about the other interiors, but the huge windows...wow. I just can't imagine having to keep those windows clean on a daily basis. I guess if you can afford a house like this, you can theoretically afford the staff required to maintain it to perfection. It does very much have a hotel feel which I both like and dislike. Who wouldn't like to feel like they're on vacation, however, at some point I'd want it to feel 'real', like a home.

so_chic_darling said...

"Lily Pulitzer clad mummies"Oh Mama do you know how to nail it.That's the best description of the Palm Beach ladies I have ever heard.
Can you blame him for selling if he owns such a great house in Malibu?I would ten times rather live there than anywhere in humid sticky Florida.

Alessandra said...

I think that's what is tweaking me out about this home, parker, which is the hotel feel. The pictures aren't doing the architecture full justice; perhaps I'll fly across country to Palm Beach and check it out. The views are fabulous, and I do like the wood mixed with the limestone for the exterior. It gives off an ultra-modern Craftsman meets Frankish-keep vibe.

Look at me, inventing architectural styles entirely piece-meal.

Full frontal nudity in the dining room is not a problem, though they do look a bit grim.

so_chic_darling said...

As for the house I love it,even though for my taste I find it a little too huge but having had many dealings with Mr Despont's company I can say that they are indeed a very classy firm and that this property looks a little overdone for his team so I'm wondering if Mr Kimmel or his wife have added extra stuff in here?

Transport this design to a bluff in Malibu downsize it by a third and I'll smash open my piggy bank.

Anonymous said...

Mama you nailed this place plain by mixing in a bit of civic building with a little Four Seasons. How true. It's a beautiful place but a wee bit souless. The painting in the dining room is interesting though...reminds me of Cristina Aguilera (spelling?) in her recent "Candyman" video.
Peace
Joel

lil" gay boy said...

The fit and finish is no doubt top quality, and there's a multitude of high end pieces, but it all leaves me a little cold.

While I like each room as its own vignette, the whole just doesn't "gel" for me, ultimately coming off a little soulless.

And you know how much I like modern architecture; it comes off more as one of those "designer's showcases" than a home.

Perhaps if I saw some of his other designs to compare it with . . .

Bridget Jones said...

Lil Gay Boy:

Google is your friend :)

http://www.despont.com/

lil" gay boy said...

Bridget,

Thanks - I usually try to avoid an architect's own site as they obviously show off their projects to their best advantage.

Took a look anyway; although I can see he does high end, high quality work, it just doesn't appeal to me; I can't quite put my finger on why, especially since I enjoy a wide variety of modern architecture.

But again and again, looking at those photos, that one word keeps coming back to me - soulless.

Weird, huh?

sandpiper said...

I appreciate this interior's impeccably understated elegance, punctuated by perfectly exhibited fine art. The craftsmanship is surreal and the grounds are fabulous--plus an ocean. Gosh.

The exterior, for me, is overwhelming, yet exciting.

Oh, and I did wear a super cute little white Jones top yesterday!

Anonymous said...

The billiards room reminds me of Houston's.

so_chic_darling said...

Also children note that Mr Kimmel does not need the money as he just sold Barneys New York chain of stores to a Dubai group for 942 million cash!

Anonymous said...

that is my dream house!

pch said...

Just remembered that Nikki Finke had an interesting item not that long ago about Kimmel's production company.

Anonymous said...

One word sums it up as far as I'm concerned -- AWFUL!!!!!!!!

sandpiper said...

Hi PCH,

How did you find that link. I searched. She was contacted by Mr. Kimmel himself (or his rep) for her publication of incorrect info. Then, apparently she backed down, retracted, and...her entire story vanished.
Mr. Kimmel seems like a fantastic person...successful and charitable beyond the willingness and ability of most.

PCH, it's so interesting.

pch said...

Hey Sandpiper. I missed all the drama, apparently. Remembered I read this a week or so ago and then scrolled back in her archive to find the link. No muss, no fuss. Maybe there was another item to which Kimmel took exception? Because he's the primary source for this one.

Any company that had the chutzpah to make Lars and the Real Girl is tops in my book.

average joe said...

Here is the new word of the day.

hectamillionaires (you have a few hundred million dollars)

you would have to be one to buy this place.........

amazing..........

fairfield girl said...

Ms Wexner's assistant said...


I'm curious the "limited" Wexner?

fairfield girl said...

Also Mama
My Grandmother had a spoon she used to take a "whack" at me with. The spoon attacks hurt fyi.

Guess who got the spoon when she died? go on just guess who owns the spanking spatula now?

And no it's never been used in my home for that.

sandpiper said...

Fairfield Girl,

Ahhh. The wooden spoon. Never knew til now it was a universal disipline threat. Were your parents from Europe too? Sound of the drawer opening, only once, did it for me.

lil' gay boy said...

Fairfield Girl, Sandpiper,

I'm all misty-eyed with nostalgia . . .

and why was it always the wooden spoon used to stir the spaghetti sauce?

Anonymous said...

I could do this and it is not my style.

Babe Parish said...

Well sNaPs to the photographer! it's lovely.

Anonymous said...

Some people prefer radiant heat, as Sandpiper noted; it is consistent and moist heat rather than hot air cycling on/off. This home does have ductwork for A/C, which is easily upgraded for heat as well. (wall above bed, ceiling of sleeping porch and in floor at bottom of stairs and in front of radiators in DR) Boilers are very inefficient and costly to run and radiators are ugly. Better homes have them built into cabinetry.

fairfield girl said...

Grand mother kept the spoon in crock by the stove. My parents are mostly of German decent with a bit of this and that on the side. They are Southerner's, Dad is 5th generation Kentuckian and yes the truth is out how ever will I survive people knowing my southern heritage!
sigh
I did not have the sound of the drawer advantage! And yes it is used to stir the spaghetti sauce to this very day!

lil' gay boy said...

Fairfield Girl,

Still, there must have been that little telltale rattle as the spoon was withdrawn from the potato masher, tongs, etc.?