Friday, April 18, 2008

UPDATE: Sidney Kimmel

By now all the children should all be well acquainted with the tremendous Thierry Despont designed digs in posh Palm Beach that mid-priced ladees apparel titan and movie producer Sidney Kimmel (The Kite Runner) foisted on to the market in April of 2008 with a spine tingling $81,500,000 asking price.

Well, kids, in less than one month, the 32,316 square foot limestone pile has been sold...for full price. Yes children you read that correctly. Sold. For. Full. Price. That ought to scare the livin' daylights out of all the folks fretting and fussing about the widening gap between the merely rich and the ridiculously rich.

Your Mama hears–and reports say–there were several financially qualified and interested parties who made offers on the sprawling 5.9 acre ocean front property which was reportedly scooped up by a fifty-something year old dude named John L. Thornton. Unless you follow the shocking shenanigans on Wall Street or consider yourself a bit of a policy wonk you'd be forgiven for not knowing who Mister Thornton is or why he's got so much damn money to spend on a place in Palm Beach that is unlikely to be his full time residence.

Once upon a time Mister Thornton was the president of glitzy Goldman Sachs, and all the children know that no matter what the economy is doing, the moolah is mountainous at the upper echelons of big name investment banks like Goldman Sachs. Mister Thornton now serves as the chairman of the Brookings Institution, a non-partisan and very powerful public policy think tank in Washington D.C. which has a reputation for being a little more lefty than righty. According to the Palm Beach Post Mister Thornton also serves as a director of Intel Corporation, Ford Motor Company, and Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, an impressive resume to be sure. That is if you're impressed by these sorts of associations.

This is not the first time Mister Thornton has dabbled in the high priced real estate game. In 2001, Mister Thornton reportedly paid more than $18,000,000 for a 118 acre estate in Bedminster, New Jersey (property records indicate a purchase price of $19,366,779), and it appears that he and his wifey also own a house on Chester Square in London's swank Belgravia district, which happens to the same nabe where former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher makes a home as well as Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich...although Mister Abramovich owns so many homes it's difficult to know if he actually lives in Belgravia or simply puts furniture in a house there. Anyhoo, Your Mama presumes that Mister and Missus Thornton also own cribs in New York City and Washington D.C., however we could find no records to confirm that so don't anyone repeat that like it's some sort of truth.

In other high priced Palm Beach real estate news, the Palm Beach Daily News and the Wall Street Journal recently reported that Venezuelan banker Victor Vargas has entered a contract to fork over "about $70,000,000" for a 30,206 square foot Peter Marino designed Polynesian-style paradise owned by billionaire art collectors George and Frayda Lindemann. The 3.7 acre Lindemann property happens to sit right next door to the $81,500,000 Kimmel/Thornton estate. Mister and Missus Lindemann's house was not on the market, but apparently Señor Vargas' people presented an offer To the Lindemann's people they could not refuse. Who can blame them? Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter would not refuse "about $70,000,000" for our little beach hut either.

The Wall Street Journal is also reporting that the musty looking Addison Mizner designed Palm Beach estate owned by the estate of Cheng Ching Wang, dress designer Vera Wang's deceased daddy, has went to contract soon after the asking price was reduced from $23,000,000 to $19,000,000. This is all, of course, on the heels of real estate tycoon Lloyd Goldman picking up the spectacular Howard Gittis estate for $22,450,000 just six weeks after it hit the market with a $23,500,000 asking price.

So while the market tumbles in most parts of the good ol' U-nited States of America, it remains white hot in the highest price points of Palm Beach. Food for thought.

17 comments:

Alessandra said...

Not a surprise. Well-located real estate in the above $25mm price range is going to continue to do well.

It warms the cockles of my heart to see people investing in real estate.

Anonymous said...

The palaces the super rich build and the outrageous sums of money they pay for them is truly mind boggling. Their elite stratosphere is so far removed from reality, I believe I'd be too embarassed to follow suit if I won the Super Lotto or something. I mean, vulgar conspicuous consumption is still vulgar even if you're rich, right? That said, the photo of the room you provided is sumptuously beautiful, which it darn well should be for $80+ Million.

fairfield girl said...

I know this is off topic but Did anyone feel the quake this morning?
It woke me up at 4:45 ish.

WillLDS said...

That's all the talk here in northern Indiana. Most people here at work felt it, but I slept right through it. No suprise, my wife says I sleep through our dogs barking, the baby crying, her alarm clock......

Anonymous said...

Does this mean everyone will stop saying Californians are crazy to live where an earthquake can destroy our houses? I have a relative who won't visit So Cal because they are convinced an earthquake will happen while they are here. I haven't called them this morning to gloat...yet.

pch said...

Still drooling over this place...

bentley said...

It even shook Toronto, which is unheard of.

Parker said...

I still wish they'd turn this into a small hotel so I'd have some chance of experiencing its offerings...

Bigdaddyj said...

As I noted in previous posts about this house, no surprise at all that it sold so quickly and for so much, having spent most of my mis-spent and idle childhood and teen years growing up in Palm Beach, there is such a dearth of contemporary architecture (and even moreso of good contemporary architecture) that this would indeed be a prized trophy among the many Mizners...I love Kimmel's taste in architecture to, by the way...combine this place and the former Carson mansion he owns in Malibu and you have two incredible examples of modern architecture, one on each coast, how perfect for the modern billionaire! I'm assuming he's dumped this place and purchased the Malibu manse to spend more time in LA-LA-Land now that he has really ramped up his movie production career over the last few years...

Anonymous said...

Beautiful home! Speaking of Westcoast contemporary homes.. there really is a lack of high dollar, good contemporary homes. Any one have an idea who owns the $35mm residence on Cypress Rd on the 18th fairway of Pebble Beach?

www.18thfairwaypebblebeach.com

pch said...

^
Whomever it is, they have front-row seats for the Concours d'Elegance. Very nice. And this cove might be one of the most beautiful spots in all of California.

But if I were spending big money for a Pebble Beach house, I'd want to be just west of the hotel, one of the properties on 17 Mile Drive with direct ocean frontage and a little more privacy.

Todd said...

Jesus, Mary and Joseph is correct. Wow. $81 million smackeroos for a place to rest your bones 8 hours a night. Wow. Wow. Maybe I'll say it again. Wow.

sandpiper said...

pch,
Love the prospective. That's why you are so deservingly "man on the ground" to moi.

Anonymous said...

I thought Vera Wang's dad was named Cha Ching.....

StPaulSnowman said...

This is a very beautiful modern home but.....82 million dollars?......for that I could probably summer at the Elms and winter at the FLW Hollyhock House in California. Since Mama has been back, and feeding us all this rich stuff, I really understand the "real estate porn" moniker. Thanks for today's treats mumzie.

bentley said...

"mumzie," love it.

Bigdaddyj said...

Palm Beach (much like New York and Los Angeles) can command such ridiculously high prices because there is such great demand for the limited number of properties on the island...that's why prices in those 3 places (and maybe also Miami, but that's about it really) can reach to such heights, because while maybe Philadelphia or Boston or Cleveland only have the residential demand of the wealthy who live and work in their prospective cities, there is both national and global demand to have places in those cities among those wealthy enough to trot the globe and have multiple residences (there are a few other places outside the US as well, like London, Paris, Hong Kong, etc) as well, which is why those places will for eternity command prices so much higher than seem normal most other places and also weather pretty much every regional/national economic downturn except a true global financial depression or collapse...it's yet another manifestation of how globalization affects the price of commodities, in this case, prime real estate...;-)