YOUR MAMAS UPDATE: Although Mister Black's broker once told the Palm Beach Daily News that Mister Black did not want to "sell it or show it at present" there remains a listing for the property online.
SELLER: Conrad Black and Barbara Amiel
LOCATION: S. Ocean Boulevard, Palm Beach, FL
SIZE: 15,795 square feet, 5 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Elegant ocean to lake estate was completely rebuilt for the present owners in Jan 2002. 5 bedroom suites, totally private with views, master suite consisting of 22x17 bedroom, lakefront library, his & her baths & dressing room plus a tower computer room. 7 baths plus fitness center with steam room, sauna and full bath. Formal living room with curved walls, fireplace, ocean to lake views, dining room lakefront with French doors opening to balcony, kitchen with commercial equipment and butler's pantry, two loggias both lake front, one opens to pool deck and pool, other to 2nd floor balcony, 20x18 theater with kitchen.
YOUR MAMA NOTES: Erstwhile Canadian media mogul Conrad Black famously lived phat, spending obscene amounts of money on jewelry, clothing and humongous homes around the world. His wife, noted columnist Barbara Amiel once said of herself in a Vogue magazine profile: "I have an extravagance that knows no bounds." Oh dear.
But oh lawhd children, how far the mighty and filthy stinking rich sometimes fall. The former head of Hollinger International (now the Sun-Times Media Group) is now shacking up in a prison cell at the Coleman Federal Correctional Complex in Orlando, FL. after being convicted in a U.S. court on three counts of mail fraud and one count of obstruction of justice. Uh oh. Mister Conrad, who renounced his Canadian citizenship in a blaze of publicity and was granted a lordship by the Queen of England in 2001, settled into his itty bitty new home in early March of 2008. His sentence is 78 long months, an amount of time our bejeweled abacus tells us is more than six years.
As one might expect in a time of white collar criminal crisis, expenses have to be sliced, diced and hacked away and thanks to Paulina Padlily in Palm Beach Your Mama has learned that Lord and Lady Black have put their large and lavish S. Ocean Boulevard spread on the market with an undisclosed asking price.
According to the Palm Beach tax man, the 2007 taxes alone were $471,082 and given that it's probably costs another million to operate and maintain a monstrous mansion like this, it kinda makes sense that the Blacks would want to be free of that considerable financial obligation. Besides, it appears they won't be using it much for the next five or six years.
Located on a princely parcel that stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Intracoastal Waterway, property records reveal that Lord and Lady Black purchased their chunk of Palm Beach paradise way back in July of 1997 for $9,900,000. Listing information indicates that the property was "completely rebuilt" in 2002 and includes 5 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms (records show 5 beds and 9.5 bathrooms and listing information would indicate there are multiple half bathrooms).
Other dee-luxe amenities on the property include his and her powder rooms, perfect for when there are 40 or 400 over for a charity function, a 52-foot swimming pool with an adjacent pool/guest house, a tennis court, also with an adjacent building, an elevator–because apparently really rich Lords and Ladees can't be bothered to walk up a single flight of stairs, a wine closet (natch), staff accommodations (natch, again), a large media room, a kitchen with commercial grade appliances, a master bedroom with his and her baths, private library and a tower computer room, and last but not least, a tunnel under S. Ocean Boulevard for accessing the beach without the indignity of dodging traffic in a boldly printed Lily Pulitzer shift and raffia beach mules.
Your Mama can't tell the children for how much this house is listed, but we can tell you that in 2007, the Palm Beach assessor valued the estate at $27,980,115. We would guess it's listed for between five and ten million smackers over that number, but that is just a damn guess children, so don't anyone report or repeat that like we know what we're talking about, because clearly we do not.
The Lord and Lady Black have long made their primary home in a big house on posh Park Lane Circle in the Bridle Path neighborhood, an area Your Mama has several times heard referred to as the Beverly Hills of Toronto. In 2005, the Blacks sold their New York City digs, a 4,500 square foot co-operative apartment at 635 Park Avenue. Given the relatively modest size of their Park Ave. co-op, the couple also reportedly owned a second smaller apartment in the building where their staff were housed, an impressive real estate luxury to be sure. The sale of 635 Park Avenue was tawdry, complicated and widely reported by all the New York real estate media and gossips and resulted in the Feds seizing $8,900,000 of the proceeds. Uh oh. Also reportedly sold in 2005 was the 11 bedroom townhouse the couple owned in London's coveted Kensington district. That residence was reported to have been sold for around $25,000,000 (US).
We do feel badly for anyone faced with the collapse of their financial house. It's an uglee mess for anyone to have to deal with. However, we also are hard pressed to believe that the Lord and Lady don't have a pile of money in some off-shore account somewhere that will allow them to restart their lavish, but currently on hold lifestyle. We know nothing and make no claim to knowing anything, but it just makes sense because people this rich simply don't sell everything and move into a tract house in some sad development in the Florida panhandle, you know?