Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hold On To Your Britches Children...

...because the latest real estate rumor sweeping the better boulevards of Paris and the glitzy seaside towns strung like rubies along the French Riviera is that London-based Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich is about to plunk down a mind numbing and record breaking £250,000,000 to buy La Leopolda, the legendarily high-maintenance estate hovering over Villefranche-sur-Mer.

Your Mama's bejeweled abacus had streams of steam coming out of it when we plugged in such huge numbers and flipped the conversion beads, but the ol' gurl managed to reveal that at today's rates the sale price converts to $493,310,000...an unimaginable amount of money for 99% of the world, but pocket change to an oil rich oligarch worth a reported $23,500,000,000.

The property was once owned by the Belgian king Leopold, but the palatial pile and exuberant grounds came to its astonishing decadence and full flowering when it was built by noted American born decorator (and sometime architect) Ogden Codman. Later owners are said to include Izaak and Dorothy Killam, Gianni Agnelli (Mister Fiat, of course), billionaire banker Edmond Safra and his chic and severe looking wifey Lily and Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates. The current ownership of La Leopolda seems to be in some dispute. Some reports say Miz Safra sold the property to Bill Gates in 2006 for around $76,000,000, and some reports indicate Mister Abramovich is forking over the big bucks to Miz Safra. Who knows? Well, The Social Butterfly and another of Your Mama's sources say they think it's Miz Safra, but we can't say definitively.

Anyhoo, the hill topping ten acre estate rolls down the hillside and includes a monstrous mansion reported to have been done up and did over by Italian master of interior day-core fakery Renzo Mongiardino, the same decorating dude who worked over the Fifth Avenue apartment Veronica Hearst just sold to well bred hedge hog Chase Coleman III and his very social heiress wifey Stephanie. Maintaining the meticulously manicured gardens at La Leopolda is rumored and reported to require up to 50 full time gardeners. Yes children, fifty. Your Mama don't even know 50 people.

Your Mama can't keep track of all the trophy properties owned and maintained by Mister Abramovich. We do know there are several lavish London houses, a dee-luxe crash pad in Moscow, a large estate in Sussex, England was once owned by King Hussein of Jordan, and just a few months ago Mister Abramovich forked over a reported $36,375,000 for Wildcat Ridge, the 200 acre Aspen, CO estate of surgical supply tycoon Leon Hirsch. Mister Abramovich also owns the Chateau de la Croe, located just down the road from La Leopolda and where the Duke of Windsor holed up with Wallis Simpson back in 1938.

Keep in mind my little chickadees, althat real estate is above and beyond the many custom-fitted planes and ridiculously expensive mega-yachts on which 41 year old Mister Abramovich and his 25 year old gurl friend Daria Zhukova travel and cavort.

Your Mama's mind reels and collapses upon itself just imagining how many domestic staff people are required to maintain all of Mister Abramovich's properties, planes and boat. With that many people in his employ can he and Mizz Zhukova even remember all of their names?

Now listen children because Your Mama is going to rock the boat a bit here...we think all this may be nothing but scuttlebutt and real estate rumor. We'll believe Mister Abramovich is the new owner of La Leopolda when his PR people make some sort of statement or some other sort of proof presents itself. Until then, Your Mama recommends we all take this in with grain of salt because these sorts of things often turn out to be, uhm, not true.

photo: PMO on Flickr

50 comments:

so_chic_darling said...

I think Vanity Fair once had some photos of Ms Safra at this place.

Anonymous said...

"Ruprecht, lady Fanny and I are to be married, and we're moving to Oklahoma."

StPaulSnowman said...

Well............at least a whole lot of peasants will have work. Well composed post Mama.......now show us the interior shots.

StPaulSnowman said...

It probably is worth a fortune, but that poolside lion still looks like cast concrete to me.

Anonymous said...

True or not, an interesting read captivatingly written, thank you Mama. It certainly seems a logical choice for Mr. Abramovich to make, another real estate gem to add to his glittering array of kingly properties. It all leaves me feeling terribly poor however, lol.

Flora said...

Mama, that huge estate of his in Fyning, West Sussex was given to his wife as part of her divorce settlement.

Anonymous said...

for an amazing view of the house and property (it really is a breathtaking stunner):

http://virtualglobetrotting.com/map/49785/view/?service=1

Anonymous said...

9:30, you read my mind. Thanks very much for the link :)

Anonymous said...

What's that weird thing around the pool?

Anonymous said...

I find this one a bit hard to believe just because he already has multiple homes/yachts close by ...

He owns Chateau De La Croe in Cap D'Antibes which is 20 miles from Villa Leopolda.

Pelorus yacht [377ft], Le Grand Bleu yacht [370ft], Ecstasea yacht [282ft], Sussurro yacht [163ft] & Project Eclipse yacht [525ft] delivered next year ... all 4, soon to be 5 super yachts are kept between Antibes & Monaco, respectively 20 miles & 8 miles from Villa Leopolda - why the hell would he need anymore accommodation? It's gone way beyond insane if he has indeed bought Leopolda ...

Though I'm not even sure if he's lived in Chateau De La Croe - it caught fire in the 80's when Stavros Niarchos owned it [I think] & it was bought a couple years ago by Abramovich who was refurbishing it - it is one of the most beautiful houses on the riviera though ... Villa Leopolda is nowhere as nice.

Anonymous said...

Hi - Its "9:30 Poster" here again:

Chateau De La Croe may have water frontage, and its classical proportions and white exterior may be striking (see here http://virtualglobetrotting.com/map/49783/view/?service=1) but I think La Leopolda is way way nicer overall. but that's just my two cents (which wouldn't even buy me a brick at either home).

Anonymous said...

On the link

WTF is the thing north of the estate? Who pays all this money to live next to a DaysInn

Average Joe's Mommie said...

Bite your tongue! That Days Inn looks just like the one where I gave birth to my precious little boy in the parking lot.

Anonymous said...

Average Joe's Mommie = pissed off real estate agent broker home owner or all of the above

Fear and Loathing in Ibiza said...

Take him back........he is ruining life for everyone.

Anonymous said...

The link to Chateau De La Croe shows it's undergoing massive renovations - all the land is just upturned mud - To fairly compare the two you need to wait until it's all landscaped & perfect ... When it comes to the riviera everyone wants waterfront - Leopolda reminds me to much of a hotel in Sainte Maxime.

Average Joe's Mommie said...

I can't take him back. I gave him up for adoption when he turned 35 just so I could get him out of the motel room. He was creeping out my johns with all his doomsday nonsense and I couldn't make a living.

anon said...

hey average joe's mommy

how does it feel to go from steak to top ramin noodles for dinner ?

don't hate the players hate the game !!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I'll take two.

Anonymous said...

11:28 = Average Joe

LOL!

average joe said...

hey mommie

how does top ramin noodles for dinner sound? I can't afford the dog food anymore.

don't hate me, i told you i will take turns with your johns !!!!!!

Anonymous said...

You have to give Roman Abramovich some credit. He is living life as if every day might be his last day on earth....At the rate he is spending, who knows what will be left.....

Come to the USA and spend some $$$$$$$ here.

anon said...

come on average joe's mommy/anon

can't you come up with anything better than that ?

remember wasting time on here will not put more gas in your car, that is if you have one, or put a steak on the dinner table.

I wonder how broke you really are ?

do you even have your rent for this month ?

can you go for another month of eating ramin noodles ?

don't you have some homes you need to go out and sell ?

of course I can imagine it would be hard to sell homes if all you have is a public transportation since I am sure by now your car was repossessed .

It sucks being a realtor right now doesn't it ?

A lot of the news out there lately is telling all of us to not trust realtors anymore.

Maybe you should go on a vacation, go buy some crack and smoke it, that would be a good start.

lil' gay boy said...

Pricey.

Anonymous said...

I think this will most certainly be discovered as false. Certainly a 50-100 million dollar property. But half a 1,000,000,000.00? I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

We now interrupt the playground squabbles to let Mama know that the for sale signs are down at the house that Ben & Jen looked at 219 S. Mapleton and it appears someone is living in the house. Anyone know who bought it?

You may now resume giving Average Joe wedgies, tittie twisters and kicking him in the nuts.

Anonymous said...

no one bought it you dumb ass

it like many others have been taken off the market

haven't you heard ?

this is a very shitty time to sell and a very shitty time to buy

Anonymous said...

Thanks Joe but the children will wait until someone who actually has a couple of brain cells answers. You've proved you have no idea or concept of reality. Besides, aren't you supposedly in Ibiza?

You dumb F*ck.

Anonymous said...

"I think this will most certainly be discovered as false. Certainly a 50-100 million dollar property. But half a 1,000,000,000.00? I don't think so"

Quite the contrary - it was advertised months ago at £265M or £216M - I can't remember exactly which ... but anyway, thats roughly $520M or $420M ... Europe is way more expensive than the US & with the exchange rate it makes it even more expensive.

Anonymous said...

I am not average joe

ass wipe !!!!!!!!!

StPaulSnowman said...

The phallic landscaping is an appropriate touch for big Russian money.

Anonymous said...

10:20 Mommy, are you happy now? Thanks a hell of a lot for teasing the irritant into posting again. IMHO you are no better.

Anonymous said...

"Quite the contrary - it was advertised months ago at £265M or £216M - I can't remember exactly which ... but anyway, thats roughly $520M or $420M ... Europe is way more expensive than the US & with the exchange rate it makes it even more expensive."

True things are more expensive in Europe, its major cities and resort areas anyway, but that is mostly due to exchange rates. Aside from the ultimate trophy properties, London, Paris, and New York have similar average home prices. I believe the record for the most expensive home in the world is 200 million or so. I just don't think that the previous record will be beat by 2.5 times.

Of course I may be wrong, but I would be curious to know the record for a property in the South of France...

Anonymous said...

"Europe is way more expensive than the US & with the exchange rate it makes it even more expensive."


Actually it is mostly due to the exchange rate that Europe is more expensive.

The Average price for an apartment in Manhattan is $1.6 Million. In London's prime areas Kensington and such it is about the same, but the overall London average is lower.

Anonymous said...

Face it, he owns one of the largest oil companies in the world,

He is worth 23,000,000,000

He can't get as many properties as his heart desires

That is what you can do when you own natural energy companies.

good for him.

Anonymous said...

Oops. I meant 311 S. Mapleton, which is the house Mama featured. 219 S. was under construction (possibly same developer) and Ben was sighted there too but Mama didn't do the story.

219 S. is on the market for 27.5m. 311 S. was 22.5m.

I emailed a broker I know who would only confirm that it DID sell (not pulled from the market, dumbjoe) but he didn't have actual sales price or buyer yet.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful villa, but, until now,
only few newspapers in the world report that. And not the most important such as The Times, Le Monde or so...

I think the villa value is max. in the 100mln€ range, absolutely not 310!!!

If is that true, Abramowich is a fool and the limit of is pocket coming soon..

Anonymous said...

why would you waste a brokers time with that ?

are you 12 years old ?

He has that information who the buyer was, but I am sure he was pissed when he found out that you are a looky loo and nothing more so he was polite in telling you that he did not have that information.

brokers are very busy dear please do not waste their / our time.

would you like it if lets say your dad was a doctor and I went into his office and asked him some medical questions without paying him, now what if thousands like me did that to him ?

your family would be out in the street !!!!

please have some consideration for us that really do work on commission

and no "thanks for your time" will not pay our bills

it is not just you but what if thousands of others tried out your idea and called or emailed this poor broker ?

I am surprised that you thought you had the right to do that !

shame on you !

Anonymous said...

"are you 12 years old?"

Another of Average Idiot's signature lines.

What a douche.

bentley said...

HOLY FUCKING SHIT! That is a lot of coin for a house in France. Well done.

Is it just me, or does the angle of the photo not make the house look like a three-star resort in Cancun?

Not sold, and certainly not for the GDP of a whole whack of countries price tag. Mercy.

Alessandra said...

Seriously, you could buy a very nice house in France or you could buy Botswana or Armenia. Well, if it's true, good on him. I won't say that such a price is unfathomable; I will say that if I had 250mm pounds to throw around on real estate, I might spend it differently.

And perhaps that's exactly Mr.Abramovich's point...

Eugenica said...

The current Abramovich plaything, Daria Zhukova, is a real stunner. She used to be Marat Safin's girlfriend. I guess the money makes up for what Abramovich lacks in appearance. Safin and Zhukova would have had gorgeous children.

lil' gay boy said...

Face it, with that kind of scratch, he could look like Sasquatch and still have almost any woman he wants (there are still a few with principles…)

Let him spend his money however he wants; it's a lovely property (location, location, location), if more than a tad overpriced, but if that's the going rate for a trophy, so be it.

I wouldn't pay more than $100M for it, but then I'm poor…

;-)

StPaulSnowman said...

LGB......based upon your insightful and witty comments, your equanimity when the children get rowdy, and your knowledge of architecture.........
.you are anything but poor.......you just ain't rich!

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one that thinks that the global disparity of wealth will drive the whole world into a second or third world status?

While obtaining my degree in Economics back in the 80's that was something that was discussed as an indicator of non first world countries.

It's not that I'm a socialist, but...does there ever come a time where we would all say "Hey...enough is enough"?

But then again...I guess it's really always been that way. Most people have just been fooled about it for the past 20 years.

It reminds me of a quote I read.

"Serfdom is cool, it's so retro...let's party like it's 1399!"

-http://housingpanic.blogspot.com/2007/02/serfdom-is-cool-its-so-retrolets-party.html

Anonymous said...

Complete loss of credibility at this line -

-http://housingpanic.blogspot.com/2007/02/serfdom-is-cool-its-so-retrolets-party.html

so_chic_darling said...

Oh please housingpanic can just fuck off.

lil' gay boy said...

Aww, Snowman, you make me blush…

So_Chic, succinct and on the money as always…

Anita Fajina said...

I read housingpanic.blogspot every morning. It gets me going better than a bowl of prunes.

Anonymous said...

"Am I the only one that thinks that the global disparity of wealth will drive the whole world into a second or third world status?"


No. But I also only hope bad things for kleptocrats like this guy.