Friday, October 30, 2009

Frank and Jamie McCourt Have a Lot of Houses

By now, anyone and everyone who follows the money trail around Los Angeles knows there's a War of the Roses about to erupt on the staid streets of the Holmby Hills where the dueling and dee-vorcing owners of the L.A. Dodgers Frank and Jamie McCourt own an impressive compound on Charing Cross Way.

For those who do not recognize their names, Mister and soon to be ex-Missus McCourt made piles of money developing commercial real estate in Boston, Mass. In 2004, they cashed out and purchased the L.A. Dodgers baseball franchise for a whopping $430,000,000.

Missus McCourt, an attorney with a Masters degree in business, was installed as vice-chairman and named president of the team in 2005. In March of 2009 she was promoted to CEO making her the highest-ranking woman in Major League Baseball earning $2,000,000 per year. Until last week, when her soon to be ex-huzband fired her.

The gory he said/she said details of Missus McCourt’s termination are all over the interweb, but suffice to say she says it’s unwarranted and he says she was insubordinate and that she was having an improper relationship with her bodyguard/driver. Your Mama does not know what is true and what is not true, but what we do know is that the people at gossip juggernaut TMZ managed to get a hold of the Petition for the Dissolution of Marriage filed by Jamie McCourt on October 27, 2009. How they do these things, we don't know, but the document was not only posted on their site it was also forwarded to Your Mama by Sandy Spreadtheword. It took us the better part of half a day and a pitcher of gin and tonic to read the 137-page document which details the couples accumulation of wealth, how they spend all that money and what kind of spousal support the soon to be ex-Missus McCourt is looking for.

By far the most interesting sections of the long document are those that detail the couple's personal real estate holdings and the amounts of money required to maintain them. By our count, the McCourts maintain 7 private residences and own two more parcels of prime property on which they intended to build two more. Prior to moving to Los Angeles in 2004, the couple lived in Massachusetts so that seems a good place to begin a chronicle of their real estate lives based on information culled from public property records and the dee-vorce docs.

According to previous reports and property records, prior to moving west, Mister and Missus McCourt called a Brookline, Mass mansion home since 1993. As best as we can tell, the couple coughed up $4,500,000 for the 8,249 square foot Cottage Street estate that ballooned to a gargantuan 18,216 square feet. Records show that property was sold in August of 2007 for $16,000,000. Interestingly, and somewhat eccentrically, when they sold the property they reserved the right to remove the entire kitchen–lock, stock, and counter tops–if the kitchen was ever to be remodeled or the mansion torn down.

Like many moneyed people in Massachusetts, Mister and Missus McCourt and their four sons often spent vacations on Cape Cod. In the year 2000, the then happy couple dumped $19,500,000 for a 5-parcel ocean front estate on Main Street in the Village of Cotuit, MA that spans more than 90 acres and includes two private ponds.

The main house was built in 1909, measures 7,516 square feet and includes 10 bedrooms and 6.5 poopers. A second, smaller house on the property has another 3 bedrooms and 2.5 poopers which all adds up to an unlucky 13 bedrooms and 10 terlets in 8 full and 2 half poopers.

Court documents indicate the McCourts spent $605,000 on improvements to the property and that they have an $18,000,000 equity line of credit secured by two of their properties, this being one of them. Court documents also indicate that the massive estate is quietly being shopped around with a hair-raising asking price of $50,000,000. Considering they’re into the place for just over twenty million smackers, a fifty million dollar sale–which Your Mama imagines is a bit of a pipe dream–would next them a mind boggling thirty million dollars.

Before buying the big estate on Cape Cod, in 1998, the erstwhile couple spent $775,000 on what is described in the dee-vorce docs as a “golf home” on Willowbend Drive in Mashpee, MA. The house contains a total of 9 bedrooms and 4.5 poopers, some of which according to the dee-vorce docs are in the finished basement.

Upon arriving in LaLa Land in 2004, they immediately cowed and wowed all the real estate people that fill the fancy offices on Cañon Drive in Bev Hills buy plunking down $21,250,000 for an estate on Charing Cross Road, directly across the street from the Playboy Mansion. Court documents reveal an additional $14,000,000 has been spent on improvements to property which included replacing the outdoor tennis court with an indoor Olympic size swimming pool that has its own pool house, sauna, steam room, shower, dressing room and massage room.

The post-renovation main manse,–their primary residence before busting up–now measures approximately 15,000 square feet and in addition to the 4 bedrooms and 10 poopers, there is also a fully-equipped work out room, a dance studio and guest quarters. The house also contains the kitchen from their Brookline mansion, which they spent $180,000 to remove and ship to California.

According to court documents, the monthly costs for the McCourt’s massive Charing Cross Road mansion total a toe curling $202,716 and include $68,313 for decorating and furnishing, $29,997 for domestic staff, and $5,866 in utilities. Think about that for a few seconds my butter beans. Mister and Missus McCourt and paying more every month to keep their lights on and the lawn watered than most people make in a month. There is, according to records and court documents, an elephantine $13,800,000 mortgage on the property.

A few months after buying the Charing Cross Road residence, in November of 2004, the couple scooped up the property next door for $6,500,000. Their intention, according to dee-vorce docs, was to utilize the 8,385 square foot, 8 bedrooms and 10 pooper property as guest quarters. However, despite spending an additional $4,800,000 in basic improvements and architectural fees, the property has been used for little more than storage. There is no mortgage on the property. However, between the two Holmby Hills properties, according to court docs, the McCourts have spent a mouth drying $46,550,000. It’s certainly not the ninety or so million Gary Winnick paid for his Bel Air spread, but it’s none the less a heart stopping mound of moolah.

In July of 2007, the couple went a-searchin’ for a Malee-boo beach house and found what they wanted in a swoopy John Lautner designed house on Carbon Beach for which they paid actors Courtney Cox and David Arquette $27,300,000. Since splitting with Frankie, Jamie has been occupying the Malibu residence exclusively. According to dee-vorce docs, the 4,486 square foot, 4 bedroom and 5.5 pooper architectural tour de force costs $151,054 per month to maintain, most of which goes to property taxes and servicing a $16,500,000 mortgage.

A few months later, in January of 2008, the couple decided they needed more room at the beach and purchased the property next door to their dee-voon Lautner house. Records and court documents reveal they paid $19,000,000 for the 3 bedroom and 3 pooper property where their children and guests stay when visiting them at the beach. Because the soon to be ex-Missus McCourt is a swimmer, a lap pool is being installed at this property because the small pool at the Lautner next door is, apparently, not big enough for lap swimming. According to dee-vorce docs, this property swallows up $88,106 in monthly costs and was used to secure an $11,400,000 mortgage.

In 2004, about the same time they moved west, the property mad McCourts forked over $6,000,000 for a 3 bedroom and 2.5 bathroom condominium on East Core Creek Drive in Vail, CO. Although the condo was paid for with cold, hard cash, according to the dee-vorce docs, an $18,000,000 equity line of credit was secured with this condo and their Cape Cod compound as collateral.

The couple own two additional pieces of land on which they planned to build two more luxurious residences. In 2006, they spent $7,700,000 for unimproved property at the by invitation only Yellowstone Club in Montana. No house has been built on the property.

In late 2008, seemingly just before they called it quits, they spent $4,625,000 for a vacant parcel of land at the dee-luxe El Dorado Club in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. A residence for the property has been fully designed by not yet built.


A few flicks of the well-worn beads of our bejeweled abacus reveals that Mister and Missus McCourt have spent $167,050,000 on dee-luxe real estate for their personal and private use and are carrying a diarrhea inducing $59,700,000 in mortgages. How do y’all like them real estate apples?

In addition to chronicling their extensive real estate holdings, the dee-vorce docs also detail the couples lavish monthly expenses which include 24/7 security at both their Holmby Hills home and their Malibu properties when they are in residence as well as racking up $6,870,000 in Net Jets costs in 2008 and 2009. According to Jamie and her forensics accountants, the couple’s monthly household expenses total a staggering $760,209 which includes $538,029 in real estate related expenses, $55,782 per month in personal expenses, which we take to mean hair care, fresh flowers and other luxuries, $33,756 per month in expenses related to their four adult children–three of whom are currently attending Stanford University, charity donations in excess of $30,000 per month, and concierge health care services to the tune of nearly $90,000 per year.

Lo-word have mercy, Your Mama needs a nerve pill just thinking about monthly bills in excess of three-quarters of a million clams. Every. Damn. Month. Jeezis. Even Rich people have gotta understand that is a shocking amount of money in monthly bills.

Due to their profligate ways–which they appear to be able to well afford–Missus McCourt is asking the courts to grant her non-taxable spousal support to the tune of $320,967 if she is reinstated to her two million dollar per year job at the Dodgers or $487,634 if she is not reinstated.

Given that California is a community property state and given that Missus McCourt gave Mister McCourt $1,000 for his first bidness deal and given that Missus McCourt has been an integral part of the couple’s wealth accumulation, it seems to Your Mama–who is not an attorney–that Jamie will not only be awarded stunning sums of money in monthly spousal support but will also end up owning half of the couple’s assets.

Whatever happens, expect the dirty details of their dee-vorce to be played out in the media.

35 comments:

dodgrfan said...

They're highly leveraged but appear to have mastered the cash flow game...as long as the money remains in motion, they can place it here and there, and meet their obligations. She doesn't seem to have access to much of it, though, and he's disabled her credit cards. Their rapacious consumption and ugly personalities have probably ended their run in LA. Actors can get away with it to some extent, but it is likely nobody will really want to be seen having dinner with either of them for the next few years. Remember Georgia Frontiere? Or even Al Davis?

Anonymous said...

Crazy! Though I find it depressing that they have so many homes in the U.S & none overseas [Cabo ain't overseas!] Being in the U.S 24/7 x 365 would be mundane.

The Preppy Pauper said...

Mind-boggling. But doesn't it seem odd that people buying residential property this high end have mortgages? I always assumed if you were ponying up for those kind of pads, you don't need loans. I also wonder how much net worth there is NOT counting their extensive real estate holdings. Oh those drooling L.A. divorce lawyers are going to get so much richer carving up this pie.

Anonymous said...

Just think what mischief a (doubtless) good looking bodyguard can cause! Beyond that these are the kind of people one might hope that the recent downturn had wiped out. If it hasn't and it seems not to have done so, maybe Obama's new taxes will do the necessary job.

Anonymous said...

Oh-MY-GOD

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mama for a very interesting read - although it sickens me that people actually spend that amount of money on themselves simply because they can!

Viva! said...

Whoa Mama! Holy hot damn these people spend a lot!

According to me, myself and I, who is an attorney in training, Jamie is going to do VERY WELL in this divorce. She has been an integral part of the couple's wealth from day one of the marriage. As well, since California is a community property state she's getting half of the assets regardless.

If I were her attorney, I would be advising her to take two homes and let him have the rest, they are carrying A LOT of mortgage debt on properties that likely aren't worth what they paid for them. In exchange for the properties, I'd want her to get more money up front in a lump sum.

As well, she really should just move on from her gig with the Dodgers, it will be the workplace from hell if she stays. That said, I understand if she's got a passion for her work. So that's a toss up.

Anonymous said...

The McCourts have put quite a portfolio together.. excellent research mama. Wow that is a lot of money...

Where is this Steve Winick Bel Air spread you speak of? Any pictures or details on that?

StPaulSnowman said...

Thanks for the fascinating read MaMa, it effectively delayed the many hours of leaf raking I have ahead of me. While I often wonder about the joy of owning some of the properties you discuss, this post really brings home how much cash on has to constantly bleed to support these places. If you don't have it, you don't have to worry about losing it.

Regina Joi said...

Every day I am drawn to your blog, even if I am sick or tired...YOU ARE MAJOR FUNNY.

The way you recount your Abacus's jewels flying off madly, and the tales of the Sick and Infamous/ Rich and Famous - whichever...is reminiscent of the Hollywood jargon of years gone by.

It is rare to find someone so talented with verbage who can make a person laugh daily and yet do so with such limited words.

Kudos...keep on shining the beam on the trevails of devotees who worship the Art of Real Estate.

Anonymous said...

What blows my mind is all the working class stiffs who foot the bill by buying $13 beers and $8 hotdogs at Dodger Stadium...fooled me once, shame on you...fooled me twice, shame on me...

bentley said...

Wow, that's fuckin' fucked.

Anonymous said...

regina joi you said it perfectly!!

Anonymous said...

This is the most sickening display of debauchery I have ever had to read.
I would hate to see that Mail man come walking up the driveway with those bills. Why are they so leveraged? Good luck to the Missus and lets hope that bodyguard was good at gaurding her body.

Anonymous said...

9:15 - I think Mama means Gary Winnick
http://www.bing.com/maps/#JndoZXJlMT0xMDY0NCtCZWxsYWdpbytSb2FkKzkwMDc3JmJiPTU4Ljk1MDAwODIzMzM1NyU3ZS02OC40NjY3OTY4NzUlN2U4LjIzMzIzNzExMTI3NDU1JTdlLTE3Ni40ODQzNzU=

Anonymous said...

The 18,000+ house on Cottage Street in Brookline, MA was, interestingly enough bought by John Henry, owner of the Red Sox. Last spring, after paying $16M for the house, they TORE IT DOWN! I wonder if the McCourts went back for their kitchen?

Anonymous said...

These people are the super ballers of real estate.
Damn...
That amount of properties would give me a headache.

okojo said...

This is the question that was about Enron...

Just exactly how do the McCourts make money?!?

Yes, the Dodger make money, but not that much to enjoy that type of lifestyle...

The Forbes valuation of 2009 Dodgers showed around $16.5 million in income. After all the overhead is factored in. They lost money in the first couple years owning the team. They bought the team with little money down, They have some huge long term loans like a $250million /25 year with %5.66 interest and AAA credit rating, (condition of the loan) that is around $25 million a year on one loan! Either they are mathematical wizards, or they can't control their spending..

There are many questions about the McCourts purchase of the Dodgers. Fox Sports/News Corp stated they "foreclosed" on McCourt's 24 acre of Boston Waterfront property when they didn't pay back the loan that Fox gave them.. They continue to spend prodigiously, at residential real estate bubble prices...

lil' gay boy said...

Oh my; just –––– oh my.

Anonymous said...

They afforded this lifestyle by the salaries they made...some 7-8M combined...and probably income from other investments.

I also think a lot of their expenses were picked up by the dodgers...their meals and etc.

okojo said...

$7-8 million? pretty much half of that is going to go for income tax both Federal and State, and the whopping property taxes they are paying on all their properties. That doesn't leave much wiggle room for the huge overhead...

Jamie McCourt was making $2 million a year as an officer of the Dodgers. Right off the bat, half of that is going for taxes..

This is a rough guessestimate of how the McCourts purchase the Dodgers...

http://6-4-2.blogspot.com/2005/04/asking-only-half-right-questions.html

The $40 million loan in the link is my guess some of the McCourt's personal property, like the Brookline residence. The convertible note could be some equity, like bonds and stock...

However, the money they have and what is coming in, dwarfs their obligations. $8 million in income with $152 million in property, and some mind boggling mortgage payments and monthly overhead?!?!? I just see that more in the Michael Jackson school of personal finance.

Anonymous said...

okojo, they probably made a lot of money off of the interest on their savings. Most truly rich people never even touch the money they have saved up. They just live off of the interest.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone do a simple Google search? These two are worth $1.2bn. Sure, a lot of that is the Dodgers, but the collateral they own is worth significantly more than the debt. They can cover their interest by a few things; income from the Dodgers, liquidating assets when need be, and earnings from his development company. Oh, no one seems to realize these two made/make huge amounts of money through his development company, which actually allowed him to buy the Dodgers in the first place. And, although purchasing this much real estate seems dumb and isn't what I would do with the money, I imagine he is more financially savvy then you jokers wondering how he covers his overhead. Would he rather pay a low interest mortgage, or put his cash into assets that earn a higher return? What an idiot...why would he want more than less?

Stu True-Blue said...

People this rich will carry hu-mun-gous amounts of leverage for a number of reasons, principally but not limited to, reasons of tax reduction and as a way to boost investment returns.

For those who don't have a Masters in Accounting, just search for "gearing" and "borrowing to invest".

Seems these guys have it nailed as they got plenty of "cover" - again google "gearing ratios".

Happy reading!

When you have read this, you will understand why Leona Helmsley said what she said about taxes and the great unwashed.

Anonymous said...

"The house also contains the kitchen from their Brookline mansion, which they spent $180,000 to remove and ship to California."

Seriously? That's insane!

Anonymous said...

4:58, if you had read mama's post sober then you would know that they moved their brookline kitchen to their charing cross property. btw mama, i'm pretty sure babyface owned that property before them and even had it featured on MTV cribs.

luke220 said...

Their quest for trophy properties bordered on compulsion. Unfortunately, it didn't make them happy.

Alessandra said...

But I thought it was true love! Wah!

I never understood (I guess I'm just not rich enough) their acquisitions in Los Angeles. Having a spread in the Platinum Triangle and a Malibu Beach house made sense. Possibly adding a downtown condo close to Dodgers Stadium would have been smart. Maybe buying more properties to renovate/restore and then sell again had merit. But buying, buying, buying just seemed a little, dare I say, crazy.

I do hope that Jamie hasn't taken up with her driver, however...

60ft6in said...

Hi! Would you please supply us with the acreage of the McCourt's properties? Acres are worth more than bathrooms in Malibu!

Anonymous said...

WRETCHED EXCESS AT ITS MOST
HEINOUS

SINNERS !

LauraLWeH said...

Hi! Would you please supply us with the acreage of the McCourt's properties? Acres are worth more than bathrooms in Malibu!

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