Friday, November 6, 2009

Rumor Has It, But...

There are rumors beginning to circulate that the world's most famous celebrity Scientologist Tom Cruise has coughed up a booty clenching $18,000,000 for a locally famous house in San Francisco's fearsomely foggy but dramatically gorgeous Sea Cliff neighborhood. It seems this bit of implausible property gossip got started early this morning when the fine folks at the fa-boo San Francisco centric Socketsite reported that one of their readers tipped them off to this bizarre bit of alleged celebrity real estate bizness.

Does Your Mama even need to tell the children we are all kinds of skeptical? Tom Cruise. San Francisco? We'll leave the snarky and sassy jabs and jokes for the children on this one. Don't misunderstand butter beans, Your Mama left our heart and some other things in San Francisco about a hundred years ago and we still love that city by the bay. But Tom Cruise browsing the aisles at Cliff's Variety on Castro? Pleeze.

Your Mama suspects the buyer is someone else entirely, someone with deep roots in San Francisco and the Bay Area. See if you can follow along chickens...

In March of 2000, Joan Waitt–the wife of tech tycoon Ted Waitt who founded a little company called Gateway–paid $13,100,000 for a mansion on swank Sea Cliff Avenue known as the Captain's House. Her intentions were to merge it with the property she owned next door thus creating an expansive and uber-expensive cliff top compound. Like so many real estate fickle rich people, Missus Tech Tycoon changed her damn mind and hoisted the brick built beast back on the market in 2003 with an asking price of $23,500,000 where is languished without a price reduction for three long, long, loooong years. Eight million smackers in renovations–which unfortunately included covering the original beautiful brick with beige stucco–and 7 years later the price tag jumped to $25,900,000. It was later dropped to $22,000,000.

Jump forward to September of 2009 when property records show the 9,436 square foot mansion with 5 bedrooms and 6 poopers was fie-nuh-lee sold for $18,000,000. If the reported numbers are correct, a few flicks of the beads on our bejeweled abacus shows Missus Tech Tycoon lost several million big ones between the purchase price, renovations and carrying costs.

Being powerful wary of this rather wacky real estate rumor that the buyer is Tom "Jumps On Oprah's Couches to Profess His Undying Love for Katie Holmes" Cruise, Your Mama had a long peep and a poke around the property records. We didn't find Tom or Kate's names, natch. What we did find is that the buyer is listed as Tawaraya, LLC. A few more minutes clicking and clacking on the keyboard of our trusty laptop and we discovered that Tawaraya is a super posh and searingly expensive, 300-year old ryokan–which is essentially a Japanese bed and breakfast sort of place–located in Kyoto. That's Japan, babies.

A few more minutes with our fingers flying and we figure out that this Tawaraya, LLC links back to Howson & Simon CPAs, a super exclusive booteek accounting firm in Walnut Creek, CA that–according to FinancialBrowsers.com–caters to "a small number of ultra high net worth individuals." One of those ultra high net worth individuals who lists Howson & Simon's address on SEC filings–dated March of 2008–that Your Mama dug up on the interweb is none other than billionaire biznessman Larry Ellison. We can't say with any authority that the buyer is Larry Ellison because we imagine there are at least several other wildly rich people in the Bay Area who use Howson & Simon's services who might be inclined to spend eighteen million smackers on a house. However, it sort of makes sense when considering that Mister Ellison is a prolific collector of posh properties and that his sprawling estate in Woodside, CA is, for all intents and purposes, all done up and worked over like a ryokan. Your Mama would not stake the lives of our long bodied bitches Linda and Beverly on it but we would also not be at all surprised to learn that the buyer is not Tom Cruise but rather Larry Ellison.

Anyhoo, moving on and for anyone who might care, Sea Cliff is the same neighborhood that wonderfully wacky Sharon Stone called home when she was married to newspaperman Phil Bronstein and where the not so wonderfully wacky Robin Williams–sorry kids, Your Mama finds him a mite creepy–currently owns a mansion on El Camino Del Mar.

22 comments:

inke said...

what happened to the Jorgenson estate???

Anonymous said...

Terrific detective work Mama!

Anonymous said...

Stucco? No wonder Miss Thing lost money. Any reputable contractor will tell you upgrading with stucco is a no-no. Plus, let's face it, stucco is SO last century.

Grrrowler said...

The Japanese connection to Larry Ellison definitely sounds plausible. He's given all of his yachts Japanese names - Rising Sun, Sayonara, Katana, Izanami - so thinking that the LLC with a Japanese name is somehow connected to him is no stretch at all.

ms. misanthrope said...

Cliffs variety- nice pull

lil' gay boy said...

Excellent forensics, Mama!

Let that be a lesson to all us little chillruns –––– Mama WILL always know who hid the wooden spoon...

Wine Dog said...

I'm good at social engineering and forensic stalking, but damn! That's impressive stalking.

Crowley said...

Wow Mama, you are on a real-estate gossip tear of late. Well done! Your Ellison suspicions are pretty well founded. Sea Cliff is such a gorgeous area. And a pox upon that woman for stuccoing over that brick! Red brick glowing through the SF fog is a lovely sight to behold. Same thing goes for brightly colored victorians.

Anonymous said...

Nice digging mama!

CockSearch2009 said...

Larry Ellison already has a spectacular place in Pacific Heights all done up special (and with no regard to cost) for him.

Not that tycoons of his magnitude don't need multiple homes within a couple miles of each other.

Stewie said...

where in Pacific Heights is Ellison's house? Its not on virtual globetrotting unfortunately, I'd like to see what it looks like....

Anonymous said...

oh mama! you mentioned cliff's! it's been so long since i've heard that name...i remember the day an electrical grid went out on the west coast. the entire city was snarled EXCEPT the castro and the intersection where cliff's is (not market, i believe it's 18th street), as some marvelous drag queens stood in the intersection and directed traffic. wonderful memories...

Prince of Bel-Air said...

Larry's house is located at 2850 Broadway in San Francisco.

http://sanfrancisco.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/stories/2003/09/29/focus4.html

dolliegirl said...

Larry's house on Broadway is nothing special in that 'multi-million dollar renovated manse' sort of way. I believe it was his bachelor pad of olden days.

stolidog said...

It certainly would make me sad if cruise bought this house (no yard by the way). scientology is for L.A., not my fair city.

Emily Johnson said...

I agree Stolidog! I don't want any connection with Cruise up here!!

Anonymous said...

Last year he bought his daughter a 12 million dollar house in West Hollywood, and a oceanfront compound in Malibu for his son, so I'm sure it was he who bought this home, and probably for someone in his family... must be nice. Adopt me Larry!

Susie said...

I liked the link to socket. I lived in SF for about 6 years and I absolutely love it over anywhere. I hope to move back.

Uhm, nobody really seems to care, (possibly for good reason, not too relevant) but as an FYI - the show Royal Pains is going into 2nd season. It's about a NY doctor winding up as a concierge doctor in the Hamptons. Servicing the ultra rich. I like the show, because they are always doing mcgyver surgery & as much as I like Campbell Scott (way back to Singles) his German accent is kinda wobbly. It's on USA Networks.

SGM said...

BOOTY CLENCHING! This is why I adore you.

Anonymous said...

Robin bought a house a couple houses down from the capitans house after he separated from his wife, its now under remodel.

Anonymous said...

SF sucks.

What a boring place. No place for Hollywood.

Anonymous said...

Stucco my ass. That is paint. Whoever did the $8M reno put $6M in his pocket