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.