Thursday, February 24, 2011

Col. Gaddafi's Second Son Lets London Pad

OWNER: Saif al-Islam Gaddafi
LOCATION: London, U.K.
PRICE: £9,750/week
SIZE: 7,757 square feet, 7-8 bedrooms, 8 full and 2 half bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Anyone who's even remotely conscious ought to know by now that things are really gettin' down and goin' plum nutty in northern Africa and the Middle East. An angry but peaceful grass roots revolution have already sent Egypt's long-time president Hosni Mubarak packing and in Yemen anti-government protests going on right this very second have the government shaking in their beaded slippers. Even though he's publicly declared he'll die a martyr before leaving, Libya's despotic dictator Col. Muammar al-Gaddafi may not have a choice. A brave and roiling revolt that rages in Libya wants him gone and an obviously rattled Gaddafi has already lost control of much of the eastern part of the country he's ruled since taking over in a 1969 coup. If things continue the way they're already going Mister al-Gaddafi may soon be on the lam.

Many recent reports suggest that Misters Mubarak and al-Gaddafi siphoned and squirreled away vast sums of ill-gotten gains. Well, duh! Some reports suggest Mister Mubarak's riches may add up to between forty and seventy billion bucks and additional news stories suggest that Mister al-Gaddafi may have amassed a slightly smaller but still obscenely monumental fortune of around $60,000,000,000. So, you know, children, neither Evita Perón nor Argentina itself will cry for these two tyrants or their families as they sadly whittle away the rest of their lives in lavishly-appointed exile in whatever country (or countries) will harbor them.

Quirky and unpredictable Mister al-Gaddafi has a long-standing and complicated but quite cozy relationship with, among others, the government of the United Kingdom. Over the years Mister al-Gaddafi invested large sums of money into British concerns and real estate. These lucrative investments include a substantial stake in Pearson Group, the company that owns the venerable and influential U.K.-based newspaper the Financial Times. On a smaller scale, a business entity registered in the British Virgin Islands reportedly paid £10,000,000 for a mansion in the upscale Hampstead Garden Suburb in North London in December of 2009. The company and the house are believed and reported to be owned by The Colonel's son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi.

Despite having a despot for a father, young Saif managed to live an open and glamorous life in London and other chic and sophisticated cities around the world. He's legend among the global glitterati for hosting parties in glitzy locales like St. Tropez and Monaco. In 2009 he celebrated his 37th birthday in Montenegro at a party reportedly attended by international movers and shakers such as Albert II–that would be the Prince of Monaco, natch–London-based steel tycoon Laskmi Mittal, Canadian gold-mining magnate Peter Munk, Austrian billionaire businessman Martin Schlaff and Russian uber-billionaire Oleg Derispaska.

Like the rich and famous who live in relative peace and freedom in democratic countries, the children of north African autocrats also have a propensity to catching a case of The Real Estate Fickle. Apparently and despite a very recent gut-renovation of the four-floor house, Mister al-Gaddafi the Younger has decided he no longer wants to live there and–we learned from the always informative London property blog The Rat and Mouse–has put it up for lease at a pricey £9,750 per week. A quick consult with our trusty currency conversion contraption shows that works out to a very high-fallutin' $15,792 per week for all us Americanos.

Listing information for the Hampstead Garden Suburb house generously provided to us by a fine informant we'll call LaToya Lettin'yaknow shows the house spans 7,757 square feet and includes 7 or 8 bedrooms and 8 full and 2 half bathrooms.

The stately and traditional brick-built exterior belies the minimalist modern architecture and day-core on the inside. The glam grips you right inside the front door that opens into a triple-height sky-lit reception hall where a glass-railed stair wraps dramatically around the room. To one side a small sitting room and straight ahead a giant drawing room with white stone floors (that may or may not be marble), contempo fireplace and a semi-circular bay window lined floor to ceiling with glass. Frosted glass panels fold back and join the drawing room to an L-shaped dining room/family room/kitchen combo. French doors in the dining area open out to a terrace that overlooks the substantial landscaped rear garden.

Upstairs, three bedrooms, each with en suite facilities, surround a master suite complete with dressing area, built in entertainment systems and private bath that includes two sinks, a terlit and a bidet, a soaking tub for two and, somewhat oddly, two glass enclosed shower stalls. The top floor contains two more bathrooms and a jumble of flexi-use rooms that could easily accommodate two to four more bedrooms.

In addition to a staff room with attached bath, storage space and utility room, the lower ground floor–which marketing materials calls the "leisure level" and Americans call a finished basement–includes a chocolate-colored suede-lined cinema room and a mirrored exercise/yoga/massage/relax room flanked by a bathroom, steam room and sauna. Floor to ceiling glass panels separate the room from the blue Bizazza-tiled indoor swimming pool and spa.

Naturally, young and flashy Mister al-Gaddafi's sybaritic residence comes fully equipped with a state-of-the-art home automation system that control the fireplaces and curtains as well as the the lighting, heating and cooling, audio-visual and hardcore security apparatus that includes cameras that record on to a hard drive.

As luxe and impressive as a house like this may be to whomever can afford the fifteen grand a week rent, what sort of person would feel comfortable with the all-but-unhinged and kinda freaky Col. Muammar al-Gaddafi for a landlord? Especially right now when he's probably in a very sour and bombastic mood.

Anyone? Hello? Is anyone there?

listing photos and floor plan: Glentree International


Housey said...

Wow, that's actually a really pretty house. Not sure I'd want a dictator as a landlord though.

Anonymous said...

Gaddafi is the Libya leader not the Tunisia leader.

Splenderosa said...

I certainly am happy he didn't decide to locate to Houston.

go boo boo said...

I love how you've brought the news of today and related it to real estate news, brilliant again.

Anonymous said...

What kind of security system does the house have? I presume there are several.
PS These types are so vomitaceous and deeply evil I think they should all be captured and put on trial and then executed, as was Saddam Hussein.
Long Live Arab Liberation!!!

lil' gay boy said...

Gaddafi as landlord? Yikes. Methinks one would have a hard time finding good references for him amongst his current "tenants"...

Fascinating how the instantaneousness of the internet, and the generation that it is spawning, have changed a huge region almost overnight ––– this is not to say that their grievances are new (many have been simmering for decades), but rather that FaceGen (the Facebook Generation) is the first to break down the barriers of country borders & cultural differences, where people have gotten to know each other one-on-one, and the universality of their desires ––– life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness.

For centuries the world has feared that these American ideals & our country's influence would overwhelm them; little did they realize it would come to them over the airwaves, not at the end of a gun. It just quietly slipped in when the adults looked the other way, with these "crazy kids" & their texting, blogging, and flash mobbing.


Anonymous said...

The entire Egyptian Mubarak clan [minus Hosni] are also in London. They're all British Citizens [wife & grown up sons] so they fled Egypt when it started to get a little crazy. They're holed up in their $16M Knightsbridge townhouse apparently.

Maybe should consider a post on Arab Dictators London mansions - there are many!

angie said...

Very nice house. What's not to like about it.

re: Mr. Gaddafi, shame on the royalty and jet setters who turn a blind eye to the fact that his lavish parties are being paid for by money the family is siphoning from an oppressed people, many of whom literally don't have a pot to piss in.

Terrific article Mama.

Anonymous said...

"North London suburb of Hampstead"

This property is in Hampstead Garden Suburb which might not seem that different if you're unfamiliar with North London but it's a huge difference.

Knowing Hampstead [NW3] & the type of person who lives there I found it odd he'd purchase a house in that area so checked out the Glentree website & realized it was Hampstead Garden Suburb [N2] which certainly makes more sense being home to The Bishops Av & the type of clientele who flock to that street/area.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't put down a security deposit on that home anytime soon.....

"Libya: Gaddafi's billions to be seized by Britain

The funds are expected to be seized within days. ...assets in Britain, ... are thought to include ... a £10 million mansion in London".

Anonymous said...

England, France, the US, etc. all welcome current & former Dictators - If you've got the money (& or oil), we've got the time.

Check out the book Dictator Style by Peter York to laugh to keep from crying.

Lady J

Anonymous said...

Several years ago when Libya was in the US news quite a bit, David Letterman did a top ten list of how to spell 'Gaddafi' - it was hilarious.

2:45 - Sadam was hung from a gallows with not much fanfare. If I were a citizen of one of these affected nations, I'd prefer televised public stoning as the method of execution.

Mama'sBoy said...

Brilliant! I've hated this despot Qaddafi since my coming of age in the 1980's, and God I hope noble Britain seizes his ill begotten billions...
This **** ****** and his family need a reality check ya'll!


Anonymous said...

well, the landlord is not going
to be around to collect rent much longer!

hiwaar said...

I would love to spend a night there

Jeannified said...

Don't like that the interior doesn't match the exterior, though in a house witha modern facade, it would work. It IS nice, just too sterile for me.

Yikes! The neighbors must be happy to see him go!