...that another big real estate deal has just gone down in Los Angeles that makes the $23,000,000 sale of tech entrepreneur turned art collector and philanthropist David Bohnett's sprawling mansion in the flats of Beverly Hills, CA look like child's play.
According to both Our Fairy Godmother in Bel Air and another well-placed Platinum Triangle property yenta we know–let's call her Bernice Belairresident–Your Mama has learned that financial services widow and philanthropic powerhouse Iris Cantor has, finally, at long last sold her exceedingly opulent and profusely gilded Bel Air mega-mansion for $40,000,000.
Brenda Belairresident snitched to Your Mama that the new owner of Miz Cantor's (approximately) 35,000 square foot pile she dubbed La Belle Vie is a filthy rich financier but she was unable (or unwilling) to name the buyer. Our Fairy godmother in Bel Air suggested that the buyer may be a certain athletic mergers and acquisitions specialist from Goldman Sachs who looked at the house and another well-connected informant–let's call this one Johnny Jabbermouth–told us that he heard Indonesians connected to the powerful and controversial Suharto family toured the property "several times."
Miz Cantor, a Brooklyn-born former model, was married and divorced twice before she became a stock broker, a lucrative gig through which she met and married Bernie Cantor, the now-deceased co-founder of the influential investment services firm Cantor Fitzgerald.
Mister and Missus purchased the gated 18th-century style pile in the early 1990s for an unknown price when it was only half completed. The well-heeled and lavish living pair dropped several more pretty pennies, dimes and millions to have architect Michael C.F. Chan and New York-based designer Bebe Winkler complete and decorate the civic-center-sized 9 bedroom and 21 bathroom behemoth that's crafted from Texas limestone, priceless marble, twenty-two carat gold leaf detail, carved paneling and elaborately crafted iron and gilt bronze fittings. This is a house so correct that even Marie Antoinette would wet her bloomers over it.
Miz Cantor first attempted to unload her elegant real estate white elephant in 2000 when she listed the humongous house squeezed on to a tight lot with a $45,000,000 price tage. After 2.5 years on the market, the property was de-listed only to appear on the open market years later, in early 2009, with a much higher asking price of $53,000,000.
Although Miz Cantor stuck to her real estate guns and never lowered the published asking price for her unrepentantly decadent digs, Your Mama's bejeweled abacus shows that, in the end, the (alleged) forty million dollar purchase price was roughly and substantially 25% less than the fifty-three million she wanted.
Neither property records nor online listing information reflect a transfer of ownershp. In fact, listing information currently available online shows the status of the property as "active." and available for showings. However, according to Miz Belairresidnet, the deal is done and all the necessary docs have been signed on the appropriate dotted lines.
If case any of the children wondered or were worried, the child-free Miz Cantor is far from homeless. In late 2009 the high-society doyenne traded in a nearly 4,000 square foot penthouse on New York's swank Central Park South that she never reportedly occupied for a recently rehabbed six story townhouse on East 74th Street (just off Fifth Avenue) that she'd acquired earlier in the year for $18,125,000. She also maintains a water front spread in Westhampton, NY–known in some snobby circles as the Wronghampton–that she picked up in November of 2000 for $2,650,000 and it appears that the wealthy widow also keeps a posh place in Palm Beach, FL where prop records show her name attached to a property with Intracoastal Waterway access that was bought in May of 2002 for $8,635,000.
No doubt this over-sized transaction will no doubt send electric ripples of glee up and down the spines of all the Real Estate and home owners in Tinseltown who deal and dwell in residences priced at the tippy-top of the market. Given Miz Cantor's real estate good fortune, maybe it doesn't seem so far-fetched then that Jennifer Aniston may get close to the $42,000,000 asking price for her Bev Hills mansion or that Ellen Degeneres could find a deep-pocketed buyer willing to edge up close to the $60,000,000 at which she's (allegedly and according to multiple sources) shopping her Bev Hills compound?
We shall see, puppies, we shall see.