Monday, May 2, 2011

Reality T.V. King Lists Hollywood Hills Hideout

SELLER: Mark Cronin
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $1,550,000
SIZE: 3,444 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: While flipping and flitting through some of the newer listings around Tinseltown our beady little eyes were caught by a vintage house in the hills above Hollywood that property records reveal belongs to television executive Mark Cronin and is listed at $1,550,000.

Your Mama knows that most of y'all don't recognize Mister Cronin's name but he's one of the people responsible for creating, producing and/or writing some of the tawdriest, trashiest and most proudly meretricious reality television programs that have ever graced–or bedeviled, depending on your point of view–the boob-toob. Listen, hunnies, we are no stranger to reality tee-vee but even Your Mama's jaded jaw hangs agape when we happen across one of Mister Cronin's paralyzing and sometimes traumatizing creations. We don't want to watch these shows but iffin we come across one of them we can't usually help but to sit stunned, equal parts mortified and mesmerized.

Mister Cronin spent much of the 1990s as a writer and producer for foul-mouth shock jock turned plutocrat Howard Stern. In the late 1990s Mister Cronin turned to television eventually churning out a long list of some of the lowliest of the low-brow reality tee-vee turkeys including The Surreal Life, Flavor of Love, Charm School, Rock of Love with Bret Michaels, America's Most Smartest Models and the truly, deeply upsetting Bridalplasty on which a dozen self-loathing women compete to win plastic surgery procedures and a fantasy wedding. Gawd. It's enough to make Your Mama need a nerve pill with our early afternoon pitcher of gin & tonics.

As far as Your Mama can tell, most of the programs created, produced and/or written by Mister Cronin involve isolating a lot of bottom rung famous and quasi-famous folks in a Pee-wee's Playhouse-style mansion in L.A. and/or putting a whole mess of shockingly inarticulate and wildly volatile strippers all together in a house with an endless supply of booze and seeing what happens. Usually these thong-straps-up-above-the-waist-of-their-skin-tight-low-rise-jeans-wearing beehawtchas drink, get loud, pull hair and generally act like a bunch of feral animals who would rather push a girl down the stairs than politely ask her to step aside.

Anyhoodles noodles, property records show that Mister Cronin acquired his 1926 Spanish casa perched below street level but still above the tree tops in the steep hills above bee-yoot-iful Beachwood Canyon in October of 2004 for $1,849,000. The property was first put on the market, according to Redfin, in mid-October 2010 with an asking price of $1,849,500. The asking price was later reduced to $1,675,000 before finally settling at it's current $1,550,000.

A few quick flicks of Your Mama's bejeweled abacus shows that even if Mister Cronin's Real Estate can pull a rabbit out of a hat with a full-price sale of $1,550,000, he'll still have to swallow the bitter financial pill of a $300,000 loss not counting real estate fees, carrying costs and any renovations he and the Missus may have had done.

Listing information describes the house as having 3,444 square feet with 5 bedrooms and 5.5 poopers on three elevator-less floors. Either Mister and Missus Cronin horrendous taste in bed linens and zee-ro use for books to fill the bookshelves that line one wall in the office/library or they've already stripped the house of personal belongings and done decamped to their bigger digs. More on that later.

A classic turreted entry leads to a step-down formal living room with original narrow-strip wood floors the run throughout the house, a fireplace, beamed and vaulted ceiling and windows on three sides some of which provide panoramic views of Los Angeles that rolls out like a glittering carpet below the house. The coral-walled dining room has an ugly and unnecessary pass through to the kitchen that Your Mama recommends the new owners seal up. The eat-in kitchen appears to have been fairly recently redone with granite counter top, Shaker-style birch cabinets, portable center work island and mid-grade stainless steel appliances. Although we can't be sure, the kitchen has a well-designed but generic Scandinavian thing about it that makes Your Mama suspect that this may be an Ikea kitchen.

The five bedrooms are split, according to listing information, between the three floors. There are two bedrooms on the upper level, a guest suite with separate entrance on the lowest level and in between the master suite with its severely dated and depressing bathroom. All you need to know about this bathroom, children, is that the fixtures are brass, the tile floor beige and the counter tops veined green marble, the sort more commonly found in in a library or banking institution. The master bedroom shares the middle level, according to listing information with a "media room" with a very ordinary-sized flat-screen television mounted to the wall and French doors that open to an elevated terrace with city views.

Sitting well below the house a city-view terrace that feels like a boo-teek resort in the trees has a lap-lane swimming pool, spa, patch of grass, tree shaded lounging area and what listing information calls an "entertainment ramada." Don't worry kids, Your Mama had to consult the dictionary to figure out what a ramada is too.

We are for sure and indeed rather fond of this ramada thing but we are also concerned about what happens when frolicking poolside and stricken with an uncontrollable need of a fresh gin & tonic, a candy bar or terlit. It is at least a long flight of stairs up to a pooper and three glutius busting flights up to the kitchen or wet bar in the library/office/family room. The children can be assured that our haughty house gurl Svetlana's solution to our need for poolside booze or a sugar fix would to stand at the window of the kitchen and toss bottles into the swimming pool. Her advice for anyone pool side in need of a pee? Cop a squat over in the bushes.

Over the last few months a considerable kerfuffle has erupted and tension created between neighborhood residents and the scads of tourists who drive their cars through the neighborhood to get to one of the best spots in all of Los Angeles to see and photograph the Hollywood sign, a beloved, powerful and internationally recognized symbol for Los Angeles and its movie-making history. It seems that some locals don't care for the newly installed directional signs that point tourists to the best vantage point for sign viewing. Many have mysteriously disappeared and the general consensus is that the culprit might be a neighborhood vigilante who ripped them down in the cloak of darkness in a grass-roots effort to thwart any out-of-towners who might want to use their narrow, quiet and dangerously curvy streets in order to get up close and personal with the sign.

Property records indicate the Mister and Missus Cronin packed up and moved to a stately mansion in swanky but very staid San Marino, CA, right next door to Pasadena. Listing information Your Mama teased up out of the interweb shows the couple's new 1924 "Italian Renaissance Revival" mansion sits on over one acre of manicured grounds and formal gardens. The 6,769 square foot villa has, according to listing information, six bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, a library with three walls of leaded glass windows, an eat-in kitchen and a master suite with two bathrooms and three tiled terraces.

listing photos: Deasy Penner & Partners


Anonymous said...

Leaving aside the interior decoration, the house is great. I wouldn't go so far as to say fabulous, but the setting is dramatic and the house has personality.

I'm shocked at the relatively low asking price. Can someone explain why this house is worth "only" 1.5 million when uglier and boring properties sell for much more? Is it the location? Are there insurance liabilities to having a hillside house in an earthquake prone region?

Anonymous said...

Beautiful home inside and out!

Anonymous said...

This has got to be one of the best LA-homes I've ever seen at this price point. Yes, the interiors need work; spend an additional 100-200k and you've got yourself a 2.5 million dollar home.

StPaulSnowman said...

Hey Mama........get up! It is ten in the morning central time and you haven't updated the comments yet, not to mention a new post. If you are going to create these appetites in people, you are going to have to cut back on the gin and go to bed earlier. I know Beverly and Linda have to empty their longbodied bladders earlier than this!

Anonymous said...

Comment from the 'Reality TV King" - there actually is a pooper (and a small kitchen) on the pool deck level, so no need to cop a squat or strain the glutes to fetch those G&T's.

Anonymous said...

I am a sucker for these 1920's Los Angeles' homes. I particularly like this one.

Anonymous said...

Someone is going to get a steal of a deal. Unbelievable price point.

Suzy said...

@ Anon 1:56 - so am I. Love this place.

The pool, very nice with the shade and dappled light, instead of roasting and boiling in the sun.

Anonymous said...

I love everything about the house. The only thing I would change is the jade colored marble vanity in the bathroom. Otherwise it is absolutely perfect!

Watters said...

This has got to be one of the best LA-homes I've ever seen at this price point. Yes, the interiors need work; spend an additional 100-200k and you've got yourself a 2.5 million dollar home.