Monday, January 30, 2012

Super Producer Brian Grazer Buys Big Digs

BUYER: Brian Grazer
LOCATION: Santa Monica, CA
PRICE: $12,500,000
SIZE: 10,285 square feet, 7 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Not too long ago we heard from Our Fairy Godmother (O.F.G.I.S.M.) in Santa Monica who snitched with some shock and awe that Oscar-winning and spikey-haired super-producer Brian Grazer had, in early December 2011, dropped $12,500,000 on a sprawling, many-winged (and lobster-shaped) mansion in Santa Monica, CA.

It wasn't that O.F.G.I.S.M. found it at all odd or bedfuddling that Mister Grazer coughed up well over twelve million clams on a monstrous mansion that is, by Your Mama's unsolicited and somewhat snotty assessment, in desperate need a full-scale make-over. That is, let's be honest, par for the real estate course for Showbiz power players like Mister Grazer. What O.F.G.I.S.M. marveled about, rather, was that the Santa Monica estate, not quite a mile and a half from the beach, had been listed on the open market back in late 2007 with a magnificently higher price tag of $22,500,000. Eventually the price tag plummeted to $16,500,000 and in fall 2011 the property was made available as a partially furnished lease at a rate of $28,000 per month.

Did Mister Grazer snag a great real estate steal, if twelve and some million bucks for a single family house can ever really be considered a steal? Or was the original price tag for the meticulously maintained but wan-looking spread was laughably bullish? Or, looked at from a slightly different angle, did Mister Grazer pay too much given that the most recent sale of any property that backs up the the manicured expanse of the The Riviera Country Club was back in October 2010 when a stately but also tired and significantly smaller Elmer Grey-designed 1926 Tudor on 1.2 acres—much of its utterly soo-blime original woodwork intact but screaming for an overhaul—went for $7,700,000? Your Mama will let the children, from those with real estate expertise to those with an entirely uninformed opinion, hash out the consensus with their commentary.

The almost two acre estate, privately situated behind electronic gates and a dense thicket of mature trees on a sometimes busy but particularly purrdy boulevard, backs up to the ritzy and celeb-friendly Riviera Country Club and measures 10,285 square feet according to listing information kindly forwarded to Your Mama by O.F.G.I.S.M. The spacious, two-story streamlined traditional—an architecturally unsatisfying and decoratively démodé dwelling by Your Mama's humble and meaningless opinion—was built in 1990 and contains 7 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms, 4 fireplaces, garage bays for five cars that encircle a parking-lot sized motor court, and a separate guesthouse.

The architectural and decorative tone(s) for the interior spaces are set straight away in the airy, origami-like foyer where chunky stone pillars anchor towering walls of glass, where honey-colored wood floors have a strangely directional inlay, and the heavy-duty staircase curls around a small pond with rock sculpture and climbs to a serpentine bridge that cuts confusingly through the voluminous space and connects the various wings on the upper level of the house.

Entertaining and living areas include, according to listing information, formal living and dining rooms, den, library/study, media room, and a temperature controlled wine and booze cellar with stone floor and walls lined almost floor to ceiling with individual bottle cubbies. Family quarters include a separate breakfast room and soaring double-height, five-sided center island kitchen with a bulbous, super-sized greenhouse window. The kitchen area connects over a compact, L-shaped snack counter to a long, narrow and voluminous family room area with wood floors and massive stone-faced chimney breast.

The fully-landscaped, notably private and tree-shaded back yard has a meandering, dark-bottom lagoon-like swimming pool bordered by behemoth boulders, a waterfall or two, tropical-looking plantings and a sunken swim-up bar with curvaceous counter top that mimics—blah blah blah—the serpentine bridge that winds through the various double-height spaces inside the house. A broad, sinuous lawn stretches back from the house and terraces towards the bluff's edge where a snaky stone terraces hangs over the unnaturally green golf course. Your Mama is not big on golf course fronting properties—we have zero interest in golf and even less interest in being seen by golfers as we sunbathe in our booze bloated birthday suit—but the geography here sits the house and back yard well above the golf course for maximal privacy and scenic views over the golf course towards the rugged Santa Monica mountains that rise ruggedly to the north and west.

Just before their summer 2007 divorce, Mister Grazer and his now ex-wife writer/reality show host Gigi Levangie Grazer (The Starter Wife, The Arrangement) listed their sprawling Cliff May-designed ranch-style mansion in Pacific Palisades with an asking price of $27,500,000. The superstar-style 9 bedroom and 14 bathroom compound finally and famously sold in March 2009 for $17,550,000 to fast reproducing Tinseltowners Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner.

Mister Grazer has owned a mock-Med ocean front mansion in Malibu with 5 bedrooms (plus an elevator, indoor swimming pool and beach front gym) in the exclusive, guard-gated Malibu Colony community that he bought in 2003 and first and unsuccessfully attempted to unload in the spring of 2007 when it carried a $16,000,000 price tag. At some point—we're not sure quite when—he took the property off the market but re-listed the three-story residence last year, in May 2011, with a higher—and rather nervy—asking price of $19,500,000. The nearly 7,000 square foot beach shack (above), according to Redfin, was taken off the open market just before Jesus' birthday and just a couple weeks after he closed on his new house in Santa Monica but still appears in all its ocean front luxury on the listing agent's website.

listing photos (Santa Monica): Sotheby's International Realty
listing photos (Malibu): Everett Fenton Gidley for Westside Estate Agency

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

How could one go from Cliff May to THAT? Maybe it is a teardown? Or does Mr. Grazer have perhaps some of the worst taste in Los Angeles? The only other plausible explanation is that Mr. Grazer intends to deed this monstrosity to his ex-wife as a nasty parting gesture...

Anonymous said...

Dayum! This house is architectually all over the place and belongs in a fly over state... not to sound to bitchy but this just is not fabu.

lil' gay boy said...

At certain angles, in a certain light, and if you squint really hard, it vaguely resembles some of the architecture of Hugh Newell Jacobsen, albeit without his rigor or talent.

An aerial view of the home shows it fetchingly turned on the lot, siting it well as opposed to the neighbors. Perhaps Gigi Levangie Grazer, occasional guest judge on RuPaul's Drag Race, got out just in time.

As for the Mock Med, the less said the better.

Anonymous said...

I always feel sort of odd when I look at one of these kind of houses and think that I'd really rather live in my MUCH smaller, but much prettier house.

This has got to be a tear down.

Yes, LGB, I see that too, and agree that it's sort of cut rate HNJ, but as time goes by, I like his work less and less.

Anonymous said...

@ LGB: I don't know if Gigi got out just in time since Mr. Grazer clearly read her book & took notes, filing for divorce just prior to their tenth anniversary. Clearly Gigi should have asked the ex-Mrs Kobe Bryant for some tips.

As for house, I'm going with option 3, he overpaid.

Lady J

midTN said...

***
Anon: 12:13 PM:.....excuse me, but no "fly over" state would want to claim this architectual calamity either....ya snob!
***
lol

Anonymous said...

I sincerely hope that he is tearing this down, sincerely.
I can't think of any way that you could fix this house.

Aunt Gina said...

1. He overpaid.
2. Tear it down.
3. Keep the pool. :D

Anonymous said...

Please tell me he is tearing this down? Never a more worthy property.

Doug said...

The only hope is to bring in Habitat for Humanity and Erin Woods with an attitude and a golf club.

Babe Parish said...

Hands down, that is the ugliest house ever. WORSE than Beyonce's Mama's Houston Community Center, WORSE than the fat guy from My Name Is Earl's weird Laurel Canyon treehouse, WORSE than Toby Keith's Cheesecake Factory Villa. Worse!

CeceliaMc said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE the house Affect and Gardner bought!

CeceliaMc said...

The outside of this house looks like Holiday Inn Express.

Anonymous said...

What street in Santa Monica on the golf course....La Mesa Drive?

Anonymous said...

judging from the remark about it being on a busy boulevard, I would assume it's on San Vicente a bit farther west of where La Mesa ends.

Calgary Realtors said...

Great lot and yard, okay wine room, terrible everything else (especially the kitchen).

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous January 31, 2012 1:01PM...

It's on San Vicente between Gale Place and the empty foundation on Bing aerial view....

Paul said...

Santa Monica is the finest place to live and enjoy at beach side. So Santa Monica Beach Front Properties are the most common attraction for people, where every one wants to invest in the real estate business.