Monday, May 7, 2012

Hyatt Hotel Heir Tony Pritzker Lightens Load in Bel Air

SELLER: Jeanne and Anthony "Tony" Pritzker
LOCATION: Los, Angeles, CA (Bel Air)
PRICE: $21,990,000
SIZE: 12,289 square feet, 10 bedrooms, 11 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Late last year, usually low-profile Hyatt hotel heir Anthony "Tony" Pritzker and his wife Jeanne finally completed construction on a conspicuously colossal mega-mansion commandingly perched on a private promontory high above Los Angeles' ritzy Bel Air community. (More on that monster manse later.)

No longer in need of their long-time former family home, Mister and Missus Pritzker recently listed their comparatively puny but still downright huge mansion on the market with an asking price of $21,990,000.

Mister Pritzker, now in his early 50s, in case you don't know and would like to, has a net worth in excess of $2.5 billion, according to the folks at Forbes, and currently toils as a muckety-muck at the Pritzker Group, a private investment firm, according to the company's website, that represents Pritzker family interests.

The Chicago-based, sick rich and (often eponymously) philanthropic Pritzker family are the benefactors of, among other things, the exceedingly prestigious Pritzker Architeture Prize, awarded each year to a single living architect who exhibits extraordinary and rare talent, innovation and vision. Past winners include Luis Barragán (Mexico), Oscar Neimeyer (Brazil), Tadao Ando (Japan), Zaha Hadid (Iraqi-born, London-based) and Thom Mayne (United States). The 2012 prize went to China's Hangzhou-based Wang Shu.

Like many sprawling and enormously wealthy families, the almost publicity-eschewing and almost under the radar Pritzker family has a few times, over the years and probably much to their dismay, been a hotly discussed subject in upscale gossip glossies and at high-society gatherings due to their sometimes ugly internal struggle over control and distribution the family's vast fortune, estimated to be somewhere close to $20 billion.

Your Mama simply hasn't the time to fill the children in on all the gory details so, if interested, we send y'all to a depressing but juicy 2003 article in Vanity Fair that parses the circumstances surrounding a (now-settled) $6 billion lawsuit brought by Liesel Pritzker, a.ka. former child movie actress (A Little Princess, Air Force One) turned stage player Liesel Matthews. Young Miss Pritzker, then just 20 years old and a student at New York University, scandalously claimed her then septuagenarian new recently deceased father Robert Pritzker and a parade of Pritzker cousins secretly looted the fat-fat-fat trust funds of her and her brother Matthew. The 2005 settlement terms were not disclosed but most online reports state they received $280,000,000 in cash apiece—paid in equal shares by 11 Pritzker heirs and heiresses—plus more control over their individual trusts worth a combined $340,000,000. Miss Pritzker, now in her late 20s and to her credit, is a very young woman of serious and substantial financial means who follows in the family's philanthropic footsteps and occasionally coughs up the big bucks for various causes such as an organization that promotes microfinance services in Africa.

Anyhoodles poodles, getting back to the real estate matter at hand...

A couple of quick and rudimentary calculations on Your Mama's bejeweled abacus reveals the Pritzker pad's current price tag of $21,990,000 is more than twice what Mister and Missus P. paid for the place back in August 2001 when, as per Blockshopper, they shelled out $9,500,000 for the 1.24 acre estate conveniently (if not ideally) located directly across the street from the elite Harvard Westlake School where tuition exceeds $30,000 per year.

Listing information does not specify the size of the Pritzker's multi-story Mediterranean-style pile but the L.A. Tax Man shows house was originally built in 1938—it was "restored in 2012," as per listing information—and measures 12,289 square feet. The interior living areas may or may not actually be larger than that.

A gated, cypress-lined drive sweeps around a tennis court with viewing pavilion up to a tree-shaded motor court with front-facing garage capable of holding up to five cars, according to listing information. A long, double flight of stairs that for some reason we can fathom remind Your Mama of Rome's Spanish Steps even though they don't really resemble said steps climb to the somewhat humble front door painted the same shade of tur-qwahze as the garage doors.

There are no interior pictures available online that we know of...yet, but listing information does indicate the swanky canyon-, city- and ocean-view abode has a 2-story foyer, "elegant" formal living and dining rooms and a "handcrafted" library, whatever that means.

Bedrooms and bathrooms number 10 and 11 respectively, according to current listing information, and include "many" guest and family bedrooms, "multiple staff quarters," and a "magnificent master suite" that encompasses a sitting room with fireplace, private office, his and her bathrooms and closets, and a sauna.

An expansive subterranean level includes a media room, children's play room—Mister and Missus Pritzker have half a dozen children to house and entertain—a wine cellar for the oenophiles, a bar for the boozers, staff quarters and, yes butter beans, a gift wrapping room.

The back of the house opens to a deep entertainment loggia with at least five archways that join the shaded space to the sunny terrace that runs along the back of the residence and partially around the swimming pool and spa. At the spa end of the pool there's a built-in barbecue center/outdoor kitchen with easy access to the kitchen and service areas. The terrace wraps around the end of the pool and stretches towards the rear of the property where there's a dining/lounging ramada with canyon, city, and ocean views.

During construction of their new residence, a dirt path zig-zagged down the hillside behind the old house and then slowly ascended to the building site of the new mega-mansion,  pictured below from a recent mouth-watering and jaw-dropping article in The Wall Street Journal about how a certain ilk of immoderate means still, like their lavish-living, Gilded Age robber baron real estate predecessors, cotton to immodestly-scaled mega-mansions equipped with necessities such as a dozen or more bathrooms, dance studios and yoga rooms, ice cream and beauty parlors, indoor tennis courts and climbing walls, underground tunnels, gift wrapping rooms and intensely fortified panic chambers, art galleries, massage rooms and pedicure stations.

The bulk of the Pritzker's palace has been reported to measure 49,300 square feet with additional detached structures—one a recreation room and another a guest house—that bring the total to a titanic 53,000 square feet. The boxy and behemoth residence stands two stories on top of two subterranean floors reported to include a game room, bowling alley, bar and media library. The contemporary crib also has, according to online reports, a fitness center with changing rooms, his and her offices, an arts and crafts room for the kiddies and—natch—a hairdressing station because when you're super rich like the Pritzker's you don't mind paying a little extra not to have to sit in an upscale barber shop or hoity-toity hair salon with the merely rich hoi polloi.


The gargantuan but somehow still green-minded mega-mansion is equipped with all sorts of eco-friendly technology that reportedly includes "geothermal cooling, and state-of-the-art energy-efficient lighting and climate control" and, in addition to a massive sky-light, an array of roof-mounted panels that generate a "hefty 72 kilowatts of solar power."

The house opens inward to a plaza-sized central courtyard and outward to deep, shaded terraces and sunny patios that step down to a wide, tree-dotted lawn that spreads like unnaturally green butter around three sides of the ginormous residence. At the front of the house there are several parking areas and a pair of ramps that descend into the subterranean parking structure. There's a tennis court area set well below and out of site of the motor court and at the back the green grass gives way to a boomerang-shaped terrace and dark-bottom swimming pool spa.

We're not sure if they socialize together but Mister and Missus Pritzker's new mega-mansion is close enough to the west coast pied-a-terre of embattled media tycoon Rupert Murdoch that they can easily send a staff person by car between houses to borrow cups of sugar.

Shortly after Mister Pritzker bought the Bel Air house now for sale, he took in $5,488,054 for a 7,000 square foot oceanfront mansion with 7 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms in Santa Monica (CA) bought in July 1991 for $2,650,000. A cursory spin through property records indicates Mister and Missus Pritzker also maintain a substantial spread with multiple structures on more than 7 mountain top acres in Topanga, CA, above Malibu

listing photos: Jim Miller Residential Realty
aerial photo: Mark Holtzman for The Wall Street Journal

27 comments:

Carla Ridge said...

I think Anna Murdoch got the mansion on upper Angelo in the divorce settlement. The house was famous even prior to the Murdoch residency, the circular shaped house designed by Wallace Neff for actor Fred Niblo was later the longtime home of Doris and Dr. Jules aStine, of MCA (Universal)...and UCLA 9the Stine Eye institute; he had been an opthalmologist before teaming up with Lew Wasserman). The mansion was also used as the basis for the house called "Clouds" in Dominick Dunne's scandal-laden roman-a-clef "An Inconvenient Woman." That does lead me to wonder where Rupert and Wendy bed down when in L.A.!

.... said...

My natural response to a larger scale photo of this house is.. Why? Looking at the structure from my vantage (or disadvantage) it's obvious they fortified this house with enough product to ensure it's safety.? The house looks awkwardly placed on the cliff and it's completely overstated in design. I'm not impressed and don't understand why other's thinks it's fabulous...

Anonymous said...

Shame Liesel stopped acting, she showed such promise in A Little Princess.

Anonymous said...

Greed obviously pulses through this clans veins.

Carla Ridge said...

Oh, and for a scion of the family that awards the ultra-prestigious Pritzker Prize in Architecture? That new house is an embarrassment. The architect isn't even named, so how distinguished could he be? (prior reports only said he was 'french', as if that's enough of a pedigree).

Doug said...

Mister and Missus Pritzker's new mega-mansion is close enough to the west coast pied-a-terre of embattled media tycoon Rupert Murdoch that they can easily send a staff person by car between houses to borrow cups of sugar.

What, did they forget the sugar plantation or have to give it up to have room for the tennis court?

Anonymous said...

$21,990,000? Really? as if that 10k price difference between a straight up 22 mil is going to matter. It looks like something off a used car lot when they price it that way.

Hawaii real estate news said...

From that angle above, it looks like a cruise ship sailing a dirt ocean. Very cool ... I'm envious!

stolidog said...

The new house looks exactly like an office building in suburbia.

Anonymous said...

Holy mother of god, the last house on this post, is that a goddamn airport?

Candy Spelling said...

Mama, thanks for the post. Now, do you have a picture of that new mega-mansion these people just built? I'd love to see it if you do!

BTW, just letting you know that there's a strange photo of a fugly rehab facility - or possibly a maximum-security prison - that somehow sneaked into the middle of your story. Concrete courtyard and all. Perhaps too many early morning Gin & Tonics for you? xoxoxo

Anonymous said...

With a "handcrafted" library for Stephanie Plum novels, a wine cellar for Manischewitz, and a bar for Slivovitz, the former Pritzker home seemed like a wee slice of heaven, until I realized that it lacked a genizah.

And confidential to Doug: I googled "Jewish lightning" and was horrified to learn its offensive definition.

Rabbi Hedda LaTess

Rosco Mare said...

Rupert and his 3rd wife, Wendy, live in the house high up on Angelo Drive. The gorgeous Beverly Hills estate has long been named Misty Mountain because of the fog that drifts up into the canyon. (You can see the house from Bel-Air Road across the canyon, near the late Art Linkletter's house that Our Mama Dearest recently shared with us.)

The vines that once covered the front exterior have been removed, exposing the beautiful stone facade. The motor court was lowered to give the house more presence, which I believe was not necessary. Wallace Neff's original architecture here is text book perfect.

Interesting to note that Rupert and Anna bought the house furnished from Jules and Doris Stein who were BIG TIME socialites, and some of the antiques in the Stein's well-known collection were later determined to be reproductions.

Bel Air Insurance said...

Amazing homes. Looks like I have a lot to work for if I ever want a home like these. Very impressive listings.

Anonymous said...

Its awfully hard to tell from these arial shots just what the house actually looks like close up, but it does seem to lack a level of architectural excellence that would befit the Pritzkers.... I found a short gallery of images of a party there last month... theres a great shot of the view and the garden and a shot of the main stair which looks awfully like a museum.... hope to see some coverage in a glossy home mag soon that might shed further light on the architectural details of this monster...

http://societynewsla.com/ucla-institute-of-the-environment-inaugural-gala/?pid=4800

Rosco Mare said...

I want to clarify that the Murdochs bought Misty Mountain from the Stein's estate after Doris passed away in 1984.

Anonymous said...

the pritzker prize isn't funded by every family member. hence the soulless house on the hill. WTF? it looks awful. a hyatt business center at best. the house for sale isn't memorable, but at least it looks more livable and has a bit more soul. money clearly doesn't buy taste.

Anonymous said...

Best news from France is that Hollande won and intends to slap a 70% tax rate on incomes over a million euros. Now would it not be wonderful if that idea spread across the Atlantic and came to rest here? The top rate under Eisenhower was 90% and the economy did marvelously well.

Anonymous said...

Who was the architect for Pritzker's 49,300 sq. ft home?

James said...

Goldie has had that since the seventies and bought it out /took it over when she split with the brother that she was living with or married to from "The Hudson Brothers" comedy act,(he is daughter Kate's dad). They paid in the n'hood of $300k back in the mid 70's for it. With straight inflation, it would be valued at $1.4 million. Broad Beach just safeguarded itself with boulders for the erosion. Average houses are $10 to $15 out there. Her house is extremely close to "Malibu West's" Beach club which is itself, only yards away from the public beach due east. It IS a double lot, but it will be a hard sell at 11 million - the celebrity aspect of it will still fetch her about 10 million. Easy money. Gosh, it is good to live in that stratosphere of wealth - 95% of these rich entertainers are not that talented. Just luck - righ places, right time and some tenacity. I shouldn't point fingers though, all I do is pay my bills, love my pets and dream of such wealth.

Anonymous said...

We live in Topanga right below their property.

I can hike up a hill to where our two properties meet. You can see an elaborate "kid's play area" on the grounds. I know it has many buildings and a tennis court.

We have been here 5 years and have never seen or heard anyone there. Only the occasional sounds of workers and maintenance.

James said...

Apologies from James - the post above was meant for the Goldie thread. Peace.

Anonymous said...

May 7, 2012 9:44 PM You are a complete freakin moron.

Don Juan's Wreckless Daughter said...

They should christen it 'Club Fed'

This place is three shades of tragic.

I wonder what Tony & Jeanne's current relationship with Lisel is like... if it even exists.

Anonymous said...

Isnt that on the site of the "the house Eddie built Elizabeth" in The Fast & The Furious? Beautiful house razed for ....... what is it again, a house or hotel!?

Anonymous said...

Ed Tuttle is the architect for the 49,300 sq foot home.

Anonymous said...

Holy Batmanns I went to the Pritzer's Estate yesterday for the Mending Hearts Charity here is my scoop! It is like driving up to the Getty Center! Massive Motorcourt, Huge Modern Entry with Cut Stainless Squares that take you through to the courtyard. Best Views in LA! Double Infinity Pool! Massive Ceiling Height! Mutiple level of garages like a hotel for guest and their personal fleet.. This is probably the same size as the Saperstein Momument down the street but view for ever... Speachless