Thursday, July 26, 2012

Bruce Makowsky, Budding Real Estate Baller

listing photos: Hilton & Hyland

SELLER: Martin Lawrence
BUYER: Bruce Makowsky
LOCATION: Beverly Hills, CA
PRICE: $17,200,000
SIZE: 16,178 square feet, 7 bedrooms, 9.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Back in mid-June (2012), the children may recall, Your Mama and just about every other celebrity property gossip around the globe (dissed and) discussed a lavish (and garish) multi-winged mansion in the notorious, guard-gated Beverly Hills enclave known as Beverly Park, where even the smallest homes are the size of a small shopping mall. The gilded and festooned residence was (and as of today still is) listed for lease with an astronomical $200,000 per month price tag.

All us property gossips reported the walled and gated estate as owned by soon-to-be-divorced comedian Martin Lawrence. Turns out, kitty cats, the grandiose Beverly Park estate isn't now and wasn't then owned by Mister Lawrence. No sireee, Bob. Turns out Mister Lawrence had quietly sold the 2.23 acre spread off-market in early June (2012) for $17,200,000. The buyer of record, as per prop records, is a mysterious, L.A.-based concern our wickedly well-informed canary-friend Lucy Spillerguts tells us is directly connected to a fella named Bruce Makowsky.

Mister Makowsky and his wife, Kathy Van Zeeland, may not be household names of the Tinseltown gossip glossy variety but shut-ins, old people and others who shop at home on their televisions probably recognize them as handbag, shoe and accessories designers who rake in vast sums of money hawking their mid-priced lady-wares on the QVC. Your Mama knows them as up-an-coming, bad-ass west coast real estate ballers with an fast-expanding and increasingly epic property portfolio. Soon, you will too.

According to the current lease listing, Mister Lawrence's now-former, multi-winged mansion measures in at 16,178 square feet and includes 7 bedrooms and 9.5 bathrooms. Naturally the big house is fully kit-and-kaboodled with many if not all the other customary accouterments typically found in an and average if elephantine Beverly Park mansion: an airport terminal-sized foyer with curved floating staircase, white marble floor and Salvatoree Pollizzi stained glass sky light; formal living and dining rooms so stiff they look like they only people who ever go in them are the domestic staff...to clean; a huge family room and separate game room; colossal kitchen; a built-in sunken wet bar backed by a high-maintenance fish tank; and a home theater, with concession stand, natch.

Exterior spaces include a plaza-like cobblestone motor court ringed by a thicket of lush vegetation and trees; landscaped grounds where lawns meander and are shaded by mature trees; party-accommodating patios; an outdoor kitchen; sunken tennis court; and a resort-style swimming pool and spa with octagonal cabana.

But children, buckle you real estate safety belts and get our yer smellin' salts because not only is this new acquisition not the only mansion Mister Makowsky and Miz Van Zeeland own in Beverly Park, it's not even the largest.

listing photos: Hilton & Hyland

In December 2010 Mister Makowsky and Miz Van Zeeland dropped a big-time $23,500,000 to acquire a supermarket-sized faux-Tuscan villa with 9 bedrooms and 15 bathrooms. The palatial, U-shaped beast was spec-built in 2007 by Vanna White's ex-husband George Santo Pietro, who happens to live next door and who, we heard through the Platinum Triangle Gossip Grapevine, was shopping his house around off-market earlier in the year with a undisclosed asking price.

Prior to unloading the 24,595 square foot behemoth to Mister Makowsky and Miz Van Zeeland, Mister Santo Pietro famously listed the massive mansion with an in-hind-sight rose-tinted asking price of $50,000,000. He also leased the house for short stints to both Prince, who is rumored to have paid somewhere around $200,000 per month, and Puff Diddle—or Diddle Fiddle or Daddy Puff or whatever name Sean Combs goes by nowawdays—who hosted one of his (yawningly passé) White Parties on the property in July 2009.

Although we can't prove it, it is our understanding Mister Makowsky and Miz Van Zeeland have made the mansion their primary residence. At least when they're not in West Chester, PA pushing purses and (animal print) peep-toed slingbacks on the QVC.

Wait, butter beans, there's more.

listing photos: Sotheby's International Realty

A widowed woman named Helma C. Zingerman heaved her 1.21 acre Beverly Park spread on the market in mid-November 2011 December 2011 with an asking price of $14,900,000. Four short weeks later it sold, according to the ever-knowledgeable Lucy Spillerguts, to a corporate entity linked to Mister Makowsky (and Miz Van Zeeland). Property record show the 12,130 square foot mansion of indeterminable architectural style was bought for $13,450,000.

The 7 bedroom and 8.5 bathrooms residence, designed by mega-mansion architect Richard Landry, includes a voluminous, double-height foyer with twin staircases; formal living and dining rooms; a mahogany paneled study and commodious family room plus a second floor entertainment room; chef-friendly, eat-in kitchen; wine cellar; and a separate guest house. The garage has room for four cars and the mostly flat back yard has a croquet-friendly lawn, lap-lane swimming pool, spa and built-in barbecue center.

Just as soon as the ink was dry on deed's dotted lines Mister Makowsky and Miz Van Zeeland put the property up for lease at $100,000 per month. It appears to have been leased but it may have just been taken off the (open) market, we don't really know.

Hold on to your britches again though because Your Mama's various sources and (unscientific) research reveal that addition to their trio of mansions in Beverly Park Mister Makowsky and Miz Van Zeeland also own at least two other multi-million dollar residences in the Los Angeles area.

listing photos: Hilton & Hyland

In August 2010 the property-mad purse purveyors forked over $14,950,000 to buy a foreclosed and glassy contemporary on the ocean in Malibu's fabled, guard-gated Malibu Colony. The sleek and sexy four bedroom and four bathroom house was the subject of some press and controversy in 2009 after it was discovered a ballsy (female) bank executive at Wells Fargo—the lender who took possession of the house after the owners, victims of Bernie Madoff's hedge fund swindle, defaulted on their mortgage—made regular use of the foreclosed property as a summertime party pad. At least one report from the time of the purchase stated Mister Makowsky and Miz Van Zeeland planned to use the property as a vacation home.

listing photos: Hilton & Hyland

Just a couple months before Mister Makowsky and Miz Van Zeeland (allegedly) bought Martin Lawrence's mansion in Beverly Park, they spent $11,725,000 to acquire a 12,500 square foot Mediterranean mansion in Beverly Ridge Terrace, another supah-swank, guard-gated enclave in the mountains above Beverly Hills where the houses run towards the gargantuan.

The 5 bedroom and 8 bathroom house was also bought by a corporate concern that, once again, the frightfully clued in Lucy Spillerguts swears is connected to Mister Makowsky (and Miz Van Zeeland).

Listing information shows the 1.99 acre estate has 200 mature fruit trees (avocado, peach, apple and more) and multiple terraces and broad lawns with long canyon views. The house itself has, as per listing information, antique doors imported from Spain, Moroccan tiles, onyx counter tops, reclaimed barn wood flooring, and extensive master with private bathroom, attached office and private terrace. What it does not have is a swimming pool, (outdoor) spa or tennis court. Twelve million and you gotta put in a pool?

The property went up for lease in May (2012) at $85,000 per month and was leased in July, as per intel we ferreted out of the interweb, for $75,000 per month.

By our rudimentary calculations, in the last 2 or 3 years Mister Makowsky and Miz Van Zeeland have dropped a staggering $80,825,000 on five multi-million dollar residence in Los Angeles (that we know about), not counting the million-plus bucks they spent in 2011 on a pair of very ordinary residences in Valley Village bought for unknown reasons that may (or may not) be investments or used to house staff and/or family members.

We told y'all he was a budding real estate baller, didn't we?

aerial photo: Bing

Mister Makowsky and Miz Van Zeeland aren't just in the mood to acquire but also to slightly lighten their considerable real estate load. In November last year (2011) they sold their stately estate in the affluent Long Island, NY community of Oyster Bay for $10,395,000. Property records (and aerial imagery available online) show the tree-ringed, 5.37 acre estate encompasses a motor court the size of a 7-11 parking lot; a symmetrical, two-story red brick main mansion with 9,587 square feet and built in 1999 with 7 bedrooms, 7.5 bathrooms and 5 fireplaces; a detached, four-car garage; acres of flat, manicured lawns; a swimming pool and spa surrounded by broad sunbathing terraces; and a spacious pool house with deep, shaded veranda that overlooks the pool.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

HOT DAMN! all this from hawking crappy purses on TV??? holy wow

i really need to get into the infomercial racket...lol

Anonymous said...

Theyre pretty savvy buyers. Gotta give em that.

Anonymous said...

Congradulations to them. They have bought 3 of the 5 ugliest homes in Beverly Park.

Anonymous said...

Why are super rich Americans so vulgar?

Anonymous said...

Five massive, eight-figure properties, and yet not one of them even remotely architecturally significant - in fact, completely hideous. Those three Beverly Park homes are simply ugly (particularly the first and third). And if they think they can get a renter for $200K for THAT...good luck to them.

Kudos to them for making good on their American dream, but pity that the homes they buy are so heinous and shout "new money". The Beverly Ridge property is the only one I can stomach.

Anonymous said...

4:36, I don't know where you are from, but I wouldn't be so quick to point fingers. Just look at super-rich Russians, Asians, Arabs, etc. Super-rich Americans tend to be one of the less vulgar breeds.

commentator8 said...

Except for the Malibu and Beverly Ridge houses, these are some horrendous piles. Holy hell.

Anonymous said...

Stop the presses. Can someone tell me what the HELL is going on with that third Beverly Park monstrosity?? I mean, Martin Lawrence's old place is just good old-fashioned ugly. Nothing wrong with that. But that third one is actually offensive. I don't think I could build a more obnoxious-looking pile if I tried. It looks like some sort of aborted Japanese pagoda that got dragged through Moscow, was mutilated in Italy, then destroyed in Mexico City, and finally repaired in a Chinese sweatshop. Oh, and then swathed in a glorious shade of piss yellow. Hallelujah!

Landry, you never cease to amaze me.

Petra's said...

Ever since the McCourts went belly up, we've needed a new First Couple of real estate. Looks like we've found them. Not one, not two, but THREE Beverly Park mansions?! Good Lord. At least they seem to be using them as investments.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a great hobby! Do you think they are trying to buy all of Beverly Park for just themselves?

Anonymous said...

Haha @3:05. What are the other two? I think that, yes, these houses suck, but I'm sure there are plenty of people who think otherwise and would love to buy any one of these places up. Bruce and Kathy can't be the only ones, right?

Anonymous said...

@10:37 you must mean the SECOND house. Third is the Lawrence mansion. Second is the yellow mess.

Anonymous said...

The malibu house is on Chad Rogers (Million dollar Listing) web site as a past property for 18M. Wonder if thats what the bank was asking or?

Anonymous said...

5:17: Yeah, I suppose that if super rich Russians are vulgar, and Arabs and Asiatics as well, the Americans need to be equally so. Can't let them outdo us in the vulgarity contest.

l'il gay boy said...

Holy hell is right . . . even the Oyster Bay residence (which is, sadly, visible from the street) is a vulgar pastiche of 7-Eleven meets savings bank.

AS said...

I have known Kathy for many years. She and Bruce are good people. Hard-working, kind, and completely self-made. They spent years working for companies honing their design skills before starting their own brands. Yes they do have a big house and Rolls-Royces and Bentleys but they are very charitable and worked hard for everything they have. I did not even know they owned all these other houses. To those calling them ugly, they may not be your taste but there are just as many people who find them desirable.

Anonymous said...

10:55 So whats your point? Their (bad) taste in real estate has nothing to do with them as individuals. Good for them if all you say is true. Athough according to our president, the couples hard work has nothing to do with their success. The roads, bridges and public school system (regardless if they went to PS) made it possible, duh!

Anonymous said...

am i the only one who is in LOVE with the beverly ridge house? i was looking at the listing photos when it was for sale a few months ago and DROOLING. funny how it's the cheapest house they bought but i personally find it far superior to all the others.

i believe it was also Esquire's 'ultimate bachelor pad' party house at one time.

Anonymous said...

3:02, stop selling that bullshit lie. Listen to the entire speech. And anyone who is in business or owns businesses knows that government is very instrumental in the success of your business. You clearly are not in business or do not own one. As a matter of fact government made it possible for Mitt Romney to hide his money in Switzerland, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands and pay little to no taxes on it.

Goddamn, these people are out of their minds and yeah they have questionable taste in real estate. I guess their goals is to become landlords for multi-million dollar estates.

Anonymous said...

9:22 yes indeed. You make the proper point. The idea that "success" in the US is not supported by everything many governments have done and built is ridiculous but fashionable among the "hate government" crowd. Try "working hard" in the Congo and see how far you get.

Anonymous said...

They are wise buyers, they really haven't overpaid for any of these poperties. Notice how they closed on all the BH homes for almost exactly $1000/sq.ft., which is at or less than what prime real estate in Beverly Hills is going for these days. Also, they got the Malibu property at a big discount, it was first listed for more than $20 mill and the house next door just sold for about $22 mill.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of BH..Saw Adrienne and Paul of Real Housewives are splitting. Any word on their Beverly Park Pad?

Anonymous said...

revro:
well Adriennes and Pauls pad is just next to house that burned during reconstruction and the contemporary house belonging to jennifer aniston as i remember

Anonymous said...

@anon 12.58. The house that burned down was previously owned by adrienne maloofs former friend lisa vanderpump. Adriennes house is solely owned by her. Paul will be moving out im guessing. It definitely wont be for sale. Ps. jen anistons modern is in trousdale which is not near here at all.

Viva! said...

Montana Jones luxuriated in one of the five houses that three divorces to increasingly wealthy men had bought. The couches, the dining room, the ping pong room and the library were all stained that familiar shade of 'semen beige' so that the carnal desires that fixated Montana could be satiated at a moment's notice.

"I'm brilliant," she cooed to herself, "the money I've saved on cleaning the spunk off my ceilings alone has kept me in the black!"

Montana knew that some scoffed at her insistence of acquiring a new home every two months.

"What does she need all those huge properties?" they squealed at the country club.

Montana chuckled at the rumors that wanted to coat every house in Beverly Park with the dried semen of her many lovers, "the nerve of some people," she mused, plucking her eyebrows with precision.

Life was simple, Montana knew she had her philosophy just right: make decisions and never look back.

It had worked with George, then Randall and finally William. And she applied that same philosophy to her real estate. Yes, each divorce and home acquisition a success and yet she never pondered the past.

"I live for the present!" she exclaimed to no one in particular, her Ecuadorian maid Guadalupe rolling her eyes in disgust.

Staring back at the grand staircase in one of her semen stained homes, Montana became wistful.

"It's a great life, it's my life and I deserve it!"

The End.

Anonymous said...

The Beverly Ridge house is rather nice. The other ones...enough said already.

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Anonymous said...

HOW MANY OF KATHY VAN ZEELAND DEVOTED EMPLOYEES ARE NOW UNEMPLOYED LAID OFF BY THE CORPORATE FUCKS SHE AND BRUCE SOLD OUT TO. HEY CONGRATS ON YOUR JUST UGLY DISPLAY OF GREED AND WEALTH IN THESE GROSSLY OBNOXIOUS HOMES DO YOU EVEN CARE THAT EMPLOYEES WHO GAVE EVERYTHING FOR YOU KATHY ARE LITERALLY LIVING IN THEIR CARS? DO YOU MONSTERS EVEN CARE!! PERFECT EXAMPLE OF THE AMERICAN DREAM RIGHT HERE FOLKS

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