Monday, August 6, 2012

Schwimmer Sells (and some other real estate related matters)

listing photos (above series): Westside Estate Agency

SELLER: David Schwimmer
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $8,650,000
SIZE: 11,336square feet, 9 bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES (UPDATED 8/14/12): Late last year, after it was shopped around off-market for a little bit, Friends actor David Schwimmer listed his grandly-scaled house in Los Angeles's affluent Hancock Park 'hood with an asking price of $10,700,000. The price eventually dropped to $10,200,000.

In May we heard from someone in a position to know, let's call her Penny Pincher, who snitched to Your Mama that Mister Schwimmer's residence had been eyeballed by at least one big name celebrity and that we should expect the house to soon be sold for a good deal less than the last asking price. Low and behold property records reflect the mid-city estate was sold in late June 2012 for $8,865,000 to a generically-named blind trust that shields the identity of the buyer.

Naturally we did some asking around with some of our better informed informants in the cut-throat world of high-end real estate and it wasn't long before two separate sources identified the buyers of the deeply discounted Schwimmer estate as filmmaker (and Tinseltown scion) Eric Eisner—his papa is none other than Hollywood power player Michael Eisner—and fashion designer Stacey Bendet Eisner, founder of the lighthearted, uptown-girl-goes-downtown Alice + Olivia label. However, it should be noted a representative of Missus Bendet Eisner contacted Your Mama to let us know that our informants were dead wrong. Well, she didn't say it like that, she was far to professional to say that but that's, in effect, what she said but in a much more friendly fashion.

Listing information from the time of the sale shows Mister Schwimmer's hulking, 11,000-plus square foot main mansion has 9 bedrooms and six bathrooms (plus a pair of powder poopers), five fireplaces, and a state-of-the-art screening room. Additional, loft-like living space with living room, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom—perfect for guests, live-in domestic(s) and/or irritating house guests—sits atop a detached three-car garage.

The meticulously groomed 1.02-acre grounds—walled, gated and well-screened for celebrity-style security and privacy, natch—encompasses a rear motor court, flat lawns, parterre garden or two thick tropical landscaping, resort-style swimming pool and spa, and a properly-aligned (north-south) tennis court with viewing pavilion.

Some of the high profile peeps who own homes in the immediate vicinity include Jason Alexander; (Seinfeld); Sean Hayes (Will & Grace), who unsuccessfully attempted to sell his manse in 2008 with an asking price of $8,950,000; writer/producer Shonda Rimes (Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice) who bought her fully-updated and upgraded mansion for $5,600,000 in March 2010 from indie music superstar Beck; and sitcom superstar Patricia Heaton (Everybody Loves Raymond, The Middle) who, Your Mama hears through the celebrity property gossip grapevine, will allow her estate to be shown with a $12,000,000 (or so) price tag through one of Hancock Park's most successful Real Estates. Just more celebrity real estate rumor and gossip.

We queried our exceedingly smart Fairy Godmother in Bel Air on the matter and although she was entirely unaware of the Eisner's (alleged and denied) acquisition of the Schwimmer estate in Hancock Park she was quite certain a home the Eisner's own in the Bird Streets area above the Sunset Strip is currently on the market with a (greatly reduced) asking price of $3,495,000. Now, we ask that y'all use yer noggins: Ownership of residence is obscured behind a generically named trust so Your Mama can't say for certain the house in question (below) is owned by Mister and Missus Eisner. However, it's worth nothing, Our Fairy Godmother in Bel Air is not, nor has she ever been, in the habit of providing Your Mama with inaccurate real estate information.


listing photos (above series): Sotheby's International Realty

Anyhoo, current listing information we perused shows the recently renovated contemporary-Spanish residence was built in 1970 and last purchased in April 2000 for $1,575,000. There are 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms in the single-story residence that angles around a flat backyard with flagstone terraces, built-in barbecue station, swimming pool and elevated spa. The bedroom wing also opens up to deep terraces nestled between the house and the thickly-planted property perimeter.

The day-core is dizzyingly vibrant with hard punches and electric pops of primary colors and a willy-nilly layering of textures and eye-spinning patterns. The guest bathroom with the floral wall covering and black and white tile flooring definitely makes a bold, exuberantly graphic and maybe even garish decorative statement but it's so vexingly insane we can hardly bear to turn away. We'll probably take a bullet or two from the children for saying so but Your Mama finds it unusually refreshing and commendable for someone really go at it with such a fearless and joyful abandonment of the sometimes strict confines of decorative "appropriateness," even if the result can be a more than a little chaotic and, at moments, questionable.

As it turns out, this isn't the only house in Los Angeles (allegedly) connected to Stacy Bendet Eisner that's currently on the market. As has been reported here, there and everywhere including by the kids at Curbed both recently and in years past, Missus Eisner and quirky musician Moby co-own a quintessentially L.A., 1926 Hollywood Regency-style residence above the Sunset Strip designed by the late-great John Elgin Woolf and previously owned by high-sterical, high-camp comedian Paul Lynde.

listing photos (above series): Sotheby's International Realty

Online resources show the funny house was last purchased in February 2008 for $2,950,000 and about a year later the high-glam pad popped up on the rental market at $15,000 per month. Missus Bendet Eisner and Mister Moby first and unsuccessfully attempted to sell it in June 2010 with a $3,495,000 price tag. Since then it's been de- and re-listed a few times and showed back up on the open sales market with a higher asking price of $3,695,000. Our friend and informant Lucy Spillerguts tells us the house is or was recently leased (for an unknown amount) to a trendy, high-end sneaker-shoe designer. We don't ask how she knows these things, she just does.

Current listing information shows the two-and-some story villa measures 3,700 square feet with a total of 3 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms, a count that may or may not take into account the separate guest house located at the bottom of the steeply pitched hillside property where there's also a nearly secret, gated back entrance and a detached two-car garage.

Inside the decadent main living spaces have both black and white checkerboard marble or Parquet de Versailles style wood floors under foot and 12 foot ceilings over and towering windows with canyon and city views. The ceiling of the dining room has an appetite-suppressing, gridded and mirrored ceiling along with a petite table for four that looks like it came through the looking glass. The eat-in kitchen is comparatively blank with its white, raised-panel cabinetry, white and grey-veined Carrara marble counter tops and back splashes, and usual complement of high-grade stainless steel appliances.

At least two of the bedrooms in the main house are master suite worthy with bleached (or pickled or otherwise whitened) hardwood floors, pretty canyon and city views and bathrooms that feel a bit beige and Beijing 4-star hotel suite sleek for the clunky, colorful and haphazardly elegant house.

The nearly all white interiors act as a gleaming canvas for courageous and invigorating (if dizzying) finishes and day-core that include striped wall coverings, garish artworks, a pair of cheap-looking Louis the something (or something) reworked in monochromatic blood red, and a silvery rococo mirror propped drunkenly in front of an exterior door in the kitchen, It's colorful and rebellious and not at all correct but it's way more amusing and provocative to look at than perfectly pristine and mannered sorts of decor that typically falls within the range of "good taste," whatever that is.

There's a mouth-watering slew of listing photos here and here.

Since we've meandered so far astray already, let's cover all the real estate bases in regards to the parties involved in today's roundabout real estate story.

Moby, who maintains one of the the most charming and intimate blogs about Los Angeles real estate, paid nearly $4 million in March 2010 to buy Wolf's Lair, a castle-like compound perched proudly atop a perfectly private ridge with panoramic views over Beachwood Canyon and Lake Hollywood. He bought the place from now broken up music executive Jay Faires and television hostess/correspondent Debbie Matenopoulos who originally wanted $7,500,000 for the quirky lair.

The New York Times reported last year Moby spent another two or so million on an extensive restoration and renovation of the idiosyncratic aerie that includes a main house, pool/guest house, an incongruous but thrilling John Lautner-designed guest house and, tucked deep into the towering stone ramparts, a secret tiki-bar lounge Moby plans to turn in to an invite-only magic den (to which we can assure the children Your Mama will not be invited).

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think if you do even more digging, you will find that the house on Blue Jay associated with the Eisners was formerly the home of one Scott Graham and his partner, who's name escape me. Mister Graham who works for LAUSD (pricey for an educator, huh) had currently sued LAUSD as a result of alleged sxual harassment. The terms of that purported $200K suit were to remain under wraps but someone blabbed and Mister Graham is now asking for $10 million. Must have been some harassment. A further aside points snoops into the direction of SF, where Mister Graham was associated with an Octogenarian inventor/founder something or other of Atari. School will definitely be out for the summer if things go his way.

Naughty Nancy said...

Mama dearest, you know we love you and appreciate all the research you go to for the children, but must you always be so politically correct when it comes to naming new owners? 2 and 2 equal 4 when it comes to real estate, 99% of the time. So yes, the Eisners are the new owners. Say it with me now: the Eisners are the new owners. There. Doesn't that make you feel better? xx

The Hancock Park house looks lovely, but then again.......it's unfortunately in Hancock Park. Not that HP isn't nice in its own way, but I couldn't fathom spending almost $10 mill to live there.

As for their former home, Nancy here is a bit partial to vibrant expressions of color, so she's a big fan of that bathroom. That bedroom, though? With "LOVE" etched above the bed? Ugh. Cliche, appalling, trying too hard, etc. Kill me now!

Anonymous said...

I can so picture the beloved Paul Lynde in that house.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if there were interior pictures of the Schwimmer house released? I would love to see what it looks like on the inside. It is gorgeous on the outside.

Anonymous said...

Re chez LYNDE: There were tales of the neighbors complaining about motorcycles parked willy-nilly at unreasonable hours in front of Paul's home. When I was young I swear I saw Mr. Lynde as the center square (the ? was "Valerian Root can cure a headache, true or false")
reply that he suffered from terrible headaches until he found the perfect solution- a padded headboard.

Doug said...

I loved Paul Lynde's humor as a child and I love the bones of his former house. Were I to win the Powerball, discover I have a rich relative on life support or hitch myself to a wealthy soulmate, this house would be on my short list. My offer would no doubt be turned down, however, as I'd have to factor in the costs of undoing much of what Moby and company have done and do it over. The bathrooms, IMHO, don't work with the house, the kitchen needs life and the landscaping needs fresh ideas. Rumor has it that Paul sold the house and moved to Palm Drive because he could not stand to live in the house after the death of his beloved dog. Paul was reported to be a mean person when he was drunk (which was sadly often) but, I'd savor the good moments of Paul in that house...there had to be many and friends say it was beautiful and done in great taste when he lived there.

Petra's said...

Hold up one second - Mrs. Eisner and Moby own a house together?! Huh?! How did those two even meet, let alone decide to become investment partners? ROFL

Only in LA!

Anonymous said...

the realtor who reps the eisners is the same guy who screwed alot of agents...shady business.

Hamilton Realtor said...

Nice house, but I'm not to keen on the odd dome shaped cabana like structure by the pool.

Is it just me or does $2m in renovations not buy as much as it used too.

Anonymous said...

Here are photos of what Paul Lynde's place used to look like.
http://www.imdb.com/media/rm2286782720/nm0001489

Anonymous said...

Agree with 2:29...8M is a bunch of money for Hancock Park. Even on 1.2acres I imagine its a bit of a fish bowl. Any word on Patricia Heatons HP property?

Doug said...

@11:16

Thanks so much for that link; I'd only seen a couple of those pictures. I love MCM, but I could totally embrace the former Lynde house!

Anonymous said...

HOW MUCH DID SCHWIMMER (sp) is wrong,but I don't care, he is was among many overpaid "lottery winners" on "Freinds"), pay for that mansion originally?

Anonymous said...

I have some old pictures from magazines with Paul Lynde in that house. The mirrored dining room used to be pink.

THe BJW house I have looked at before. The style is nauseating. Quirky, maybe but the gold curio case in the master filled with Hello Kitty crap is just too much.

Anonymous said...

Who in their right minds would pay over 8 million to live in Hsncock Park. Not only are you shoulder to shoulder with your neighbors, but you have tons of traffic, not to mention crime. For that kind of money, Beverly hills is a no-brainer. Nothing personal against Hancock park but there it is.

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Anonymous said...

The Eisners are lying whores! They just had a big birthday bash for their toddler here last week!

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HcoRealEstate said...
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