Thursday, September 13, 2012

Buckle Your Real Estate Safety Belts...

Did y'all hear the executors of the estate for late Saudi royal fat cat Sultan bin Abdulaziz—otherwise known as the deceased Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and the 12th son of long ago deceased King Abdulaziz—have made his behemoth, 45-bedroom pied-à-terre in London available, according to the Financial Times, to "a select list of wealthy international buyers" with a whispered and rumored, sky-high asking price of £300,000,000.

No, chicken livers, Your Mama did not mistakenly or drunkenly add an extra zero. The palatial, palace-sized residence, situated directly across the road from Hyde Park in the high-nosed South Kensington 'hood, actually has a price tag of three hundred million pounds. A quick consultation with our currency conversion contraption shows that amounts to n pocketbook pillaging $482,670,000 (U.S.).

Half a billion dollars for a 60,000 square foot single family residence with 45 bedrooms? That's not a house, children, it's a gawdamn boo-teek hotel.

The seven-story house, originally built as four separate townhouse-style residences, was previously owned by Rafiq Hariri, a Lebanese multi-billionaire and former Prime Minister of Lebanon, who was assassinated in Beirut in 2005. At some point after Mister Hariri's murder, the house was given—that's given to and not purchased by—the late Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, who went to meet the great oil man in the sky last October and with whom Mister Hariri had close (and lucrative) business connections.

Besides the 45 bedrooms—just enough for Prince Sultan, his 12 wives and their 32 children to each have their own private sleeping chamber—the civic center-sized mega-mansion is reported to include millions of dollars worth of gold leafing, a large indoor swimming pool, an industrial-sized catering kitchen, underground parking facilities, several elevators and more than 120 (allegedly) bullet-proof windows, 68 of which face Hyde Park.

Other than the gated motor court in front, there does not seem to be much—if any—other outdoor space and we can't speak for the children but for almost half a billion dollars we would really require at least a wee terrace and patch of grass on which our long-bodied bitches, Linda and Beverly, can sun and relieve themselves in the privacy of their own property. Half a billion bucks and you gotta have a full-time handler to exercise and toilet the dogs 4-6 times a day? Pleeze.

Even with the still snappin' and cracklin' ultra high-end global real estate market in London (and elsewhere) it's difficult for Your Mama to imagine anyone would actually pay half a billion dollars for a private home even if it does, as Your Mama's elementary school mathematics reveal, encompass a gut-twisting 1.38 acres of interior space.

It boggles and betwixts Your Mama's booze-addled brain just to consider the Herculean effort and monumental amount of money required to staff and maintain this house in the manner befitting a bajillionaire Saudi Arabian royal. Just imagine the monthly heating electric bills for this 60,000 square foot house in damp and often chilly London. They easily and alone probably run many times more than a full-time minimum wage domestic worker in U.K. (and/or America) earns in an entire month. Maybe you do or do not want to think about that next time you pay $4.59 for a gallon of gas in Los Angeles or $8.50 for  3.8(ish) liters of petrol in London, an amount about equal to a gallon of gas.

exterior photo: Google

27 comments:

Phillip Themholes said...

OMG, Momma! Bare with me as I struggle to pick my jaw up from off the floor.

Anonymous said...

I could totally see this selling for 250-300 million US. There are a lot of oil oligarchs and russian billionaires that simply buy property just to own the most exclusive property in any given city. Too bad petra ecclestone already has a new pied de terre in london otherwise im sure shed snap this up!(not even kidding)

Fortran said...

Please, someone, get the floorplans! Just imagine!

Phillip Themholes said...

The only other domiciles I can think of that rank among this most grand pied a terre are the Candy Bros. La Belle Epoque Penthouse in Monaco and (also a former Edmond Safra property) Villa Leopold in Villefranche.

Does Larry Ellison own in London yet?

Anonymous said...

"Bare with me?" I doubt Mama wants to strip off her clothing with you. What makes you think she would?

Candy Spelling said...

Beep beep!! Paging Tamara Ecclestone!

Anonymous said...

I would love to see what gaudy design it's done up in.

Anonymous said...
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StPaulSnowman said...

The house is unwieldy but South Kensington is a magnificent locale and a home there will always be valuable in every way. Even exhaust smells romantic in South Kensington.

Aunty Bev said...

South Kensington is a lovely neighbourhood - I myself lived there for many years, although my abode was slightly more modest than the one discussed here. Anywhoo, this "house" is giving me the vapours. Can you imagine misplacing your sunglasses in such a monstrosity? You'd never find them again! It would take less effort to walk to Knightsbridge yourself and buy a new pair than to bother retracing your footsteps!

Anonymous said...

Holy Moly!

Mama, you are the best. I have always enjoyed your blog for the past number of years. At times, I wished the emphasis was on the best design, but the train wrecks are priceless, too. Thank you for all you do.

In my travels to different continents, I've learned something that others easily know. No matter where you are, there positive aspects and negative aspects to living there. You can find them in NYC, Chicago, SF, LA, London, Tokyo, Zurich, Istanbul, etc.

That said, could all the haters of Mama and ciritcs of different cities please piss off? We log on here to see real estate porn - and we get it.

Anonymous said...

EAT THE RICH

Gypsydog said...

My first comment....Wow!....been reading for a while now, and went back to the start, catching up when I have time, currently up to March 2009. Where have all the regulars gone though - Lil Gay Boy, Aunt Mary, Bentley, PCH, Miss Frivolity, Hippy Canyon, Caveman, So Chic Darling? The comments back then made for some enjoyable reading....anyhoo love the blog Mama, keep up the good work...much love from OZ xo

Anonymous said...

It's not in South Kensington. The house is in Knightsbridge at Rutland Gate. Ennismore Gardens is right behind the house and I'd assume it has access.

Rosco Mare said...

Mama Dearest, any Friday night floor plan porn coming our way? XO

Phillip Themholes said...

Anonymous said...
It's not in South Kensington. The house is in Knightsbridge at Rutland Gate. Ennismore Gardens is right behind the house and I'd assume it has access.
--------------------------------
This house is located at the intersection of Kensington Rd. & Queens Gate, on the southern edge of Hyde Park, near Kensington Palace, one block west of Royal Albert Hall.

Ennismore Gardens is southeast of Albert Hall, and not along Hyde Park. You must be looking at a different building.

PURCHASE MY HOUSE said...

Mind bogglong figures Mama! Half a billion could fetch us something wayyyyyyyyyyyy better. As always..very humorous!!


You can sell your house quick at cashhomebuyers.Do visit it :)

Anonymous said...

This house is a disgrace. A monument to the greed and excess and the raping and pillaging of the leaders of two countries of the resources that belong to their people. It should be burned to the ground, preferably with them all inside.

Anonymous said...

London leads the world in the money laundering opportunities it presents
to a suitably charmed and grateful kleptocracy.

Standing up for democracy in disparate
parts of the world whilst providing a
haven for the hard earned
(if we measure these things in blood) fortunes
of kindly moguls and potentates everywhere.

Three cheers for British ingenuity!

Anonymous said...

No -- Sorry but this property IS at Rutland Gate is I stated earlier. I walked past it last night. Your post quotes the Financial Times which I quote here:

"The 45-bedroom, seven-storey building runs from 2-8A Rutland Gate and covers an area of 60,000 sq ft – slightly smaller than the playing surface of a Premier League football pitch."

I don't mean to argue but it's not at Queens Gate. Don't think I'll buy it either either case!!

Phillip Themholes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phillip Themholes said...

Sorry, old chap. I meant to say one block east of Albert hall. The house is very near where you say it is, but it's two blocks north of Ennismore Gardens and one block east. I'm not quoting any article, I just happen know the house is located at 2-8a Rutland Gate. I can see how you would get confused. The houses along the northern edge of Ennismore Gardens look very similar to this one.
Regard: http://goo.gl/maps/hMYjg

Anonymous said...

Philip Themholes said,
"This house is located at the intersection of Kensington Rd. & Queens Gate, on the southern edge of Hyde Park, near Kensington Palace, one block west of Royal Albert Hall."

But later you said:"I just happen know the house is located at 2-8a Rutland Gate."

Not an Old Confuse Chap here!

Nuf


Good Grief.

Let's call the whole thing off.

sophie said...

Half a billion dollars for a 60,000 square foot single family residence with 45 bedrooms?
I think it is a big amount,and only richest people can afford this property.
The aim of billioniors to buy the most expensive property in an area is just to tag themselves in my opinion. They do not like to spent money on unrefundable expenses you can say. They always love to make assests..
It is not in range of everyone.
These days to let "properties in north london" is difficult and you are talking about sky-high asking price of £ 300,000,000.???

sophie said...

Half a billion dollars for a 60,000 square foot single family residence with 45 bedrooms?
I think it is a big amount,and only richest people can afford this property.
The aim of billioniors to buy the most expensive property in an area is just to tag themselves in my opinion. They do not like to spent money on unrefundable expenses you can say. They always love to make assests..
It is not in range of everyone.
These days to let "properties in north london" is difficult and you are talking about sky-high asking price of £ 300,000,000.???

sanjeev kumar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...
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