Friday, March 29, 2013

Speaking of Billionaires: Larry Ellison

SELLER: Larry Ellison
LOCATION: Glenbrook, NV (Lake Tahoe)
PRICE: $28,500,000
SIZE: 14,192 square feet, 13 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms (total)

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Speaking of billionaires with a plethora of private residences...

Large livin' software tycoon Larry Ellison usually just buys pricey properties but did all y'all read that the pathologically prolific property purchasing gazillionaire has put one of his dozen or so private residences on the open market? That's right, hunties, he did. As construction of a sprawling water front compound near Incline Village on Lake Tahoe's rustically ritzy North Shore* nears completion Mister Ellison has, apparently, decided he doesn't need for more than one Lake Tahoe compound and hoisted his 2.62-acre starter compound on the eastern shore of the lake near Glenbrook (NV) on the open market with an asking price of $28,500,000.

As best as Your Mama can surmise by a thorough but entirely unscientific assessment of property records Mister Ellison purchased the three pieces of the Snug Harbor fronting compound in two separate transactions—the first in August 2006 the second in June 2009—for a combined $15,000,0000.

Altogether, according to online marketing materials, the compound has 230 feet of lake frontage—much of it protected by jetties—and comprises 14,192 square feet of interior living space with 9+ bedrooms and nine full and three half bathrooms. A helpful birdie who works her real estate stuff in the high end Lake Tahoe marketplace parsed those figures for our additional amusement: six bedrooms and 8.5 bathrooms in the 9,242 square foot lodge-like main house; two bedrooms and two bathrooms in a separate 1,326 square foot guest house and five more bedrooms and three full and two half bathrooms in a 2,934 square foot caretaker's cottage. There's also a 426 square foot beach cabana and, near the compound's main (gated) entry, a 264 square foot office/guard house. All ten of the enclosed garage bays are finished and heated for the winter time comfort of Mister Ellison's fleet of automobiles.

Listing information states the the compound was originally built in 1997 and "completely rebuilt from the studs up in 2010." Well, it all certainly looks brand, spanking new, don't it? The lodge-luxe day-core is certainly well considered and, no doubt jaw droppingly expensive but, to be honest sugar sticks, it lacks soul. Despite the extensive and probably budget-free efforts of Mister Ellison's team of lady and/or nice-gay decorators the undeniably deluxe mansion suffers from an almost complete absence of authenticity and warmth.

Don't get Your Mama wrong, now. Mister Ellison's Lake Tahoe compound absolutely looks like a ridiculously posh and luxuriously comfortable spot to crash for a few days in the winter (to snow ski) and in the summer (to water ski). And we sincerely hope he'll invite us up for a weekend before it sells. But, as a home that reflects the idiosyncrasies and interests of its bajillionaire owner? Sadly, nay. This may not be a very nice thing for Your Mama to say but this place has all the idiosyncratic charm of a well-run and generously staffed luxury hotel. Bleh. Bloog. Blach. But, children, let's get real now. Given the handfuls of prototypically palatial abodes Mister Ellison owns all over the goddamn western hemisphere this compound in Lake Tahoe probably gets used by Mister Ellison and his wispy, impossibly young looking brunette gal pal—what?—a little more than a few weeks a year? Who knows anyways? Maybe the look and feel of a really good and frightfully expensive lodge-hotel is exactly what Mister Ellison was aiming for.

Your Mama (and every other property gossip) have details Mister Ellison's private real estate holdings numerous times so this time suffice to say that in addition to his extensive holdings around Lake Tahoe he keeps a knee buckling number of exceedingly lavish high maintenance private homes that include a modern mansion in San Francisco's posh Pacific Heights 'hood, a 23-acre Woodside (CA) compound modeled on a 16th century Japanese emperor's residence, a world-class garden compound in Kyoto (Japan) and a 249-acre spread in Rancho Mirage (CA) with a private 18-hole golf course. His portfolio also includes a healthy handful of ocean front homes, a hotel and two restaurants in Malibu (CA) and an historic Italianate mansion in tony Newport (RI) that once belonged to the illustrious Astor family. He reportedly bought the house sight unseen and plans to convert to a museum of some sort. Last year the property mad tech tycoon really blew it out of the damn real estate box when he shelled out well over half a billion bucks to acquire almost the entire Hawaiian island of Lanai.

*Mister Ellison is reported to have spent $58 millions on three contiguous lake side parcels on the North Shore near swank Incline Village that total 7.6 acres with 420 feet of lake frontage. Plans submitted to Washoe County, NV show the famously hardcore real estate baller planned to erect a colossal custom compound with more than 18,000 square feet of interior living space contained in multiple residences that include a main house, guest house, beach house, a couple of cottages and writer's cabin and a caretaker's residence. The property was planned to also have a man-made pond with an island, several waterfalls, a lake side swimming pool and spa and a clay tennis court with pavilion.

listing photos: Chase International

UPDATE: Teddy Forstmann

SELLER: Estate of Teddy Forstmann
LOCATION: Southampton, NY
PRICE: $28,500,000
SIZE: 8,600 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Just six short months after being diagnosed (and treated at the Mayo Clinic) for brain cancer, jet setting private equity pioneer and fearsome corporate raider Teddy Forstmann went to meet the great financier in the sky in mid-November 2011 at 71 years old. He left a fulsome fortune frequently reported to be well in excess of $1.5 billion.

The dashing, demanding and quixotic Mister Forstmann, who maintained a rakish mane of gray hair to the very end, never married but he did adopt two sons from an orphanage in South Africa in 1990 and was well known in upper crust social circles as a suave fella who dated gorgeous, high profile women. He squired Princess Diana in the mid 1990s and some reports suggest that at the time she perished in a Paris tunnel in 1997 the Princess of Wales considered Mister Forstmann a suitable (and suitably rich) potential second husband. Mister Forstmann later stepped out and about with British bombshell Elizabeth Hurley and for several years before he died was romantically entangled with the tall, caramel skinned, effortlessly cosmopolitan and brutally alluring model turned cookbook authoress turned Emmy nominated Top Chef hostess Padma Lakshmi.*

In addition to pretty ladies with high profiles Mister Forstmann also cultivated a small but significant portfolio of super swank private homes. At the time he died Mister Forstmann maintained at least three exceedingly luxurious residences: a 4,000 square foot duplex penthouse atop one of Fifth Avenue's finer co-ops; a supremely located ocean front estate in the Hamptons; a privately situated estate near the top of Coldwater Canyon in the Beverly Hills Post Office area.

Mister Forstmann's fabled Manhattan duplex penthouse, perched 13 and 14 floors above the uppity corner of Fifth Avenue and East 70th Street in a boutique-sized building designed in 1928 by high society architect Rosario Candela, has a wrap around terrace with unobstructed views over the Frick Museum and pretty much the entirety of Central Park. The three bedroom aerie was never on the open market but in early March (2012) all the New York City property gossips went bonkers when it was revealed to be quietly shopped around off market by a couple of New York's most discreet and successful lady real estate brokers with a $36,000,000 price tag.

Showings were said to be "back and back" and it wasn't long before a multiple offer feeding frenzy erupted. Nearly blind casino kingpin Steve Wynn was rumored to have some interest in the Fifth Avenue penthouse but it's not clear if he ever made and offer. Mister Wynn opted, instead, for Central Park South where he dropped a heart squeezing $70,000,000 for an almost 11,000 square floot duplex atop the Ritz-Carlton. Anyhoo,

The building's choosy co-op board quickly settled on a sufficiently qualified and socially acceptable buyer for Mister Forstmann's penthouse: an obviously sick-rich Westport, CT-based woman named Laure Sudreau-Rippe, described here as "an attorney and a minority owner of the [family owned] agricultural commodities conglomerate Louis Dreyfus Holding BV." Miz Sudreau-Rippe paid, according to property records, $40,000,000 for the penthouse, $4,000,000 over the reported asking price.

Like all good bi-coastal billionaires, in addition to his Manhattan penthouse Mister Forstmann also owned a substantial ocean front spread out in the Hamptons, specifically on the far western end of much coveted Meadow Lane in the still pretty waspy, old East Coast money seaside enclave of Southampton.

Driving to the Hamptons during the summertime season can be murderously slow and those with the means and stomach to do so commute from Manhattan (and Greenwich and Westchester and etc.) via helicopter. The very active Southampton helipad happens to be just a couple hundred yards down the road from Mister Forstmann's estate, a scenario that some Hamptonites (and wannabe Hamptonites) will find downright convenient and others will poo-poo with every ounce of real estate bitterness they can muster.

But children, forget the house (and the damn heliport). Luxuriously appointed as the luxuriously appointed house may be it's really the land and location that amp up the property's desirability and prop up a high price tag. The estate encompasses almost five ocean front acres. There are no homes directly across the street—only some dunes and the glinting Shinnicock Bay—and the neighboring, six acre undeveloped parcel to the west is owned by a local land trust, probably the Peconic Land Trust which means there will never be anything built there let alone a steroidal mansion used by its super rich owner, at most, a few months of the year.

Mister Forstmann's Southampton spread first popped up for sale in March (2012) with asking price of $34,000,000. The price tag first dropped to $31,000,000 and then to $28,500,000. According to various online reports, the property was recently put into contract by "a New York-based couple in 'private investment.'"

The floor plan included with online marketing materials reveals Mister Forstmann's approximately 8,600 square foot "cottage" style beach house was built "upside-down" with the main living and entertaining spaces and master suite on the upper level in order to maximize the beach and ocean views. The rest of the bedrooms are on the lower, ground floor—there are four bedrooms with private bathrooms plus the possibility of two more bedrooms. Also on the ground floor are the fully paneled primary entrance foyer with sweeping floating staircase, a small gym, large laundry and storage rooms, a spacious den/library with wet bar and fireplace and an attached two car side entry garage.

The upper level living has two traffic conducting foyers, a 31-foot long charity function friendly "formal" living room with barrel vaulted double height tray ceiling, carved stone fireplace and commercial-sized wet bar capable of servicing multiple liquor lovers at the same time. The adjacent, middle school cafeteria-sized formal dining room has a another fireplace, an exposed wood beam ceiling, an ever-so-humble (but unquestionably shockingly expensive) grass cloth wall covering above the chair rail paneling and a glossy, antique dining table that easily accommodates eight or more and probably cost twice as much as Your Mama's BMW. A fully equipped, kitchen-sized butler's pantry connects through to an roomy and expensively finished center island eat in kitchen with wide bay window that sucks up long, seaside-y views over the sunken tennis court and beyond the rolling dunes to the blue expanse of the Shinnicock Bay.

The master suite consumes an entire wing of the upper level and includes an entry vestibule larger than most prison cells, a dressing room larger than most master bedrooms, a bathroom bigger than most kitchens and a bedroom more graciously proportioned that most living rooms. An adjoining semi-private, fully paneled den/office—also accessible through double doors from the living room—is cozily equipped with a fireplace, entire walls of floor-to-ceiling built-in bookcases and direct access to the expansive deck that that surrounds the ocean side swimming pool.

Although the house is impeccably done and lavishly but comfortably outfitted with paneled rooms, world class artwork and multiple wet bars there are a couple of awfully awkward moments that Your Mama just can't get past: The L-shaped bedroom corridor on the lower level looks dark and, at one end, claustrophobically slender; the two-car attached garage is nice but it opens directly into the den/library that itself seems to have been forcefully wedged into a remote corner of the residence; access to one of the bedrooms, perhaps a bedroom best designated at a staff suite, is by way of a secondary hallway shared with the laundry room.

Listing details show the property benefits from more than 200 feet of dune protected beach frontage on the back side and long views over the sunken tennis court and beyond the rolling dunes to the Shinnicock Bay on the front side of the house. A long boardwalk shoots off the expansive deck that extends off the rear of the mansion's upper level and makes what might otherwise be a long, bothersome slog over the dunes from the swimming pool deck into a much more elegant and facile endeavor that can be done without breaking a sweat and without spilling from a tumbler full of ice cold gin & tonic.

Whether it needs it or not, Your Mama fully expects the new private investment industry owners will hire an accomplished team of smart architects, landscaping experts and lady/nice-gay decorators to give the entire property a full face lift. In fact, would anyone even be the least bit surprised if they tear down the existing residence and replace it with something larger and even more grand? Because—let's be honest, kids—that's just the sort of thing filthy rich people do, isn't it? They spend an absolute fortune on a painstakingly updated and meticulously maintained mansion only to raze and replace it with something probably larger and eerily similar yet more to their liking.

Last March, before Mister Forstmann was barely even cold in the ground—may he rest in peace—Your Mama heard word on the Platinum Triangle gossip grapevine that his wonderfully secluded 3.59 acre estate near the top of Coldwater Canyon in the Bev Hills Post Office area was soon going to be made available with an asking price around $17 million. The Tax Man's records show the 1937 Colonial has six bedrooms and six bathrooms in 7,136 square feet but those figures may or may not be accurate.

Well, dontcha know butter beans, not two months later Mister Forstmann's West Coast abode was very quietly sold, according to property records, for $18,000,000 to multi-lingual financier Christoph Tribull. It was Mister Tribull's wife Cynthia, some of the children may recall, who once upon a time sued Larry Flynt after, she alleged, the pornographer's pet schnauzer '"viciously attacked"' her in front of his house and caused '"severe shock, fright, humiliation and emotional distress." We don't know how that all turned out, do you?

*Although it turned out venture capitalist Adam Dell—the brother of tech tycoon Michael Dell—is the father of Miz Lakshmi's toddler daughter Krishna, scads and scores of reports in the gossip and financial pages say Mister Forstmann had a strong bond with and provided a trust fund (of an unspecified amount) for baby Krishna. 

exterior photo (New York City): Kate Leonova for Property Shark

listing photos and floor plan (Southampton): Corcoran
aerial photo (Beverly Hills): Google

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Anthony Field Wants to Wiggle Out of Drummoyne

SELLER: Anthony and Miki Field
LOCATION: Drummoyne, Sydney, Australia
PRICE: Undisclosed
SIZE: 6 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Thanks to Mister Lamington, a pleasantly flattery property obsessed informant Down Under who calls himself, Your Mama has just learned that Anthony Field—the blue shirt wearing member of the children's music super group The Wiggles—has his harbor front home in Sydney's upscale Drummoyne suburb on the (auction) market for a not publicly disclosed amount of dinero.

In case any of y'all somehow don't know, The Wiggles are internationally renown among six year olds and their parents as a frequently touring and prolific (music) video producing quartet of now middle aged men who sing, dance and—Yes!—wiggle their way through ludicrously simple and cunningly catchy ditties about inanities such as making fruit saladhot potatoes, mahshed banahnuhs and their big red car.

Although still much in demand, The Wiggles announced last year that three of its four founding members plan to retire at the end of their 2013 touring season. Surprisingly, due his candid revelations about how his sometimes crushing episodes of anxiety and depression were sometimes exacerbated by the relentless pace of touring, it is our kinky haired Mister Field who will remain the lone original Wiggle.

Listing details show the couple's experienced Real Estate has put together an aggressive marketing campaign that calls for just three 45-minute windows during which prospective buyers can inspect the waterfront residence before it is set out to auction on the 9th of April (2013). A real estate auction in America often means the seller is getting—ahem—eager to unload his or her property but Your Mama understands that down in Australia setting a house out for auction is a very customary practice and really has nothing to do with any real or perceived desperation of the seller.

According to Mister Lamington, Mister and Missus Blue Wiggle picked up their turn of the last century residence in Drummoyne sometime in 2005 for "quite a lot of coin" and, as per listing details, subsequently had the entire place worked over by an architect named Brad Patterson.

The three story house is proudly positioned at the water's edge on a downsloping 569 square meter lot—that's a compact 6,125 square feet for all us Americanos—with six bedrooms, five bathrooms, three waterside verandas, a detached two car garage and a small private patch of sandy beachfront accessible from the lower level terrace via a short, corkscrew stair.

The floor plan included with online marketing materials shows a deep front porch opens into the main floor foyer and stair hall off of which open a small study/office, a front garden facing bedroom and the main floor's primary bathroom.

A long, skinny corridor stretches to the south and passes a den/family room with marble-faced fireplace before it joins up to an open plan living/dining/kitchen outfitted with three sets of Nano-style smoked glass doors that fold back to merge the room with a glass-railed and trellis-shaded trapezoidal veranda with unobstructed vantage over the glimmering, boat-sprinkled Perramatta River and harbor. The extra-wide galley style kitchen has flat fronted yellow-blond wood cabinetry with minimal-minded hardware, flecked gray granite counter tops, a tile back splash and high quality appliances including a sleek, six-burner Smeg brand cooker. A large laundry room and a junior master bedroom (with walk-in closet and private facility) complete the main, middle level of the tri-story dwelling.

A discreet, glass railed staircase in the main living space descends to a waterside family room with booze hound friendly wet bar, convenient three-quarter bathroom and three more sets of Nano-style folding smoked glass doors that connect to a partially shaded terrace and—a few steps up and around the side of the house—a wee bit of flat lawn.

Upstairs three guest/family bedrooms share a single hall bathroom with an unusually commodious double-headed shower, an especially spacious walk-in linen closet and covered balcony probably just large enough for two smallish adults to squeeze in a south-facing morning yoga session.

The master suite isn't huge but does have wide banks of smoked glass doors on two walls that fold open to a slender, wrap around bay view balcony. There's also a fitted, prison cell sized walk-in closet/dressing room and a reasonably roomy, sun flooded private bathroom with a single sink vanity, a barely there frameless glass shower enclosure and and extra-long looking jetted soaking tub set into a white tile plinth in front of an over-sized and an over-sized plantation shuttered arched window with direct harbor view. Since Your Mama and The Dr. Cooter rarely ablute or groom at the exact same time we can work with the single sink but, children, is it just Your Mama or does that decorative tile ribbon situation that wraps around the room near the ceiling seem like it might be better suited for a Bavarian schloss, a Flemish row house in Bruge or maybe a sea front neo-Mediterranean vacation condo in Marbella? Anyhoo...

The property is walled and gated at the street for privacy and security. Maximal use of the postage stamp sized parcel is evidenced by the petite, slightly elevated gas-heated swimming pool located in the front garden that has an electronically operated cover and is awkwardly girdled—suffocated, almost—by a woefully thin strip of concrete and a frameless glass safety enclosure.

Other luxuries of the Field residence called out in online marketing materials forwarded by Mister Lamington include: radiant heated bathroom floors; plantation shutters that assist in sunshine hence heat modulation; an integrated home theater system, stained glass windows; high gloss hard wood floors throughout; an integrated air conditioning system; and, finally, a hardcore, intercom assisted security system.

Your Mama (nor Mister Lamington) have any specific knowledge of where Mister and Missus Blue Wiggle plan to decamp but we'd both bet Your Mama's long-bodied bitches, Linda and Beverly, that it's someplace with a bit more room for their three youngins to wiggle and move about.

listing photos and floor plan: Pillinger

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Lookit What Your Mama Did...

We don't like to toot our own horn too much, children, but too-toot-toot!

Today the venerable entertainment news juggernaut The Hollywood Reporter published a full page piece they actually paid Your Mama to write about celebrities who buy other celebrity owned homes.

Imagine that?

The article appears in the April 5th (2013) printed edition—the one with a profile of Jay Leno looking darn tired on the cover—as well as on the interweb.

Kim Delaney's Charleston House Goes Up For Grabs

SELLER: Kim Delaney
LOCATION: Charleston, SC
PRICE: $1,599,000
SIZE: 3,400 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: It's not often that Your Mama gets to discuss celebrity owned real estate in  the historic and architecturally tumescent South Carolina city of Charleston. We jumped at the chance after recently receiving a deliciously extensive series of covert communiques from Ivanna Tellyousomefing, our gal on the ground in the snazzier, hipper nooks and crannies of Chucktown, who let us know that Emmy winning actress Kim Delaney has put her fully renovated and completely updated late 19th-century Victorian in downtown Charleston's much-coveted South of Broad neighborhood on the market with an asking price of $1,550,000.

The stunning, Philadelphia-born brunette started out as a teen model in New York before she was cast as the wholesome teen queen Jenny Gardner on the soap story All My Children, a role that earned her a (Daytime) Emmy nomination in 1983. Miz Delaney went on to appear throughout the '80s and early '90s in a long list of forgettable movies and television series before she landed a leading role as alcoholic lady-detective Diane Russell on NYPD Blue, a plum part for which she received a (Primetime) Emmy plus two more Emmy nominations and two Golden Globe nominations. More forgettable tee-vee movies followed as well as a single season on The O.C. before she secured the part of Claudia Joy Holden on Army Wives, a presumably popular program now in its 7th season that Your Mama has heard of but never actually watched. Anyhoo...

It wasn't long after Miz Delaney was gently if unceremoniously and somewhat scandalously escorted from the stage at a fall 2011 military event honoring former defense secretary Robert Gates* that rumors began to make their way into the press that she may not return for the 7th season of Army Wives. The rumors were finally confirmed in mid November (2012) when executive producer Jeff Melvoin confirmed that Miz Delaney's character would be killed off. We can't say for sure, but if Your Mama was the betting sort—and we are definitely not—we'd wager both our long-bodied bitches, Linda and Beverly, that's probably why Miz Delaney desires to dump her downtown Charleston domicile. Donchta think?

Property records show Miz Delaney, via a generically named trust, picked up the four bedroom and 3.5 bathroom house in April 2008 for $1,250,000. The Charleston County Tax Man shows the turreted two story residence measures 2,910 square feet but listing details, which openly promote Miz Delaney's former occupation of the property, indicate it spans 3,400 square feet and includes the caveat that interested buyers might want to measure and verify the square footage for themselves if that sort of thing is important to them.

We can't imagine why anyone would want the hodgepodge collection of furnishings seen in listing photographs, but listing information states the house was "furnished with impeccable taste" and that "Most of the furnishings" are, if so desired, included "with a full price purchase." Apparently, according to this article forwarded by Ivanna Tellyousomefing, Miz Delaney herself is the person primarily if not totally responsible for the—ahem—impeccable (remaining) day-core that includes a surfboard shaped mirror in the front hall she had shipped all the way from California along with a desk covered in stingray hide and mother of pearl.

A deep, elevated and quintessentially southrun covered front porch was made for whittling away meteorologically turgid summer afternoons with a giant pitcher of spiked lemonade and the brisk staccato clickety-clack tune of the horse drawn carriages that drag tourists through the neighborhood in a stale simulacrum of the more genteel, automobile free Olden Days. The front door opens into a tight but proper side foyer with soaring ceiling, heavy duty moldings, a crystal chandelier and high gloss inlaid wood floors that Your Mama would love to believe are original.

A triple parlor—front to back: living room, dining room, family room—stretches deep into the rear of the residence where there's an obviously remodeled but ordinary cottage-style eat-in kitchen with ever-so-humble white raised panel cabinetry, comatosely ubiquitous black granite counter tops, an L-shaped center island with raised snack bar and perfectly adequate medium grade appliances. Plantation shuttered French doors open to a tree-shaded brick courtyard overlooked by at least one second floor veranda of a neighboring residence.

The second floor master bedroom, painted an almost cliche shade of baby blue, generously encompasses a bedroom and separate but adjoining private sitting room. Both rooms have fireplaces and direct access to a veranda that offers an oblique view of the thickly treed and military relic strewn White Point Garden and a head on view of the side facade and black top parking lot of the seven story Fort Sumter House, an historic hotel cum condo complex.

Listing details also reveal the house was used in 2012 as an income producing vacation rental at $8,500 per month but it's not clear how often—if at all—someone agreed to pay that amount. Ivanna Tellyousomefing, a savvy and sophisticated lady Your Mama knows watches her local real estate market like an eagle-eyed hawk, told us is about twice the going rate for an equivalent residence in the neighborhood.

Despite what some of you may have heard, Charleston, children, is a quickly up and coming and increasingly chic hot spot with hipsters, international socialites and the mildly (in)famous. Not only does the effortlessly with-it Ivanna Tellyousomefing make her home in Charleston so does former fashion designer, high fallutin' socialite, author and interior design style arbiter Carolyn Roehm who plans to spend her winters South of Broad in Charleston. Last June (2012) the very fancy and accomplished Miz Roehm, the second ex-wife of billionaire leveraged buyout bigwig Henry Kravis, dropped $2,605,000 on an elegant and imposing, 5,800 square foot Greek Revival style mini-mansion known as the Chisolm-Alston-Dupont House. She plans to give it a touch up, natch.

Several years ago New York socialite Patricia Altschul dropped $4.8 million on The Mikell House, a grand Greek Revival style pile built in 1851. Also, apparently, still in residence is former State Treasurer Thomas Ravenel, a well-known local playboy who some years back was convicted of conspiring to buy and distribute a small amount of cocaine. In 2011 Mister Ravenel publicly renounced his American citizenship because he was nine kind of pissed that as a convicted felon he is not allowed to possess a firearm. We don't know if Mister Ravenel ever really gave up his U.S. citizenship but according to Ivanna Tellyousomefing both Mister Ravenel and Miz Altschul will soon appear on a much whispered about new reality show on Bravo about the affluent gentlemen of Charleston, a show, incidentally, produced by the always dapper occasional filmmaker Whitney Sudler-Smith (Bubba and Ike and the bio-documentary Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston) who also happens to be Miz Altschul's son. Anyhoo again...

In 1997 Miz Delaney and her man-friend/fiancée, television and movie producer Alan Barnette (Hitchcock, Sliders), paid $1,900,000 for a 1928 Spanish style casa on the same tree-lined street in the affluent flats of Beverly Hills where blustery British tabloid journo turned chat show host Piers Morgan owns a 5,500+ square foot house he and the missus picked up in late 2011 for $5,362,500 and where rock-n-roll royals Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne currently lease a lovely Spanish style mini-mansion from one of L.A.'s most well known and successful real estate agents. Although most online reports say they didn't actually go their separate ways until 2006, property records reveal that in 2003 Miz Delaney bought out Mister Barnette's interest in the nearly 5,000 square foot red tile roofed abode that the L.A. County Tax Man's records indicate has five bedrooms, six bathrooms, two fireplaces, an arched porte cochere, a (detached) three car garage and a swimming pool and cabana in the backyard.

*A slurry, heavy lidded Miz Delaney stumbled along for several minutes with increasing difficulty reading her speech on the teleprompter before a smiling aide rushed out and beckoned her off-stage. Speculation amongst the celebrity gossip tongue waggers was the sultry and disheveled looking actress was drunk as a skunk. She later explained that it had been difficult week and that there were technical issues.

listing photos: The Cassina Group

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Update: Cher and Other Sierra Towers Tidbits

Earlier today Your Mama relayed the already much reported rumors and reports about how Her Hollywood Highness, Cher, went and sold her two-unit duplex combo condo at the Sierra Towers building in an off-market deal for (an as yet unrecorded) $5.25 million.

That alleged purchase price is a smidgen less than the frequently cited $5.5 million dollar asking price but a fortune more than the $3 million she paid idiosyncratic and gleefully lurid actor Vincent Gallo for the two floor condo in early 2006.

With Sir Elton John's exit from the building last year and Cher's more recent decampment, other residents will no longer have to worry about the hair raising circumstance of getting caught in the elevator with Elton, Cher and Joan.*,**

It wasn't long before Your Mama heard from well connected informant Patty Cake who whispered that the scuttlebutt on the West Hollywood high rise gossip grapevine is that the as yet unidentified buyer plans to release the duplex from Cher's thematically one noted Martyn Lawrence Bullard done Balinese-y day-core and to expand the approximately 2,500 square foot duplex into a third adjacent unit.

There have been several other notable transactions over the last year at Sierra Towers. Super fit apparel entrepreneur Marc Ware recently unloaded his 24th floor 1 bedroom unit for $3,350,000 to Minneapolis-based financier Jim Pohlad. Mister Pohlad is an heir to a multi-billion dollar family fortune and the current owner of the Minnesota Twins, a professional baseball team we were informed by our Minneapolis based b.f.f. Chow Lee. He inherited his ownership of the team from his shrewd rags to riches businessman father Carl Pohlad who went to meet his great banker in the sky in 2009.

So Your Mama was told by a couple of separate sources last August, the well-born and so-called Homeless Billionaire Nicolas Berggruen—the globe-trotting philanthropist and private investor with dual American and German citizenship who famously and until recently did not own a private residence and lived exclusively in a series of swank hotels—is currently in the process of combining two and possibly three high(er) floor units into a single 5,000 square foot aerie. The no longer homeless billionaire spent, we were told, close to $7.5 million for the three separate but contiguous condo apartments that were not, at the time, on the open market and, combined, have sweeping views of downtown L.A., over the lowlands towards Catalina Island and beyond Beverly Hills to the smattering of towers that comprise Century City.

And finally, in March 2012, after 1.5 years on the market at ever decreasing prices, one of the building's two penthouse pads—a 3,081 square foot spread with three bedrooms, three bathrooms and wrap around terrace with 300+ degree views—was sold for a sky high $6,400,000. Your Mama was told by someone in the position to know that the owner gutted the penthouse and then successfully flipped the concrete shell six months later in a very quiet off market deal to an unknown buyer for $10.2 million.

Getting back to Cher, the superstar is widely reported to have floated her Malibu estate back on the market as a pocket listing with an asking price of $41 million and her son Elijah Blue recently listed his house in Venice—that was purchased with his mother's real estate trust—with an asking price of $1,899,500.

*That's Joan Collins, of course, who has maintained a pied a terre at Sierra Towers for a number of years

**We tease. For all we know Elton, Cher and Joan are b.f.f.s who have spent many Saturday nights painting each others' toenails and braiding each others' wigs.

Tuesday Link Love: Cher, Andie, Jack, Chloe, Neal and Lloyd Wright

Cher has done sold her West Hollywood (CA) duplex combo condo at the star-studded Sierra Towers complex in an off-market deal for $5.25 million. She also re-listed her Malibu mansion with a lower but still astronomical $41 million price tag and her son Elijah Blue hoisted his house near Abbott Kinney in Venice (CA) on the market with a $1,899,500 asking price. (TMZ)


Still drop dead gorgeous (and kinda kooky) mid-career actress and model Andie McDowell finally sold her nearly 11,000 square foot many-gabled Tudor extravaganza in Asheville, NC and bought a much more modestly sized contemporary cottage in the beachy Silver Strand section of Marina Del Rey. (Trulia Luxe Living)


After about a year on the market Tinseltown royal Jack Nicholson took in $11 million for his fully renovated and updated 1890s house in star-studded and brutally expensive Aspen, CO. It was originally listed for $15 million. Nicholson and his music mogul pal Lou Adler went halfsies on the historic house back in 1980; It appears to Your Mama the friends paid just $550,000 for the six bedroom house. Mister Nicholson and Adler both owned other homes in Aspen at the time but suffered from lousy television reception. So—as the stories go—they bought this house and its better tee-vee reception so they could go there and watch Lakers basketball games. Such is the real estate options of the rich and famous, right? (Aspen Daily News)


Thank the real estate gods! Indie queen turned mainstream actress Chloe Sevigny has finally secured another buyer for her garden level East Village townhouse apartment that was last listed at $1,850,000, up from the original $1.7 million asking price but down from its later and much higher $1,995,000 price tag. (EV Grieve)


Always working actor Neal McDonough (Desperate Housewives, Band of Brothers) put but his ivy-encrusted, 1922 vintage Colonial in L.A.'s Hancock Park 'hood on the market at $2,899,000. (Realtor)


The fabulous Lloyd Wright-designed Samuel-Novarro house in L.A.'s Los Feliz area—once owned by Diane Keaton and later, briefly, by Christina Ricci—has returned to the open market with a $4,495,000 million asking price. The seller, a mysterious entity with business addresses in both New York City and Granite Bay (CA) who a real estate canary snitched to Your Mama is a photographer (and an heir to substantial family fortune) whose downtown Manhattan loft was previously featured on Selling New York, purchased the extraordinary and delicious architectural oddity residence in June 2006 for $2,827,500. (Curbed)

Rita Rudner Wants to Sell SoCal Beach House

SELLER: Rita Rudner and Martin Bergman
LOCATION: Dana Point, CA
PRICE: $8,975,000
SIZE: 5,000 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 3.75 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Thanks to the fine folks at Estately Your Mama has learned that former Broadway dancer hopeful turned veteran American comedienne Rita Rudner and British writer/producer Martin Bergman not only slashed the asking price of their bluff-side digs in Orange County's Dana Point (CA) by a million clams but also that the funny lady "stars" in a publicly available marketing video for the property.

Miz Rudner, an occasional actress and author of a handful of bestselling memoirs and comic novels, has been delivering her well honed brand pithy, self-mocking one-liners for decades but since the early Aughts has headlined almost exclusively on the Las Vegas Strip. First she did her thing at MGM, then at the ludicrously named New York-New York Hotel & Casino where she performed in a theater underneath the resort's roller coaster, then over at Harrah's and currently she shakes her dry-humored money maker twice a month (through 2013) at The Venetian. Anyhoo...

In the 4.5 minute guided tour, Miz Rudner shucks, jives and jokes her way through the house in a diaphanous yet heavily beaded and bespangled—and very Orange County—cornflower blue tunic. She points out the home's various features and giddily wisecracks that she and her team of well-groomed "Realtors to the "semi-stars" look forward to receiving offers so she can respond with a "How dare you!"

Property records are a bit vague as to when exactly Miz Rudner and Mister Bergman bought their bluff-side beach house but our research indicated they picked up the house on leased land in 2008 for $5,850,000 and in December spent another $2.15 million to buy the land itself. The couple first hoisted the house on the open market in mid-October (2012) with a $9,975,000 price tag but in early February (2013) significantly chopped the asking price to its current $8,975,000.

Current listing information shows the two story house sits well above the street in a notably affluent, particularly pricey and guard gated Dana Point neighborhood that overlooks scenic and undeniably stunning Monarch Bay. The existing house was built in 2005, according to listing details, and measures around 5,000 square feet with five bedrooms and 3.75 bathrooms.

In order to maximize the sweeping sand, surf, coastline and Catalina Island views, the house was designed upside-down with the open plan living/dining/kitchen areas (as well as the master bedroom) on the upper level and several guest/family bedrooms plus additional living spaces on the ground floor.

Listing photographs show the main living area has burnt orange and deep purple walls; a slightly low looking flat ceiling peppered with more than a dozen pot lights; wall-to-wall stone tile flooring that may or may not be some sort of Travertine; and a chunky and minimalist marble-faced (gas) fireplace flanked by built in book cases fashioned from walnut or teak or some other richly grained wood. The room is furnished entirely with a matching set of two-tone sectional sofas and chaise lounges that, due to their matchy-matchiness, more than just a little suggests the lobby lounge of a breezy, Balinese-y boutique hotel in the Caribbean. We'll let the children decide if that's a good thing or not.

Floor-to-ceiling telescopic glass doors in the dining area disappear into the wall for a seamless integration to a slightly cantilevered, glass-railed terrace/lounge that's partially shaded by a muscular concrete trellis but in full possession of an all but unobstructed multi-million dollar coastal view. Your Mama has no desire to live in Orange County—just a preference, hunnies, not a slam—but we imagine that terrace is a perfectly perfect spot to sit, knit and sip gin all day long.

A too-narrow stand-up snack bar divides the ocean view dining area from the sky-lit kitchen. Chatoyant, flat-fronted cabinetry crafted from the same wood as the book cases in the living room area has barely there contemporary hardware and the counter tops and back splashes are marble. As pointed out by Miz Rudner herself in the marketing video, the spacious kitchen is expensively equipped with two dishwashers, two refrigerators, two ovens, two microwaves and one warming drawer that can be just as easily warm food as other items such as "fake jewelry" and ladies' undergarments. Another wide bank of glass doors in the kitchen vanish into the walls and connect to the fully kitted out courtyard-sized backyard.*

The upper level master bedroom has yet another expanse of telescopic glass doors that, when open, merge the chamber to the backyard area. There's also a corner (gas) fireplace surmounted by a small flat-screen tee-vee and a rather unusual and—ahem—unhygienic looking wall treatment behind the wicker sleigh bed. The Travertine-slathered bathroom has a glass-enclosed shower, an elevated soaking tub, at least one sky light and a separate cubicle for the crapper. Your Mama loves us some Rita Rudner. We really do. But, children, the multiple wall covering patterns in her master bathroom—one a textured beige and brown horizontal stripe, another a rust and gold veined abstract situation at the last one some sort of shimmery scale-like number—are just, well, unspeakable.

In addition to whatever number of actual bedrooms there are on the lower level there's also an ocean view office with custom built wrap-around work stations and a petite media room where the smallish flat screen tee-vee is flush mounted into a paneled wall and girdled (on just three sides) by a distracting decorative hoo-ha. The four modern-minded reclining chairs are probably super-duper comfy-cozy but it is Your Mama's unnecessarily snarky and utterly meaningless opinion that they were—like the decorative grill thingy around the tee-vee and the SoCal blue walls that almost perfectly match the sky outside—an ill-advised choice.

Other features of the Bergman-Rudner residence worth a note include a water filtration system; a paneled passenger elevator for lifting the lazy and infirm to the upper level; radiant heated floors for warming cold tootsies on damp, foggy mornings and brisk, salt-licked evenings; and electrically controlled solar shades for filtering the harsh and hot afternoon sunshine.

Various home owner's and beach club fees including with online marketing materials add up to $12,920 annually and allow paid up residents exclusive and unfettered access to the private, beachside Monarch Bay Club and on-beach butler service provided by the ritzy St. Regis Monarch Bay Beach Resort (tips and additional fees may be required).

Miz Rudner and Mister Bergman also maintain a 4,007 square foot condo in Las Vegas (NV). Property records show they scooped up the three bedroom and 4.5 bathroom condo crib on the 30th floor of the upscale Turnberry Towers development in May 2002 for $1,621,500.

Once upon a real estate time, from the mid '90s to the early Aughts Miz Rudner and Mister Bergman owned a Balinese-kissed mock-Med mansion on Oak Pass Road in Beverly Hills (Post Office) that was later purchased, in 2007 for $4.5 million, by former pop singer/reality show star/(h)actress Ashlee Simpson who shared the hillside manse with her now ex-husband Pete Wentz. After almost 1.5 years on the market she finally sold the property in mid 2011 for $3,475,000, a gut wrenching million dollar plus loss. Mister Wentz bought to a much more modest house in the hills of Studio City last year (2012) and ex-Missus Wentz leased a house above Mulholland Drive in the Bev Hills P.O. although Your Mama does not know or—frankly—much care if the Showbiz has been still lives there.

*The compact and private backyard is tiled with the same Travertine (or whatever) as in the main living spaces and offers a heavy-duty smoked glass and concrete patio cover for shade seekers and a towering, fake rock wall looms behind a palm-filled elevated planter and a slightly less elevated spa.

listing photos and video tour: Sotheby's Hôm via Estately

Friday, March 22, 2013

Larry David Lists Pac Pal Compound

SELLER: Larry David
LOCATION: Pacific Palisades, CA
PRICE: $14,999,000
SIZE: 10,000 (or so) square feet, 7 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Looks like lefty liberal Hollywood hot shot Larry David's enthusiasms have done curbed for his sprawling, bluff top English country-style mini-compound in the quietly swank Huntington Palisades area of Pacific Palisades, CA. The gated, ocean view estate on three adjoining bluff top lots that combined total just under an acre has hit the open market with an asking price of $14,999,000.

The dry and dark humored, acerbic witted and socially awkward former failed stand up comic turned writer/producer/actor has been a Showbiz denizen since at least the early 1980s when he was hired as a staff writer on Saturday Night Live. He lasted only a single season and, so the story goes, only managed to get one skit on the air. Early entertainment industry failures aside, Mister David leaped to the top of the Tinseltown heap in the early 1990s as the co-creator, writer, producer and an occasional actor on Seinfeld, an unequivocally seminal sitcom that earned him two Emmy statuettes plus 10 more nominations. Mister David received a dozen more Emmy nominations through the 2000s for the now canceled cult favorite faux reality sitcom Curb Your Enthusiasm. Mister David latest professional endeavor is the upcoming HBO comedy movie Clear History which he co-wrote, co-produced and appears in alongside a slew of celebs who include John Hamm, Bill Hader, Eva Mendes, Amy Ryan, Kate Hudson and Michael Keaton (to name a few).

As best as Your Mama can tell from a careful perusal of property records Mister David andhis sometimes hypocritical eco-warrior/documentary producer ex-wife Laurie (Lennard) David—she was a producer for the Oscar winning An Inconvenient Truth documentary—purchased each of the three lots that comprise the star-style mini-compound in three separate transactions. The first came in November 1993 when the now former couple picked up the central parcel, where the 10,000-ish square foot main residence is situated. The second lot was snatched up in May 1996 and the third three years later in March 1999.

Current listing information shows the meandering, multi-wing main house was originally built in 1950 and currently has seven bedrooms and ten bathrooms with additional living space in the detached guest/pool house out by the heated swimming pool and spa.

Interior spaces are decidedly traditional with medium brown wood floors, rustic wood beamed ceilings and chunky support posts, diamond paned leaded glass windows, lots of custom mill work including an all wood staircase, four (or more) wood burning fireplaces and truckloads of over-stuffed upholstered sofas and chairs that all look like they belong at Grandma's Connecticut country house.

The entertaining-friendly main living areas include multiple living rooms/sitting areas and a formal dining room with half-timber walls and massive used brick fireplace. An open concept family room (with fireplace) and kitchen area with boxcar sized center island, some sort of natural slab stone counter tops, brick accents and top grade commercial style stainless steel appliances.

The second floor mater suite has more exposed wood beams on the ceiling, a sitting area with built-in bookshelves and white brick corner fireplace and a spacious private terrace with through the tree tops canyon, beach and ocean views. It appears to Your Mama that the master suite also has two very large dressing suites and bathrooms, both with half-timber detailing on the ceiling and walls. His facility has rugged wide plank wood floors, a vaulted ceiling and sitting area with flush mounted television and hers is outfitted with a free-standing soaking tub, hair and make-up vanity, and yet another fireplace.

The angled and roomy pool/guesthouse more than just a little resembles an English thatched cottage. A stone sunbathing terrace, an outdoor living room/lounge with kitchen/bar, a monolithic red brick fireplace and a vaulted ceiling with exposed beams and trusses that give the room the look of an upside down ship's hull.

We're not sure who retained ownership after the divorce but Mister and ex-Missus David also maintained multi-residence compound with swimming pool and tennis court on two parcels that total 15.9 acres near Chilmark (MA) on the waspy meets arty farty Martha's Vineyard. Property records show the larger 13.9 acre parcel was purchased in early 2000 for $3,700,000 and the adjacent two acre lot (with a 7 bedroom residence) was acquired in October 2004 for $1,300,000.

listing photos: Partners Trust

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Shoe Mogul Steve Madden Lists Townhouse

SELLER: Steve Madden
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: $8,995,000
SIZE: 6,040 square feet

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Once again our New York-centric aide de camp Hot Chocolate tipped us off that mid-priced shoe tycoon Steve Madden has put an $8,995,000 price tag on his 6,040 square foot Upper East Side Italianate townhouse located on a tree-lined block between Lexington and Third Avenues, hardly Timbuktu but perhaps a bit far east to be fashionable.

The 20-foot townhouse, one of only two left of the original row of six, was built in 1860 and converted in the late 19th century to a blacksmith's shop and residence. The mid-block building, set well back from the sidewalk stands five floors above ground plus a full basement. The townhouse was purchased, according a 2011 report in the New York Observer, in 1978 and converted a couple years later to a four unit coopertive apartment house.

As best as Your Mama can tell the shoe peddler and his missus acquired the four units in four separate transactions for a total of $8,850,000. The first purchase, a three bedroom quadruplex with two outdoor spaces, came in September 2006. This was about a year after Mister Madden was released from 2.5 year long stint in the pokey for securities fraud. Three years later the Maddens scooped up an adjoining, street-facing duplex on the third and fourth floors and just over a year after that they picked up the fourth and fifth floor duplex at the rear of the building. Finally, in late 2012, they bought the fourth unit in the building, a multi-level set up with one bedroom, 1.5 bathrooms, a large living room with fireplace, a brutally compact kitchen and a nearly 200 square foot south facing roof terrace.

Listing details describe the townhouse as currently being used as a single family home with a "unique layout." As far as Your Mama can tell from a thorough study of the floor plan included with current online marketing materials, what's "unique" about the layout of this house is that the four separate units have only been combined in the most cursory and awkward of manners and the six floors connected via a dizzying array of internal staircases.

The elevated front stoop—oh, how Your Mama keens and keels for an urban stoop—makes an elegant entry to the residence. But it all quickly fizzles like air from a pin pricked balloon just as soon as the parlor floor entry vestibule gives way to an impossibly narrow corridor and equally slender switchback main staircase that ascends to the top three floors but does not descend to the lower two floors, at least not on the floor plan.

The "unique layout" includes numerous, relatively ambiguous purpose rooms that include multiple living/dining rooms on at least three different floors including a parlor floor dining room with terrace access. The floor plan show four small kitchens, all of which may (or may not) be expensively outfitted but none of which are larger than what might reasonably expect in just about any small Manhattan apartment.

Other "unique" features include: a windowless, basement level office with private attached bathroom; six variously sized guest/family bedrooms—some of them garden shed sized—that share four hall bathrooms; a garden level master suite (with closets, a dressing hallway and a large private bathroom) through which is the only direct access to the backyard, a garden level living room space and—have mercy—the basement.

Just for shits and giggle, children, check out the necessary route to get from the basement to one of the ambiguously utilized living rooms on the fourth floor. We can't speak for anyone else but Your Mama would have to make a pit stop in one of the parlor floor sitting rooms for a breather and a gin & tonic. Anyhoo...

Although currently weighed down by a crazy-ass and all but unsolvable floor plan, the townhouse itself is not without desirability. There's that stunning stoop, of course, and the deep set back entry that might hinder light exposure a bit too much but just about makes up for it with an enhanced sense of privacy. There's also the sensible 20 foot width—many Big Apple townhouses are less than 16 feet wide—the aforementioned 350-plus square foot back yard, the almost 10 feet deep full-width terrace off the rear of the parlor floor and two of nearly 200 square foot roof terraces.

Just as Your Mama and the children all should expect of wealthy and (presumably) stylish and urbane New Yorkers with an bizarrely configured townhouse, Mister and Missus Madden hired a name brand architect, a residential specialist, to re-imagine and reconfigure the interior spaces into a much more cohesive, proper and modern single family residence of just over 6,000 square feet. And their architect(s) of choice, Gordon Kahn And Associates, did an honest to goodness bang up job with the space planning. We suspect much of any remaining original architectural details would have to be removed to accommodate the vast transformation achieved by Mister Kahn (and co.) but it would seem to Your Mama he succeeded in, if nothing else, setting up the layout for

Plans call for the convoluted system of switchback staircases and zig-zagging corridors to be replaced with an elegantly proportioned central traffic hub with elevator, powder rooms, coat closets and a semi-circular main staircase that connects all floors of the townhouse, from the basement clear on up through to the fifth floor.

The proposed new layout shows a total of four bedrooms: a penthouse floor guest bedroom with private bathroom and roof terrace; two full-width family bedrooms on the fourth floor, each with three closets and en suite facility. Plans call for the entire third floor to be given over to the master suite with fireplace, fitted walk-in closet and dressing hall and over-sized bathroom with twin sink, crapper cubby, free-standing soaking tub and separate stall shower.

The architects retained an informal living area on the garden level but repurposed the master suite into a spacious, family-friendly center island kitchen complex complete with a built-in breakfast banquette, a walk-in pantry, direct access to the garden through the casual dining area and a very smart dumbwaiter that swiftly lifts food (and etc.) from the kitchen to a butler's pantry that adjoins the parlor level formal dining room.

The new and improved floor plan calls for a finished basement level with home gym set up, bathroom and walk-in wine cellar and a sky-lit top floor solarium that spills out to a south-facing street side roof terrace.

Your Mama has not specific intel on where Mister and Missus Madden plan to decamp but if we were the wagering type—and we're not—we'd bet both our long-bodied bitches, Linda and Beverly, that the Madden family's next residence won't require such and extensive, expensive and time consuming overhaul.

listing photos and floor plan: Douglas Elliman

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Jon Bon Jovi Lists Downtown Duplex Penthouse

SELLER: Jon Bon Jovi
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: $42,000,000
SIZE: 7,452 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 5 full and 2 half bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Painstakingly preserved middle-aged rock superstar Jon Bon Jovi and his Missus, Dorothea Hurley, coughed up $24,000,000 in June 2007 for a sleek and sophisticated, suburban MacMansion-sized duplex penthouse atop a very swank cast iron building in New York City's tourist-filled SoHo neighborhood.

Thanks to the diligent research of our unofficial (but much appreciated) aide de camp Hot Chocolate we've learned that Mister and Missus Bon Jovi have hoisted the nearly 7,500 square foot spread on the open market with a significantly increased $42,000,000 price tag.

This isn't the biggest surprise. Avid real estate watchers may recall that back in the fall of 2011 rumors surfaced on Curbed and elsewhere that the post-reno penthouse was quietly being shopped off-market with a $45 million price tag.

A key lock elevator opens directly into the five bedroom penthouse's upper level main foyer off of which are coat closets and an itty-pitty powder room. Floor to ceiling windows wrap around four sides of the massive main living/dining space that includes a mirrored fireplace and access to both the the posh penthouse's expansive roof terraces that together total more than 3,100 square feet of fully landscaped exterior living space.

Besides the addition of a lot of beige, brown and—although undoubtedly excessively expensive—very boring furnishings, a quick comparison of the floor plan included with current marketing materials (above) and the one included with online listings from the time of their purchase (see here) show Mister and Missus Bon Jovi made a couple of significant alterations and reconfigurations. When they purchased the penthouse there were two master suites, one upstairs the other downstairs. The upper level master suite—the one we imagine was likely used by the previous occupant as the actual master bedroom—occupied a private wing on the upper level. That space was converted by the Bon Jovis to a media room with adjacent projection room, a puny, window-lined study and a compact guest bedroom with adjoining bathroom.

The master suite was moved to the lower level and includes small entry vestibule that promotes privacy, a 25-foot long bedroom area with a trio of over-sized street-facing windows, a double-sided fitted dressing room and a spacious (if windowless) bathroom with two sink, crapper cubby and double-headed shower. Three more guest/family bedrooms on the lower level each have private bathrooms as does the squeezy staff bedroom that's tucked up behind the laundry room.

The penthouse has two U-shaped kitchens, one off the main living space on the upper level and the other slightly smaller one off the 1,100-plus square foot so-called "Great Room" on the lower level. Both kitchens are equipped with custom cabinetry and top of the line appliances, natch, but, oddly enough, neither is much bigger than what one might safely expect to find in a mid-priced suburban tract house.

Our brief and entirely unscientific research indicates Mister and Missus Bon Jovi maintain a small but rock star style real estate portfolio that in addition to the Manhattan duplex they'd like to unload and a jaw dropping $18,000,000 profit includes (but may not be limited to) a multi-acre river-front spread in quietly ritzy Red Bank, NJ and a large house on one of the finest and most expensive lanes in East Hampton, NY, that they scooped up in August 2004 for $7,600,000.

exterior photo: Kate Leonova for Property Shark
listing photos and floor plan: Corcoran

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tuesday Floor Plan Porn: Heath Hall

WHAT: Heath Hall
LOCATION: London, U.K.
PRICE: £65,000,000
SIZE: 2509.29 square meters, 15 bedrooms, 15 full and 2 half bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Listen, chickens, Your Mama has some personal matters that require our undivided attention. However, rather than leave the children completely high and dry in the (celebrity) real estate way we thought we'd quickly drop some hardcore floor plan porn on y'all in the form of Heath Hall, an historic, newly renovated and much expanded mega-mansion on The Bishop's Avenue, one the most (in)famously recherché residential enclaves in all of ludicrously expensive London.

Heath Hall has been on the market for a while now but recently had it's monstrous £100,000,000 asking price slashed to a still tumescent £65,000,000. A few quick flicks of the well-worn beads of Your Mama's bejeweled abacus shows that's an electrifying $151,068,000, at today's rates, reduced down to still stultifying $98,194,200.

The seller, according to previous reports, is a property magnate named Andreas Panayiotou who purchased Heath Hall in 2006 and spent—so the stories go—£40,000,000 on the recent overhaul and expansion.

Current listing details show the Edwardian era three story (plus partial basement) mansion, a stately red brick pastiche of Classical, Arts & Crafts and Scottish Baronial styles, was designed and built in 1910 for sugar baron William Lyle and, after its recent expansion, measures in at 2,509.29 square meters. That's just over 27,000 square feet for all us non-metric types.

Your Mama counted at least half a dozen or more public entertaining rooms that include a regal, 700-ish square foot center stair hall with a massive oak staircase and a banquet hall sized dining room; a gargantuan "Garden Room" with a (melo)dramatic glass ceiling and a glinty dandelion-like chandelier. A pair of nearly 30-foot long drawing rooms, both with fireplaces, flank a refreshingly intimate paneled library. All three of the latter rooms spill out to 60-foot long, glassed in veranda that overlook the estate's formal gardens.

The floor plan first provided to Your Mama by a U.K.-based aide-de-camp we'll call Flower Perfectbush and included with online marketing materials shows Heath Hall has not just one but two kitchens. At the northeast corner there's a somewhat isolated commercial catering kitchen with walk in larder. That's a pantry, American butter beans. A more central, expensively outfitted center island family kitchen has a direct view into the adjacent family room but a strangely circuitous route to the formal dining room. It seems a bit odd to Your Mama that there's not a butler's pantry or service kitchen between the kitchen and dining room. Unless there's a weird and ill-advised pass through we don't know about, plated food must be carried from the kitchen through a vestibule off the main reception hall in order to be served in the dining room.

Even though listing details say there are 14 bedrooms and 15 bathrooms Your Mama (repeatedly) counted a total of 15 bedrooms and 15 full or three-quarter bathrooms and two powder poopers on the main floor.

At least four of the bedrooms are located in a separate wing above the catering kitchen and laundry room making them suitable for habitation by live-in domestic staff. In addition to the five guest/family bedrooms and the master bedroom on the second floor there are three large if awkwardly shaped en suite bedrooms on the third floor plus two more smaller bedrooms that share a hall bathroom.

The second floor master suite is a roomy if surprisingly simple affair comprised of a 500-square foot bedroom/sitting area, an itty-bitty stud-nook, a pair of custom-fitted windowed dressing rooms and a single, spacious bathroom sheathed almost entirely in Milas Lilac marble. The high contrast marble in the master bathroom was certainly a bold choice and we imagine many of the children will poo-poo its use as conspicuous and vulgar. And it is, hunties. It is. Even still, Your Mama thinks it's insane. Rachel Zoe might say, "It's mayj!" The free-standing soaking tub carved from a huge hunk of the same marble is just icing on the crazy cake in that glorious high luxury meets high camp style to which Your Mama is inexplicably and somewhat embarrassingly drawn. We don't want that bathroom for our bathroom but we're sorta glad it exists in all its unapologetic über-splendor. Anyhoodles poodles...

Additional creature comforts at Heath Hall include: a cloak room/powder pooper larger than most people's bedrooms; a basement level wine cellar; a discreet and fully equipped panic room (not shown on the floor plan, natch) with toilet and separate telephone wires that can not be cut; a surprisingly compact but state-of-the-art home cinema lined with cream colored suede; an indoor swimming pool complex complete with spa and multi-colored fiber optic lighting situation that kinda gives Your Mama the decorative willies. The indoor fitness area also includes an adjoining gymnasium, steam room and dry sauna and two shower/changing rooms.

Every square foot of the walled, gated and high maintenance 2.5 acre estate is landscaped to include a motor court with central water feature at the front of the house and a rear motor court for easy access to the five car detached garage. There are formal gardens, a serpentine pathway winds in and out through the sylvan edges of the estate, a hard surface tennis court and a rectangular swimming pool overlooked by a slightly elevated glassed-in gazebo.

listing photos and floor plan: Knight Frank

Monday, March 18, 2013

Pam Anderson's Malibu Modern Up for Grabs

SELLER: Pam Anderson
PRICE: $7,750,000
SIZE: 2,752 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Your Mama certainly ain't tellin' anybody a damn thing about former Baywatch babe Pam Anderson's money woes, unpaid tax issues and sundry real estate meshugganuh, all of which has been covered at length and ad infinitum by others in the tabloid and celebrity real estate gossip media.

To quickly recap: In the last days of 2000 Miz Anderson coughed up $1,800,000 for a land-side fixer upper in the guard-gated and star-studded Colony enclave in Malibu (CA). She spent years and God only knows how many millions on eco-minded overhaul and re-imagining of the original 1959 cottage led by architect Philip Vertoch of Vertoch Design Architects and designer Josh Chrisant of Chryssanthou.

In November 2011, reportedly strapped for cash, Miz Anderson's newly overhauled contemporary crib in the guard-gated and star-studded Colony enclave in Malibu (CA) unexpectedly popped up for rent on VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner) at twenty grand a week or $75,000 a month with a dozen or so over-processed photographs.  The property was up for least again over the summer of 2012 at a much more reasonable but still pocketbook punishingly high $50,000 per month. We don't know if anyone actually leased the house but we're sure one or two of the children could probably enlighten Your Mama about that if they'd so choose.

When the middle-aged bombshell finally decided to sell her financial albatross in the Colony a month or so ago—that would be February 2013—she pushed it on the open market with a $7,750,000 price tag with but a few—ahem—artfully staged listing photographs. One showed a Golden Retriever lounging on a sun bed, another of a pair of over-sized pillows arranged just so on the roof deck and a third an inane tableau of perfume bottles and pink roses.

However, hunties, it appears that Miz Anderson's extraordinarily successful real estate agent has recently added a whole lotta much more customary photographs to the online listings for the teak-sided contemporary that has three bedrooms and three bathrooms in 2,752 square feet of modern splendor.

An intimate, gated courtyard planted with lavender bushes and olive trees leads to an extra wide pivoting glass door that, for all intents and purposes, opens directly into kitchen. The open concept lower floor, bisected by a muscular wood and steel floating staircase, has a media lounge area with wall-mounted flat-screen tee-vee and built-in surround sound system, a living room lounge with book shelf flanked fireplace and a galley style kitchen expensively equipped with slab stone counter tops, custom cabinetry and the sorts of high grade and extravagantly pricey commercial grade appliances that Make Your Mama swoon. Did y'all see the glass-fronted Sub-Zero? Refrigeration heaven as far as we're concerned. A wall of floor to ceiling glass windows disappear into the walls when opened and seamlessly join the compact interior spaces to the outdoor living spaces.

Up the floating staircase two family/guest bedrooms share a bathroom. The master suite with floor to ceiling wardrobe closets hidden behind matchbook pattern wood doors, a corner fireplace and an open-plan bathroom that Your Mama hates because, seriously, who wants to wake up looking at the sink/vanity and the goddamn bath tub, even if it is a stunningly sculptural, $14,000 Agape Spoon Bathtub? Anyhoo, like in the living area downstairs, a wall of windows slide back into the wall and exposes the room to the elements. The bedroom spills out to a large deck and second, exterior floating staircase that climbs up to a roomy roof deck. Now, naturally we love the roof terrace with its all around mountain and ocean views but it's a little inconvenient for the rood deck access to be through the master bedroom.

A couple more quirky details Your Mama thinks the children ought to take note of include: the flush mounted television in the sauna; the full-sized tepee set on a concrete plinth at the far end of the pool; the glimmering, disco-ball-like mirrored tiles on the wall in that aforementioned master bathroom; the direct view of Jerry Perenchio's private golf course from the upper level decks off the master bedroom; the rather interesting collection of artworks and coffee table books; and, finally, for the love of Pete,the ebony baby grand piano that someone for some inexplicable reason put on the covered porch off the main living space where the salt air can quickly corrode everything there is to corrode on a grand piano.

To be honest, children, we're not sure if Miz Anderson has been living up in this house in the Colony or not. The last we heard of her—which was ages ago, really—she was shacked up in a fancy trailer home in the Paradise Cove Mobile Home Park but we really don't know if she's still living there or no. Bueller? Anyone? Bueller?

listing photos: Coldwell Banker