Friday, February 14, 2014

Your Mama Also Hears...

...In July 2012 impeccably well-connected Platinum Triangle real estate insider Lenny Lemmetellya snitched to Your Mama that Dawn Arnall, the widow of subprime mortgage billionaire Roland Arnall, quietly made her sprawling Holmby Hills estate known as Owlwood available for $150 million to super-rich buyers who knew the right real estate brokers to call.

The following June (2013) the property showed up as an off-market listing on The Agency's website with an undisclosed price tag that several of Your Mama's well-placed informants whispered was (still) $150 million.

Twice this week Your Mama was told by the Tinseltown pedigreed estate was about to be sold but for much less than the alleged but much tittered about $150 million. One of our informants told us he heard the the deal was going down for $75 million and another told us he'd heard word it was $85 million.

So what does 75 or 85 million clams buy? According to the slim information included with online marketing materials the triple-gated and fully landscaped 10+ acre estate has a newly-built guard house equipped to monitor the entire property, a 12,000-ish square foot Italian Renaissance villa, and a recreation complex with a sunken tennis court, swimming pool and spacious poolside guest house. Several more detached structures include a bank of garages, a greenhouse and a second guest house.

The main house designed by Robert Farquhar and built in 1936 for Florence Quinn, the ex-wife of department store magnate and real estate mogul Arthur Letts, Jr. Subsequent owners include 20th Century Fox founder Joseph Shenk, oil man William Keck, actor Tony Curtis and, briefly in the mid 1970s, Sonny and Cher. Later it was owned by a carpet tycoon and then a flamboyant (and some say shady) Syrian businessman who sold the whole shebang to the Arnalls .*

As has been the case for the last couple of years when a mega-estate goes on the market or goes into escrow there's some scuttblebutt making its way down the property gossip grapevine that British Formula One racing heiress Tamara Ecclestone might be the buyer. And maybe she is but this property gossip wouldn't bet the farm on it. Your Mama's first thought was that maybe it's billionaire real estate baller Tom Gores who recently and unexpectedly floated his unfinished estate in Bel Air on the market with a $50 million price tag while Peter Propertyseller plus a second anonymous informant told us that they'd heard (but can't confirm) the buyer might be Richard Weintraub, a Malibu-based real estate tycoon with a well-known thing for high maintenance trophy estates.

Of course, Owlwood being thisclose to be being sold is all just some delicious real estate rumor and gossip at this point, And, even if it is true, we don't (yet) have a positive I.D. on the deep pocketed buyer who could very well be a rich Russian oligarch, a wealthy Chinese businessman, a Middle Easter potentate, a moneyed African with ties to a despotic regime, or an American hedge fund fat cat with more money than the damn Pope. Or it could be that this is all just a lot of hot property air and that nothing will come of the juicy rumors about Owlwood's pending sale. We'll just have to put on our patience caps and wait and see, right?

*The existing estate comprises what was once three separate estate properties. incorporates a property that once had a large and long ago razed mansion owned by Rudy Vallée, Jane Mansfield and Mickey Hargitay—who famously painted the house pink, and Engelbert Humperdinck. Aerial imagery includes with digital marketing materials indicates that there's a black-topped parking lot where the Valée/Mansfield/Humperdinck mansion once stood.

aerial photo: The Agency

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Couldn't the buyer be some hard-working American, who's pulled themselves up by their bootstraps.

AHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHA.. (sigh) no.

texas home loan said...

This is so much... I'll be a guest here sometimes.. :)

Sandpiper said...

Scrumptious property (IMHO from a far less grand ivory tower). The painful comp issue for establishing the value of unique properties is such a b*#ch, but that's life. Been there. Done that. Burn.

By Mama's image, this estate must involve valet service for grand-scale entertaining. I'm sure it's a well oiled machine for all things grand and proper.

Not a major tour, but here's a little on-the-ground glimpse of the exteriors and a teense inside.

The Weintraub candidate's Malibu property is structurally similar to recently posted David and Yoo-landa Foster's pile -- if that matters. It's a honker. As for Mama's other possible candidates, I humbly defer. It's all good clean fun.

Anonymous said...

Suzie Su, the owner of Encantada, and Gabriel Brenner should take note of the sale price.

Anonymous said...

'Structurally similar' - how?

Anonymous said...

It seems that these big sales should go to either Sally Forster Jones or Joyce Essex Harvey, but, then again, if this was sold by The Agency, perhaps there is hope for them and their big listings.

Anonymous said...

Hilton & Hyland just listed that mansion above Beny Alagem's estate, at 475 Bel Air Road, for $43,000,000.

Mr DHH said...

Owlwood is and was a fine home.There was absolutely no need to bulldoze
down the other homes just for parking and grounds.You are on the
country club grounds.Atleast the old Hilton house on Bellagio the grounds
configure with the house.This one
from a birds eye view is set so far
back and "double gated".Please, why did you not go to county of Los Angeles and make south Carolwood drive private.The stadium parking
right of Sunset and south Carolwood (formerly a home known as the Pink House) is too much.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully not stranger than strange Weintraub whose colossal faux monstrosity in Malibu keeps wanting a buyer. He will ruin the beauty of Farquhar's lovely pile and tart the entire property.

Anonymous said...

MAMA Whats going on with Barry Bonds Gross looking tear down in Beverly Park. I heard its in escrow. We need another write up on Beverly PARK MAMA

Anonymous said...

Redfin isn't showing that it is in escrow:

http://www.redfin.com/CA/Beverly-Hills/44-Beverly-Park-Cir-90210/home/6834078

Anonymous said...

Owlwood is a singularly beautiful home with magnificent craftsmanship deserving of restoration. And speaking of pink houses, prior to her first visit, the Rabbi warned her very own mama that the newly purchased San Francisco pied a terre was pink. Upon first glance Mama exclaimed, "It's not pink, it's orange!" The Rabbi clarified the color was actually terra cotta, to which Mama immediately acknowledged, "Flower pot orange!"

Rabbi Hedda LaCasa

Anonymous said...

redfin doesn't know sheeeat!!!

Rick Wrinklebottom said...

It's such a sin that the owners were allowed to tear down Mansfield's "Pink Palace", it was such an iconic landmark; LA (& Bev Hills) really needs to get serious about landmarking and protecting its historic homes before they're all torn down and replaced by tacky monstrosities...

Anonymous said...

Barry Bonds' house is still on The Agency's website:

http://www.theagencyre.com/for-sale/beverly-park-estate/

Anonymous said...

Wasn't owl wood the old Kenny Rogers' place? And didn't Sonny & Cher live at carol wood? Or do I have that wrong? Something really does need to be done about these mansions, once owned by Hollywood royalty or else Tinseltown should change its name to: Behind the Sceens Blockbuster-ville.

Anonymous said...

Carolwood = Rod Stewart