Saturday, April 12, 2014

UPDATE: Fleur de Lys

Hold on to your real estate horses, children. Property records have cleared and despite all the flabbergast and publicity over that last week or so about how wealthy divorcée Suzanne Saperstein sold her proudly palatial Los Angeles estate known 'round the globe as Fleur de Lys to a French billionaire—or maybe junk bond king Michael Milken—for an astonishing $102 million in an all cash transaction, the amount actually recorded on the 28th of March, 2014, with the Los Angeles County Tax Man is curiously and considerably less at $88.3 million.

Perhaps and probably the buyer—who almost immediately upon closing put the property up for long term lease at $400,000 per month—shelled out another $13.7 million for furnishings and other personal items that fall outside the legal definition* of real estate that ballooned the deal to the much reported $102 million. 

*According to the California Bureau of Real Estate, real estate—otherwise known as "real property"—includes, "Land and anything growing on, attached to, or erected on it, excluding anything that may be severed without injury to the land."

aerial photo: Pacific Coast News

76 comments:

West Bourne said...

I'm not a tax adviser, just someone with access to the internet, but my guess is the taxman, Momma. If she sold the house furnished, her tax attorney probably advised an amount that the IRS would accept to qualify for capital gains tax rates, and that was the recorded sale price.

Anonymous said...

This makes no sense. Why pay between $88 million and $102 million for a house and then immediately put it up for lease? I thought there was supposedly a bidding war between two or three billionaires that wanted this house so bad. If you want a house bad enough to outbid everyone and pay a record breaking price then why immediately put it up for lease???

Anonymous said...

I agree with West Bourne.

The missing 17 million probably covers the furniture and other movable assets we don't know about, so it's not part of the actual house.

Suzanne sent most of the antique furniture we saw in the original photos to auction at Sothebys a few years ago. Only about half sold and she made $8 MM from that sale.

Anonymous said...

This means that Casa Encantada is still the most expensive sold house in Los Angeles, correct?

Anonymous said...

Your Mama,

Would you be kind to do a survey of the huge mansions in construction currently arround Los Angeles? Just one of those great, big posts you used to do that give us an overview of the situation?

I would love to read it.

With all the demolitions, from Beverly Park to Delfern Drive, and the remodels around Bel Air and Holmby Hills, it is intriguing!

Anonymous said...

P. S. They don't have to be huge, I'd love to read about every single celebrity house currently being erected, there seems to be so many of them around.

Anonymous said...

Where are the Rybolovlevs when you need em?

Anonymous said...

They're probably demolishing Maison de l'Amitie.

I wonder if they filed for it.

Someone who knows how to search through Palm Beach planning department should let us know.

Sandpiper said...

Mama, it's interesting that you talk about the new owner rolling in some of the mansion's contents. Last week I was wandering aimlessly through her big upcoming Sotheby's auction in Paris on April 29th. Most is Louis XIV through XVI with a spattering of Napoleon. Lots of rugs, tables, mirrors, chandeliers, enough firescreens to fill Windsor Castle, some upholstered pieces (even the dining room table and chairs). The majority is ball parked at $10,000 to $150,000-plus-plus on 339 lots. Whew. Based on what I glanced, the new buyer's purchases must have been substantial because the upcoming items are (in her world) nonessentials.

I wonder how long the property sale has been firm because of the lead time needed to publicize the Paris event. Yes, I'm crazy with theory. (And who really cares how long this deal has been in the works. Talk about meaningless dribble.)

The auction -- along with everything else -- is a rather healthy ROI for Suzy on a 20-ish year marriage. Meow.

Anonymous said...

I had said in a prior post re sapperstein that I am sure she rented it for functions (Mama told us)..so its very interesting that the new buyer is also renting it (if on a more long term basis). Could the buyer need to "park" some money in the US?? All very interesting..

Anonymous said...

Somebody has some splainin to do

I'm sure the renting it out has to do with accounting and taxes. As long as it's not rented the new owner can submit all the considerable costs of maintenance and staffing as write offs or losses or some such thing.

Anonymous said...

Does anybody have any idea on why the Saperstein couple never purchased that tiny little house that bears the address 380 North Carolwood Drive?

Anonymous said...

The whole place would have made much more sense if thei bought that lot at 380, I agree.
There's a huge garage underneath it but I've never understood that tennis court that was carved out of that hill the driveway runs through. It looks squished.

Oh, and is anyone else less than enthused about the new google maps update west of Beverly Hills?
It looks like an instagram filter

Anonymous said...

7:59 AM, 380 N Carolwood Dr is a 1.38 acre property that has a 6,364 square foot house with 8 bedrooms and 7 baths on it. I can't say for sure why the Sapersteins didn't buy it, but it can only be for one of two possible reasons: either they didn't want/need it, or the owner wouldn't sell it.

Anonymous said...

West of Beverly Hills?

Can you give a specific point?

It's been a while since they've updated the part north of Mulholland Drive, it crosses Beverly Park right around Mark Wahlberg's house and Norman Zada's and those sheikh homes.

I don't hate the colours.

It would be great if the colours would be more like those of Morumbi and Jardim Europa and Jardim América in São Paulo.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Google, what is that thing on the lawn in the 45-degree image?

Alan crew said...

Well,the missing 17 million probably covers the antique furniture and other movable assets we don't know about, so it's not part of the actual house.

Anonymous said...

Suzanne sold $8M worth of antiques at auction in 2012. I'm not aware of it but Sandpiper says she's having another auction in Paris. Did she have $14 million in furnishing left after the 2012 auction?

After the antiques for auction were removed the house was staged with more contemporary furnishings probably with a mix of some of her things. So most of the furnishings in Fleur at the time it sold were RENTED and not owned by Suzanne so could not have been part of the sale price. Maybe the $13.7 million was for a property exchange?

Anonymous said...

It is amazing that she had so much money in the last decade to pay the maintenance, security, and taxes, and to live in another huge house encircled by a ranch and was able to pay for it too.

Anonymous said...

@10:23
Look at Benedict Canyon, you can see a clear line of where the two maps line up.

What lawn thing?
The folly out back?

Anonymous said...

Some black cylindrical objects near the pool.

Anonymous said...

LOL, so the "record breaking" house wasn't really a record breaking house after all.

Alleged furniture purchase doesn't count. For all we know the $102 was jus false information.

So it's not the most expensive house ever sold in LA.

Funny.

Anonymous said...

All wealthy people have sophisticated advisors and often the recorded price isn't the real price, especially if you're buying a furnished house. While 13 mil sounds like a lot for personal property....it's only 12 or 13 percent of the price and for a house of this stature that's not a lot. I'm sure Suzanne Saperstein held out for a reason.

Anonymous said...

Benedict Canyon image looks the same to me.

Perhaps they haven't updated it yet for everyone.

North of Mulholland towards Sherman Oaks the images are noticeably brighter.

Anonymous said...

You are right, 9:56 AM, and thank you, 9:52 AM, for agreeing with me.

Anonymous said...

Well, she had a bunch of statue things outside, like those huge guys right inside the front gates, so maybe those are what the new owner bought?
Chandeliers? Rugs? Fireplace mantels?
The world may never know..

Anonymous said...

The Delfern Drive estate is still in escrow... RedFin says "Last updated: 2 months ago". How much more time can it be in escrow?

No news on Owlwood either.

Who bought the Barry Bonds house?

Anonymous said...

As for the map thing, just east of Geffens house on Angelo is where it gets wonky. But the west of there is all newly updated.
Nic Cages old Bel Air house...good lord
They put the driveway in the backyard and they put the backyard where the old driveway was.
And the beast on Bellagio at Stone Canyon has grass in the yard now too.

Anonymous said...

I can see it too now!

The Château des Fleurs does indeed look a little more finished than it was in the previous image.

Jennifer Aniston's house is done, it appears from the imagery.

The Knoll, as it used to be in the previous batch of satellite photos, as well as Marciano's place in Beverly Hills and Muhamed Hadid's Le Palais.

Anonymous said...

Actually, they updated part of Beverly Hills around Angelo Drive, Holmby Hills and Bel Air.

That's why Beverly looks different.

That is older imagery.

Anonymous said...

605
That's what I've been saying.

601
The knoll was updated a while back, with the whole area, but after the mulholland update which updated like the whole valley.
It's just weird that it would be updated again so soon

Anonymous said...

I'd have to check the date of the imagery for The Knoll, but I think it's older, i. e. that old one, than this new part of Beverly Hills, Holmby Hills, Bel Air imagery.

Anonymous said...

Jen Anistons house bugs me.
Wtf is up with the yard? I think the pool should line up with the house and I really hope those aren't red bricks around the pool...

Anonymous said...

Does anybody here have any idea what is that little pathway leading to the hilltop above Bel-Air Hotel?

I've always wondered if it belongs to that Mediterranean house about which I have no idea whether its gates are on Lausanne Rd or Sarbonne Rd.

Anonymous said...

@622
Yes. Along Benedict Canyon near Geffens house is where the maps are noticeably different.
There are three streets in particular, Angelo, Ambassador, and Tropical
You can see one of the houses on Ambassador Ave is made up of two map exposures, the brighter older BH one and the newer Bel Air/Holmby/Malibu one.

Anonymous said...

It's wood.

She also has a coop, for hens and cocks.

Brad Gray's house also has a misaligned pool.

I'm often surprised to see how quickly they finish the landscaping.

How did those trees around Gisele's house grow so big?!

They buy them from hothouses and nurseries?

Anonymous said...

*Grey.

Anonymous said...

@625
An old bridle path?
I'm looking at an old pic of the Bel Air hotel when it was still just Alphonso Bells stable and there are paths running all through the hills behind it.
That road or path looks really well maintained, so maybe it's part of the hotel.

Anonymous said...

I have no idea, it seems steep and curvy and there is something at the end of it.

It appears as if there is a small lake or something like that around.

For those who want a HD video overview of Fleur de Lys and other estates around LA, some of which are on sale, Christophe Choo, Steve Gatena and Andy McNeil's video made in partnership with Helinet Aviation never gets old:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJgNQ82RhXM

Anonymous said...

It seems that Sandy Gallin finished the landscaping around Jimmy Iovine's house.

Anonymous said...

They tore down the Bugsy Siegel house at 250 Delfern!
Not nice

Anonymous said...

Jonathan Brooks did.

It was reported.

Bryan Lourd is still renovating.

Berry Gordy redid the roof.

Mohamed Hadid's new project is advancing quite well.

Anonymous said...

I think the winner is Tom Gores, on whose Angelo Drive property there are two basketball fields and one soccer field.

What is that?

Anonymous said...

That, 7:15am, is the perfect place to sunbathe and get stoned.
But I agree, how much basketball can one play?

Anonymous said...

I'm sure that the total all-inclusive sale was around the $102 million figure. I know Saperstein did hold an auction of the homes contents, however I believe only about half sold. So the remaining difference betweeen the closing price and reported price would almost certainly represent that. There are also other things that could've been included in that $14 mil or so difference. If I recall there was a decent amount of statuary and the like, this would be something that would also need to be included in a seperate transaction. Not to mention any amount of equipment related to property maintainance. Many of the chandeliers and other lighting fixtures, may not have been included "fixtures" in the typical real estate manner, meaning that they would not be including in the closing price. For a number of reasons, including but not limited to, insurance, taxes, future attempts to borrow against the property, etc.

As to the 380 N Carolwood property, while it's possible the owner refused to sell, I'd imagine the timing of the sappersteins divorce also came into play. I'm sure they'd have been willing to pay above market rate for the property. But if I remember correctly their divorce was already imminent as the house neared completetion. I'd imagine they very well may have been in talks to, or considering, purchasing that property initially. But when the divorce writing was on the wall that no longer became an option. Fleur de Lys probably represented a very, very sizable portion of Ms. Sapersteins divorce settlement, hence why she was willing to sit on the property and wait for the price she wanted for so long. Simply put, she needed to get the most money possible, regardless of time. And as for how she paid the expenses, I'm sure she got plenty of other cash in the divorce. Figure she got $100-200 mil cash in addition to the house (which frankly could be a pretty conservative estimate), the interest alone on that could cover her lifestyle expenses. Not to mention she rented the house out for events, commercials, film and photo shoots, etc.

And @7:03, you're assumption was right on the money. The person buying this property, if a foreigner, was most certainly doing so to park money in the US. Investing in American real estate is considered around the world the safest place to park your money if you come from a country with economic or political instability, or where there isn't much in the way of insurance on bank deposits, investments, or property rights. People from China, Brazil, Egypt, Russia, etc. have been flocking to the US in recent years to park money in American real estate simply as a safety net, much of the time never even intending to occupy the property. There has also been a huge influx of Europeans doing this but for different reasons, mainly due to favorable exchange rates and to hedge against rising taxes and inflation at home.

Anonymous said...

Ha-ha, 07:30 a. m.! Good one. :D

The place doesn't even have the gates, but sure does have all the warnings about no trespassing and video surveillance.

It's funny how Bel Air is filled with ACS armed-response plates, yet in all these photos and videos, like the one above, no one ever sees those gunmen walking about.

There should be plenty of those around Beverly Park.

An army.

Candy Spelling said...

Children, I have tried to remain calm and keep my mouth shut for years, but I can do so no longer. The treatment I have been receiving at the hands of Suzanne Saperstein is simply outrageous and infamous. Ever since her unfortunately questionable French replica house was completed, she has been unbelievably jealous of me, my good fortune in life, and most of all – The Manor. Her jealousy of The Manor’s superior quality, larger size, and incomparable grace and elegance to the Los Angeles lifestyle is abominable. The woman is clearly deranged and has even resorted to planting false and defamatory stories in the media about me and my beautiful (former) home. She has now even bribed her minions to take false reports of “$102 million” to the press, in an effort to outshine me, once again.

I had hoped that Suzanne was in a better place now than the last time I saw her, when she showed up uninvited at one of my delightful Malibu soirées and displayed questionable behavior. It is sad yet predictable that she would use her own banal home to falsely attempt to shame me and The Manor. As always, it is in my heart to forgive and I will keep her in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

Whoa, Jennifer Aniston sure made a forrest appear in a blink of an eye where the vineyard was!

How do they do it...

Where do they buy those trees and how much do they cost?

LA Ad Guy said...

wow, the updated Google views are great, along with Jen's update you can see the new Michael Bay uber-contemporary on Bel-Air is almost finished. And along with the Knoll update you can see the finished Katzenberg above Greystone on the old Ramo lot. And a few other notables, I see that the down-and-out Neutra next door to Madonna's recently sold Sunset abode is under going a major rehab and looks like they keeping the Neutra bones thankfully. However very sad to see that the awesome Lew Wasserman estate on Foothill (and the house in front) have both been torn down, I thought I heard that his grandson was going to rehab it, guess not, it's a huge lot so I'm sure something major will be built. Lots of fun new stuff to explore...

Anonymous said...

Suzanne Saperstein has to live somewhere, and she appears to have now sold all of her pre-divorce properties. Perhaps she has new digs that cost her $13.7 Million, bought by rolling over the purchase price from a portion of the $102 Million in a Section 1031 exchange, thereby avoiding a bit of the tax bite from this record sale? Speculation.

Rosco Mare said...

@ LA Ad Guy:

The demolished house at 915 Foothill near Wasserman's was Frank Sinatra's last home, with Barbara.

LA Ad Guy said...

Thanks Rosco! So what the scoop on the Wasserman house, did I just imagine that the grandson was maybe going to save it? Does he own the properties and going to build for himself?

Anonymous said...

Candy, you and Suzanne are in similar position architecturally: your house too would have been much better have you bought the lots north and south of The Manor.

Anonymous said...

Google's image is from 11th December 2013.

Anonymous said...

It seems as if there are some markings in the possible shape of the new house on that lot at 250 Delfern Drive.

Sandpiper said...

I was wrong about an upcoming auction. I was looking at the wrong date on Sotheby's site and mistook the 2012 auction for another upcoming one. Just wanted to put that on the record so nobody thinks I'm even screwier than I already am :)

Anonymous said...

This is how the estate looks when hosting an event:

http://www.extratv.com/category/mansions-and-millionaires/

Open the image to see it bigger.

The pool is full of people.

It looks so different than in usual photos.

Anonymous said...

Whoa. The contemporary furniture doesn't look too bad in the house. Very different and still not my taste.

Candy, your "manor" is a McMansion on steroids. It exemplifies the worst of American architectural tradition. It's even worse than the worst mock-French tract house in Dallas. Suzanne Saperstein, to her credit, actually built a very faithful replica of an actual French neoclassical palace. And I say this as someone who still doesn't like FdL.

Anonymous said...

08:50, what is it particularly that you hate about The Manor?

Anonymous said...

1:11 Candy was kevetching on HGTV about being "taken" by the price she paid for that awful granite in the Manor. She actually schlept to south central to pick out the granite for the Century place and save $$ no doubt. Do you really think she would shell out a single buck to buy the lots on each side?? HECK NO

Anonymous said...

The estate is poorly sited. The lot is too small for the structure. It was crimped like an accordion to fit. It would have been more attractive with the three middle sections at a straight angle of 180*, and the two outer wings set at right angles of 90* (a basic H shape). Beyond that, the interior is nothing more than a tribute to the Drywall Gods.

Anonymous said...

Haha, 11:59!

I should know.

It says so much about her.

01:27 PM, it is shaped the way it is because it is supposed to look like a bird, which was its first name, L'Oiseau.

Anonymous said...

It's nicely sited in that the backyard-looking facade has the sun in the morning and the front facade has sun in the afternoon.

I don't understand your H-shape.

Two H's one by another with half T's at the ends?

Anonymous said...

1:51 to 1:27 -
They could have called it anything, bird or otherwise. It still doesn't have anything to do with reality of designing it as an accordion (or bird) to squeeze it onto the lot. That's just my opinion. I mean no disrespect to your feelings.

1:59 -
Maybe I was't very clear. I was basically suggesting that the end wings on either side could have been turned 90 degrees to create an H-shape, which makes a narrower footprint and is still wildly ginormous. Here's a vague example of H-shape. (Please see Hearst Mansion, No. 5, on this link).

http://www.aswglobalist.com/journey/greed-is-good-the-worlds-mega-mansions/

LA Ad Guy said...

6:50 and 8:50, the new "contemporary" furnishings shown in the video (thanks 6:50) are all that over-sized crap now sold by Restoration Hardware, nothing high-end about it but probably practical since it was being used as a rental party pad. I doubt the new owners paid the extra $13 mill for that crap.

Anonymous said...

To LA Ad Guy:

I'm aware that the new furniture probably isn't any truly special, unlike the earlier French antiques, but it did a nice job illustrating that contemporary furniture could actually work quite well within the traditional high French interiors of FdL.

To 10:12:

The problem with Candy Spelling's Manor is that it's a warehouse barely dressed up in a mock French style. The interior photos were just as bad, with an enormous two story entry foyer and bridal staircase that looked as if it was designed by the builder of tract McMansions in Dallas.

The problem with the builders of some of these mega homes is that once you get above a certain square footage, you really need to start using different proportions and architectural treatments. Too many American builders take a style that can work for a 5-10K square foot house and blow it up into a 20-50K square foot house when the style just doesn't work on that scale. On the East Coast this is especially problematic when a builder borrows the style of traditional 18th century colonial houses (which were 5K max) and balloons it out into 20, 30 or even 40K square feet, when they should have instead modeled the house after equivalent sized English or Irish Georgian houses.

Saperstein's FdL works because it used a faithful application of actual French neoclassical palaces, as it was being built on that scale. The proportions of the exterior and even the interiors are excellent (except possibly the ballroom). The exterior facades are harmonious and graceful and all the components of the house are harmonized into a single unified whole. It's the proportions that defines the success of FdL and the large spaces are broken up with careful application of neoclassical treatment and window spacings. The treatment of the interior rooms are also historically correct, they could easily be in an actual French palace, down to the panelings, gilding and room sizes. So it works, even if I still don't want to live there (I'd rather have Venus William's old house).

Spelling's Manor, on the other hand, looks like someone built a 5,000 sqft tract house and pumped it up like a balloon. It's awkward, the room sizes are awkward, the spatial layout is awkward.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't the person who designed The Manor the same modernist architect ho designed one of the LAX buildings, James Langenheim?

Anonymous said...

It was confusing when you mentioned three middle sections at 180°.

The two wings of the W-shape are at 90°, the angle between the part looking toward the rose garden above the garages and the part looking toward the circular driveway with the fountain.

But that's not what you meant.

Anonymous said...

Huh? I'm not of anything 1:20 meant. 180s and 90s aren't rocket science.

Anonymous said...

I'm NOT sure.....

Anonymous said...

Can we get a breakdown of everyone's Top 5 residences in LA? Here are mine in no particular order - Tito's in Palisades, Winnick's Casa Encantada, Geffen's on Angelo, the Manor, and lastly Eric Smidt's the Knoll on Schuyler would have to make the cut. Plenty more, but these come to mind when I think of my Top 5. Not a huge fan of Jeff Green's Lania Lane monstrosity ... landscaping goes a long way and he looks like he's in the middle of a desert. I drove up to Tito's the other day. Holy crap is all I can say. Never thought much of it until I did some research on it recently.

Sam said...

Where can I find these pictures/videos of the interior with the new contemporary furnishings?

Sam said...

I just watched the video in 6:50's link. The contemporary replacement furnishing job is a huge disappointment. You can tell exactly what items Ms Saperstein sold by looking at old photos of the house vs new. They replaced ONLY what they had to with cheap(er) furniture that doesn't even match the French style. It looks like temporary furniture to me. I hope the new owner does a complete remodel because this house needs to be all the way French or all the way contemporary, not stuck halfway in between like it is now.

Anonymous said...

In the video I still see some of the fine old things, for example in the bedroom ... it's obvious French furniture worth gobs. I'd bet everything's out now. It would make no sense to rent this to anyone with $20,000 foot stools, let alone all else that's Louie. The good stuff's long gone.

Sam said...

6:42 I hope you're right and I also hope new interior photos are released soon that show the hopefully remodeled/updated rooms.

Anonymous said...

Floor plans please!