Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Your Mama Hears...

...from a trusted and well-informed real estate tattletale we'll call Polly Hazasecret that Hollywood royal Steven Spielberg just might have a billionaire new neighbor in East Hampton for the 2014 summer season: David Geffen.

So this property gossip was told, the L.A.-based multi-billionaire has been on a semi-rabid hunt for house in the Hamptons for quite some time. He (allegedly) considered a simple, 20-some million dollar shackety-shack on a couple of non-oceanfront acres over near Martha Stewart's high-maintenance spread on Lily Pond Lane but—so the scuttlebutt goes—opted instead to shell out the big bucks for Cody House, a five-plus acre estate on a swanky, hedge-lined lane in East Hampton estate owned by education oriented philanthropist Courtney Sale Ross.

Miz Ross—she was married to the late Time Warner head honcho Steven J. Ross when he died in 1992—officially listed the compound like estate last April (2013) with a tongue wagging $75 million price tag. The price eventually dropped to $67,500,000 and Your Mama heard from both Polly and a handsome Hamptonion with whom we're—ahem—acquainted that that agreed upon purchase price is in the low fifty millions but, children, y'all know we're not one to gossip so you did not hear that figure from Your Mama.

Current listing details show the multi-residence compound-like estate comprises four parcels that total 5.96 acres with 481 feet of frontage on drop dead gorgeous Georgica Pond.** The sprawly, multi-winged main house sits down a long, tree-lined driveway right up on the water's edge. A person could fish out the dining room window should they be so inclined but, really, who would ever be so gauche as to even think of that?. The meticulously maintained (if somewhat wonky) two-story, cedar-shingled rambler measures in at about 7,500 square feet, according to listing details, with seven bedrooms and six bathrooms. A separate, cedar shingled guest house offers three more bedrooms and presumably there are simple sleeping accommodations in an itty-bitty and gosh-darn charming pond-side cottage. Quite frankly and not that anybody gives a lick, but Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter would be perfectly happy with just that tiny waterside cottage as a weekend summer residence. We don't have any need for ten bedrooms that might encourage hordes of beloved but needy-as-shit house guests. Then again, we're not a multi-billionaire like Mister Geffen with a small thing for extra-large homes. Anyways...

A kidney-shaped swimming pool was expensively sunk just outside the main house at the water's edge. There's short, private dock for parking non-motorized water craft—no motor powered craft on pristine Georgica Pond, thank you very much— and acres of manicured lawns for badminton, croquet, slip 'n' slides, and summer afternoon charity events. What there is not, at least as far as our booze soaked eyes can tell, is a tennis court or direct or access to the beach. There's plenty of room for a tennis court (or two) but no direct beach access means Mister Geffen's handsome driver*** will need to drive (or pedal or otherwise ferry) Mister Geffen and his lucky house guests to and from the beach.

Miz Ross is hardly a stranger to supreme real estate. The children will recall the lavish living lady sold her super-sized duplex co-op at the high and mighty 740 Park Avenue in 2012 for $52,500,000 to screaming rich money manager and dedicated real estate baller Howard Marks. As far as we know, Miz Ross moved downtown to a much more modest (if still pricey) 2,700+ square foot loft-style apartment in TriBeCa. Mister Marks, incidentally, is the the very same fellow who sold a nearly ten acre bluff top estate in Malibu in late 2012 for $75 million to a mysterious buyer who Your Mama's sources say was athletic eye wear mogul and digital movie camera pioneer Jim Jannard. But we digress...

Historically Mister Geffen has made his primary home in Los Angeles but half a dozen or so years ago he began to test the East Coast real estate waters. He very briefly owned a fabled duplex penthouse at 810 Fifth Avenue that was once part of a triplex owned by American aristocrat Nelson A. Rockefeller that he bought in February 2006 for $31.5 million. Alas he almost immediately caught a hardcore case of The Real Estate Fickle and sold the penthouse the following May (2007) in an off-market deal for $37,842,187. The buyers were Pete Peterson and Jan Ganz Cooney, he a powerful and well-connected businessman and philanthropist now in his (late) 80s and she, also now in her 80s, one of the creators of Sesame Street.

In early 2010 Mister Geffen paid songwriter Denise Rich—the ex-wife of indicted, pardoned and deceased financier Marc Rich—$54,000,000 for a suburban macmansion-sized triplex penthouse atop the Park V, a luxurious if architecturally banal post-war building on Fifth Avenue. As any reasonable person could and should expect of a billionaire who buys a $54 million apartment, Mister Geffen quickly embarked on a massive renovation but at the time of his purchased the 12,000 (or so) square penthouse had seven bedrooms and 9 full and 2 half bathrooms plus a fitness room (with adjoining steam room and dry sauna), a professional recording studio, and more than 4,000 square feet of private terrace.

In addition to much smaller and less impressive home in the Beverly Crest area of Beverly Hills that he picked up for an unknown amount back in 1972, back on the west coast Mister Geffen owns the former Jack Warner estate in Beverly Hills, 10-ish perfectly landscaped acres with a 13,000+ square foot main house that he picked up in 1990 for a reported $47.5 million.

Naturally Mister Geffen has long-maintained a beach house in Malibu where owns a multi-structure, multi-parcel ocean front compound on Carbon Beach, one of the more coveted and expensive stretches of sand in all of The Bu. He appears to have owned a portion of the property since at least the middle 1970s and he scooped up the other portion in mid-1999 from Larry Welk, the son of bandleader Lawrence Welk. Mister Geffen also owns a much more modest two bedroom and two bathroom beach shack a few doors down that he bought from Peter Morton in early 2008 for $9.8 million. Incidentally, Mister Geffen previously owned the small beach house from March 1996 to July 1998 when he sold it to Hollywood power broker Richard Lovett, the president of CAA.

*The four parcel property was also offered in two separate and unequal pieces. The two developed parcels—approx. 2.66 acres with main house, guest house and water side cottage according to listing details—were listed for $45 million and the two adjacent undeveloped parcels that together come to about 3.31 acres were listed for $22 million.
**Earlier listings show the property encompasses four lots that total 5.42 acres with 460 feet of pond frontage, so...

***Your Mama has no idea if Mister Geffen has a driver and if he does if the driver is handsome. For all we know he has a powerfully ugly driver. 

listing photos: Sotheby's International Realty

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

We shouldn't forget Geffen's ginormous yacht, Rising Sun: http://www.superyachtfan.com/superyacht_rising_sun.html. Geffen first bought a share of the yacht from Larry Ellison and later bought the whole thing.

Anonymous said...

"Plenty of room for a tennis court"..So he can watch hot tennis boy pro's race around?? Hes old old old, and should be watching Golden Girls, not risking his hips on tennis.

Anonymous said...

Geffen earned the money and knows the value of location, location, location.

Anonymous said...

Yes but she cant take it with her

Ron Johnson said...

It's crazy how big those houses are. I can't imagine living in a house like that. It would be interesting to do real estate for celebrities.
Ron Johnson | Century 21

WrteStufLA said...

@Anonymous/10:54am:

Also don't forget Geffen's OTHER yacht, the 377' "Pelorus," purchased from the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pelorus_(yacht)

Anonymous said...

If you are rich and you imagined when you were not rich that once you were rich you would summer in blissful quietude, then definitely do NOT buy a property in the toniest precincts of the Hamptons -- east, south, west or otherwise.

The fact that there is always a house within ear shot in full-scale re-build mode, requiring of course a cast of hundreds of workmen a day, is just the beginning. Once they move in, there's Mama's fickleness of the rich syndrome, meaning that aside from the normal daily maintenance required to keep everything looking perfect, there is a never-ending list of revisions and additions to contend with (move the driveway three feet to the west, etc.).

I think it's just great that folks like Geffen are providing all this work and spreading the money around, don't get me wrong. But the moments of peace and quiet are few and far between. And I've come to realize that peace and quiet may be the greatest luxury of all.

Anonymous said...

Miss Geffen is as old as Methuselah. Why is he spending so much on real estate? Guess since he has no heirs, he's realizing that he better spend it all.

Anonymous said...

That's the place right out from my secret fishing spot. Wonder if he'll keep my worm bait cool in his re-frig this summer. It gets so hot and stanky in the truck. Gonna be a hot one.