Wednesday, May 21, 2014

UPDATE: Fleur de Lys

Buckle your real estate safety belts, butter beans, because Your Mama is about to reveal the name of the mystery buyer who shelled out $88.3 million in cash for Suzanne Saperstein's world renown Los Angeles estate known as Fleur de Lys (above). But first, let's have a (not so brief) recap.

In the late 1990s Swedish-born Miz Saperstein and her ex-husband David Saperstein, then based in Houston, TX, acquired 4.6 prime acres in L.A.'s super-swank Holmby Hills 'hood.* Inspired by the elegantly extravagant Vaux-le-Vicomte palace outside Paris, the famously spendthrift Sapersteins spared no expense to erect a monumentally decadent chateau of around 35,000 square feet that they slathered in gold leaf and filled to the gills with pedigreed antiques. The fully-landscaped estate also includes: a snaking 600 foot long driveway that ends in a motor court the size of a civic plaza; a separate sizable caretaker's house plus extensive staff quarters; a second motor court for staff and service vehicles; a swimming pool and spa complex; a lighted tennis court and extensive gardens that include a football field sized backyard lawn. A few short years after the estate was completed in 2002, Mister Saperstein left Missus Saperstein and took up with the family nanny, another blond but much younger Swede whom he later married.

Missus Saperstein, a voracious consumer of haute couture who in 2008 described herself to W Magazine as "the most insecure person you could ever run into in your entire life," was granted ownership of Fleur de Lys and, post-divorce, often leased the palatial property out for parties and charity events. For at least half a dozen years—Your Mama first (dissed and) discussed the property back in 2007—Miz Saperstein had the fancy-pants pad on and off the open market with an astronomical asking price of $125 million.

This property gossip has many times heard from impeccable sources deep inside the Platinum Triangle real estate game that Miz Saperstein once turned down an offer of $100 million because the buyer refused to cough up a couple more million bucks to cover her multi-million dollar moving expenses. British Formula 1 racing heiress Petra Ecclestone was widely rumored to have had an $80 million offer rebuffed and later there were reports of rumors that Petra's equally profligate sister, Tamara, was interested in the property. (She wasn't.) Pop superstar Mariah Carey was also widely rumored to have expressed some interest in the the property but that also turns out to have been little more than rumor.

Anyways, in February of this year (2014) Your Mama received some juicy but unsubstantiated gossip that an unnamed Chinese billionaire made an $85 million offer for the grandiose estate and in mid-March we received a decidedly cryptic communique from a different but also anonymous informant who claimed Fleur de Lys was in contract for around $85 million with a Russian billionaire who is not Roman Abramovich, Andrey Melnichenko or Dmitry Rybolovlev but is "well established in California." But, as y'all will soon see, that bit of delectable scuttlebutt turned out to be little more than heavy load of Platinum Triangle real estate hooey.

In late March an unidentified source told the lady property gossip at the L.A. Times revealed that Fleur de Lys was indeed to be sold to a mysterious buyer identified only as a French billionaire.** The report went on to say that the otherwise unidentified Frenchman beat out two other billionaires, one from China and another from the U.K., with an all-cash offer of $102 million with a 10 day closing. The sky-high and record-breaking price, so the reportage went, included a cache of unspecified antique furnishings.***

Follow up reports revealed the new owner's tax bills were being mailed to an attorney's office at junk bond billionaire Michael Milken's Santa Monica-based Milken Institute leading many to speculate that the buyer might be Michael Milken. However, a representative for Mister Milken explicitly denied to the lady property gossip at the L.A. Times that neither Milken nor his institute bought the property, which was purchased via a limited liability company.

Almost immediately after Fleur de Lys changed hands, the property somewhat surprisingly popped up on the open market for lease at a stomach churning price of $400,000 per month and, even more inexplicably, when the property records were finally recorded and made available to the public in mid-April (2014) they show the mysterious buyer paid $88.3 million for the estate and not the originally reported $102 million.****

Naturally, as soon as we heard Fleur de Lys was to be sold we contacted some of our better connected contacts who operate in the upper end of the Platinum Triangle real estate market and—curiously enough—no one could—or would—name the mysterious buyer. Then, finally, we heard from real estate yenta extraordinaire Yolanda Yakketyyak who told us she's 100% certain and will "swear on everything, including her seven pair of vintage Gloria Vanderbilt jeans," that the mysterious buyer of Fleur de Lys is—as has been widely speculated but roundly denied by his own representatives—none other than Michael Milken. Apparently Mister Milken hosted what Yolanda called a "massive housewarming party" a few weeks ago in the gilt-trimmed downstairs ballroom the day before his institutes's capitalism promoting Global Conference began.

There are, besides Yolanda's proven good word, a few other coincidental tidbits that point to Mister Milken. First off, the real estate agent who represented the buyer is married to one of Mister Milken's daughters and, several years ago, Mister Milken, via a limited liability company, paid close to $37 million for a 13,000 square foot ocean front house on Malibu's Carbon Beach that, like Fleur de Lys, and surprisingly came up for lease at $200,000 per month just days after it was purchased. (FYI, Yolanda is adamant that Mister Milken's beach house was never actually rented to anyone but we don't know if that's true or not.)

Now children, just to be clear, even though we have zero reason to doubt Yolanda, since Mister Milken's representatives have publicly denied in a major newspaper that neither he nor his institute bought the estate this is just some delicious high-end real estate rumor and gossip and you should make of it what you will.

*Technically, the estate is on (or near) the border between Beverly Hills and the Holmby Hills in a neighborhood called Beverly Crest.

**Curiously, Your Mama knows a well connected individual who, in late April, told us that one of the agents involved in the deal was going around town telling people the buyer was Bernard Arnault, a French luxury good tycoon with a fortune in excess of $36 billion.

***Several years ago Miz Saperstein sold off $8 million worth of antiques, including an 18th century German chandelier that went for $602,500, so we're not sure what antiques the buyer might have purchased.

****The original price recorded with the Multiple Listing Service was $102 million but that has since been swapped out for the $88.3 million figure.

aerial photo: Pacific Coast News

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

hmm, i was very enthusiastic but the plot was boring.. sorry

Anonymous said...

Why would anyone believe this rotten dirty lying greedy sleaze bag (Milken) about anything???

Anonymous said...

Tougher than Nigerian hair.

Anonymous said...

He can afford it...so why not enjoy his money. He will not lose money on that property.

Anonymous said...

12:58 His soul is bankrupt.

Anonymous said...

Who bought Jamie McCourt's house?

Anonymous said...

his blood must be green

Anonymous said...

His blood is green because of all the chemo he got for prostate cancer which gee, may just return. Cant take it with you Mikey Boy.

Anonymous said...

Attention Realestalker you are wrong and its not milken- 110%

Anonymous said...

I know who it is.....and its not milken- wrong guy- you should research better before publishing these lengthy boring diatribes when they aren't even correct.

Anonymous said...

If you're so sure it's not Milken why don't you let the Real Estalker know who it is then?

Anonymous said...

I agree. Do tell? This ole Donatella Versasce looking bag unloaded this place to someone..my guess is its a Milken client..paying that amount and then renting it out is just vulgar, and surely Milken knows many vulgar people.

Anonymous said...

I happen to know it is Milken 200% xxoo

Anonymous said...

damnn susie got taht much for it??? dont care about Milken, just care about where the old broad is moving??? where do you go from a place like this???

Anonymous said...

Don't let F.B.'s anonymous comments fool you. It's Milken.

LA Ad Guy said...

All just rumor and gossip children! And Mama, curious who got the McCourt house, good riddance to that family! And heard Simon Fuller sold his pad recently. Love ya Mama!

Anonymous said...

If it is Milken, can we use this as the final proof that "crime doesn't pay" is no longer true (if it ever even was)?

Spanish Property said...

Great article, thanks for posting. Its amazing how much people will pay for property, location is everything I suppose.

Anonymous said...

Hey I posted yesterday and my comment isn't here. Anyway I think that maybe the house did sell for $102 million. I think maybe $88 million was paid in cash and the rest could have been paid in other assets like real estate or stocks. Also the difference could have been paid for the furnishings. I read that for tax purposes the price of the furnishes would be separated from the amount paid specifically for the house. Meaning $88 million for the house and $14 million for the furnishings equal $102 million total.

Anonymous said...

A ridiculous house for an equally ridiculous person! Time for another revolution

Anonymous said...

The word is that the final total selling price was indeed 102 million. That's how much Miz Saperstein received from the buyer.

But for tax purposes it was agreed to have the official sale price at 88 million. The remaining 14 million would have included monies for "movable" goods like chandeliers and lawn ornaments (which can easily be very expensive, especially if the house had original 18th century French chandeliers). Suzanne's original 125 million would have included everything, but this breakdown was a method to get a lower final sale price for tax purposes.

Anonymous said...

Michael is Milken my cock in the ballroom.

Emily Merrell said...

This is such a beautiful home. I would love to be able to afford even a plot of land this big. It kind of reminds me of something you'd find in ancient Greece. The pool on the side would be really great.
Emily Merrell | http://www.heritageblds.com

Anonymous said...

What a piece of land! In order to create the grand estate, a real estate friend told me the land was assembled by the Saperstein's agent who acquired 4 lots ... all owned by different sellers. The one hold out just sold for $17million to a lady that makes nail polish!

Lukey said...

I suspect the lease offers are necessitated in order to claim these homes as rental property that allows them to be depreciated. That provides some handsome tax deductions to the owner. Even if they are never leased out, as long as they are rented from time to time for events, the deduction likely will withstand scrutiny.

Paul Bear said...

That estate is very impressive. I don't know if I'd want to live in a house where I could get lost. But I bet you could enjoy some huge parties there!

Paul | gogambino.com

Anonymous said...

Do your research. Holmby Hills is a PART OF Beverly Crest. And NOBODY from LA ever uses the term "Beverly Crest." Ever.

Anonymous said...

....May 22, 2014 at 6:09 AM..

...OR 102mm was just an error. There is no proof or evidence that this house sold ever sold for 102mm, so we'll have to go by the closing price reflected on the MLS. I think 102mm was just rumor/incorrect information. Besides, even if it did include furniture or stock, what's to say other estates haven't done the same? In that case, exceptions shouldn't be made only for this house. That just throws everything off and is murky territory.

It's not the highest price paid for a house in LA.

Anonymous said...

Wrong on quite a few levels. Your sources are not as reliable as you think. This property is NOT for lease and the buyer is NOT French. Westside represented both buyer and seller, so your source sounds like an embellisher at best. People who buy these estates employ PR agents to provide smoke screens and you've fallen victim to their BS. No hooey.

-PTH

Anonymous said...

BTW, people who know the identity are not in a position to reveal it. We like our jobs, thanks.

Italian RealEstalker said...

So? not Michael Milken and neither French Business man???

It's Umbelievable after almost 3 months we don't know who is the owner.....

there are only few people in the world who can afford an home like this.......seems to easy to find the owner