Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Frank McCourts Do It Again In Malee-boo

BUYERS: Frank and Jamie McCourt
LOCATION: Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA
PRICE: around $19,000,000
SIZE: 1,620 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Along with an item or two that had been previously reported, celebrity real estate high priestess Ruth Ryon revealed in her most recent Hot Properties column that Boston biznessman turned LA biznessman and owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers Frank McCourt and his accomplished wifey Jamie dropped another massive wad of cash on a second oceanfront house right next door to the one they already own on uber exclusive Carbon Beach in Malee-boo.

The children will recall that in July of 2007 the stinking rich McCourts dropped an impressive $27,250,272 to acquire Courtney Cox and David Arquette's loopy, swoopy and gorgeous John Lautner designed house on Carbon Beach. And according to Miz Ryon (and confirmed with property records), they've coughed up another impressive chuck of change to buy the 1,620 square foot 1940s beach cottage next door. Records Your Mama accessed do not yet reveal the purchase price, but Miz Ryon reports the carpet bagging couple paid "close to $19,000,000" for the 3 bedroom and 2 bathroom house. (FYI: listing information for the property indicates 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms while Los Angeles County tax records show 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.)

This recent Malee-bee purchase is not the first time the McCourts have purchased a high priced property adjacent to one they already own. When the couple moved West in 2004, they paid a widely reported $21,500,000 for a Charing Cross Road estate across the street from the Playboy Mansion in hoity toity Holmby Hills. They purchased the 11,637 square foot house from Kenneth "Babyface" Edmunds and his then wifey Tracey. (Yes puppies, the very same unlucky in love Tracey who recently split from that fickle Eddie Murphy). Just five months later, the McCourts quickly snapped up the 8,385 square foot house next door. Your Mama imagines they house the staff there, but really, we haven't got a clue why they needed the extra 8 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms in that house.

Now then, let's have a look-see at the recent history of the McCourt's new acquisition, which Miz Ryon says is already under-going and extensive renovation. In November of 2006, entertainment executive and Hollywood scion Casey Wasserman, grandson of the famously bespectacled and hugely powerful Lew Wasserman, sold the house to man named Peter Kleidman. The who's and what's of this Mister Kliedman are a bit of a mystery to Your Mama, but a wee bit of searching the internets comes up with some phun bits. In the Spring of 2007 Mister Kleidman rankled his high-fallutin' neighbors nerves when he threw open the doors to his property and offered the Malee-booan masses public access to one of the most notoriously difficult to access stretches of beach on the West Coast. You'll recall that Miss David Geffen threw all kinds of hissy fits and law suits about having to provide public access to the beach via an accessway that runs next to his rather impressive oceanfront digs, so you can imagine the Carbonites were not thrilled.

Mister Kleidman futher irritated the neighbors when he leased the teeny tiny property to the swag mistresses at The Silver Spoon who decked out the interiors, did up the outdoor spaces all beach club like, dubbed it "The Silver Spoon Beach House," and sub-leased it out at $65,000 per month to celebutants like actor/singer/whatevers Hilary and Haylie Duff and new-nosed and supposed it girl Ashley Tisdale, who leased the petite property for her 22nd birthday.

So perhaps it's no wonder or surprise that the McCourts once again reached into their seemingly endless real estate investment funds to purchase the problematic property next door. Because, let's be honest, what atrociously rich gajillionaire wants to spent nearly $30,000,000 on a beach house only to have a bunch of quasi famous skinny bitches and tabloid princesses throwing paparazzi friendly parties next door? Uhm, none of them.

There's no need to rip apart the interiors, because they did not belong to anyone in particular and are long gone with the McCourt's renovation. Now, Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter are off to the movies so be quiet and don't fight amongst yourselves.


Anonymous said...

the house was also featured twice on MTV reality show the Hills, this past season:

Anonymous said...

The purchase makes a lot of sense, not only for the reasons Mama enumerated, but because the Lautner house is probably the most important on Carbon Beach and sits on a relatively small parcel.

On the beach access issue, I'm firmly on Geffen's side. He's fighting lots of faux populism. I could understand forcing an access path if there were a scarcity of beaches in Malibu. Or if big bad David Geffen were crossing his arms in front of underprivileged children and saying no beach for you. But the sign at the Malibu border trumpets 27 miles of coastline -- or something close to that number -- and Zuma, just a few minutes up the road, has acres and acres of parking.

Anonymous said...

Must be nice to have $19-million or so that you don't need so you can way overpay for the property next-door just to get rid of a nuisance neighbor...I can only imagine the McCourt's lawyer's contacting the pervious owners over and over again with a higher sum each time until they finally agreed to sell, LOL

Anonymous said...


Actually, this property sold not that long ago & was listed at $18M so the McCourts haven't really overpaid & last time it sold it literally was a shack - it was refurbished before summer 07 ...

I don't blame them for buying it ... There were parties at this place most days throughout summer - David Arquette actually stormed next door & had words with Hillary Duff who was celebrating her birthday & in being at the beach had brought about 20 paparazzi with her ... Poor David had to put up sheets all along the front of his property so the paps couldn't picture his wifey & Jennifer Aniston!

I agree about the Carbon access - The Geffen gate should have never been opened. There is zero parking along this stretch of coast ... All the people from the valley should just go to Zuma! [but if they're at Zuma they're forbidden to use the Trancas Starbucks b/c the lines are long enough ; )

Alessandra said...

Gawd, I loathe Malibu. Whatever it was thirty years ago, it is not now.

And I don't blame the McCourts for dipping into their bottomless real estate war chest to get a little extra breathing room and rid themselves of problematic carpetbagging celebutante trashies. However, every time I attend a Dodger game in the pit o' despair that is Dodger Stadium, I wish they'd spend a damn bit of money on their ATM machine. Then again, I haven't been since they upgraded the seats, but nothing short of a truck load if C4 can make the bathrooms acceptable. No way does my 15 month old daughter go there until she's at least 25.

Anonymous said...

No need to tear apart the house - its days are obviously numbered. I've never seen anything so white doomed to be a black hole so quickly.

Wasserman knew what he was doing when he unloaded this troublesome property and made it someone else's headache. (Rumor has it Grandad had something to do with the original financing). But then he's always been a shrewd businessman, his grandson, not so much.

But what a coup for the Lautner next door! The best house on Carbon Beach will now have a suitable site for it; I only hope some insensitive expansion of this jewel isn't in the offing.

People who complained about access next to Geffen's property were not of the "beach-challenged" variety; just a bunch of lookie loos out celebrity spotting. With 27 miles of coastline, Carbon Beach is not the only place to swim.

Anonymous said...

Stupid me. All along I thought it was astonishing you could make that kind of money writing sad memoirs. (Angela's Ashes) Oh, you mean THAT Frank McCourt.

so_chic_darling said...

He's also very rich Aunt Mary.

Anonymous said...

this would be a cool house for some anon rich guy/girl.
right on the beach, no stairs, comfortable size...mama?
probably right tho, will soon be a memory.

Anonymous said...

Aunt Mary,
That's the McCourt we're talking about? I say good for him! Anyone that can make it based on internal intelligence generating external prosperity is admired by me. (I bought the book when it released. One page in, couldn't handle it cause my baby girl was the same age as Angela. It's still on the shelf. Will get to it some day.

Little Buddy,
Lost the link, but when I was doing back story on this one, (trumpets) the architect of Arquette's former big place next door studied under your boy FLLW. It's almost always a full cirlce back to Frank, eh?

Now me...
This Malibu is not the place I knew. There was a day when public access never had a soul go thru, except for maybe the cute blonde butcher at Trancas Market diving for seafood on his off hours. Fast forward, with the new wave of celibs, few original (modest) structures exist. Of the remaining, it's a matter of time before leveling to become ... what's Mama's word (?) ... "behemoth" courts, or who knows what is constructed. Malibu will always be a very special place in my memory.

You're the real-time bellwether and I go by your observations as gospel.

My have things have changed.

Anonymous said...

PS... High tide thru this stretch is a little out of my comfort zone.

Anonymous said...

I would say my favorite house on carbon beach is Morton's place.

2nd would be the Katzenberg's

Anonymous said...

hey its survived about 45k high tides & counting

Anonymous said...

Since I found Mama's charming blog 7 months ago I've admired, derided, coveted and mocked a range of celebrity property. THIS house...well it is my dream. I am not one for massive hellholes in the Hills of Beverly...THIS is heaven.

Anonymous said...

What do we listen to when hanging out here? I'm lovin an old BB King / Eric ... Riding with the King.

Anonymous said...

me thinks, some marvin gaye, maybe some eagles, jackson browne, & the sweet sounds of beer bottles opening.

Anonymous said...

Nothing as good as a beach house soundtrack -- I'm digging all the suggestions so far.

If it's not reggae, my typical playlist leans toward the 60s/70s, and might include (in no particular order):

Stir it Up -- Bob Marley
We Can Work It Out -- Stevie Wonder
The Last Time -- Bread
Bitterblue -- Cat Stevens
Take The Long Way Home -- Supertramp
Red Rubber Ball -- The Cyrkle
Kodachrome -- Paul Simon
Never My Love -- The Association
What Am I Gonna Do With You -- Lesley Gore
Wouldn't It Be Nice -- Beach Boys
Foolish Fool -- Dee Dee Warwick
Summertime -- Billy Stewart

Anonymous said...

Dream on and fantasize all you want to children; this charming bungalow's days are numbered. Sorry, Viva, I just don't think the market will allow for this prime spot to remain unmolested.

With land at such a premium, there's a snowball's chance in hell that it won't be torn down and joined to the Lautner next door (a former disciple of FLLW, as Sandpiper pointed out). Love Lautner's work, it's truly unique - my only fear is that an insensitive expansion is in the works, unless they execute one of his unbuilt designs as a guest house to make a truly stunning compound.

Caveman, save a Corona for me . . .

PCH, love the playlist - brings back a lot of sweet, sweet memories.

Anonymous said...

I KNEW we had a bond here somewhere...oooh, Marvin, oooh...mega-yes.

This one makes me feel happy! Think of it as "our song"...

... and this one gives me chills...

Anonymous said...

Oooh PCH,
You have me crazy. I need a while to cook up my favorites now. But your list included a bunch of 'em. Red Rubber Ball...Wouldn't it be Nice (luv that one all-time), any S&G, esp. Kodachrome. We've got to be the same age...errr...a perky 30? LOL. BRB.

Anonymous said...

Hey what about "Windy" by the Association? I was in grade school when that came out. Also, Otis Redding, Cream, Traffic, Blind Faith, The Band. I just read Eric Clapton's autobiography, so I guess I have those guys on my mind.There is so much good music out there, this is just one area.

Hey Sandpiper, PCH, et al, what is the best beach in CA? I want to go there. Also, what's the best place in CA as a state? Iv'e only lived here 3 years and I feel like I haven't seen alot.


Anonymous said...

Go Obama!

Anonymous said...

mama don't take my kodachrome away..
damn, i had sandpiper in the palm of my hands & pch steals her away one post later...fickle bitch, story of my life.
If you took all the girls I knew
When I was single
And brought them all together for one night
I know they'd never match
my sweet imagination
everything looks WORSE in black and white

Anonymous said...

I shared Marvin with you, THAT is not to be taken lightly, you loveable beast. Now let me run my Sun. nite errands and think up my full playlist.

Aunt Mary,
Is "Go Obama" that old Zeppelin tune?

Anonymous said...

she called me cave-baby...sweet!

Anonymous said...

i love me some aunt mary.
my ipod is loaded with zep, mick & those nh boys aerosmith sandwiched in between my favorite gregorian chants of course.

Anonymous said...

For a moment, I too thought McCourt was Frank McCourt the author and was amazed at the success of his books. Okay, this shack is cute. $19 million to get rid of nuisances? If only I had the money for such things.

Anonymous said...

I just don't get Malibu. Get away to me means private. Does privacy exist in Malibu?

La Jolla and Sausalito are favorites of mine to answer the "where in CA" question.

PCH - your playlist makes me dreamy - top down, on the PCH, cool wind in my hair, warm smell of colitas...

Alessandra said...

Bentley, that is why I loathe Malibu. You spend $30mm to be bang up against your neighbor and then you've got the PCH right there and if there's a tsunami, you're shark toast. Plus, mud slides, beach erosion, wild fires and gnarly traffic and only ONE way to go anywhere. It is bee-yoo-tiful, granted, but it's for people who just want to throw money away. I remember even ten years ago, it was pricey but not outrageous the way it is today.

But, I do not begrudge the McCourts for their purchase. If I were in their shoes, I'd do the same damned thing. What's the point of being fabulously wealthy if you can't have some damned peace and quiet?

And isn't anyone playing some Dusty Springfield and Aretha Franklin at the beach house?

Anonymous said...

Hey Sandpiper, I'm 36 and came of age with New Wave -- my first love -- but my music collection is all over the place...right now I'm listening to the very excellent Rabbit Fur Coat from Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins. Before that it was Def Leppard's greatest hits.

Sorry, Caveman -- completely inadvertent [insert rude word here for blocking another guy's advance on a girl].

Sunny, I'm partial to beaches in north Laguna Beach -- Emerald Bay (private), Crescent Bay, Shaw's Cove, Fisherman's Cove. All are north of the main beach and the latter three are accessed via steps from Cliff Drive. They're small, picturesque, set beneath craggy bluffs, plenty of tide pools, etc. Bentley mentioned La Jolla, and they've got a similar vibe going on there.

Alessandra -- quite right -- my pick from Springfield would be "Losing You" and from Franklin, maybe her cover of "Bridge Over Troubled Water."

Malibu's main appeal, I think, is that it's close to town and has a phenomenally iconic image. You don't see people tripping over themselves to acquire Oxnard waterfront...

Go Obama!

Alessandra said...

I like your beaches, pch. Agree that Malibu is close enough to "town" that it makes sense to have a weekend getaway there. Some people even commute!

Poor's very pretty there.

The Central Coast in CA is what I consider fabulous. I'm extremely fond of Santa Barbara and Montecito, but I'm not a surfer girl. If I were, the San Diego and southern OC beaches would be my picks.

Anonymous said...

I'm certain some of you frequent commenters will take offense, but none is intended.

There seem to be 5 or 6 of you who like to chat back and forth a lot about all sorts of things only barely or not even related to the properties Mama has so lovingly written about.

You all are like your own private club who talk mostly only to yourselves. As a daily reader of this blog for the last 6 months, I've almost given up the comments section because it's too much about the five or six of you, no offense.

So why not start a yahoo chat space where you can compare notes and flatter each other without all us other regular readers having to wade through comment after comment about music selections and Long Island estates not being discussed on the blog.

Unfortunately most of what's commented here is just not relevant to what this blog is about. So while it's fun for you...

Just a thought.

Anonymous said...


Nice one, and probably (more's the pity) apt, too.

Anonymous said...

daily reader, I see your point. Comments do often go off the rails. One forgets that there are unknown numbers of readers who don't comment. Please make your voice known and add to the conversation. Maybe you could help steer the topics. No offense taken. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm not offended, either. And I also hope you'll jump in to the conversation.

Anonymous said...

Sunny, my personal favorite all time CA beach is Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur; sure the water's freezing year round, but the peace and tranquility of the place is unmatched.

Daily Reader, sure we run off the rails at times; but we're Mama's children; that's how we get to know each other's tastes and preferences. Do you stick to just one topic at the dinner table?

We may wander all over the place at times, but we all come back to the real estate & owners, which is what it's all about. Not just the architecture, but the shenanigans their owners get up to, who did what to whom and how often, and the past legacies we've lost as a result of their actions.

So jump in and join the fun, already!

Anonymous said...

Oh, and LGB is right -- this cottage is toast. Soon to be replaced (I'm sure) by a pool and a nice green lawn. Also, some extra parking, which the Lautner house (like any house on PCH) could definitely use.

And I join him in crossing my fingers that any additions/modifications/outbuildings fit Lautner's original vision.

Anonymous said...

Hey Bentley,
Is colitas a flower or a disease? I'm not that deep to know the difference.

Anonymous said...

Fingers crossed, PCH, fingers crossed . . .

Oh, and just to throw in my own personal WTF choice for music, I don't go anywhere without my Al Stewart. Never popular in the states (other than for "The Year Of The Cat"), he's made over a dozen albums over the years, and not one that you'd skip a single track on.

Who else could write a catchy, mournful tune about Charlotte Corday?

Alessandra said...

Not offended by the suggestion to stay closer to the topic, but must ask in all sincerity...on a rainy LA day, when the subject house at hand is going to most likely be torn down and the interiors are a non-issue, how are we to amuse ourselves with such paltry crumbs? Please do jump into the fray, daily reader. I agree that discussing the properties and their owners should generally be the focus, but the intersection of architecture, design, property values and celebrity sometimes demands a more expansive discourse.

And now, kittens, I'm off to bed to dream about what possible fabulous properties Our Mama has in store for us tomorrow...

Anonymous said...

what will Silver Spoon do for a beach house now?

Anonymous said...

I love Al Stewart! Bozz Scaggs is another favorite who never made it big.

Benteley, Alessandra, PCH, LGB, thanks for the Beaches. Iv'e been to all but North Laguna and Santa Barbara. I am looking forward to them.

Daily reader, no offense taken but really, this is a very unusual blog and all us siblings are sort of getting to know each other. Please jump in and comment...I know I will learn from you as well. I think we all feel sort of like a family with our commonality being our absolute love for Mama!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Allesandra,
These recent music exchanges were simply a little aside, like a pressure relief valve on what Aunt Mary once so cleverly termed as a slow news day. Normally, on topic is the focus.
I know this place will be leveled and it bothers me too. In years past, it would be someone's wonderful getaway to relax in with company and have wonderful bonfires after sunset. They don't have $100K catalog kitchens or $50K in window treatments. They were just ... as you stated ... a beach home to be appreciated (not paraphrasing). I've been fortunate to enjoy nice times visiting neighbors in places as lovely as this one—with the fireplace roaring, talk of surfing, and relating to each other’s hometown stories. Sadly, from here on in (and for some time now), as these dated homes come to market, it's no longer excitement about moving in; rather, it's about developing a new and grand structure to build on the land.

Anonymous said...

Oops...Sunny in sj...
Please go by what the others have suggested, as I don't know what's going on with public access on otherwise private streets. That doesn't mean you shouldn't try. PCH would know better that I what's approachable if you want a nice quiet spot.


Anonymous said...

I'm with Daily Reader. No offense either, but this is not a social networking site. Remember the good old days when comments where witty, sharp, on topic, and SHORT?

As for this house...I love it. Hate the decor, but love the old school beach house simplicity. Sad to see it go.

Anonymous said...

Here! Here! to shorter commentary around here.

Anyone know how to access the Calif. Coastal Commission shore photos?

Anonymous said...

Hi All:

Just thought since the other Frank McCourt was mentioned, I'd share with you a picture of his Litchfield County, CT house. Barn style contemporary from 1850, a shade under 3000 sf on three acres. If memory serves correctly, he's bought adjacent land for a buffer. McCourt purchased it in '99 for 1.125 million.

His neighbor, Candace Bushnell purchased her late Victorian cottage in 2005 for $661,500. It too is on three acres. Just a few celebs from my neck o' the woods.

McCourt's home

Bushnell's home

Sorry, the photos aren't better quality, they're old MLS photos.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, CT, these are celebs I've heard of. I must admit to having never heard of many of the celebs discussed here.

As of today I'm going to take a back seat to posting and let other voices come forward. In the real world, I hate it when conversations are monopolized by a few who suck all the air out of a room. Later. Much later. But I'll be reading.

Anonymous said...

wish I were, here's where you can access the shore photos:

Anonymous said...

The McCourts could teach Bill Gates and Warren Buffet how to spend their money. When Hefner kicks the bucket, maybe they will buy the Playboy Mansion, in Holmby Hills.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Daily Reader et al. You have hijacked (two of you more than the others) what used to be a great comment section.

And the beaches in California are PUBLIC, paid for by our overly inflated tax dollars. All Californians deserve equal access regardless of whether they can afford overpriced real estate. To imply otherwise is elitist, something you pretend to abhor. How dare you. Goodbye.

Anonymous said...

Goodbyeelitists & Daily Reader:

Don't go - I mean that sincerely.

This is all about fun; a ragtag group of individualists who feel passionately about real estate (and the other topics they blog).

Sure, we run off the rails at times, but it all riffs off of Mama's clever commentary; she's removed inappropriate comments in the past. We consider ourselves her children, and she lets us run wild and free, like any good parent.

I lurked for months on this site before my first post; when I saw how interesting the interaction between the regulars, and the anons, got, I jumped in to join the fun. It's not like it's an online college course you'll get credit for.



"Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made. Our times are in his hand who saith, 'A whole I planned, youth shows but half; Trust God: See all, nor be afraid!'"

So stick around for the fun; sure it's changed from what it started out as, but life is all about managing change; Mama's got a show in the works, and who knows where that will lead?


Anonymous said...

Just for the record Goodbye Elitists, I happen to live on Balboa Island, which boasts the most egalitarian public access imaginable with a three-mile-long boardwalk that encircles the entire place. I think it's terrific.

I never said people shouldn't be able to go to this beach or any beach. I said the California Coastal Commission shouldn't extort an uncompensated easement from Geffen for access to a beach that has virtually no parking or public facilities -- both of which are available in spades at nearby beaches like Zuma. If it were a historical pathway that Geffen wanted to close, I'd tell him tough luck. But it's not.

I lived in Malibu -- not on the waterfront -- for a few years and never once felt the need to go to the beach right there. There is no law that says each scrap of beach must be within a three minute walk of any Californian's car, and I just disagree with this sense of comprehensive entitlement.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what is going on at the McCourt's Charing Cross property? There is major construction but it is difficult to see what is going on from the road.