Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Beverly Park Land Deal

SELLER: Robert Bisno
BUYER: Mark Wahlberg
LOCATION: Beverly Park Terrace, Beverly Hills, CA
PRICE: $8,250,000
SIZE: 6+ acres
DESCRIPTION: One of the last lots available!!! In prestigious Beverly Park, this huge lot, just over 6 acres (per owner) with approximately 2 level acres. Plans available for a 30,000 sq. ft. Mediterranean Villa. This is an absolutely incredible opportunity to build your own masterpiece. Easy to show, Fantastic!!!

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Just like many of the financiers and Wall Street wizards on the East Coast, West Coast based real estate developer Robert Bisno has real estate woes. Not only is beleaguered Mister Bisno reviled by many who might be at the mercy of his (alleged) slash and burn development tactics, he's had a devil of a time trying to sell a couple of properties in the guard gated land of mega-mansions known as Beverly Park where, poor lamb, he didn't seem to make many friends either.

See puppies, in 2002 a lawsuit was filed against Mister Bisno and the Missus by the North Beverly Park Home Owners Association regarding a sizable sculpture they mounted in the motor court of their massive mansion that some of the other Bev Park residents thought was sexually suggestive–even lewd–and in violation of the community's strict bylaws about how you can trim trees and silly crap like that. Before the suit was settled in a court of law–the Bisnos lost–there was, according to the Missus Bisno, some alleged harassment by other Bev Parkers and even, bizarrely, a mysterious terlit papering of the Bisno property. Imagine that children, a band of terlit paper tossing marauders slinking around Beverly Park in the middle of the damn night!

Anyhoo, in late November of 2008 and amid a flurry of rumors about financial difficulties, Mister and Missus Bisno heaved their 5+ acre estate on Beverly Park Terrace onto the open market with an asking price of $29,500,000. The asking price for the 16,800 square foot house with 5 bedrooms and 9 poopers has since been chopped to a still knee buckling $22,500,000.

For what it's worth, public records reveal that the Bisnos borrowed heavily against the property, including as recently as March of 2009. Although it appears to Your Mama's untrained eye that all of the several loans and mortgages on the property are currently in good standing, the records also show that two Notices of Default were filed on the property, one in 2007 and another 2008. In fact, in February of 2008 the property was scheduled to be auctioned off to the highest bidder but, somehow, Mister Bisno pulled a pecuniary hare out of a hat because he and the Missus continue to own the estate.

Going back to April of 2006, when real estate developers were still living fat on ever escalating property values, Mister and Missus Bisno purchased a 6+ acre vacant lot across the street. It's unclear what the Bisnos paid for the vacant lot, but based on listing information we've seen, we'd say it was somewhere between 8 and 10 million smackers. A fascinating New York Times article from that time reports that Mister and Missus Bisno bought the land in order to build a new, bigger and better Beverly Park Dream House for themselves because, apparently, 17,000 square feet was simply not large enough for a couple of fifty-something year old empty nesters.

But alas, in January of 2008, after never breaking ground on the new lot and having borrowed vast sums of money against it–including an unknown amount of cash from fellow Beverly Park resident George Santopietro who happens to be the ex-huzband of letter turner Vanna White–Mister Bisno flipped the 6+ acre parcel on the market with an outlandishly optimistic asking price of $18,000,000. That's right, eighteen million dollars. Eventually, after more than a year on the market and several swings of the price cutting machete, the asking price, not surprisingly, stood at $9,950,000.

About the time Mister Bisno was putting his big ol' Beverly Park manse on the market in late 2008, rapper/underwear model turned Oscar nominated actor (The Departed, Boogie Nights, The Basketball Diaries) and tee-vee producer Mark Wahlberg (Entourage and the magnificent In Treatment) also hoisted his Oak Pass Road estate in the Beverly Hills Post Office on to the market with an asking price of $15,900,000. (The children will note the Wahlberg spread is no longer on the open market although it does not appear to have been sold.)

Soon after 2008 turned to 2009, rumors started sliding down the gossip grapevine and into Your Mama's big bucket of scuttlebutt that the wildly rich Mister Wahlberg and his baby momma Rhea Durham were poking around Beverly Park for new über-deluxe digs. We first heard from Babbling Babette who whispered that she heard Mister Wahlberg was interested in the Bev Park palace everyone thought British pop start Robbie Williams was going to–but did not–buy and, although we don't know this for sure, another of Your Mama's bean spillers whispered in our greedy ear that Mister Wahlberg made a (low ball) offer on Mister and Missus Bisno's estate, which was rejected.

Then the lines went silent until mid-April of 2009 when Your Mama received covert communiques from Our Fairy Godmother in Beverly Hills and the above mentioned bean spiller whom we'll call Whispering Willie who both passed along the 411 that the Bisno's Bev Park parcel was in escrow. Then, early in the days of May, we received additional covert communiques from O.F.G.I.B.H. and Whispering Willie who informed Your Mama that the Bisno lot closed and sold for just $8,250,000.

Of course, eight and a quarter million clams is a sensational sum of money by any standard. However, a few flicks of the well worn beads of Your Mama's bejeweled abacus shows that purchase price is a humbling (and maybe even humiliating) 45% of the original asking price. Naturally, upon receiving word of a sale, Your Mama fired up the interweb in order to peer into the property records which indicate the buyer of the bare land is–you got it–none other than Mister Mark Wahlberg. Of course, the prop records are somewhat obscured so Your Mama can't say with 100% certainty that the buyer is Mister Wahlberg, but all signs point towards him so we'll say we're 98.9% sure.

Whether the buyer is Marky Mark and his funky bunch family or some other entertainment tycoon, a gigantic house needs to be erected and a couple of acres of over-manicured landscaping will need to be installed before anyone has their mail forwarded to their new addy in Beverly Park. By that time, perhaps the topsy-turvy real estate world will have stabilized and the new owner will be able to flip the property at a profit, because let's face, rich people are fickle when it comes to real estate and prone to selling houses shortly after they spend millions building them.


Anonymous said...

looks small!


Anonymous said...

right-click "open" to see on map:)

Anonymous said...

From the placement and knowing the area, I am doubtful there is much of a view. The rise that borders the western side of Franklin Cyn is fairly significant. Anyone? Plus, it's very likely that he will hear Mulholland.

Anonymous said...

where can we see the offending motorcourt statue? I couldn't see much in the other small pics :(

dirk diggler said...

Is Marky-Mark THAT big of a star that he could afford a site able to handle a 30,000 square foot house? America really is a magical place where a Calvin Klein underwear model can live in a place like Beverly Park.

Trudy Styler said...

Wahlberg's manpanty days are long gone.

He's a major player in Hollywood right now...big parts in big movies ($10+M per movie plus back end) and he exec. produces two hugely successful TV series.

None the less, why anyone would want a 30k sf house is beyond me. Just because you can afford it doesn't mean it makes sense to have it. Imagine the cost of heating and cooling a 30k sf. house. Of course, that may not matter to someone who can afford it. But maybe it should.

I know this is America and I'll probably get called a Pinko for saying this, but even though I don't begrudge anyone a comfortable life with nice things, there's something unseemly and vulgar about one family using the amount of energy and non-sustainable resources required to run huge house. imho.

I mean, come on, a 10k sf house is huge. Anything more is really just wasted space on bigger than is comfortable or empty rooms. Besides, have you seem most of these huge houses? They're either under-furnished and or over-furnished, both of which leave them feeling stale and generic and hotel lobby like. I love the Ritz, but I don't want to live there.

:{} avg joe said...

if the Via Leopdia PLUNGED DOWN and is now at a 90% drop
and now they are saying it is worth only 40MM vs 750MM

how long is it before real estate plunges accordingly in LA and NY ?

just sayin


avg joe

:{} avg joe said...

excuse me

via leopoda

it is the one that the russian billionaire backed out on and lost his 55MM deposit

and if that is the case, he automatically owns it yes ?

Anonymous said...

Isn't is amazing what exposing yourself can lead to in the USA?

:{} avg joe said...

excuse me

i'm an idiot

i type so i can read my own name

and if i read my name in print, im automatically famous yes ?

:{} avg joe said...

i exposed myself and all i got was a couple of old ladies laughing at me.

Stpaulsnowman said...

Diane Wiest is amazing in In Treatment. The nuancing of her characterization and the electricity of her performances is the closest thing I have ever seen to stage acting on the TV screen. This is a great show and the producer deserves a great house on a great lot.

:{} avg joe said...


I could get mad and call you @#$%@#$%$%@#$%

but what is the point ?

you know I am right I have been right all along and now we are heading for a 90% crash in real estate

now it is time for the popcorn

while wall street goes back up to 14,000 high end real estate will come back down 90%, low end to mid level real estate will come down 30-50%, what can I say it was a ponzi economy

even brokers are starting to carry guns for fear of their lives

I mean would you be upset if a fast talking salesman or woman took away 90% of your livelyhood ?

and again thank god I was not stupid enough to buy in this whack market

just sayin


:{} avg joe said...

Just sayin

Coldwell Banker Hunt Kennedy will close up shop within 60 days,

The Real Deal reports, the largest brokerage to give up the ghost in these lean times. The 21-year-old, 214-agent company is the sixth largest brokerage in Manhattan, according to TRD. Coldwell Banker's parent company is NRT (a subsidiary of Realogy), which also owns the Corcoran Group and Sotheby's International Realty. [Real Deal]

Bangkok Property said...

Reall y enjoy reading your site, great to see how the other half lives.

Anonymous said...

Real Estate prices in France largely remain unaffected by the global recession compared to the U.S, Ireland, Spain etc... So WTF are you talking about? You clearly know nothing about the French Riviera & it's associated costs - so zip it!

Anonymous said...

All you people with your "only in America" are so stupid. First off, people all over the world have come from meager, even taudry beginnings to become very sucessful and wealthy....

Second, you are about as dumb as Avg. Joe if you believe his underwear modeling has anything to do with his abliity to purchase a lot in Beverly Park. Get a clue.

Anonymous said...

I think Marky Mark just posted at 7:20. So Marky, bash any gay boys lately?

(BTW, might want to get a sense of irony, dude)

Anonymous said...

Doesn't matter to me where Marky Mark got his money--I just wish he would do some more underwear modeling--I enjoyed him a LOT more showing off in his underwear tahn any movie he;s been in or directed.

Anonymous said...

Marky Mark is an example of someone with no talent hyped (pimped) in Hollywood to make others rich. He just went along for the ride. BTW are he and Clooney still an item?

Anonymous said...

A source close to Marky-Mark's real estate agent has said that Mark has sold his Oak Pass house, but the property is in escrow closing later on, as the buyer is trying to unload their place, allowing the Marky & his funky bunch time to move on.

Anonymous said...

Der gold in dem hills.

Little did the know at the time that the value was in the dirt.

angeleyes said...

re: Plans available for a 30,000 sq. ft. Mediterranean Villa.

I'm sure there are with the plethora of nouveau riche (although not so riche anymore) LA stuck in a rut of trying to outdo one another al la Mediterranean Villa style, but please tell me Mark isn't planning on building one. He's not getting any younger, and I hate to think of the beyond fit Wahlberg I can still see in mind's eye simultaneously wearing those Calvin Klein briefs in magazine ads and rapping shirtless on MTV, eventually caving to ambling around his home on a Rascal scooter.

With 2 level acres and several more, I can imagine an amazing compound estate, with a focus on lush, natural landscaping, minus yet another all too common, mundane, and impractical hotel sized monument to the ego, thank you very much.

Bangkok houses for sale said...
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