Monday, September 20, 2010

Let's Talk About Paul Allen, Shall We?

BUYER: Paul Allen
PRICE: $25,067,500
SIZE: 5,794 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: In early June of 2010, multi-billionaire Microsoft co-founder turned investor and philanthropist Paul Allen dropped a chilling $25,0067,500 for a crisp and clean lined contemporary on Malibu's pretty, pricey, and prestigious Carbon Beach. The purchase was reported far and wide but Your Mama thought it might be fun to revisit the matter and have a little look-see into a few of the other high-octane properties that crowd Mister Allen's porcine real estate portfolio.

In the early 2000s, Mister Allen enjoyed a net worth above $25,000,000,000. Today, according to Forbes, his fortune has dipped to a substantially less but still staggeringly high 12 or 14 billion bucks. In addition to his ventures and successes in the high-tech and telecommunications industries, Mister Allen also owns three professional sports teams: the Seattle Seahawks, the Portland Trailblazers, and the Seattle Sounders. Do not any of the children even consider asking Your Mama to identify what sort of sport each of these teams plays because we do not know nor do we have any inclination to care.

In addition to collecting Jimi Hendrix memorabilia and his extensive philanthropic gifts in science and medicine, the quirky Mister Allen is also well known for his somewhat bizarre investments in whackadoodle endeavors such things as SpaceShipOne, a commercial piloted space rocket that would allow private citizens up into space. He also gave many millions to the SETI Institute to fund research to scan outer space for signs of intelligent life.

In 1983 Mister Allen was diagnosed with and successfully treated for Hodgkins lymphoma and in November of 2009 it was announced by Mister Allen's family that he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Along with Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and 40 other billionaires in the United States, in July 0f 2010 Mister Allen pledged to give the majority of their vast fortune to philanthropic organizations and causes.

Whatever amount of his fortune Mister Allen decides to leave to pet causes and philanthropic concerns, and however troublesome the cancer may prove to be, his twenty five million dollar beach house buy in Malibu shows he still wants to live large and spend some of his immense riches snatching up high priced trophy properties to add to his already long list of über ritzy residences.

The architecturally striking gleaming glass and stucco structure on Carbon Beach, purchased through a corporation according to property records and previous reports, was sold by L.A.-based clothing manufacturing magnate Charles Perez who purchased the property in January of 1998 for $3,700,000. Although extensively remodeled, the original house was designed and built by architect Jerry Lomax. Your Mama isn't sure who handled the exterior overhaul or who did up Mister Perez's barely there interior day-core, but iffin any of the children know, be sure and give Your Mama a holler.

The 5,794 square foot house first appeared on the open market in January of 2010 with an asking price of $29,500,000. Listing information shows the house sits on 80-feet of oceanfront and includes 5 bedrooms and 7 poopers and the sort of ocean views that make rich people open their purse and happily pour out millions and millions and millions of dollars.

The front of the house, which faces bizzy and often traffic jammed Pacific Coast Highway, presents an opaque and angled collection of textured planes. While some will surely disagree in the most vehement manner, Your Mama thinks front façade stops short of feeling like a forbidding and unfriendly fortress due to the bright white walls and small patch of landscaping that includes itty-bitty sea grasses and a lovely line of Eucalyptus trees. Solid exterior doors set into a wall of horizontal frosted glass panels that mimic the horizontal lines pressed into the stucco walls open from the large driveway–large for an ocean front home on Carbon Beach, anyway–and into a secured and serene looking if not exactly quiet courtyard. A wide path of large square pavers that may or may not be limestone crosses the courtyard at an angle and passes through another small stand of fragrant Eucalyptus trees.

As one moves towards through the courtyard towards the glass front doors, the first mouth watering peek of the the deep blue of the Pacific Ocean comes into view. The front doors open into a generously scaled and sky-lit double height entrance hall that acts and the primary traffic hub for the house and reinforces the strong sight lines present throughout that house that direct and pull the eye towards the magnetically appealing view.

The U-shape of the house delineates and defines the use of interior space which puts the long living room, decent sized dining room and well equipped kitchen on the ocean side of the house for maximum visual impact and enjoyment. Dark hardwood floors, which Your Mama's impudent housekeeper Svetlana believes in her heart of hearts must be murder to keep from getting scratched all to hell by the sand that gets tracked in on flip flops and bare feet, ground the very airy rooms and allow the white walls to float and the ocean view to be the primary source of color in the house.

Long walls of floor to ceiling glazing in the living and dining rooms glide open, visually merge and successfully distort the distinction between and the interior and exterior spaces. The kitchen, directly behind the dining room, anchors one end of the long living room with the other anchored by a flat white wall pierced by a vertical row of open shelves that sits just to the left of the simple rectangular firebox that has no mantle or any hearth space to speak of. The bright yellow chairs ad a vibrant pop of bright color that Your Mama is positive perfectly complements the electric oranges, bright reds, and hot pinks of a classic California sunset.

The two legs of the U-shaped house extend away from the ocean and towards the street to create the courtyard entry. One leg stretches back from the kitchen and contains a sky-lit family room where a flat screen tee-vee is mounted above a long horizontal slit in the wall that divides the kitchen from the family room and creates a kind of snack bar. Although we imagine Mister Allen's nice, gay decorator will put his or her own stamp on the room, Your Mama rather likes the simplicity of the tone on tone putty and gray day-core. As in the living and dining rooms, the furnishings and artwork are kept simple at a minimum which keeps the focus on the view, which is the real star of the show here. Beyond the family room is a 2-car garage and–we think but can not confirm–laundry facilities and a staff suite.

The other leg of the U-shaped house contains a home gym, a couple of bedrooms and a media room with a large projection screen set into a wall of built in cabinets that hide the electronic equipment. No one loves a white slip-covered sofa more than Your Mama but we would most certainly have chosen versions without those country house rolled arms. They're just not cohesive with the simplicity of the architecture. In fact they kind of fight with it. While we would have preferred the cabinets in the media room be done much darker so that they would disappear in the dark while watching a movie, what Your Mama does j'adore about this room is that it provides a brief lesson and particularly nice example of the dee-voonly rigorous nature of the building's interior architecture. The children will note that from the media room there is an unobstructed and long, long, long sight line that continues all the way down the corridor, across the living room, out the windows, and past the rolling sea grass covered dunes to the ocean in the distance. No matter how deep into this house one is, a glimpse or a panoramic view of the ocean is just a short step or a quick head turn away.

There are two ocean side bedrooms upstairs, both with private poopers and open to large and private ocean side decks. The master bedroom occupies a long stretch at the center of the house with a long and tall strip of frameless glass that sucks in the view, and a fireplace over which a flat screen tee-vee is set into the wall and around which are sleek open shelves with enclosed cabinets along the bottom. We could do without the rust colored marble around the fireplace. It's pretty and probably cost as much as Your Mama's big BMW but it is our humble and meaningless opinion it would be appropriate in a more architecturally traditional setting. Tucked into the corner of the room a cute little desk provides a perfect spot for Mister Allen to check the balances on his bank accounts first thing in the morning and last thing before bed. There really is no rest for the wicked or the rich, is there?

The master pooper, a large space with separate jetted tub and glass enclosed shower that opens to the deck through a sliding glass window, has heinous, rustic and distressed wood cabinetry and accents that are incongruous and totally out of harmony with the otherwise uncluttered and unadorned rooms. We can only hope that Mister Allen has the good damn sense to hire a smart architect and/or nice, gay decorator to go in there and whip that pooper into shape.

The back of the house opens to a limestone terrace that surrounds a spectacular and spectacularly rare ocean side swimming pool and spa. At one end of the terrace a snug covered dining area has a tall wall of stacked stone with an outdoor fireplace. A frameless glass windscreen–that would surely be smudged and smeared with canine snot within 10 minutes of Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter's arrival with our wet nosed and long bodied bitches Linda and Beverly–marks the edge of the tailored and manicured areas and the beginning of the natural environment. The house sits far enough back from the ocean to allow for an expanse of low dunes covered in beach grass between the beach and the house that we imagine makes a soothing rustling noise as the breeze blows through the reeds.

Information Your Mama managed to tease out of the interweb thanks to a helping hand from Babbling Babette shows that in addition to having the property on the sales market, the former owner–that would be the aforementioned Charles Perez–had the house out for lease during the summer of 2010 with breathtaking asking prices of $150,000 for the month of June and $200,000 for the months of July and August. We do know that the house was rented for at least part of the summer. We don't know to whom or for how much. Anyone?

Carbon Beach, as the children surely know, is often referred to as "Billionaire's Beach" due to the staggering number of billionaires (and other filthy stinking rich folks) who own ocean front homes on that particular strip of highly desired sand. Immediately next door to Mister Allen's new beach shack is the John Lautner designed dwelling currently owned by dueling and dee-vorcing duo Jame and Frank McCourt who bought the swooping and organic residence in July of 2007 for $27,300,000 from architectural aficionados Courtney Cox and David Arquette. The McCourts also own the house on the other side of the their Lautner that they bought for $19,000,000 as extra space for family and friends. Given the bitter state of affairs between the erstwhile McCourts, Your Mama would not be the least bit surprised if both of these houses were soon hoisted on the market.

Other denizens of coveted Carbon Beach includes Jeffrey Katzenberg who owns a Gwathmey Seigel designed compound, former Yahoo! CEO Terry Semel whose funky digs were done by Michael Graves, gay gajillionaire David Geffen who has a four-lot compound reminiscent of the Hamptons, prolific action film producer Joel Silver, and restaurant mogul Peter Morton who has relatively recently completed dee-voon domicile designed by architect Richard Meier. Other Carbon Beachers include Eli Broad, Lou Adler, Haim Saban, and tech tycoon Larry Ellison who owns at least 8 homes on Carbon Beach. The estate of deceased philanthropist Nancy Daly currently has her former Carbon Beach house listed at $47,000,000 (reduced from $57,000,000) and the hulking ocean front house of real estate financier William Chadwick was recently re-listed at $35,000,000 after first hoisting the property onto the open market in the summer of 2008 an improbably high $65,000,000 price tag.

By all accounts, Mister Allen calls a vast multi-parcel compound on Washington State's fancy-schmancy Mercer Island home. According to previous reports and property records, Mister Allen first began to assemble his compound on the western side of Mercer Island along the shore of Lake Washington in 1985. Your Mama spent some time peeping and poking around the public property records and counted at least 10 parcels, some on the water and some across the street on the land side. With the assistance of our trusty and bejeweled abacus Your Mama counted nearly 50,000 square feet of interior space spread through out 7 or 8 separate residences that combined cost Mister Allen almost $20,000,000 to purchase.

In the mid-2000s, the government of Mercer Island–or whatever entity makes these decisions–declined Mister Allen's request to put a helipad on one of his properties. Ever the problem solver, Mister Allen skirted around the matter and purchased a funky, flat-topped watercraft that on top of which a helicopter can land. The famous floating helipad chugs out into Lake Washington where the whirlygig sets down and then returns to the dock. Problem solved and, it seems, a big ol' fuck you to the people who declined his request for an onshore landing pad.

In Los Angeles, Mister Allen owns a 12,952 square foot Mediterranean style mansion in Beverly Hills, CA that is famous for the funicular that ferries folks from the pool deck the tennis court that sits lower on the hillside and atop, we hear through the real estate gossip grapevine, a massive underground garage. The mansion was built in the early 1990s on the property where closeted silver screen icon Rock Hudson died of AIDS in 1985.

Mister Allen, according to property records, purchased the property in April of 1997 through the same corporation through which he purchased his new home in Malibu. The seller was writer/producer/director John Landis who is perhaps best known for writing and directing Michael Jackson's Thriller video. He also directed The Kentucky Fried Movie, Animal House, and The Blues Brothers just to name of few of the long list of films and tee-vee programs with his name on them. Nearby property owners include supermodel turned entertainment mogul Tyra Banks, horror film honcho Clive Barker, aqua-queen Esther Williams, and Greek shipping heir (and former Paris Hilton paramour) Paris Latsis.

Mister Allen's real estate portfolio bulges not only with notable stateside properties, he also owns the Villa Maryland in the South of France (Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat). The Florentine style hilltop villa, built in 1904 by British ship builder Arthur Wilson, was lent (or leased) to peripatetic superstars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and their ever increasing band of multi-culti celebutots who shacked up at the villa in the spring of 2008 while they awaited the birth of their twins.

Like all multi-billionaires in a seemingly endless and desperate race to keep up with the Joneses–and the Al Mahktoums and the Ellisons and the Abramovichs–Mister Allen owns a couple of floating mansions that rank among the longest and most luxurious on the planet. In the spring of 2010 it was reported that Mister Allen had put his smaller boat, the 303-foot Tatoosh, on the market with an asking price of €125,000,00. At today's rates, according to Your Mama's currency conversion contraption, that is a face smacking $163,079,000 to all us American folk across the pond. The Tatoosh , according to marketing materials, has 5 decks and accommodates 24 guests in 12 staterooms plus crew of 35. The big boat's full width wood paneled main salon has hardwood floors and a carved limestone fireplace and there is a shaded swimming pool on the aft section of the main deck that's equipped with a floor that at the touch of a butten can be adjusted to a depth of six feet. Other luxuries, according to reports, include a movie theater, fitness center, two helicopter decks, a 40-foot launch, a 40-foot sail boat, and 5 Sea-doos.

Although there is some scuttlebutt among yacht gossips that due to the financial implosion of Charter Communications–the cable company that Mister Allen owns 51% of and which declared bankruptcy in 2009–may also want–or need–to sell his larger boat, the 414-foot long Octopus that reportedly costs Mister Allen a dumbfounding $384,000 per week to maintain. A few quick flicks of the well worn beads of our bejeweled abacus shows that comes to $19,968,000 per year just to keep the damn boat afloat, a number, the children should keep in mind, that does not as far as we can tell include the hundreds of thousands of clams it costs to fill the freaking gas tank. The super-sleek and midnight blue hulled Octopus reportedly requires a crew of 60, and includes necessities such as a swimming pool, music studio, basketball court, 7 launches, 2 submarines, and 2 helicopters.

listing photos: Everett Fenton Gidley for Westside Estate Agency


Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if Mr. Allen has a "significant other" (male or female) with whom to share all this bounty? One gathers his immense wealth came from...well... piggybacking (I guess one would call it) on his buddy Gates.

Anonymous said...

wow, now that is one beautiful house.

lil' gay boy said...

A lovely contemporary right on Carbon Beach, and right next door to that incredible Lautner creation once owned by Courtney Cox-Arquette.

I get the all-white palette approach in oceanfront west coast homes, but all that unrelieved white in the direct sun is nothing if not blinding. But as the sun goes down, it paints a unique palette every time. The only drawback being that retreating indoors during the hottest part of the day results in feeling like you dwell in the depths of a kleig light.

Other than the high school science lab ambiance of the kitchen, this home displays the best efforts of southern hemisphere architects such as Fearon Hay and their Cliff House in New Zealand (albeit much less austere that Carbon Beach). I'd sell my own mama for that tub...

Given his real estate portfolio, I want to marry Mr. Allen (which would be somewhat easier with my own mama out of the way).

Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful house but how the hell would you keep all that white clean?
My Chocolate point Burmese lady would have every single inch of it covered in cat fur within a week.
But I would be prepared to try it anyway.
The Aussie

Lauren said...

I've never even heard of Paul Allen - but I think he could have bought an entire beach (and the island it rings) for $25m. It hurt my head (and ego) to count that many zeros. Damn the man.

Anonymous said...

Re: Aussie...thanks for describing your Burmese cat covering this blazing white house in she should!

We lost our Sable Burmese in 2008 to kidney failure after fifteen wonderful years. I'd truly rather have my beautiful girl back purring in my arms than live in this lovely house.

Aunt Gina said...

"multi-culti celebutots"...rolling on the floor do have a wonderful way with words.

Anonymous said...

i'd sacrifice my own cat to live in this house

(and if i could afford to buy it, i don't think i'd be the one cleaning it)

Maude said...

didn't he tear down a Wallace Neff Casa Encantada years ago?

Unknown said...

The best way to find out who Paul Allen is, watch the movie "The Pirates Of Silicon Valley". You can find it on "youtube". One of the great sleepers of all time. This song is in it -

ms. helga

Unknown said...

The best way to find out who Paul Allen is, watch the movie "The Pirates Of Silicon Valley". You can find it on "youtube". One of the great sleepers of all time. This song is in it -

ms. helga

Unknown said...

One of the great lines from the movie "Pirates of Silicon Valley" is between Steve Jobs -The founder of Apple and Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft. Jobs asks Gates to come for a meeting and the first thing Gates does is accuse Allen of stealing the "Mouse" idea from Xerox. Steve turns to Gates and says - "Remember what Picasso said - good artists copy and GREAT ARTISTS STEAL!"

Anonymous said...

I would love to check out Clive Barker's house! I bet he's got a creepy collection of the macabre.

Anonymous said...

@ Maude - sadly, yes. At the top of Angelo Drive.

Unknown said...

Dear Moma - WOW - Talk about trick photography and my last post about Picasso's statement -"Good artists copy, but GREAT ARTISTS STEAL", I did a"" on 22432 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, Ca. and got a picture that shows what can be done with photography these days. In your lower right hand corner picture one gets the feeling they are somewhere out in the Hamptons all alone instead of the "squished bug" effect you see in the original one. Which one is real? I hope Mr. Allen didn't buy this out of a catalog. Now go to 22338 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, Ca. on Zillow. Com and tell me that picture is not photo shopped. It looks like it is sitting in the middle of nowhere. It looks as phony as a Hawaiian birth certificate.

PS - 12 Billion Dollars



In other words the house cost him about 2 and a half cents.

Have a nice day

ms. helga

Jeannified said...

Wow! Beautiful place! I can't imagine owning that much property! The rich and famous sure do have it tough! ;-)

Anonymous said...

I've gotten stuck in Paul Allen's funicular before, lol. He uses it to run people between his house and his "studio" where he jams and records music. My friend helps him organize parties and bring cute girls. You can read more about here if yo want - dont know if you accept links but ...

Anonymous said...

His new GF helped him host his 2012Halloween bash at the Beverly Hills house.