Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Jenny Craig Trims Her Real Estate Fat

SELLER Jenny Craig
LOCATION: Rancho Santa Fe, CA
PRICE: $8,995,000
SIZE: 10,029 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 4 full and 3 half bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Thanks to the kindness of Sandy Sandiego, Your Mama recently learned that diet plan diva Jenny Craig has put her posh pad in ritzy Rancho Santa Fe, CA on the market with an asking price of $8,995,000

Miz Craig and her deceased huzband/bidness partner Sidney founded the eponymous Jenny Craig weight loss and weight management system in Austrailia in the early 1980s and in the mid-1980s they exported their weight loss wares to the United States and around the world. In 2002 Mister and Missus Craig's lucrative diet plan enterprise was acquired by a private equity firm (MidOcean Partners) and in 2006 the company was sold to Nestlé in a deal worth approximately $600,00,000. Your Mama does not know how much moolah Mister and Missus Craig pocketed from either transaction, but from the looks of their real estate holdings in the Rancho Santa Fe area, the company and the sale of said company was enormously profitable for the pashas of the low-cal pre-planned meal.

Certainly the Jenny Craig diet plan (or whatever it's called) has helped a lot of people down size their denims but the program is not without critics and controversies. At least one website dedicated to the fine art of dieting claims it costs a person roughly eighty clams to lose every single pound on the Jenny Craig weight reduction regimen. By the rudimentary calculations of Your Mama's bejeweled abacus, iffin a person needs/wants to lose 100 pounds–and there are an unnerving number of people who waddle the streets and clog up the drive-thrus at Mac-Donalds who need to lose 100 pounds–it'll cost them an astonishing eight thousand dollars.

While our opinion ain't worth squat, the one and only weight loss plan Your Mama thinks actually works is to eat less, eat healthy and get up off your big ol' backside and get some damn exercise. All these porcine people who think they can freeze the fat off their asses or–like that bewigged and deluded Kim Zolciak ladee on The Real Housewives of Atlanta–decrease the size of their colossal cabooses by shining some silly lasers on their muffin tops are just wasting their damn dollars and being made the fool. Eat less, eat healthy and get up off your big ol' backside and get some damn exercise. That, butter balls, is the cold, hard truth on the matter.

Anyoodles poodles, let's get down off our dietary soap box, shall we? Jenny Craig–the company–seems pretty popular with the celebrity set or is, at least, well-known for celebrities being paid big bucks to provide testimonial and push the plan on over-weight non-celebrities. Over the years Jenny Craig's spokespeople have included Fat Actress Kirstie Alley who appears on an endless loop of puffing up and slimming down, former presidential mistress Monica Lewinsky, newly svelte actress Valerie Bertinelli, ladee-luvin' superstar musician/actress Queen Latifah and Seinfeld's Jason Alexander.

A peep and a poke around the public records reveals that Mister and Miz Craig scooped up their 3.37 acre Rancho Santa Fe estate in May of 1997. The property was purchased from the estate of Pete Rozelle, former commissioner of the National Football League–from January 1960 through November 1989–who went to meet the great quarterback in the sky in December 1996. Rancho Santa Fe is consistently ranked among the top 3 or 4 most expensive zip codes in California and among the most expensive in all of the United States of America.

The San Diego County Tax Man shows The Widda Craig's crib measures 10,029 square feet and includes 3 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms while listing information indicates there are 4+ bedrooms and 4 full and 3 half poopers in the main house. Another two bedrooms located in the 550 square foot guesthouse share, we presume, at least one more terliting and bathing facility.

The property, rather grandly called The Villa, sits on sloping lot in and un-gated community of similarly sized homes in Rancho Santa Fe and is saddled with yearly homeowners fees of $13,126 per year. Many rooms of the Spanish-Mediterranean mansion, circa 1992, and the backyard overlook Rancho Paseana Farm, a 228-acre thoroughbred race horse training facility that Mister and Missus Craig purchased in 1995 and Miz Craig currently has on the market with a mouth drying asking price of $29,950,000.

Huge wood gates swing open from the street into the first of three gravel motor courts at The Villa. A weave around a planter at the center of the first motor court brings one to the second motor court that has a fountain at the center swings around to the front front of the tile-roofed residence. A sharply curving drive extends off from the first motor court to a third motor court tucked out of site behind the guest house and garage.

Shallow and gently curved stone steps lead from the driveway to a stunning pair of arched antique wood doors that open into an airy, multi-level foyer with wood inlaid terra cotta tile floors. Just off the front door a tightly curving staircase that Norma Desmond would adore has a series of arched windows that march up the the exterior wall and a delicate and sensuous wrought iron banister. The entrance hall steps down into the 33-foot long formal living room with stone fireplace, intricately carved wood ceiling and a vaguely ecclesiastical carved wood chandelier. The nearby formal dining room with antique wood beamed ceiling and over-scaled parquet flooring that reminds Your Mama of the sorts of nightmares we had as a child where everything was in the puzzling, disturbing and extreme opposite proportion as in walking life.

That kitchen complex includes a butlers pantry, gore-may cookery and breakfast room where a floor to ceiling curving glass window frames the view of surrounding hills. The chestnut colored cabinetry has a carved rope detail that matches identically to the rope detailing on the edge of the granite counter tops, an unnecessary decorative conceit we don't particularly care for. Up above rough hewn beams, down below Mexican paver tiles laid at a 45-degree angle and in between sit two work islands, two dishwashers, full-sized side-by side-fridge and freezer and hand-painted vine and the walls around the arched windows.

Other rooms include a vast, stone floored family room with arched fireplace, built in sunken wet bar, a pool table placed at a disharmonious angle in the middle of the room and a gigantic old-school big screen tee-vee. There are three more boob-toobs in the paneled library/media room that features distressed wood floors, wood coffered ceiling, and fireplace with elaborate carved wood mantel. Lowerd people, who watches three programs on the tee-vee at one time? Your Mama's boozy brain can barely follow one program at a time so we'd wind up in the nut house for sure iffin we attempted to view three programs at one once. Just the very idea causes us to need a nerve pill to manage the presumed stress of an attempt to watch three programs at once.

The master bedroom suite includes a private study/office and a 29-foot long bedroom with a hand-painted mural on the ceiling, wet bar and private balcony. Both of the huge his and her poopers have separate showers and soaking tubs. "His" facility has a tee-vee mounted up on the wall like it's a damn hospital room and the "her" facility has a fireplace and more wall and ceiling murals that depict nekkid angels and other crap. Listen, cinnamon sticks, Rule Number 62 in Your Mama's Big Book of Decoratin' Dos and Don'ts states that wall murals in private residences must be approached with extreme caution. There is an impossibly thin line between a tasteful and well-conceived mural and an expensive piece of painted poo that represents a lame and painfully thwarted attempt to imbue a new(ish) house with a patina of age and old money. Although some exceptions can and must be made for wall and ceiling murals in houses of religious worship, any mural in a residential setting that depicts cherubs and/or angels shall arouse previously unknown depths of decorative suspicion and deep cynicism.

Miz Craig's property has a fully-finished 4-car garage/car museum with tile floors and tons of track lighting. Mister Craig, in his life, had a small but exquisite collection of historical automobiles, many of which were previously owned by celebrities. More than a dozen cars from the Craig collection were auctioned at Bonhams & Butterfields in August of 2010 including a 1933 Duesenberg convertible previously owned by William Boyd, a.k.a. Hopalong Cassidy and a 1935 Lincoln K V-12 Phaeton President Franklin D. Roosevelt used in California during his second re-election campaign. Mister Craig's collection also included vintage vehicles once owned by Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Clark Gable. Your Mama finds it interesting to note that at least two listing photographs show a Lincoln stretch limousine parked up in the Craig's garage. This leads Your Mama to believe that Mister and Miz Craig actually owned their own limousine which they, presumably, used to ostentatiously schlep around Rancho Santa Fe and San Diego. Having to rent a stretch limo for uppity events is one thing, candy canes, it's another thing to own a damn stretch limo. It's unseemly, really.

Anyhoo, the grounds at the rear of the house include vine shaded terraces, large swathes of very green rolling lawns, heated swimming pool, stone lined circular spa, tennis court and a 1,500 square foot pool pavilion. Your Mama thinks, but is not positive, that the Craig's installed a home fitness room in the pool pavilion complete with treadmill, free weights, punching bag, several other body toture devices and a small hot tub sitting right on the wall-to-wall carpeting, a situation that looks to Your Mama like nothing but a sure-fire recipe for mold.

Your Mama makes no claims to knowing a damn thing about the real estate market in Rancho Santa Fe and/or the value of the Craig's estate The Villa. What we do know from our brief bit o' research on the internets this morning is that the highest recorded price paid for a property in Rancho Santa Fe in the last year (as per Redfin) was $8,500,000 and that, puppies, was for a 21,000 square foot mega-mansion on 9 acres with 8 bedrooms and 10.5 poopers. Make of that what you will.

listing photos: Barry Estates


Jumpin' Jejosephat in LA said...

IMO, for what it's worth, the exterior and grounds are muy fabuloso. The interior, on the other hand, is more faux fabuloso. The murals, well, I'm afraid I'd constantly feel like I would be under the constant disapproving gaze of an organized religion that shall remain nameless (yes, I've got my stink-eye gazing right at you, your "holiness"). And really, who can cavort about the house sans clothing, frying up a batch of chicken to satisfy that midnight craving. Not to mention the nautiness that inevitably would be going on in the boudior. Talk about performance anxiety. "Peach. I think I'll paint the ceiling peach".

Anonymous said...

The kitchen has the uncomfortable feel of what Home Despot wants to be when it grows up. For some reason this post has me wondering if Suzanne Somers has ever unloaded Les Baux in Palm Springs.

Anonymous said...

Dieting is a matter of will-power and since most people have none, it's a lost cause. One has to congratulate Jenny on duping so many so profitably. People will not get thinner until drug companies find a diet pill that works and that the FDA will let past its reviews. So far, zilch. Sad.

Anonymous said...

Marky - I agree about the kitchen. But I do love the fact that you can look out the window at a view while both cooking on the rangetop or washing dishes.

steve mawson said...

I suppose that there are 7 poopers because when you eat that much you then have to get rid of it one way or another to maintain that svelt-figa. (Ms Craig can't ever be seen to be FAT now, can she ?)

Anonymous said...

Something tells me she doesn't eat her own prepackaged foods. If so, she'd have no use for a kitchen that big.

Anonymous said...

The Craigs have a beach house in Del Mar, right next door to my best friends grandparents. I have seen her running down the beach and chatted her up before. Very nice lady, but the first time I saw her I thought, "She's not that skinny...just a normal sized woman." Yep, guess she DOES eat in her kitchen!

Anyway, so THIS is what her Rancho Santa Fe home looks like. Beautiful! Wonder why she's sellin' although she doesn't need that much room anymore. Lookin' down over the 5 freeway from her back yard...not the best view to have.

Anonymous said...

Who's the photographer. I've been in this house, and these photos are very good. Did Jason Barry take these?

Asunnot Myynti said...

For me all in all really look classic..very wonderful