Monday, February 28, 2011

In Other London Property News

The British property tabs are abuzz with whispers and reports that American movie star and notorious man-eater Kate Hudson bought a £4,000,000 in North London where she plans to settle down with Muse frontman Matt Bellamy and the child they're soon to bring into the world out of wedlock. Scandale!

Anyhoo, details are pretty damn slim and at this point we're not even sure there's a shred of veracity to this particular bit real estate gossip but the story goes that the happy couple will move into the mews-style house after a renovation that's to include a nursery–natch–games room and guest bedrooms for Miss Hudson's super star mother Goldie Hawn and still quite fetching stepfather Kurt Russell.

Some reports indicate that couple also poked around Cornwall for a holiday home. Your Mama happens to to have heard through the celebrity real estate gossip grapevine that Miss Hudson and Mister Bellamy toured at least one house in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles several weeks back. However, we'd would bet our long bodied bitches Linda and Beverly that Miss Hudson has no real plans to sell or move from her longtime home in the upscale enclave of Pacific Palisades, CA.

Miss Hudson and Mister Bellamy–who wore the most amazing sparkly silver suit at the 2011 Grammy Awards a few weeks ago–have been dating less than a year after they reportedly met at Coachella, the music and art festival that goes down in the desert about 20 miles south of Palm Springs, CA.

We're skeptical about this one puppies but we'll just have to wait and see how this real estate story plays itself out.

Billionaire Bernie Ecclestone Wants to Unload in Chelsea

SELLER: Bernie Ecclestone
LOCATION: London, U.K.
PRICE: £14,000,000
SIZE: 4,175 square feet 3-4 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Itty-bitty British billionaire Bernie Ecclestone may indeed be a controversial character with an Andy Warhol style hair-don't he's also a real estate baller. Once upon a time, in the not so distant real estate past, the bantam billionaire paid a panty-knotting and eye-popping £50,000,000 for an immense pile in Central London that overlooks London's Kensington Palace and previously served as both the Russian and Egyptian embassies.

However and alas, his then wife, a much younger 6-foot 2-inch former Armani model from Croatia named Slavica , apparently didn't care much for the palatial pad and reportedly refused–or declined–to move into the house that includes 20-car underground parking and a private damn hair salon. Word to the wise: It's best to consult your spouse when spending 70 or eighty million smackers on a new house. In 2004, three years after buying but never occupying the 15-bedroom beast, the Formula One race car honcho sold the the place at a significant profit for £57,000,000 to steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal. Brace yourselves butter beans because according to our trusty currency conversion contraption that works itself out to a stratospheric $91,835,000 at today's rates, a figure that does not read as the price of a private residence but rather the GDP of an impoverished country.

Theirs was a cliché romance and marriage–she a striking young filly with a taste for the good life and he a petite billionaire old enough to be her father and with money to burn–but it endured an impressive 24 years and produced a pair of statuesque daughters. Mister and Missus Ecclestone publicly split in 2008 and the following year spun through the court of dee-vorce where Missus Ecclestone became ex-Missus Ecclestone and received a settlement rumored and widely reported to be in range of a billion bucks. Not such bad work if you can get it, no?
As far as Your Mama knows–and we really know so very little–Mister Ecclestone's primary residence in London remains the staid if somewhat mousy-looking mansion (above) that overlooks upscale Chelsea Square. Mister Ecclestone's mansion happens to be directly across the street from a converted art school building where he owns a lavish cond0-crib that recently reappeared on the market with an asking price of £14,000,000. That's $22,556,000 at today's rates for all us folks the good ol' U.S. of A.

The big-spending octogenarian billionaire reportedly paid £6,875,000 for the first-floor spread in June of 2006. A few quick calculations shows that comes to 11,076,600 U.S. bucks at today's rates. The apartment was previously reported to have been occasionally used by ex-Missus Ecclestone and the former couple's towering twenty-something year daughters Petra and Tamara. A little more on the real estate shenanigans of those globe-trotting glamazons to come.

Listing information and marketing materials for the Mister Ecclestone's contemporary condo show it measures a mini-mansion-sized 4,175 square feet and includes 3-4 bedrooms and 4.5 poopers. Although the apartment is only on the first floor–that's the second floor for all us posies across the pond–two elevators open directly into a gracious but far from grand entrance hall.

The main living spaces include an oddly-shaped but quite commodious reception room that stretches 37-feet at its widest point and has dark hardwood floors, built-in bookshelves, a fireplace and a series of floor to-ceiling windows and French doors that open to a terrace at the back of the building. The adjacent formal dining room was done-up by the nice, gay decorator in what we think of as a South Beach boo-teek hotel-style. The walls are painted with the identical shade of dusty-blush as the floor to ceiling draperies that help but do not completely disguise the wonky shape of the room.

The clean-lined eat-in kitchen has plenty of room for a private chef to whip up a gourmet meal for 20 and includes integrated appliances, a separate utility room and pantry and a television mounted between the two large windows that overlook Manresa Road. The muted palette of gray counter tops and striated chocolate and caramel colored cabinetry gets anemically enlivened with a trio of baby-blue stools pulled up to the large work island lit by a couple of chandeliers that look a little like jellyfish or, perhaps, space ships beaming cones of light down on earth.

Two modest-size guest rooms with windows on the street-side of the building each have well-appointed but, unfortunately, windowless en suite facilities. The sizable master suite contains a long entrance hall off of which are a large bedroom, custom-fitted closet and dressing room plus additional closets and storage space, a pair of über-luxe but windowless bathrooms and an adjacent room that could be used as an office, sitting room, gym, Pilates studio, or as a small-ish.

The swanky condo is fitted with all the high-tech hoo-has and doo-dads one can expect in a recently renovated London residence that costs twenty-something million bucks. These features include, according to listing information, an integrated music/television system, electronically controlled curtains and blinds, air conditioning and filtration systems, and radiant heat throughout. The condo comes complete with two private parking spots and the fancy building offers large communal gardens and 24-hour porterage, which means wealthy residents of the building need never carry groceries or baggage from their car to their condo. The yearly fees associated with the unit amount to a reported £60,000 per year. That's nearly eight U.S. smackers per month. Lawhd, people, it makes Your Mama's weak heart skip a damn beat to think of coughing up eight grand a month just so we didn't have to open up the door to the damn building or carry our own groceries.

Both Mister Ecclestone's Chelsea Square mansion and his condominium across the street are mere real estate child's play when it comes to the residential circumstances of his young socialite daughters Petra and Tamara. The elder Ecclestone off-spring, 26-year old Tamara, is reported to be on the precipice of the purchase of a £45,000,000 property in Kensington Palace Gardens, the same swish and super-secure enclave in Central London as the above mentioned monster-manse that Lakshmi Mittal bought from Poppa Ecclestone a few years back. That's a heart-stopping $72,501,300 for all us Americanos. Young Miss Ecclestone–who already owns a behemoth bachelorette pad in hoity-toity Belgravia, and her live-in stockbroker man-beau–will soon be hosting backyard barbecues for the slew of neighboring billionaires who include a Saudiroyal or two, Russian-American business tycoonLeonard Blavatnik and British real estate mogul Jonathan Hunt.

When Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter moved into our far more modest Hollywood Hills abode the neighbors were all very sweet and brought over welcoming gestures such as a tin of home made cookies or a bottle of wine. What, pray tell, does one bring over as a housewarming gift to a 26-year old girl with a 70+ million dollar house? A Mercedes? An Hermès Birkin bag? A minimum-wage worker whose salary is paid up for a year?
In December of 2010 word slipped down the international real estate gossip grapevine that the younger Ecclestone daughter, 22-year old Petra, shelled out a knee-buckling and equilibrium-upsetting £66,000,000 to acquire Sloane House, a monumental Grade II-listed mansion near London's natty and nabobish Sloane Square. That, chickdereeos, amounts to well over $100,000,000 at today's currency conversion rates. When she completes renovations and moves into the mall-sized her new neighbors will reportedly include Mick Jagger, Jemima Khan and Elizabeth Hurley.

Believe it or not, hunnies, Mister Ecclestone has publicly insisted that his daughters, neither of whom appear to have jobs, are not spoiled. Bitch, pleeze. It's your money to spend as you wish Mister Ecclestone, but we beg to differ. Any 22-year old gal with a seventy million dollar house the size of a tsarist-palace paid for by mumsy and daddy is unquestionably and irretrievably spoiled. There really are not two ways about that Mister Ecclestone. There just isn't.

There are scads of reports that suggest that in addition to his London property holdings Mister Ecclestone also owns the so-called Chalet Le Lion in Switzerland's glittery aprés-ski resort of Gstaad. We would be shocked clean out of our Chelsea boots if that was the extent of his personal property portfolio.

exterior photo: Knight Harwood
interior listing photos: Aylesford
photo (Sloane House): Beauchamp Estates

Friday, February 25, 2011

Real Estate Round Up: Courtney Love

We probably should just leave this alone but we just can't resist ourselves a wee bit of Courtney Love's special brand of I'm-a-rock-star-crazy, especially when it comes to her peripatetic real estate ways.

In late 1997 Miss Love reportedly bought a house in Beverly Hills, CA for about $3,000,000 from the then recently out-of-the-closet comedienne Ellen Degeneres. In 2001, having already bought a condo in New York City, Miss Love sold the Bev Hills house to British superstar Sir Paul McCartney. It was here at this house that Mister McCartney's former Beatle band mate George Harrison died in 2001.

Miss Love subsequently settled into her fourth floor loft in a newly converted and super-luxe warehouse building 0n cobble stoned Crosby Street in New York City's SoHo 'hood. She paid $2,647,500 for the 4,123 square foot sprawler located in the same swank boutique building where fashion-forward high-heel wearing musician Lenny Kravitz recently sold his duplex penthouse for $12,750,000 to multiple Grammy winner Alicia Keys and her music producer baby daddy and huzband Swizz Beatz.

Anyhoo, as is often the case wherever Miss Love goes, hilarity and chaos reigned supreme during her tenure on Crosby. There are scads of stories and scandalicious reports of antics and bizarre behavior that included a bewildered Miss Love peering into car windows and cadging cigarettes from pedestrians on the street in front of the building. One tenant told the press a story about nearly tripping over an obviously panty-less Miss Love who had, ironically, spilled panties out of her suitcase and all over the floor of the building's attended lobby.

The irrepressibly lubricious Miss Love sold the 4,123 square foot loft, according to Streeteasy, in March of 2006 for an even-steven five million big ones. New Your City über-agent Wilbur Gonzalez told Jennifer Gould Keil at the NY Post in late December 2010 that when Miss Love vacated the premises she left scrawlings on one of the walls in the kitchen that included the telephone numbers of Elton John and Michael Jackson. She may be as batty as three bees in a tornado and sometimes get so drunk she can't pull up her own socks but, chickens, this Miss Love is still a goddam celebrity with a little black book that would make even the most jaded star fucker swoon with envy and self-loathing.

Miss Love landed back in Los Angeles in the mid-naughts. For some time she's said to have lived on Alpine Drive in the flats of Beverly Hills, in the Hollywood Hills house once owned by Natalie Imbruglia and for a some time she lived near the Sunset Strip in a rented Mediterranean-style mansion on a gated street just below the recently rehabbed Beverly Hills residence of t.v. and movie actress Jennifer Aniston who, the real estate children surely know by now, has (allegedly) engaged Platinum Triangle super-broker Jade Mills to shop her 9,000+ square foot extravaganza off-market for more than forty million bucks.

During an impromptu August 2009 interview with a reporter from New York magazine conducted in a public toilet at NYC's Sunshine Cinemas, Miss Love revealed that she and her teenage daughter Frances Bean Cobain were fixin' to decamp Tinseltown for The Big Apple. This was just months before the legendarily mercurial mommy lost legal custody of young Miss Cobain who inherited a substantial fortune from her famously deceased rock star father Kurt Cobain.

We don't claim to know of all of the unlucky locations where Miss Love has bivouacked since heading east to New York City in late 2009 but we do know that she shacked up for a short time in a posh parlor-floor pad in the Chelsea Mansion, a Greek Revival-style townhouse on West 20th Street where the five modestly-sized but well-serviced apartments rent for $15,000 per month or more.

After leaving the Chelsea Mansion, Miss Love and her recently suspended twitter account alighted in the tourist swamped shopping mecca of SoHo where she set up house rockstar-style in a suite at the chic and celebrity-friendly Mercer Hotel. At least once she's appeared in all her boozy glory in the hotel's chi-chi lobby and given an extemporaneous concert, behavior that some speculated would not have been tolerated had she not been (allegedly) shtupping handsome Andre Balazs, the hotel's jet-setting owner and former man-friend of Uma Thurman.

Since at least the beginning of August 2010 (see item #3), Miss Love began to twitter and tell press people about her burning desire to acquire the four-floor West Village townhouse that model turned actress Mila Jovovich then had on the market for $7,500,000. There was a lot of noise made on the matter, mostly by by Miss Love, including a tweet in late November that stated that she'd finally secured the lease to the townhouse. But alas, it was not meant to be if it ever was at all. Just two short weeks after Miss Love's tweet of real estate delight, news broke that Ms. Jovovich's townhouse had actually been sold to IMAX Corp. CEO Rich Gelfond.

Miss Love reportedly left for London, tail tucked between her real estate legs, in late 2010 and speedily fell into the arms and home of contemporary art dealer and gallery owner Henry Allsopp who, in her own words, "saved" her from her own damn self and to whom she has, reportedly and shockingly, signed over power of attorney of her assets.
All of this brings us to the latest news on Miss Love's ongoing, ever-present and always entertaining real estate whirlwind. Either Mister Allsopp and Miss Love have parted ways personally (and professionally) or Mister Allsopp has approved the reported (and alleged) lease by Miss Love of a four-story townhouse in New York City's West Village (above). A tipster recently told the fine folks at Curbed that Miss Love has finally settled on a townhouse and signed a lease for a quaint, quirky, sophisticated and fully-renovated 25-foot wide 4-story townhouse on West 10th Street. No word on what's she's actually paying but the house was last on the market fully furnished with a $28,000 per month price tag.

The house had been for sale on and off since May of 2009 with an asking price as high as $8,800,000. Property records shows the sellers were a couple of gentlemen, one of them a former banker and the other the much lauded and applauded nice gay, decorator Steven Gambrel. In all seriousness and with all due respect, Miss Gambrel really knows how to work a room over and as such the townhouse was featured in the January 2009 issue of Elle Decor. The buyer, who records reveal paid $7,640,000 for the totally turned out townhouse in early October 2010, is listed as a business entity that connects to an address in Chicago as well as to at a ritzy residence in Coconut Grove, FL that happens to be currently on the market with an asking price of $9,800,000. Make of that what you will.
The glossy black front door of the Greek Revival-style townhouse from the early 1800s opens into a wide entrance hall with a sexy curved staircase straight ahead and, immediately to the right, a small reception room with lusciously lacquered steel-blue walls and smartly over-scaled and unvarnished herringbone-patterned antique wood floors. The fireplace in the intimate reception room is the first of six in the house. Up half a flight from the entrance all and concealed door hides a service and guest wing that includes laundry facilities, three-quarter bath and an itty-bitty bedroom papered in an over-sized and beyond bold red, blue and yellow ikat pattern.

The curving staircase sweeps up another half flight to a 25-foot wide living room that has Tiffany blue walls, heavy moldings and fireplaces at each end. Off the short hall that connects the stairs to the living room are a study/bedroom, wet bar, stereo cabinet and powder pooper.

On the top level a petite guest room has a fireplace and private hall bathroom and the master bedroom has another fireplace and attached facilities. Closet space is slim but there's a large custom-fitted and windowed dressing room that helps to make up for that shortcoming. Any guest of Miss Love's who stays in the upper level guest room will surely be treated to seeing their 40-something year old train wreck hostess parade back and fourth between the bedroom and the dressing room.

Half way down the stairs from the entrance level to the basement kitchen glass doors open to a tiny but charming terrace. The unfortunately all-but-windowless lower level has a massive fireplace flanked by a cozy sitting area and an eat-in kitchen outfitted in a sophisticated style that marries contemporary cabinetry and high-tech appliances with original architectural details like the exposed (and painted) brick walls that act as a bumpy back splash and give the room some historical gravitas.

We really haven't any idea if Miss Love has leased this townhouse or not but for a woman who herself often cries poverty to the press, she sure does manage to scrape together the do-re-mi to live in pretty pricey and damn luxe circumstances, don't she?

More mouth-watering photos of the townhouse can be found on the website of the quite accomplished designer Steven Gambrel.

photos: Corcoran
floor plan: Halstead via Curbed

A Big Deal Goes Down at NYC's Lordly 834 Fifth Avenue

In the late 80s, Columbus, OH-based billionaire businessman Leslie Wexner bought a palatial 21,000 square foot townhouse on the Upper East Side of New York City. In 1996 or '07 he sold the East 71st Street townhouse, complete with a secret lead-lined bathroom with closed-circuit television, to the lavish living prostie lovin' financier and philanthropist Jeffrey Epstein whose prurient affinity for very young woman landed him in the clink in 2008.

About the time he was selling his titanic townhouse to Jeffrey Epstein, Mister Wexner reportedly paid a wealthy Italian lady somewhere in the neighborhood of nine million clams for a 16-room fixer-upper duplex at the high-nosed 834 Fifth Avenue. The apartment, with only two rooms that face Central Park, was previously owned by billionaire Rupert Murdoch who hauled his heiny up a few flights when he famously paid a heart-stopping $44,000,000 for the triplex penthouse at 834. Your Mama has been told a number of times by a number of Upper East Side types who tend to know about these things that Mister Wexner and his wife Abigail had their five bedroom crib at 834 worked over by autocratic French architect Thierry Despont.

Shortly after news broke in late December 2009 that the Wexner's had snatched up a 3,480 square foot condo at 15 Central Park West for $13,100,000, the folks at the New York Observer snitched that Mister and Missus Wexner had quietly floated their duplex at 834 Fifth Avenue on the market with a mind-numbing $60,000,000 asking price. In early December of 2010 it was revealed, also in the New York Observer, that the asking price had dropped dramatically to $34,000,000 and sold to an unknown buyer.

A couple weeks late the buyer was identified in the NY Post as commercial real estate magnate Lazarus "Larry" Heyman who, it may surprise the children to know, is not yet forty years old.

This week The Real Deal announced that the Wexner actually sold his duplex digs at 834 for $36,000,000, a number that would indicate that there may have been a second interested party that drove the final sale price up to two million above the reported asking price.

Mister Heyman and his wife Kim, formerly of Sutton Place, now have uppity neighbors who include Bing Crosby's son Harry, philanthropist, haute couture queen and high society doyenne Carroll McDaniel Portago Carey-Hughes Pistell Petrie who once lived on the 5th floor and now lives in Pauline Pitt designed digs on the 10th floor and famously fat living former "King of Wall Street" John Gutfreund and his very social wife Susan whose live primarily in a plush Parisian apartment they put up for sale in 2010 but still maintain an opulent Henri Samuel designed 16-room apartment at 834 Fifth Avenue that measures in at a hefty hefty hefty 12,000 square feet.

photos: The Office of Thierry Despont

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Anyone up for...

...a little Charlie Sheen real estate crazy?

Col. Gaddafi's Second Son Lets London Pad

OWNER: Saif al-Islam Gaddafi
LOCATION: London, U.K.
PRICE: £9,750/week
SIZE: 7,757 square feet, 7-8 bedrooms, 8 full and 2 half bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Anyone who's even remotely conscious ought to know by now that things are really gettin' down and goin' plum nutty in northern Africa and the Middle East. An angry but peaceful grass roots revolution have already sent Egypt's long-time president Hosni Mubarak packing and in Yemen anti-government protests going on right this very second have the government shaking in their beaded slippers. Even though he's publicly declared he'll die a martyr before leaving, Libya's despotic dictator Col. Muammar al-Gaddafi may not have a choice. A brave and roiling revolt that rages in Libya wants him gone and an obviously rattled Gaddafi has already lost control of much of the eastern part of the country he's ruled since taking over in a 1969 coup. If things continue the way they're already going Mister al-Gaddafi may soon be on the lam.

Many recent reports suggest that Misters Mubarak and al-Gaddafi siphoned and squirreled away vast sums of ill-gotten gains. Well, duh! Some reports suggest Mister Mubarak's riches may add up to between forty and seventy billion bucks and additional news stories suggest that Mister al-Gaddafi may have amassed a slightly smaller but still obscenely monumental fortune of around $60,000,000,000. So, you know, children, neither Evita Perón nor Argentina itself will cry for these two tyrants or their families as they sadly whittle away the rest of their lives in lavishly-appointed exile in whatever country (or countries) will harbor them.

Quirky and unpredictable Mister al-Gaddafi has a long-standing and complicated but quite cozy relationship with, among others, the government of the United Kingdom. Over the years Mister al-Gaddafi invested large sums of money into British concerns and real estate. These lucrative investments include a substantial stake in Pearson Group, the company that owns the venerable and influential U.K.-based newspaper the Financial Times. On a smaller scale, a business entity registered in the British Virgin Islands reportedly paid £10,000,000 for a mansion in the upscale Hampstead Garden Suburb in North London in December of 2009. The company and the house are believed and reported to be owned by The Colonel's son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi.

Despite having a despot for a father, young Saif managed to live an open and glamorous life in London and other chic and sophisticated cities around the world. He's legend among the global glitterati for hosting parties in glitzy locales like St. Tropez and Monaco. In 2009 he celebrated his 37th birthday in Montenegro at a party reportedly attended by international movers and shakers such as Albert II–that would be the Prince of Monaco, natch–London-based steel tycoon Laskmi Mittal, Canadian gold-mining magnate Peter Munk, Austrian billionaire businessman Martin Schlaff and Russian uber-billionaire Oleg Derispaska.

Like the rich and famous who live in relative peace and freedom in democratic countries, the children of north African autocrats also have a propensity to catching a case of The Real Estate Fickle. Apparently and despite a very recent gut-renovation of the four-floor house, Mister al-Gaddafi the Younger has decided he no longer wants to live there and–we learned from the always informative London property blog The Rat and Mouse–has put it up for lease at a pricey £9,750 per week. A quick consult with our trusty currency conversion contraption shows that works out to a very high-fallutin' $15,792 per week for all us Americanos.

Listing information for the Hampstead Garden Suburb house generously provided to us by a fine informant we'll call LaToya Lettin'yaknow shows the house spans 7,757 square feet and includes 7 or 8 bedrooms and 8 full and 2 half bathrooms.

The stately and traditional brick-built exterior belies the minimalist modern architecture and day-core on the inside. The glam grips you right inside the front door that opens into a triple-height sky-lit reception hall where a glass-railed stair wraps dramatically around the room. To one side a small sitting room and straight ahead a giant drawing room with white stone floors (that may or may not be marble), contempo fireplace and a semi-circular bay window lined floor to ceiling with glass. Frosted glass panels fold back and join the drawing room to an L-shaped dining room/family room/kitchen combo. French doors in the dining area open out to a terrace that overlooks the substantial landscaped rear garden.

Upstairs, three bedrooms, each with en suite facilities, surround a master suite complete with dressing area, built in entertainment systems and private bath that includes two sinks, a terlit and a bidet, a soaking tub for two and, somewhat oddly, two glass enclosed shower stalls. The top floor contains two more bathrooms and a jumble of flexi-use rooms that could easily accommodate two to four more bedrooms.

In addition to a staff room with attached bath, storage space and utility room, the lower ground floor–which marketing materials calls the "leisure level" and Americans call a finished basement–includes a chocolate-colored suede-lined cinema room and a mirrored exercise/yoga/massage/relax room flanked by a bathroom, steam room and sauna. Floor to ceiling glass panels separate the room from the blue Bizazza-tiled indoor swimming pool and spa.

Naturally, young and flashy Mister al-Gaddafi's sybaritic residence comes fully equipped with a state-of-the-art home automation system that control the fireplaces and curtains as well as the the lighting, heating and cooling, audio-visual and hardcore security apparatus that includes cameras that record on to a hard drive.

As luxe and impressive as a house like this may be to whomever can afford the fifteen grand a week rent, what sort of person would feel comfortable with the all-but-unhinged and kinda freaky Col. Muammar al-Gaddafi for a landlord? Especially right now when he's probably in a very sour and bombastic mood.

Anyone? Hello? Is anyone there?

listing photos and floor plan: Glentree International

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

...More Nic Cage Foreclosure News

Over the last few years real estate gossips around the world spent (too) many hours and ten tons of ink dutifully documenting the spectacular, painful and byzantine financial fall from grace experienced by Oscar-winning actor Nice Cage. Although Mister Cage was paid $20,000,000 for at least three of the dozens of movies in which he's starred he still somehow managed to find himself in a serious financial pickle. Mister Cage claims he was led down the financial garden path by a business manager who mismanaged his money. Be that as it may or may not be, Mister Cage was a notoriously prolific spender who all but tossed his money out the window on a myriad of non-necessities such as a collection of 30-50 cars, a couple big boats, a Gulfstream jet, a dinosaur skull, a zoo's worth of exotic pets and lavish residences around the world.

At one time in the not so distant past Mister Cage's property portfolio bulged with at least a dozen posh and pricey properties across the globe including (but not limited to) a Bavarian schloss, a 14th-century English castle, a private island in the Bahamas, a multi-unit combo condo in Midtown Manhattan, a ranch in Malibu, an historic estate in Middletown, RI, a turn of the century mansion in San Francisco, a bloated mansion in a gated enclave in Las Vegas, NV, and a harbor front mansion down behind the Orange (County) Curtain in Newport Beach, CA.

The bottom falling out of Mister Cage's finances resulted several of his properties falling into foreclosure, including (but not limited to) a pair of historic mansions in New Orleans, LA as well as his primary residence on Copa De Oro Road in prime West Gate Bel Air, a fabled and stately Gerard Colcord-designed sprawler previously owned by boozy Rat Packer Dean Martin and hairy-chested cheese ball crooner Tom Jones.

Now brace yourselves, pussy willows, because just when the children thought they'd never have to hear another damn word about Nic Cage's deep and wide real estate woes Your Mama gets a covert communique from our trusted informant The Rolling Stone who provided us with information that shows yet another of Mister Cage's many properties was recently lost into the gaping maw of foreclosure.

Property records show that in May of 2001 Mister Cage's well-known and famously-embattled Hancock Park Real Estate Trust paid $2,695,000 for a 6,312 square foot house with 5 bedrooms and 7 poopers on the busy northeast corner of S. Rossmore Avenue and West 6th Street in Los Angeles's upscale Hancock Park 'hood.

We don't actually know a lamp post from a post office, but it's Your Mama's understanding that the four-building compound in Hancock Park was purchased for use by Mister Cage's baby momma Christina Fulton. In late 2009, after receiving an order to vacate the property due Mister Cage's increasingly precarious financial issue, Miz Fulton sued Mister Cage for $13,000,000 and ownership of the Hancock Park house in which she was living.

We're not sure of the status of Miz Fulton's lawsuit or if some agreement was reached outside the courtroom but we do know that Miz Fulton had to pack her bags and get out of Dodge. Property records reveal that on the 15th of September 2010 a third and final Notice of Default was filed and recorded and, according to foreclosure database RealtyTrac, on the 10th of February 2011 the Hancock Park property was officially snatched back by Cage's creditors with about $2,900,000 owed on the spread.

Fortunately for Mister Cage and his beleaguered bank accounts he has at least four films coming out in 2001 (including The Hungry Rabbit Jumps with January Jones) and a trio of films scheduled to be completed in 2012.

photo: Bing

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Rash of Recent Sales in Beverly Park Reveals Real Estate Pattern

Buckle up butter beans, grab yourself a beverage and a candy snack and settle in for an extended ride because we're feeling long-winded and scatter-brained this morning.

Up in the staid but still flashy guard-gated community of Beverly Park, the palatial piles that line the empty tree-lined streets make all those five- and six-thousand square foot mansions in the flats of Beverly Hills, CA look like the staff quarters. We might describe Beverly Park as a real slap you across the face sort of place that screams and pleads, "I have so much money. Can't you see how much money I have?" This isn't keeping up with the Jones's, hunnies, it's more like keeping up with Russian oligarchs and the damn Queen of England.

Beverly Park was developed in the 1990s in two sections on over 250 acres nestled into the mountains high above Beverly Hills in what's called the "Post Office." That means, in short, the homes have a Beverly Hills zip code but Los Angeles city services. If you live in the Beverly Hills Post Office, the legendarily fast-responding Beverly Hills po-po don't race their cars up to your house in an event of an emergency. Instead you get the slower moving L.A.P.D. Each section of Beverly Park has its own 24/7 (wo)manned gatehouse. The over-sized residences in South Beverly Park are insanely huge in comparison to the average American home but the really turgid Tuscan-inspired mega-mansions are up in North Beverly Park where some of the homes are positively steroidal. The development was originally designed with 16 lots in South Beverly Park and 64 in North Beverly Park. According to our repeated but confused counting, the actual number of home sites in the northern section is 56. That's because several of the first super-rich residents purchased multiple lots in the northern section and combined them to create super-sized estates.

The hyper-manicured and absurdly pristine community, obviously only accessible to the extraordinarily well-heeled, claims residents like big business barons Haim Saban and Eric Smidt, a Saudi royal or two and a surprising number financially fortunate celebs who include Sylvester Stallone, comedians Martin Lawrence and Eddie Murphy, actors Jami Gertz and Paul Reiser, country queen Reba McEntire and the $20,000,000 man himself, Denzel Washington. Two of the cast members of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills–that would be Lisa Vanderpump and Adrienne Maloof-Nassif–are also current residents of the exclusive enclave. In fact, these two businesswomen live directly across the street from each other. That cozy neighborly set-up may not last long as Miz Vanderpump and her easy-going restaurateur husband Ken Todd would like to downsize and currently have their 7 bedroom an 10 bathroom monster mansion listed off-market with an asking price of $29,000,000.

We're not particularly proud of our embarrassing interest in Beverly Park. We're really not. However, out of dog crap flowers sometimes grow and our near fetish with the showy and hoity-toity 'hood where architectural and decorative excessive is to be expected has turned up a surprisingly consistent real estate pattern in which homeowners heave and ho their plus-size palaces on the market with astronomical asking prices only to wait years to sell for a significantly and in some cases monumentally lower amount.

Take for instance the titanic 27,000 square foot Tuscan-inspired mega-mansion snatched up in the fall of 2008 by L.A.-based billionaire Ron Tutor for a mind-melding $32,200,000. That's an alarming and vast amount of money by any real estate standard but, according to our calculations, the purchase price was actually an ego-bruising 34% less than the searing original asking price of $49,000,0000. Mister Tutor's name has been much in the news lately because he's part of the consortium that includes actor Rob Lowe that recently acquired Miramax Films for a whopping $660,000,000. The unrepentant real estate size queen has also been a fixture in the gossip columns the last week or so because he reportedly leased his sprawling 19,000+ square foot Tudor-style estate in the star-packed equestrian enclave of Hidden Hills, CA for somewhere in the neighborhood of $25,000 per month to pop star Britney Spears.

Married country music king and queen Tim McGraw and Faith Hill ran into some pricing problems while attempting to sell their former West Coast abode in South Beverly Park. Our records show the superstar couple first listed their 4.85-acre Bev Park homestead in October of 2008 at $14,800,000 but, alas, did not manage to rid themselves of their unwanted residence until June of 2010 when they sold it for $9,500,000 to a couple of high-powered Beverly Hills attorneys. According to some rudimentary calculations on our bejeweled abacus, that's a hefty-hefty-hefty 36% less than the McGraw-Hills had hoped to get.

Hollywood heavyweight Mike Medavoy and his wife Irena first attempted to unload their 10,769 square foot East Coast-style Bev Park spread in October of 1999. For whatever and probably a variety of reasons it took the Medavoys almost ten years to unload their Beverly Park real estate albatross, which finally sold in September of 2009 for $12,500,000. A little fooling with the weary beads on our bejeweled abacus shows that's an punishing 53% less than the home's highest asking price of $23,500,000. Mister and Missus Medavoy are without question rolling in the do-re-mi but that kind of discount would be a big bruise to any one's real estate ego.

There are, of course, always exceptions to the rules. One of the Beverly Park real estate anomalies would be philandering actor Kelsey Grammer who with his former wife Camille–she-devil of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills–briefly owned an 8 bedroom and 12 bathroom beast of a house in Beverly Park that they acquired in early 2004 for $17,500,000, flipped back on the market in 2005 for $25,000,000 and sold in January of 2006 for $22,000,000. As best as we can sort out the 17,000-plus square foot mansion was purchased by a Norwegian mobile communications mogul.

Four of the most recent sales in Beverly Park continue to illustrate our above-mentioned and wholly unscientifically researched real estate pattern–or maybe it's a curse–that suggests a Beverly Park homeowner is likely to throw their ritzy residence up on the market with a sky-high asking price and then wait a long time, sometimes years, only to sell at a number bewilderingly and vastly less than the original asking price.

In May of 2009 underwear model turned rapper turned actor turned super-producer Mark Walhberg spent eight and a quarter million clams on a 6+ acre vacant parcel tucked up into the northern section of North Beverly Park. The seller was financially embattled property developer Robert Bisno who, as it turns out, lost his Beverly Park mansion into the angry and hungry jaws of foreclosure in 2009. Whatever Mister Wahlberg's plan for his Beverly Park property may be, the estate-sized lot sits right up next door to the former home of mathematician turned porn purveyor Norm Zada who, among other lucrative endeavors, earned a substantial fortune as the founder and publisher of Perfect 10, a publication devoted to buck-nekkid ladees who claim not to have had any cosmetic surgery. Apropos of nothing relevant to this real estate discussion but fascinating still, a couple of years ago it was widely reported that Mister Zada was gettin' up on cosmetic surgery cyclone and comedienne Joan Rivers. Now that, puppies, is an odd couple.
A few months prior to Mister Wahlberg's purchase of an undeveloped Beverly Park parcel, the pasha of porno pushed his colossal contemporary crib next door (above) on to the open market with a price tag of $24,500,000. Mid-summer in 2009 Your Mama heard through the Beverly Hills real estate gossip grapevine that supermodel cum media mogul Heidi Klum and her musician husband Seal made an unsuccessful low ball offer on Mister Zada's monstrous modern mansion that looks to us like a regional airport in an upscale zip code. True story: Your Mama was once inside Mister Zada's house when all of the sudden an elderly Asian man dropped to the floor with a bloodied forehead after running himself face-first into a giant panel of glass in the airplane hanger-sized living room.

But we digress. The previous year, in July of 2008, septuagenarian Italian movie siren Luciana Paluzzi and her media mogul/theme park honcho husband Michael Solomon listed their 13,638 square foot mansion in South Beverly Park at $19,995,000. The asking price quickly and inexplicably jumped to $23,995,000. According to our always informative friend Babbling Babette, British pop star Robbie Williams, who has long owned a home in the gated Mulholland Estates community, took a shine to the property in the fall of 2008 and actually entered into a contract to purchase Signora Paluzzi's mock-Med manse for close to the asking price. As it turns out, the singer had a real estate change of heart, backed out at the last minute, lost his sizable deposit and decided to move back to England.
Thanks to Our Fairy Godmother in Beverly Hills, we were recently made aware that after two long years on the market Signora Paluzzi's 7 bedroom and 7 bathroom Bev Park estate (above) was scooped up in early February of 2011 by Alex von Furstenburg. In case y'all don't read Vanity Fair–a publication we think of as terlit reading for the quasi-sophisticated–Mister von Furstenberg happens to be the son of impossibly chic sartorial power-player Diane von Furstenberg and the step-son of her (alleged) Lavender Mafia member and multi-billionaire husband Barry Diller. Verified information provided to Your Mama by Our Fairy Godmother in Beverly Hills shows that Mister von Furstenberg–who works in equities and finance or something like that–secured the Spanish Hacienda-style house for the exasperatingly complicated price of $12,999,999. A few quick calculations on our bejeweled abacus shows that's a gut-wrenching 45% discount off the highest asking price. Good for Mister von Furstenberg; Not so good for Signora Paluzzi.

In mid-November of 2010, several month before the von Furstenbergs closed on their new Beverly Park pad, porno king Norm Zada's arduous Beverly Park real estate journey finally came to an end when he unloaded his white elephant for $16,500,000 to an unnamed buyer. The sale price is considerably more then the von Furstenbergs paid for their (smaller) spread in South Beverly Park and a whopping 33% less than the original asking price of $24,500,000. Now children, here's the icing on this slice of juicy Beverly Park pie: The unnamed buyer–wealthy Saudis according to a trusted informant we'll Beverly Park–quickly caught an acute case of The Real Estate Fickle and just 2.5 months after purchasing the property flipped the beehawtcha back on the market with an astonishing asking price of–wait for it, wait for it–$25,000,000. We're not sure what makes the (alleged) Saudi owner think the house has gained $8,500,000 in value in just a couple of months but if we've said it once we've said it 8.5 million times: Who are we to question or comprehend the weird real estate ways of the wildly wealthy? These things simply make no sense to us mere financial mortals.
Two weeks after the Saudis closed on Mister Zada's contemporary crib in mid-November, the so-called Great 78 estate (above)–on the market since before Eve (allegedly) tempted Adam with an apple–was snapped up by an as yet unnamed buyer in late November for $21,000,000. That's an impressive ass-load of money to be sure but, chickens, true to pattern, it's also notably lower than the $29,000,000 asking price and even less than the original $34,000,000 price tag.

The 3-ish-acre estate, directly across the street from Kelsey Grammer's former Bev Park residence, has a 17,826 square foot main mansion with 7 bedrooms and 9.5 bathrooms plus a three bedroom guest house. The seller was health supplement guru Bill Phillips and the buyer–again as per our well-connected tattle-tale Beverly Park–is Los Angeles-based self-made billionaire Tom Gores. All the other Beverly Park fiends out there will already know that Tom Gores' billionaire brother Alec Gores also owns a ginormous village-like mansion inside the gates of Beverly Park. They would be walking distance from each other if anyone were to actually walked on the sidewalks in Beverly Park. But they don't. Well, okay, the staff people do, but not the homeowners. We'd bet the pinky toe on our left foot that Lisa Vanderpump and Adrienne Maloof probably drive across the street to each other's house when they meet up for a tipple or two of wine.

Anyhoodles poodles, we don't know a rock from a refrigerator so we really can't say if Tom Gores has already moved into or even plans to move into The Great 78. What we do know is that since the late '90s, Mister Gores and his family have bedded down in a 10,479 square foot mansion in the upscale Mulholland Estates, the very same guard-gated community that's home to British pop star Robbie Williams, hotel heiress Paris Hilton and prostie-loving actor Charlie Sheen among other high-profile Tinseltown types.

Another outrageously palatial Beverly Park behemoth that sat on the market for quite a few years and at long last recently sold for less than half than its original asking price is a strangely squat-looking Italian villa built on spec by a gentleman named George San Pietro, a real estate developer, long-time Beverly Park resident and the ex-husband and baby daddy of Wheel of Fortune letter turner Vanna White. Miz White–it may amuse some of the children to know–now lives in the celebrity-stocked Mulholland Estates community along with Paris Hilton, Charlie Sheen, Robbie Williams, Beverly Park and Mulholland Estates homeowner Tom Gores and former Beverly Park homeowners Mike and Irena Medavoy who, as it turns out, recently and brazenly flipped their giant house in the Mulholland Estates back on the market for nearly a million and half more than they paid just 4.5 months after buying the damn thing.
As best as we can surmise from our peep and poke through the property records and online listing information, Mister San Pietro first put his 24,595 square foot real estate hope and prayer in Beverly Park (above) on the open market in August of 2007 with a staggering (and publicity generating) asking price of $50,000,000. While waiting to sell, Mister San Pietro wisely and famously leased his Bev Park spec-built mansion to P. Diddy–or Piddle Patty or Daddy Diddler or whatever damn name Sean Combs calls himself nowadays. The entrepreneurial mogul hosted one of his star-studded (and depressingly cliché) white parties on the property. Mister San Pietro made a few more pennies when he leased the department store-sized house to the itty-bitty purple one Prince for a reported $200,000 per month.

After three long years on (and off) the market, the price of Mister San Pietro's Beverly Park ball-and-chain had plummeted to $27,900,000 and, huzzah!, six short weeks later the boutique hotel-sized house was sold for an even lower $23,500,000. That a truly tongue-twisting 47% less than the original and–let's be honest cinnamon sticks–never realistic fifty million buck asking price.

We recently queried a Beverly Hills real estate über-insider with whom we're acquainted–let's call him Lee O. Tard–as to the identity of the as yet unnamed new owners of the 9 bedroom and 15 bathroom behemoth. The sometimes frighteningly knowledgeable Lee O. Tard snitched to Your Mama that the baronial Bev Park beast's new owners are husband and wife handbag designers Bruce Makowsky and Kathy Van Zeeland, an energetic pair who have made a killing hawking their hobo bags and clutches on the home shopping juggernaut QVC.

While we would certainly not be surprised to learn there are more–every mansion is for sale for the right price–as far as we know there are only five Beverly Park properties currently available. The Real Housewives of Bevelry Hills cast member Lisa Vanderpump and Ken Todd have a $29,000,000 price tag on their house and the unfortunately-named Rockstar Energy Drink founder Russ Weiner has had his Bev Park mansion on and off the market for nearly two years with an unchanged asking price of $28,000,000. Both properties are listed off-market with Mauricio Umansky, Beverly Park ur-agent, husband of Beverly Hills housewife Kyle Richards and soon-to-be star of the upcoming Selling Los Angeles reality program.

Norm Zada's former home, (allegedly) bought by wealthy Saudis in late 2010, is back on the market for $25,000,000 and real estate reality television junkies will recognize the listing agent as toothy and dapper Matthew Altman who appears on the current season of Million Dollar Listing. Weighing in at 29,069 square foot, the duplex palace with 18 bedrooms and a flabbergasting 28 bathrooms is listed at $19,999,000 and owned–we've been told by a number of those in the know–by some Saudi royal or another.

Only time will tell if our little pattern-theory about the real estate habits of Beverly Park homeowners will hold up in regards to the quintet of properties currently for sale. Word to the wise: If history does indeed repeat itself, at least a few of the owners of the five available properties should prepare themselves for a very long real estate haul that will end with them selling their mansion for considerably under their original asking price. Such are the real estate ways of the famous and freakishly rich.

listing photos (Zada): Hilton & Hyland; listing photos (Paluzzi/von Furstenberg house, Phillips/Gores and San Pietro/Makowsky-Van Zeeland): Hilton & Hyland

Actor John Schneider Selling Short in Agoura Hills

SELLER: John Schneider
LOCATION: Agoura Hills, CA
SIZE: 6,890 square feet 6 bedrooms, 6 full and 2 half bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Back when Your Mama was knee high to a grasshopper we spent many summers on the family homestead in Nowheresville, CA with our rough, tough and long gone Granny Rayna. Come sundown, there was supper and then an hour or two in front of the boob-toob. Our Granny, an educated woman originally from Bumfuck, Arkansas, watched only three things on her big ol' console tee-vee. The local news, The Lawrence Welk Show and The Dukes of Hazzard, a little ditty about a couple of hotsy-totsy hillbilly ne'er do well cuzzins named Bo an Luke Duke who race around the Georgia backwoods in a muscle car painted up like the damn Confederate flag. Lowerd. Pleeze. A show like that just seems preposterous nowadays, don't it?

One of the Duke cuzzins was a brunette. That would be actor Tom Wopat. The other was a beau-hunky blond perfectly played by beau-hunky actor/stunt man/director/writer/editor/cinematographer/producer John Schneider who, we learned from our informant Juanita Wordspiller, recently heaved his estate in ex-urban and semi-rural Agoura Hills, CA on the market with an asking price of $2,199,000.

Until perusing his resume on the Internet Movie Data Base, Your Mama would have been hard pressed to name a single television program in which Mister Schneider appeared besides The Dukes of Hazzard and a recent multi-episode arc on Desperate Housewives. Turns out and despite a few dips into professional obscurity, Mister Schneider has been a bizzy Tinseltown beaver since his Dukes of Hazzard days. His long list of ack-ting credits include innumerable tee-vee movies and regular longer-term gigs on programs that include Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, Diagnosis Murder, Touched By an Angel, Nip/Tuck and 90210. For the last 10 years he's shook his money maker on Smallville, a program we've never bothered to view that we understand to be based on the Superman story. Mister Schneider's career seems to be on a continued upswing with at least half a dozen projects already in the hopper with specious titles like Snow Beast, Super Shark and October Baby.

Lesser known or maybe not known by many of the children is that Mister Schneider parlayed his popularity as Bo Duke into a successful if not spectacular country music career with at least 10 albums to date and in 1998 he became a born-again (Christian) while living with country music near-deities Johnny and June Carter Cash. We're not entirely sure how that came about but it's kind of intriguing, ain't it?

Anyhoo, moving on to the matter at hand. Property records show Mister Schneider scooped up his faux half-timber Tudor manor house in the rolling hills of Agoura Hills in November of 1999 for $1,250,000.

A short sale means a property is offered or sold for less than the amount the homeowner owes and, according to listing information provided by our dear Juanita, Mister Schneider's property is being marketed as a short sale that's subject to lender approval. That real estate morsel indicates that like so many other folks in the good ol' U.S. of A. during the go-go real estate years in the early naughts, Mister Schneider and his missus Elvira used their Agoura Hills home as an ATM machine and their pocketbooks are now suffering the consequences.

Listing information indicates the Schneiders' spread in Agoura Hills sprawls across 2.67 acres and includes a main house that measures 6,890 square feet with 5 bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms. A guest house provides another sleeping chamber and terliting facility and a detached office includes a reception area and another half pooper.

Electronic gates open to a paver-stone drive that curves up to the front of the English-y mansion where an unfortunately unsubstantial decks extends from the front façade to create a rather anemic-looking porte-cochere. Inside, the public rooms exude a distinct southern bordello style with miles of custom carved woodwork throughout, a curving staircase à la The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, a formal dining room with a pair of glittery crystal chandeliers and yard after yard after yard of gold and crimson velvet brocade upholstery in the double-height formal living room.

The less formal family quarters include a room with parquet floors that listing information calls and "English pub and game room" that includes a billiards table and a full-scale built-in bar with glass fronted cabinets full of booze. In the family/media room we find blood red walls, dark blue patterned wall-to-wall carpeting, a giant poster of Mister Schneider's face and a suite of sofas and ottomans upholstered in the very same crimson and gold velvet brocade fabric used in the formal living room.

The half dozen bedrooms include two full master suites, one of which has a fireplace with carved wood mantelpiece, a ceiling fan, wall-to-wall carpeting that runs from the bedroom right on into the bathroom and a gold-ish coverlet laid over a bed laden with far too many decorative pillows. To each his or her own to be sure, but iffin anyone were to ask Your Mama–and nobody did–we'd hiss and piss about how the bedroom day-core is aggressively banal, beyond horrendous and, let's be honest puppies, runs up on horrific.

A driveway winds from the front gate past the house and through the mostly flat grounds to an electronically controlled gate. The property offers garage space for up to five General Lees and additional parking for 8 or 10 more pee-cup trucks SUVS. A terrace that runs along the backside of the house steps down to a large lawn and infinity-edged black-bottomed swimming pool and spa. A poolside cabana with vaulted ceiling and fireplace is also equipped with a fully-equipped kitchen with built-in barbecue. A seasonal stream trickles across the undeveloped back end of the property where the next owner might easily construct equestrian facilities.

Property records reveal that in addition to the family home in Agoura Hills Mister and Missus Schneider's property portfolio includes (but may not be limited to) a townhouse-style condo in Westlake Village, CA, a very modest house in the suburban Nashville, TN community of Madison and several properties in and around Apple Valley, CA.

listing photos: Coldwell Banker Westlake Village

Monday, February 21, 2011

Your Mama Hears...

...through the Beverly Hills real estate gossip grapevine that the cast of the upcoming and hotly anticipated Selling Los Angeles–a spin off of the Selling New York program on HGTV–includes (but is not limited to) Platinum Triangle heavy hitters Valerie Fitzgerald of Coldwell Banker and Hilton & Hyland's Mauricio Umansky, who many of the children know as the hunky huzband of Kyle Richards on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

Scottie Pippen and His Real Housewife of Miami Wife Larsa List Mansion

SELLER: Scottie and Larsa Pippen
LOCATION: Fort Lauderdale, FL
PRICE: $16,000,000
SIZE: 9,782 square feet 6 full and 7.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Buckle up your safety belts butter beans and let the high-priced real estate games begin for The Real Housewives of Miami. Like so many of the other women who appear on the many other versions of the campy, oddly mesmerizing and extremely popular reality tee-vee franchise, at least one of the glitzy women on the Miami program is currently looking to change up her real estate circumstances. The eagle-eyed children will note, however, that the housewife and the house in question aren't actually in Miami but rather 30-some miles up the coast in Fort Lauderdale, a city otherwise known at the "Venice of America" because of the numerous canals that wind their way through the coastal neighborhoods.

Thanks to a slew of real estate birdies down in Fort Lauderdale Your Mama was recently made aware that retired NBA superstar Scottie Pippen and his Real Housewives of Miami cast member wife Larsa have put their sizable waterfront house in Fort Lauderdale's high-toned Harbor Beach neighborhood on the market with a fat asking price of $16,000,000.

As all the children surely know by now Your Mama don't know shit from shinola about professional basketball so we spent the better part of the morning tracking down our ball-crazy b.f.f. Fiona Trambeau who told us that during the 1990s Mister Pippen played side-by-side with basketball legend Michael Jordan on the Chicago Bulls team. During his tenure in the Windy City he helped earn the team six NBA championships. In the late 1990s he was traded to the Houston Rockets who quickly handed him off to the Portland Trailblazers. He 2003 he went back to the Chicago Bulls for a not particularly successful single season before retiring. Missus Larsa Pippen, a former model described on at least one website as a "snarky, Lebanese beauty," pushed out three baby Pippens (or maybe it's four) and Mister Pippen has two additional children from previous relationships with two other women.

There are scads of reports available online that speculate that Mister Pippen–who reportedly earned around $120,000,000 during his long career–might be broke or next to. Now listen kitty cats, Your Mama don't know a catalog from a catacomb so we can not and do not claim any knowledge of the inner workings of the Pippens' financial matters. What is a part of the public record is that Mister Pippen lost tens of millions on bad investments and shoddy financial planning. These rumors and reports of reduced financial circumstances may or may not be true and they may or may not have something to do with the desire of Mister and Missus Pippen to sell their super-sized mansion in Fort Lauderdale.

Property records show that Mister and Missus Pippen paid $1,340,000 for their double-wide parcel in October of 2000 and proceeded to have an Addison Mizner-inspired Mediterranean Revival-style mansion custom designed that, we like to imagine has extra tall doorways to accommodate Mister Pippen's 6-foot and 8-inch frame. The house, like so many in coastal communities is built tight to the lot's perimeter making it appear a bit squeezed.

Some online listings we exhumed from the internets show the Pippen's pad measures 9,782 square feet and other online listings show it weighs in at a significantly larger 13,500 square feet. For what it's worth the Broward County Tax man shows it's 9,782 but the Broward County Tax Man also shows the mansion has just 4 bedrooms and 3 poopers while all the online listings we peeped at indicate there are 6 bedrooms and 7.5 bathrooms.

A cursory poke around didn't turn up any photos of the interiors of the Pippen residence so we're just going to assume without any credible evidence that the house is did up of done over in a big baller manner with an impress the guest style entry, a home theater with state-of-the-art audio/visual systems, a double height room or two, lots of heavy swagged drapery, lots of custom cabinetry with elaborate carved corbels and a master suite larger than the average American home. Listing information does show that the interior spaces include a mix of marble and carpeted floors, a central vacuum system, an automatic garage door opener and an elevator for all those to damn lazy to walk up or down a flight of stairs. Presumably all us real estate looky-loos and reality tee-vee junkies will all get a good look at the inside of the house when The Real Housewives of Miami begins its first season and then we'll all know just what sort of day-core Mister and Missus Pippen prefer.

Exterior luxuries according to listing information and property photographs include a double-gated driveway and motor court, 215-feet of canal frontage with private dock and boat lift, built-in barbecue center, numerous balconies and shaded terraces, a kind of puny putting green, raised spa and a lagoon-style swimming pool where a frightening and dangerous looking curly-cue slide contraption has been installed.

This huge house in Fort Lauderdale is hardly Mister and Missus Pippen's only visit to the real estate rodeo. The Pippens' previous residences include a Fort Lauderdale mansion they sold in early 2004 for around $2,700,000 and a 21st-floor condo crib in Chicago Mister Pippen snatched up in the mid-1990s for $850,000 and sold in the summer of 2006 for $1,430,000.

After his star turn with the Bulls in Chicago and a hot minute with the Houston Rockets, Mister Pippen went west to play for the Oregon Trailblazers. According to previous reports, Mister and Missus Pippen settled into a 16,000-plus square foot brick mansion on 2.28 acres that they reportedly purchased in 2000 for around $4,000,000. They sold the 6 bedroom and 7.5 pooper brick-built residence in 2007 for a reported $2,950,000. A little fussin' and fightin' with the over-worked beads on Your Mama's bejeweled abacus shows that those rough numbers represent a million dollar plus loss on the property.

Although the property records we accessed seem a tiny bit confusing–or maybe it's just the massive amounts of cold medicine and gin coursing through our cold-compromised body that's got us all befuddled and betwixt–but it appears that Mister and Missus Pippen still own a 10,500-ish square foot mansion in the upscale community of Highland Park outside Chicago, IL that records and reports indicate they purchased in January of 2004 for $2,225,000.

We have no idea what the future real estate plans are for Mister and Missus Pippen but perhaps when they unload their white elephant in Fort Lauderdale they'll hightail it back to Highland Park where Missus Pippen can then star in the currently non-existent The Real Housewives of Chicago. Don't laugh or mock, children, stranger things have happened, particularly with Bravo's growing army of Louboutin-shod "real housewives," few of whom are actually housewives.

listing photos: Panton & Company Realty via EWM International