Sunday, February 20, 2011

Weekend Wrap Up

Calling all Russian oligarchs and Middle Eastern potentates: If you desire for privacy and are willing to spend £195,000,000 to buy it one of y'all bajillionaires might want to consider the purchase of the Li Galli Islands, of a trio of dramatically rocky outcroppings off the coast of Positano. That's Italy, chickens. The largest of the islands contains three villas and a restored tower with an approximate combined square footage of 27,000, 12 bedrooms, three salt-water plunge pools, two 27-foot tenders, a private damn grotto and a desalinization damn plant.

According to Your Mama's currency conversion contraption, the £195,000,000 asking price translates to a shocking and heart stopping $316,840,000US, at today's rates. If that price seems a tad high for the three islands, keep in mind that the sky-high price also includes Villa tre Ville, the former estate of iconic Italian film director Franco Zefferelli that offers another 30,000+ square feet of interior space, 16,000+ square feet of terraces, 19 bedroom suites, three swimming pools, two kitchens, and one helipad.

Jeezis H. Christ.

Booze heir Matthew Bronfman has caught a case of The Real Estate Fickle. He paid $28,500,000 for 40-foot wide townhouse mansion on New York City's East 69th Street in 2008. He gutted the place and moved to London. Now he's heaved the house back on the market with a price tag of $27,250,000. A few clickety-clacks of the over-worked beads on Your Mama's bejeweled abacus shows that best case scenario Mister Bronfman will take a $1,250,000 slam to his bank account not counting the fat real estate fees that could easily add up to $750,000 or more.

The house was formerly owned by Jim Henson the man responsible for The Muppets.

Would it surprise some folks to learn that the highest sale recorded in the Multiple Listing Service for Los Angeles in 2010 was $19,500,000 for a 6 bedroom and 8 bathroom single-story contemporary in Beverly Hills?

In 2008, after a lucrative dee-vorce, Heather Mills–the one-legged ex-wife of Sir Paul McCartney–paid around five million bucks for an 1,800 square foot condo in one of the Richard Meier-designed green glass towers cleaved to West Side Highway in New York City. Turns out she doesn't spend much time in New York and is reported to be in contract to sell the unused pied a terre to a New York financier for a price "similar" to what she paid. Blah, blah, blah.

While we do need a damn nerve pill just to ponder the audacity required for a biznessman–in this case Indian multi-billionaire Mukesh Ambani–to spend a rumored and reported billion bucks to build a 27-story tower for use as a single family home. A. Single. Family. Home. Did y'all hear Your Mama? Twenty seven floors for one damn family. Despite our futile outrage, like all the other real estate sickos Your Mama is, well, curious what it looks like in there.

You are too, aren't you. Well, now you can have an all too brief glimpse into the private single family residence that includes such necessities as an airplane hangar-sized ballroom with a ceiling that literally drips with crystal and an "entourage room" where security guards and personal assistants can wait around and twiddle their thumbs while their lords and ladies booze it up in the ballroom.

But the ballroom, buttercups, is only the amuse bouche of billionaire-style immoderation at the Ambani's home. Other luxuries of the tower house include a 50-seat movie theater and an entire floor devoted to health and fitness that includes a gym, dance studio, yoga room, swimming pool and spa.

But, hunnies, the extravagance that made Your Mama pee a little in our pants in both horror and amazement–an horrific amazement, if you will–is the "ice room." The ice room is where the Ambanis and their guests can escape the crushing Mumbai heat in a chilled chamber where it's gently snowing. Snowing. Inside. In Mumbai. Kind of makes a person need a gin & tonic at nine damn thirty in the morning, don't it?

After combing the city with current female-friend Cameron Diaz on his arm, professional baseballer and lady-killer Alex Rodriguez has finally purchased a new pad on a high-floor of the twin-towered Rushmore, a newly-constructed and architecturally-vapid building on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Reports say the well-paid New York Yankee splashed out between five-and-a-half and six million big ones for a 5 bedroom spread with Hudson River views.

Mister Rodriquez currently occupies a $30,000 per month rental at the hyper-pricey 15 Central Park West building and Your Mama heard through the New York City celebrity real estate grapevine that in addition to an apartment in the city, the slugger was scoping out country cribs in the same neck of Westchester County where high-profile peeps like Martha Stewart, Ralph Lauren and Michael Douglas own bucolic estates.

Their dee-vorce may be final but Real Housewives of Beverly Hills villain Camille Grammer–that would be Kelsey Grammer's third ex-wife and baby momma–isn't sure about the fate of some of the couple's many residences, specifically the erstwhile couple's little used Hamptons hideaway that includes an 8,000 square foot residence, a Har-tru tennis court, home theater, heated swimming pool, spa and pool house.

In March of 2008, before the Grammer's marriage went pa-fizzle and puh-fffffttt, they tried to sell their gated and privately situated 1.7 acre Bridgehampton estate for $16,100,000, a big number that was lowered to $13,900,000 the following year. But alas, the discount didn't bring a buyer prepared to sign and the house remains in, it seems, in post-dee-vorce limbo.

As far as we know Third ex-Missus Grammer remains in residence at the former couple's compound in the guard gated Serra Retreat in Malibu and Mister Grammer is holed up in some too-expensive rental in Manhattan with his new, much younger and soon to be fourth wife.

Tech tycoon and notorious trophy property collector Larry Ellison paid a mouth-drying $42,900,000 to purchase Porcupine Creek, a sprawling 249-acre estate in Rancho Mirage, CA estate that comes complete with an 18,400 square foot mansion, eight guest houses, fitness center, amphitheater, swimming pool complex that rivals those of most country clubs and–buckle up for this one folks–its own private 18-hole golf course and clubhouse.

Mister Ellison–a self-made man who earned the bulk of his multi-billion dollar fortune from founding the Oracle hardware and software empire–owns a number of other high profile residences including a Japanese-themed compound in Woodside, CA, a 39-room cottage in Newport, RI called Beechwood and more prime property in Malibu that we can be bothered to count.

Listen children, Your Mama can not bear to watch more than about 1.5 minutes of televised figure skating competitions BUT we loves us some of that whisper thin ice prancer Johnny Weir who gleefully thumbs his nose at the figure skating establishment with an outspoken 'tude and flamboyant and feathery costumes of the sort normally worn by the lady skaters.

Twenty-six year old Miss Weir, a world champion and Olympian who has been living in New Jersey with his fey b.f.f. roommate, recently decided to decamp to Manhattan where he reportedly shelled out $1,100,000 for an 826 square foot one-bedroom crib on a high floor of the Twenty9th Park Madison building just above Madison Square Park, located in a lackluster 'hood that's neither Murray Hill nor the Flatiron District. Young Johnny's big move to The Big Apple will be documented by cameras for the second season of his reality program Be Good Johnny Weir.


lil' gay boy said...

Oooo Mama, another great wrap-up! Since I have time on my hands today, and there's free wireless here in the hospital waiting room...

1) Jeezis H. Christ, indeed; who knew one could actually buy the view? (the two smaller islands, as seen from the largest, developed one) ––– oh my, wherever is my checkbook? Yeah, right.

2) Nice 'hood if you can afford it ––– with Hunter College just across the street, plenty o' eye candy year round, and this particular block remains blessedly cool & shady during the beastly summer heat. The Muppet connection is obviously a selling point for some, too.

3) Thar's all? Sheesh. Seems like a complete, bedrock-to-rafters reno; aerial views show a curvilinear, dark stucco-esque finish to a house on a surprisingly sizable lot, just across the cul-de-sac from that behemoth that seems to have been under construction since God made the dirt; anyone know who's responsible for that hot mess?

4) "Blah, blah, blah" indeed; to forever be known as the "one-legged ex" of anyone is ignominy at its best. Reminds me of the old Monty Python sketch where all of a talk show's guests have gone missing; when you hear the announcer say, "And now, a man with three legs," we're treated to an off-camera voice, "...he ran away..." Classic.

5) Over-the-top vulgarity at its pinnacle; talk about design dyslexia. I've been to the Mandarin in NY and cannot, for the life of me, see how it was interpreted into this. Just how does one distinguish between the "traditional" & "modern" lounges? Well Mama, at least I'm sure there's plenty of floor space for both our cold, black hearts in the "ice room". All kidding aside, it is astonishing ––– not necessarily in a good way.

6) Vapid but clever; with nothing but Jersey to look at, the twin towers provide a Manhattanite with their favorite pastime ––– people watching. But riddle me this ––– just when did athletes become A list celebrities? Remember when they weren't paid astronomical salaries & were actually worthy role models for children? Or is that my own little illusion since I could never convincingly use "I have my period" to get out of gym class?


7) I should live so long as to "have no idea" what to do about any real estate I might own; could this bitch be any more unlikable? As de riguer as it is to blame the husband when a marriage fails, in this case I'd have to say good riddance to the old crone; like the Hamptons house, she's overpriced, been too long on the market, indistinguishable from her neighbors & ready for Reno(vation).

8) One's very own, private, by-invitation-only golf course? At least it doesn't have world-class views of the Mumbai slums ––– collecting real estate is not the worst hobby for one of the world's ten richest men. I say smoke 'em if you got 'em.

9) Why is it I'm always tempted to put a "D" on his last name?


Whew! That felt good (or at least passed the time). Later, kids.

Anonymous said...

A bit dizzy thinking of the money spent on some of these "homes", but also turned off by the tasteless display involved, I have come to the conclusion that they should not be thought of [or classified as] homes at all. They really have nothing at all to do with a "home." Rather they are in effect luxury hotels occupied by one family or one person. When I view it all as simply a superrich person who is nutty enough to build himself a hotel for his sole occupancy I find myself much less disturbed.

Anonymous said...

#1 makes me wonder, yet again, if Athina Onassis Roussel will ever sell the island of Skorpios, which she reportedly rarely visits, and is allegedly her single most valuable asset and worth something roughly around $200 million. Its slightly awkward that her mother, uncle, and grandfather are all buried there.

Anonymous said...

Mama & Lil Gay Boy are on fire!
I don't think I'll make it thru all 9, but I'll try.

1) I had the same oligarchal/oil rich thought about the Italian property. Who else could or would bother?

2) So the Bronfman place is gutted? I love Kermit, Piggy, etc. but I'd like some walls too for that kid of chedda.

3) Yes, that's surprising.

4) Heather Mills admitted that she'd gone thru her settlement/stick-up money & that she was mostly invested in real estate, "for her daughter." Whatev, sweetie.

5) Reminds me of what I've heard about in Dubai - indoor downhill ski slopes & air conditioned outdoor tennis courts.

6 & 7) I'm snoring.

8) Did he have a good seat at the Obama/Silicon billionaire dinner last week or was he at the wrong end of the table, "Larry, please pass the jelly."

9) 2nd season...hmm...

Lady J

Anonymous said...

Re: #2 - Believe this house is being sold by Edgar Bronfman, Jr.

Anonymous said...

The most expensive house sold last

year in La county

was that 36000 sqft Bel Air

property on Nimes Rd sold for 50


Anonymous said...

luv reading your column :)

LA Ad Guy said...

LGB, I think that monster dirt patch you mention in #3 is the massive "FU Hollywood" house that Michael Ovitz has been building for the past few years, during which he's pissed off just about everyone that he hadn't already screwed over! Could be wrong, but I think that's it.

Anonymous said...

Oriole Drive isnt in beverly hills