Friday, March 25, 2011

Roman Abramovich Does It In London

Ever wonder what's it's really like to live like one of the world's wealthiest globe-trotting billionaires? One need look no further than Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich who plays like a pasha and lives in the manner so haute it makes Saudi royals look like his country bumpkin relatives.

Mister Abramovich famously purchased nine apartments in two townhouse-style structures on patrician Lowndes Square in London's uppity Belgravia neighborhood that he's in the process of combining into one vast 30,000 mega-mansion. Your Mama has seen plans for the renovated property submitted by Mister Abramovich's people in mid-July 2009 and they are–to put it mildly–palatial. Submitted plans call for a swimming pool in the basement, multiple elevators, several staff apartments, a drawing room that spans the full width of the two townhouses and a full-floor master suite comprised of bedroom, two large bathrooms, two large windowed dressing rooms–one with walk-in safe–and a service kitchen/pantry connected to the main kitchen via a dumbwaiter.

With his London dream house under construction Mister Abramovich and his baby momma Daria "Dasha" Zhukova and their baby need a place to shack up and according the British media that will be an historic and Grade II listed residence on boho-chic Cheyne Walk in the Chelsea area of London last listed with an asking price of £25,000,000, a number according to Your Mama's currency conversion contraption that translates to $40,487,300 at today's rates. That's right, chickens, forty million clams for a home he will only occupy until the construction and interior decorating is done on his massive mansion in Lowndes Square.
The aristocratic residence, according to listing information forwarded to Your Mama by Our Man in London, shows it measures 12,770 square feet over four floors that includes two ground floor sitting rooms and an office, a 50-floot long drawing room and a 900-square foot music room on the first floor–that's the second floor for all us Americanos–three kitchens, two-car attached garage plus a motor court an elevator, and half a dozen or more fireplaces. Altogether there are 9 potential bedrooms and–by Your Mama's count–6 full and 2 half bathrooms in the mansion plus a fully-detached two-story guest/staff annex with living room, kitchen, two bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms.

Cheyne Walk has been home to a number of high-profile bohemian types including pre-Raphealite painter Dane Gabriel Rossetti, Rolling Stone Keith Richards who lived in a house once owned by John Barrymore, novelists Ian Fleming and George Eliot. Mick Jagger and his ladee-friend L'Wren Scott recently purchased a house on Cheyne Walk and Mister Abramovich's new (temporary) residence was once occupied by the über-famous American painter James Abbott McNeill Whistler who painted his most famous painting–a dour portrait of his own mother–in 1871 in the music room of the house Mister Abramovich just (allegedly) purchased.

Mister Abramovich famously has a taste for lavish living and over-sized and frighteningly high-priced properties around the world. In addition to his London residences he is reported to own two mansions outside Moscow, a couple of spreads in St. Barts including one beach front compound that cost him around $90,000,000, a couple of pricey ski-pads in Aspen including the very contemporary Wildcat Ridge estate that he bought in 2008 for $36,375,000 and a villa in the glam Cap d'Antibes in the south of France.

Mister Abramovich's baby-momma Daria Zhukova owns a trophy mansion at the tippy-top of the of Bird Streets high above the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles that according to property records was purchased in December of 2009 for $19,500,000. Last year, on the 15th of November, the property popped up on real estate listing site Redfin with an asking price of $16,500,000. Two days later the listing disappeared and a representative of Miss Zhukova contacted Your Mama and told us the property was "most definitely not for sale." Property records reflect that the property remains in Miz Zhukova's property portfolio along with a more modest 6,408 square foot mansion in the Benedict Canyon area of Beverly Hills that property records show she scooped up in late 2007 for $6,495,000.

And those, puppies, are just the couple's known property holdings. Presumably there are other posh properties and, of course, there are also the high-flying couple's armada of giga-yachts that includes the 530-plus foot long Terence Disdale-designed Eclipse said to include cabins for 24 guests, a crew of 70, two helicopter landing pads, two swimming pools, a disco, a submarine, a sophisticated missile-defense system, a master stateroom with bullet-proof glass and armor-plated walls and–allegedly–an anti-paparazzi laser shield. Some reports suggest that the ocean-going mega-mansion cost Mister Abramovich well over a billion dollars. It just makes Your Mama feel like puking to think of dropping a billion bucks on a boat. Yikes! Interestingly Mister Abramovich's cruise ship-like Eclipse–as well as his other giga-yacht, the 375-plus foot Pelorus–can be chartered for an undisclosed price.

And that, children, is how a jet-setting nouveau riche billionaire really does it up big time.

photos and floor plan: Savills


Anonymous said...

One can only wish that Roman starts spending some of his endless cash in the good old USA. That would give the economy the jump start it needs. He must believe if your worth 30-40 billion, best to spend it all before you die. Go Roman.....

Anonymous said...

Lowndes Sq is Knightsbridge rather than Belgravia.

He had another giant townhouse in London, again in Knightsbridge ... think the ex-wife must have got it when they divorced a couple of years ago.

Anonymous said...

He and his ways make you really appreciate the modesty of Buffett and, yes, even Gates. I detect here some kind of unconscious over-reaction to Russia's communist past.

StPaulSnowman said...

I am fascinated by the architrave component of the drawing room fireplace. I have looked at photos of many fire surrounds and have never seen anything like this anywhere. While totally impractical for people who like to put tschachke on their mantles, it is a fascinating interior architectural element..........perhaps unique.

Anonymous said...

God damn he is a baller of epic proportions.
I want to be like Roman when I grow up.

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget, Mama: according to rumor Mister Abromvich has been acquiring a series of beachfront properties in Venice CA - a block's worth, I read someplace.

Pablo Diablo said...

I wish I was having his billionaire baby. that house is sooper lovely and i could get accustomed to that kind luxe if only for three years whilst waiting for my ballroom to be renovated in belgraveeeyar
Whyowhyowhy mama do Londoners always dispute about exactly what area a house is in? I look it up and you say Belgravia and so does wikipedy so who cares is some people say knightsbridge... Besides to my knowledge knightsbridge is a road with fancy booteeks not an area in itself.
its just so pickypickyfussfuss! either way is great

Anonymous said...

But what does it matter if it's radioactive?

Anonymous said...

10:36 you're right. I'm sure soon we'll be seeing how the ultra rich build fall-out shelters and I doubt they'll be the 1950's DIY backyard types.


Sally McPhers said...

Love it! P. S. Your Mama, have you been thinking of updating this blog's look? This Georgia 10.5pt main font and orange titles are a bit dated, especially with this line spacing. You should go Luxist on us, elegant, uncluttered, Arial 10.5pt.