Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Your Mama Hears...

...That another major Platinum Triangle estate will soon hit the market with a price tag high enough to make even a jaded real estate gossip like Your Mama gasp for air.

The international (celebrity) real estate world went batty and berserk yesterday with the explosive news that Tinseltown's most famous showbiz widow Candy Spelling may have finally sold The Manor, her ludicrously-named convention hall-sized pile in the Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles, CA listed for years with an unwavering asking price of $150,000,000.

If the rumors and reports are true that The Manor will soon to be sold to Petra Ecclestone–a 22-year old Formula One racing heiress, sometimes fashion designer and real estate size queen of the highest magnitude–then Your Mama would be our long-bodied bitches Linda and Beverly that at least one of Miz Spelling's nearby neighbors probably broke out in hives caused from the floods of joy and expectation that the deepest of the world's deep pocketed buyers have arrived on the west coast with their financial guns ablaze.

No bunnies, we're not talking about wealthy divorcée Suzanne Saperstein who, reportedly, failed to reach an acceptable agreement to sell her palatial French-y palace Fleur de Lys–listed at $125,000,000–to young and flashy Miss Ecclestone. For what it's worth Your Mama heard that the buyer of The Manor ain't actually Miss Ecclestone. However, we haven't any mustard to put on that hot dog so at that point it's just another nugget of Platinum Triangle real estate hearsay.

Your Mama is also not talking about Guess co-founder Armand Marciano who recently pushed his 10 bedroom and 17.5 pooper estate in the Benedict Canyon area of Beverly Hills on to the open market with a steaming $63,000,000 asking price.

No, puppies, we're talking about an elegant and freshly rehabbed estate that's not yet listed, a property with a deep Hollywood provenance that appeared in all its glossy glory in the pages of the July (2011) issue of Architectural Digest, the one with Liz Taylor's violet-eyed mug on the cover and delicious photos of her long-time Bel Air mansion on the inside.

(Pssst...as an aside we heard from Our Fairy Godmother in Bel Air this morning who whispered in Your Mama's hear that word on the real estate street is that Miz Taylor's residence is or soon will be placed into escrow. Just some extra rumor and gossip, hunnies).

Anyhoo, back to the matter at hand. According to one of Your Mama's finer sources deep inside the Platinum Triangle real estate game–let's call her Pasta Primavera–Lauren and Richard King plan to put their meticulously crafted two acre estate with its elegant Hollywood Regency mansion on the market. According to Miz Primavera, the King estate is expected by those who deal in such stratospherically priced properties in the Platinum Triangle to be listed with an asking price of $65,000,000.

Many not in the tee-vee and/or entertainment industry won't recognize Richard King's name but he, my little brass buttons, is the King in King World Productions, the former television syndication juggernaut founded by his father and folded into CBS in 2007. If the children don't know by now they ought to know that the really money in television is in syndication, a gift that keeps on giving to lucky actors and producers for many years after a series–successful and not–gets axed by the network.

The King's imposing Holmby Hills crib was originally built in 1938 and its first owner was sometimes controversial actress and comedienne Fanny Brice. The house was later owned by music mogul Jerry Moss and his wife Sandra and then again by Oscar-winning producer Alan Ladd Jr. (The Man in the Iron Mask, Braveheart, The Brady Bunch Movie). In April of 1998 the Ladd Juniors sold the property to rags to riches advertising tycoon Dennis Holt and his wife Brooks who in turn sold it in July 2001 for $15,000,000 to Mister and Missus King.

The Kings originally planned, according to Architectural Digest, a "minor interior renovation" and hired noted New York-based Ferguson & Shamamian Architects to handle the work. One thing let to another–as they often do–and in order to support a new slate roof the Kings had to all but tear down the entire house. They retained, according to A.D., only the foundation, the front façade and the staircase in the entry hall. So really, even if the current floor plan remains true to the original, this just isn't the same house in which Fanny Brice or any of the other previous and/or famous owners lived.

Architectural Digest states the meandering, vaguely L-shaped mansion measures around 17,000 square feet, a figure that may or many not include the square footage of the estate's several out buildings. For what it's worth, the Los Angeles County tax man shows the house measures 11,660 square feet and includes 4 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms. In 2008, according to public tax records, the Kings paid a bank account busting $161,205.83 in property taxes.

The interior day-core was handled, according to A.D., by the lady of the house who took on the elephantine task herself because she felt that it would be "too difficult" for anyone to work with her. We love that!

The center hall mansion includes a formal living room with a lot of gilded things and a formal dining room with an 18th century Chippendale dining table and hand-painted scenic wall covering. The house is, natch, wired to the gills with sophisticated audio and entertainment systems. In the walnut paneled great room a simple touch of a button cause an early 17th century Flemish tapestry to lift and expose a projection screen. Family quarters include a family room with fireplace flanked by built-in display cases full of the King's collection of kooky Palissy ware plates. The cook-friendly eat-in kitchen features marble counter tops, a frightfully large and laden pot rack, and a cozy built-in breakfast banquet.

Several outbuildings dot the property: One off the rear motor court–perfect for staff or home office–one back by the tennis court perfect for an art studio or guest cottage and and another larger structure adjacent to the swimming pool and spa with fireplace, cupola and pergola-shaded bluestone terrace.

The grounds, conceived according to A.D. by noted landscaper designer Nancy Goslee Power, knit the multi-acre and many-structured estate together with a succession of garden rooms, shaded porches, wide terraces that extend the living space outdoors, expansive lawns, a large koi pond with bluestone coping, and a uniform canopy of mature California sycamores. Formal beds tucked into triangle of land behind the lighted tennis court contains rose and vegetable gardens where Missus King says she grows some of the best tomatoes in Los Angeles.

Now kids, this is just rumor and gossip for now but don't be surprised if the King estate pops up on the open market with an asking price of $63,000,000 (or thereabouts) or if it gets sold quietly in an off-market deal. We shall see, we shall see.

aerial photo: Bing


Anonymous said...

Paging Oprah.
This would be the perfect pad in Lala land for Ms. O - if she doesn't want Ellen's casa.

Lady J

Anonymous said...

Mama there's 2 King brothers Roger (died in 07) and Michael

Anonymous said...

Lady J,

One thing about Oprah is she does not ridiculously own real estate all over the place. That is if my memory is correct.

Those hardship days of Mississippi poverty probably haunts her to the core and more than likely keeps her in check.

She can always jet to Santa Monica airport from Santa Barbara airport for LA visits.

Anonymous said...

Greetings Dear Mama and Children:

While standing in the checkout line at Discount Beauty Store and More, waiting to purchase my Miracle Mascara, I perchance picked up the new Architectural Digest. After arriving home, with pleasure and sadness I reviewed the photographs of Elizabeth Taylor's former estate, and experienced it as beautiful, comfortable, modest, and welcoming, with a garden bench, Mama, upon which I could enjoy many delightful hours.

Somehow, I completely missed the King review, and now Veranda and Patty have "borrowed" my new Architectural Digest.

I'll simply go Beatrice's Discount House of Beverages, and pick up another Architectural Digest while standing in the checkout line with my Jameson Irish Whiskey, to see what all of the King fuss is about.

Rabbi Hedda LaTess

Anonymous said...

Oprah should snatch the nearby Singleton house, not this. Though even the Singleton house isn't really Oprah as far as tastes go. The King mansion has hideous landscaping.

Anonymous said...

@ 5:22- But Ms. O said herself that she "needs" a casa in LA since the commute to her OWN office from Montecito is too much.
Mama has listed a number of properties in Ms. O's portfolio - Chicago, rural Illinois, Montecito, Hawaii, Miami (sold, I believe) and others for her family & Gail. Certainly not a ridiculous amount of houses, all things being relative, so there's no doubt an LA casa in her future.

Lady J

Footie said...

I was surprised at the AD photos of the house -- Lauren King did an excellent job of creating interiors that were warm, seemed to have some history, and even some intimacy. This house is big, but the rooms don't look like a hotel or museum. Other steroidal houses should take note!

desert donna said...

I could not wait for my AD to arrive to check this place out. What a let down. Mrs King should have checked her huge ego and hired someone. It looks like a dowdy old house with bad light and clutter. The gardens are beautiful but she obviously had nothing to do with those. Good luck selling this place. Another example of rich people not knowing when to buy taste and ruining a historic home.