Friday, May 25, 2012

End of Week Pick Up: Georges Marciano

SELLER: Georges Marciano
LOCATION: Beverly Hills, CA
PRICE: $24,500,000
SIZE: 19,590 square feet, 7 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: This one's for all the children out there who relish in a tetch of schadenfreude with their high-cost real estate scuttlebutt.

All the international property gossips' tongues have been wagging this week over the Beverly Hills (CA) estate of legally and financially embattled businessman Georges Marciano popping up on the open market as part of a bankruptcy sale with an asking price of $24,500,000.

Mister Marciano made the bulk of fortune as one of the co-founding brothers of the wildly successful Guess clothing company. He's the man most often credited with creating the company's iconic—and still-relevant if not fully fresh—boobs-and-bombshell-meets-noir-film advertising aesthetic that successfully branded the company in the 1980s with glamazon supermodels like Claudia Schiffer and Anna Nicole Smith.

He cashed out his nearly quarter-billion dollar stake in the company in 1993 and invested in various (commercial) real estate enterprises including the Bank of America tower in downtown Beverly Hills, sold in 2005 for about $135,000,000. He lived large and spent big. He shelled out more than sixteen million bucks on a 84-plus carat diamond (now called The Chloe Diamond after his daughter) and amassed a vast collection of contemporary art. The ubiquitous, roofless tour vans that put-put around the Platinum Triangle on every day of the week would frequently pause out front of the gates so gawkers could catch a glimpse through the gates of the fleet of Ferraris maintained by Mister Marciano and frequently lined up in an orderly row in the driveway in the front of his big ol' beast of a house in Beverly Hills he bought in October 1988 for an unknown (but no doubt substantial) amount of moolah.

Alas, the mighty sometimes fall. Sometimes they cut the noses off their own faces and sometimes, depending on one's point of view, they have their proverbial legs chopped off at the knees.

Several years ago, in the aftermath of a bitter 2004 divorce, an increasingly erratic Mister Marciano filed suit against a group of former employees whom he accused of looting money, wines and artwork. The suit back fired big time. Not only did forensic accounting not show any financial misconduct on the part of the former employees, the accused group counter sued for libel and won a staggering $425,000,000 judgement against Mister Marciano who shockingly and inexplicably made a silly run for the California governorship while all this was going down.

Mister Marciano, legally on the hook for nearly half a billion dollars, went on the lamb for a little bit. In a 2009 article in the L.A. Times Mister Marciano's spokeswoman claimed she herself did not know where he was living. He eventually popped up in Montreal where he opened a LHotel, a boutique hotel in Old Montreal filled to the rafters with the blue chip artwork that used to fill his Beverly Hills mansion.

Even before his ruinously costly legal imbroglio, Mister Marciano wanted to sell his grand, Italian-style pile in Beverly Hills. It was listed for six months in 2005 and again in January 2007 when it appeared on the open market with an asking price of $28,000,000.

In the early days of 2012 Your Mama heard through the Platinum Triangle real estate gossip grapevine the estate was being shopped off-market with a $32,000,000 price tag. With no takers at that sky-high price the property was officially put on the open market last week with a much lower price tag of $24,500,000. Listing information and previous reports on the matter reveal the property is being sold on behalf of Mister Marciano as part of involuntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings related to the aforementioned, nearly half billion dollar judgement.

Designed and built in 1927 by Robert D. Farquhar, the palatial palazzo has been home to a number of Hollywood hot shots including Showbiz pioneer Harry Cohn, the famously tyrannical co-founder of Columbia Pictures. Mister Cohn reportedly sold the estate to powerful Tinseltown talent agent Johnny Hyde who, while in his mid-70s, took a Svengali-like personal and professional interest in Marilyn Monroe.

In the late 1970s and 1980s, we were recently told by a Britnni Britannica, a gal pal with an encyclopedic knowledge of historical homes in Los Angeles, the grand mansion was owned by 1960s and 70s ears talk show host Mike Douglas who allowed the house to be photographed for Architectural Digest. Miss Britannica and another historically-minded gal pal Helen A. Hightower told also us the house itself—not the finishes and day-core but the architecture and layout—are almost identical to that of Owlwood, the legendary Holmby Hills mansion formerly owned by Tony Curtis and Cher and now owned by the widow of mortgage industry billionaire and diplomat Roland Arnall.

Current listing information shows Mister Marciano's estate spans 2.05 high-profile acres in an especially desirable pocket of Beverly Hills where, should one choose, it's just a short one (long) block walk to Your Mama's favorite (if hideously expensive) luncheon spot in Los Angeles, The Beverly Hills Hotel.

 Listing information shows the fairly well monumental mansion measures a massive but not-quite-mega 19,590 square feet with 7 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms. The master bedroom alone has a paneled sitting room (with fireplace and high gloss ebonized wood floors, shown above), over-sized bedroom, private study and his and her bathrooms. Other interior spaces include an entrance hall with high-gloss black and white checkerboard marble floor, a double-height foyer wrapped with a star-style staircase, formal living and dining rooms, paneled library, billiard/game room, a room for playing cards, family room, two kitchens and—natch—a screening room.  

The extensive, fully-landscaped grounds and gardens have various terraces and balconies, pathways and wide stone staircases that join the multi-level backyard areas that include a vast, sloping lawn; double-gated stone-driveway and motor court; swimming pool and spa with convenient cabana; sunken tennis court with viewing pavilion; and two guest houses accessible through their own, separate, gated motor court.

A very few minutes research on the interweb turned up easily accessible public records that indicate Mister Marciano's currently for sale estate may not be the only Beverly Hills mansion he owns. In June 2005 a limited liability company directly linked to (but not necessarily controlled by) Mister Marciano paid $7,475,000 to acquire a gated, 1.19 acre Sunset Boulevard estate with an 8,000-plus square foot mansion, swimming pool, tennis court and extensive gardens.

Just about two years before that a limited liability company also directly linked to (but not necessarily controlled by) Mister Marciano paid $6,500,000 for the 1.44 acre, triple-gated Sunset Boulevard estate immediately next door. That property has an even bigger 11,000-plus square foot, L-shaped residence with 9 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms, a swimming pool, pool cabana, and tennis court. Your Mama has been told a bazillion times that rapper turned mogul Fifty Cent used to lease the estate but we can't really vouch for the truth of that rumor.

Mister Marciano remains in a pitched legal battle to hang on to whatever assets he can, including property and possessions seized in Canada as a result of the California court order. We're not sure what constitutes winning or losing in a situation like this but in February of this year a Canadian court ruled to hold a number of his assets seized in Canada for "safekeeping" until "the high court rules on the validity of a massive seizure of Marciano assets in Montreal to conform to a California court order."

With the number of high-priced residential real estate sales in high gear it's probably a good time to sell the property at a decent price. Then again, Your Mama don't know a this from a that so we'll leave the sale price speculations to the professionals and the otherwise opinioned. 

listing photos: Nick Springett for Coldwell Banker / Beverly Hills North


Anonymous said...

Mama I know you are a good sport so you won't mind my touching up your grammar. It is "former employees WHOM (not who) he accused." In a different vein, I must say I enjoy reading about tycoons whose vast wealth is typhooned, as it were, away leaving real estate bits and pieces for others to pick up.

Anonymous said...

Ugly, obnoxious,

and really expensive to maintain.
No thanks.

Anonymous said...

A 24.5 million Italianate estate without a pergola on the grounds? I must regrettably pass.

While honoring the soldiers who gave their lives, the Rabbi wishes Mama, Dr. Cooter, and the Children enjoyable time with family and friends during Memorial Day, and a Good Yontiff Shavuos.

Rabbi LaTess

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Kharma at work?

Anonymous said...

Damn, the Pink Toyota Staging Lady has shown up for sure!

Anonymous said...

George's not so straight son might be included in the sale price. Also included is the front door "Matt" ha

Anonymous said...

That judgment seems insanely excessive. He did not appeal that ridiculous judgment? How the hell are garbage judgments like that allowed?

How the hell do his Canadian assets have anything to do with the United States. Screw North America, no wonder people with money are getting the hell out of here. Five years and I am gone and I will never look back. Enjoy your drones.

midTN said...


Anon: 7:42 PM.......

When you pack to leave the USA for good...(in FIVE years) sure to leave room in your Prius to take Obama with you!

Hopefully by then we will have had enough time to repair at least SOME of the wreckage created by that human disaster.

Thank You

Anonymous said...

Mid Tn. I second that notion. AND I would add...why wait 5yrs?? They should get out now. Stop using our country like a toilet, much as the facebook guy did. He was more than happy to reap the protections and advantages our society affords, and then once he has made his $$$ he is out of here. The prius comment really cracked me up. Canada is second rate..they know it, we know it. Where we go they go!

Don Juan's Wreckless Daughter said...

Another comment board derailed.

Anonymous said...

I believe he did not participate in the court proceedings and got slammed by the jury. Suggestion, don't sue people because you just might lose and they will come after you for everything you own.

Anonymous said...

I'm not an Obama supporter, and never have been...but what the hell does this story have to do with him? If you want to Obama bash got to a political site, why does it have to be in the comments of every story regardless of it's subject.On another note I think this house is priced pretty fairly. I'm also glad someone brought up the resemblance to Owlwood. The fact that nobody but me seemed to notice that has bothered me for years.

Anonymous said...

@4:50, While he's at it I hope there's room for you, Wall St bankers, and Healthcare executives in the trunk also.

Good thing, Obama approved fracking. It's time to put those useless red, poor states to work. Plenty of land there for it.

But you already know that midTN, your entire 2 acre home parcel is full of fracking contraptions, eh? And Hillbilly Billionaires is one of your favorite TV pastimes.

Anonymous said...

3:57 here...

I can add that some rich people are also Libertarians. But the "party for old and graying, embittered white folks/old graying, exploitative rich white males is starting to die out." The grand ole party is seeing its last days.

Anonymous said...

Hey MidTN, maybe you'll know the answer to this. The most divorces, welfare recipients and other forms of government aid invariably go to RED STATES. Why is that?

Rosco Mare said...

I'm two drinks into Sinatra Hour out in glorious 85 degree Palm Springs, but I'm compelled to comment on one of the most beautiful estates in BH that is a few doors away from the late Sue Meger's house you've profiled.
Harry Cohn and his second, trophy aktress, wife Joan bought the estate from Lew Rosensteil who was the second husband of his niece, the late Lee Annenberg.
Marciano's house at corner of Sunset and Foothill was the longtime Pauley estate. (UCLA Paulette Pavilion). Too difficult to write any more on mobile phone....

Anonymous said...

They have to blame Obama, or else they'd have to acknowledge that they voted twice for George W. who caused the supremely expensive and unprecedented mess he left for the next president to fix.

Anonymous said...

I would attribute the price tag with the fact that this house directly overlooks david Beckhams backyard and house...wonder if Mr Cruise will buy it..they seem bff

Anonymous said...

Yes hunny, that's true. Instead you're universally regarded as followers and copiers of everything Americans do. You're like our poorer, more ghetto cousins. We could annex you losers if we wanted but instead we'll keep you as our top hat because no one wants all that ice up there anyway.

Isn't your place all filled with cows and pastures too? Canada. Ew.

Anonymous said...

Are we really trash talkin each others' countries now?


saying mean things about another country is meant to be what? intelligent? witty? funny? what?

jesus. is that's the level of discourse between people then we're really in trouble...not as countries but as a human beings.

Anonymous said...

First of all lordy children of the Mamma settle down.

1. Politics um should not be on a real estate blog. Um hello architecture and storylines of the owners ya'll!

2. This house is not exactly close to the Beckhams (as above stated). IT is across a major street and up a few blocks... Maybe with some good tele-lenses you could see from Crescent to San Ysidro.

3. Children, calm drink some gin enjoy the fabulousness of live.

4. Mamma you are fierce

5. xxoo

Candy Spelling said...

Mama leaves for the long weekend and the children wreak havoc yet again.

This trail of destruction is one for the books!

Anonymous said...

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!

The Aussie

Anonymous said...

yeah not the house i thought was thinking of the one on tower road that overlooks the backs house not this one...they look very similar

SnodV said...

got once I have someting to say! Mr. George is definately.... eccentric! A cross between the Billionnaire on Gilligan's Island and Gene Simmons.
I'm a bit dissapointed by the house, it seems not gaudy enough for him. Probably becasue he took all his valuables to Montreal with him. I see him weekly inspecting his outside art installations in from of his hotel.... he's quite a character!

Anonymous said...

Candy, your face is a trail of destruction.

Anonymous said...

Todd Bentley, you sound upset! Everything okay, schnookums? All that Canadian cold and barren wasteland getting to you? When you get a chance, do come visit us here in Lalaland. It's just gorgeous out today!

Who knows, you may even be fortunate to live here someday! Sometimes dreams do come true, and you find yourself some rich old sucker! Right, Candy?

Anonymous said...

Ummm Canada is cold ew. California is going to fall in the ocean. The red states have oil money wind energy money our tourism is thriving, oh especially here in Oklahoma not to mention we have one of the best schools ou and osu as well as sports college ou osu and our amazing thunder!!!!!

This house is okay it's a landmark muesem type that would be cool to stay in but not live.


Sincerely a gay Obama loving republican

Anonymous said...

July 19 2012
case: 11-60070 07/19/2012
BAP No. 11-1008






Before: KOZINSKI, Chicf Judge, and THOMAS, Circuit Judge.

Intervenor ChapterI I Trustee's July 18,2012 request for judicial notice in support of his opposition to appellant's renewed emergency motion for a
temporary and permanent stay pending appeal is denied as unnecessary.

Appellant's renewed emergency motion for a stay pending appeal is granted.
The parties shall maintain the status quo pending resolution of this appeal. The matter is remanded to the bankruptcy appellate panel for the limited purpose of establishing appropriate conditions to protect the rights of all parties in interest ans to maintain the status quo.