Sunday, May 20, 2012

Terry Semel Lists Malibu Compound for Fifty Million

SELLERS: Terry and Jane Semel
PRICE: $50,000,000
SIZE: 10,317 square feet, 9 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: A little weekend birdie came chirp-chirpin' along late last night to tell us former chairman/co-CEO of Warner Bros. and exceedingly well-compensated former Yahoo! CEO Terry Semel and his wife Jane have heaved and hoed their oceanfront compound in Malibu, CA on the market with an elephantine $50,000,000 price tag.

We're not quite sure exactly when or for how much Mister and Missus Semel bought their beach properties. What we do know is the multi-structure, post-modernist compound was designed and built in the early-1990s for the Showbiz bigwig turned tech industry tycoon by East Coast-based architect Michael Graves. The Semel compound comprises three separate but architecturally-related structures: a bulky, two story main house; a tall and thin, barrel-vaulted screening room; and a somewhat low-slung, two-story guest/pool house.

Listing information shows the two-parcel property encompasses .73 very valuable acres with 151 bulk-headed feet of frontage on Carbon Beach, colloquially called Billionaire's Beach for the number of billionaires who maintain homes on what is arguably Malibu's most desirable and expensive stretch of sand. The three post-modern pavilions combined measure 10,317 square feet, as per listing information, and between them contain a total of 9 bedrooms and an unlucky 13 bathrooms.When we mentioned to our highly superstitious house gurl Svetlana that Mister and Missus Semel's Malibu compound has 13 bathrooms she let out a screech that curled our toes and self-assuredly said, "Well no wonder those people are selling!" Anyhoo....

Parking can be an major issue in Malibu—there's just not enough of it really—and Mister and Missus Semel's spread offers an unusual and coveted amount of off-street parking for up to 9 cars, according to listing information. In addition to a narrow strip wedged between the guest house and often traffic-clogged Pacific Coast Highway, a pair of discreet gates set into a tall, concrete privacy wall swing open to a compact, tree-shaded motor court in front of the main house with an attached two-car garage.

Mister Graves—the architect—made a decidedly (melo)dramatic statement with a voluminous, rotunda entry (above, top left and right) that soars three stories high with a sky light overhead and inlaid wood flooring under foot. A series of port hole-like openings with wavy metal railings run around the second floor gallery and provide a no-so-subtle nautical nod property's the sea-side location.

A glimpsed ocean view pulls residents and visitors through the show-stopping rotunda entry to an especially spacious (if decoratively ho-hum) living/dining room (above, bottom left and right) that grandly spans the full width of the main pavilion. There's a fireplace in the living area, very pale blond wood floors throughout, a shallow coffered ceiling and two wall lined with banks of French doors that open on one side to an ocean view veranda.

The adjoining, tile-floored eat-in kitchen (above) looks to be equipped all the necessary appliances (including a pair of dishwashers) but looks to Your Mama a bit wee for a house of this magnitude. Listing information indicates the compound contains a staff suite and we'd bet both our long bodied bitches it's just steps from the kitchen.

The impossibly pale blond wood floors in the living room show up again in the second floor master suite that has an over-scale circular window and French doors that connect to a covered veranda that runs the full-length of the main house. The attached bathroom has his and her sinks, a party-sized jetted tub, and glass and steel shower cubicle with ocean view and multiple shower heads.

As best as Your Mama can tell from listing information and photographs the free-standing middle pavilion—which may or may not have interior access to the main pavilion—contains only a den/screening room topped with a soaring, copper-roofed barrel-vaulted ceiling punctuated with a series of very post-modern circular windows. The wide-screen drops from a soffit in the ceiling at the touch of a button and half a dozen (or more) French doors open the slender but airy, bi-level room to the grassy beach-side backyard. We'd be shocked if the screening room pavilion did not have a wet bar/kitchenette and/or a bathroom but we have no specific knowledge of such.

Beyond the screening room, a two story guest/pool house has a spacious sitting area with wet bar (and pool table) and three bedrooms each with attached bathroom. One of the two downstairs bedrooms is used by Mister and Missus Semel as a half-assed fitness room with only a paltry few pieces of exercise equipment and the lone upstairs bedroom open through a long row of windows to a private sunbathing terrace tucked up behind the cornice.

Just outside the guest/pool house a heated, rectangular pool with inset spa and stone coping was simply sunk into a broad swathe of well-watered and bright green lawn that stretches out toward a low hedge atop the bulkhead that sets the house slightly above sand-level and thwarts the prying eyes of looky-looing beach goers.

Some of Mister and Missus Semel's nearest neighbors in Malibu include hotelier/restaurateur Peter Morton (who has a Richard Meier-designed compound) and entertainment industry mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg (who has a Gwathmey Siegel-designed compound). Some of y'all may think fifty million is a bold and optimistic asking price but immediately next door is the traditional (but architecturally insignificant) 12,785 square foot beach-manse formerly owned by now-deceased philanthropist Nancy Riorden Daly and sold in October 2010 to an unknown buyer for $36,969,000.

Other Richie Riches and Richettes who own property on Carbon Beach include filmmaker Jerry Bruckheimer; Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen; media billionaire David Geffen; media investor Haim Saban; home builder and art world kingpin Eli Broad, Canadian media baron Gerry Schwartz who knocked down two ocean front houses to build his Malibu Barbie Dreamhouse; and bitterly divorced Jamie McCourt who owns a John Lautner-designed place she and her ex bought from Courtney Cox in July 2007 for $27,250,000 and the itty-bitty beach shack next door she and ex-hubby Frank bought the following year for $18,975,000. Then, of course, there's real estate baller Larry Ellison who owns at least $150,000,000 worth of Malibu real estate including at least half a dozen houses on Carbon Beach.

Like many of the most well-heeled homeowners on Carbon Beach, Mister and Missus Semel maintain primary residences in the Platinum Triangle (Bel Air, Holmby Hills and Beverly Hills). Between July 1982 and October 2003 Mister and Missus Semel assembled a 2.75 acre three-parcel estate in prime lower East Gate Bel Air. Sometime in the mid-Aughts they began a full-scale renovation/expansion that appears to have been recently completed.

Like in Malibu, in Bel Air Mister and Missus Semel are surrounded by show business bigwigs and other high profile types who include, just to name a few: divorcing actress Debra Messing; producer and music executive Freddy DeMann; real estate executive David P. Margulies; philanthropist Lynn Booth, widow of L.A. Times muckety-muck Franklin Otis Booth Jr.; and entertainment industry power player Michael Eisner.

In December 2011 the Semels sold a nearly 9,000 square foot mansion in Beverly Hills they bought in June 2005 for $8,300,000 in which to live during the renovation/construction of their big new crib in Bel Air.

listing photos: Hilton & Hyland and Partners Trust


Desert Donna said...

Why list? Just ring a ding Petra or Larry E and its as good as sold.

Anonymous said...

Wow 13 terlits but only 9 paved parking spaces? You would think ppl who spend 8.3 mil on interim mansions might spread it out a little better than that! Vroom vroom! Gimme some shelter up in here. And while we're at it, do fix "kitchen little". Perhaps there are restaurants galore around their little stretch of paradise, but serious buyers will want to see some damn symmetry between guest capacity and parking, kitchen capacity and toilies. Otherwise, what an outstanding beachfront spread. Yum.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to open a hornet's nest with a hypothetical question.

If a buyer for this property decided to remodel it as a Hampton's/Shingle Style beach house, should there be a preservationist's uproar? If not, what makes one style worth saving over another?

Personally, I'm not a fan of Michael Graves work or post-modernist architecture (the style attributed to Julius Shulman's decision to retire)but I'd be open to hearing arguments that this may be a significant enough work to preserve.

Anonymous said...

How fast is the Pacific rising? How many years before the ocean comes a lap, lap lapping at their garden wall and the beach disappears?

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Petra, why hasn't she bought a Malibu property yet?! Enormous main residence in the Platinum Triangle and yet no oceanfront home?!?! How gauche! All the neighbors must be tsk-tsking.

Anonymous said...

"Speaking of Petra, why hasn't she bought a Malibu property yet?! ... How gauche! All the neighbors must be tsk-tsking."

Her home in LA is technically a 2nd home, remember she has a $90M home in London that she's currently refurbishing. Besides, why vacation 15 miles away when you can vacation on your Fathers $150M super yacht in the ultra glamourous European resorts littered along the Mediterranean that are way more fun & cosmopolitan than Malibu?

Land Auction said...

Yeah thats very true, this is definitely a 2nd home for sure. Her dad's yacht is completely INSANE. Regardless, this is a super gorgeous house.

Anonymous said...

$50M to live in Malibu? LOLOLOLOLOL.

You could buy a nice home somewhere spectacular in the French Riviera for $50M.

Anonymous said...

Insane - I am so niave' when it comes to this kind of money and why those that have it do. Were they gifted with a gene for biz', success in general, earned every bit of it through extrordinarily hard work,(although low paid cubicle dwellers give blood to these companies), or just plain lucky. It is too big of a home and who the heck wants to step out their front door right slap bang on to PCH. Have you ever seen the southbound traffic on a summer weekend that would be inching by their front doors? Well, good for them.

Anonymous said...

Are any of the children naive enough to believe that because Daddy has a yacht at her disposal, that Petra wont still want a beach house 15 miles from her mosoleum/shrine to excess? I am sure she will soon get bored and Daddy will buy her something bright and shiny once more..

Anonymous said...

Petra is planning on spending the summer in europe with her family hence why she hasnt added a malibu house to her property i think. Plus if she bought candys house then i doubt this house is her style. Nancy dalys place looks more like her style to me...

Candy Spelling said...

Mama Dearest!

I'll give you a clue to the identity of the buyer of Nancy Daly's old Malibu shack. The buyer also owns an under-construction mega-mansion in Bel Air, right next door to both Selma Hayek and Michael Bay. And if you're thinking American, think again!

Happy sleuthing! xoxoxo

kirk said...

You can buy world peace for $50 million!

Rugby E. Root said...

The rotunda with the circular openings is a lift (or "quotation" if you prefer from Lou Kahn, specifically the atrium of the Exeter Library. He's taken the square room and made it round, but otherwise, the two are closely related.

That said, it is a staggeringly ugly house from the outside. My first thought in seeing it was, "I guess the nice thing about living there is you don't have to look at it!"

To answer an earlier question about preservation, I don't see any problem if the next owner wants to knock it down. There are much more important houses in Malibu which deserve the fight to preserve them, and Michael Graves has built much better works.

I'm not really a fan of Postmodernism, but I understand the thinking behind it and am therefore willing to respect it. The water facade of this house, however, looks like Graves doing bad Richard Meier.

Dan said...

WOW!I guess it's what they call dream house:)

Anonymous said...

Honestly, this is a teardown. The architecture is so dated. Truly bad.

Don Juan's Wreckless Daughter said...

@Anon 1:56 PM - Agreed. The PCH is crawling with this brand of early 90's tripe.

Super close to the Malibu KFC though - Awesome!

candi speling said...

Interesting pics. Mama, I can tell you a thing or two about heaving and "ho"-ing! Call me, gurl.

Anonymous said...

Wow good neighbors in Bel Air:,_Los_Angeles

Anonymous said...

hey mama - not sure who Ms. Spelling is talking about, but the new owner of Ms. Daly's place (God rest her soul) is Larry Ellison. 100% positive

just in case you think I'm lyin', the agent of the llc that purchased the place is also secretary of a firm called Knowledge Universe, which Mr. E co-founded and chairs with the Milken bros. beyond that I can't prove anything but I would never lie to my Mama!