Friday, August 31, 2012

Catch Up Friday: LiLo Leaving Los Angeles?

On the heels of famous and famously troubled but essentially homeless "actress" Lindsay Lohan (allegedly) skipping out on a $46,000+ bill at and being banned from* the boho-swank Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles, CA where she shacked up for a good portion of the summer, word comes down the celebrity real estate gossip grapevine that the always-in-some-kinda-legal and/or Showbiz tangle starlet may make a move to Manhattan.

The Confidential canaries at the Daily News reported this morning that the hard-charging bar-hopper is expected to bunk in the TriBeCa apartment of "her assistant/sometimes best friend Gavin Doyle."

Hmm. Doesn't sound like a very permanent solution for the perpetually peripatetic tabloid seller but then again, when has itchy-footed and often-scrambling Miss Lohan ever really stayed put anywhere for more than a few months?

Good luck Big Apple.

*A press release issued by the hotel's general manager says the ban will be lifted and Miss Lohan will be happily received back at the Chateau Marmont at such time she pays her outstanding bill.

Catch Up Friday: A Decorator Throw Down

Several weeks ago Your Mama regaled the children—or punished the wee lambs, depending on your point of view—with photographs and floor plans of a octagonal triplex penthouse atop the City Spire building in Midtown Manhattan. The uncommonly configured penthouse, according to property records, is owned by real estate developer Steven A. Klar who hoisted it on the open market in late July (2012) with a splish-splashy $100,000,000 price tag guaranteed to generate a mountain of international publicity.

The original online listing for the approximately 8,000 square foot aerie proudly proclaimed the opulent—but, in our mind, ludicrously mundane—interiors had been worked over by internationally renown, Chilean-born interior decorator-designer Juan Pablo Molyneux. Well, dontcha know children, Mister Molyneux was not pleased with that rather grandiose assertion.


After receiving a number of not-particularly-positive phone calls "'from all over the world,'" the designer-decorator jumped on his princess phone and called The Old Grey Lady herself—that would be The New York Times—to clarify matters and express a sharp dismay about the existing day-core. He is not, he would like the world to know, responsible for the installation and execution of the finishes and furnishings. He went on to hiss, "'I never thought that this horror would be published and then everybody would blame me for having done it.'"

Oh dear.

Mister Sklar conceded to The New York Times that Mister Molyneux did only design the original plans for the penthouse 18 years ago and that he opted to execute the designs himself without additional assistance or guidance from Mister Molyneux. Mister Sklar showed The New York Times Mister Molyneux's original plans and pointed out that he "hewed almost religiously to the decorator’s plans, down to the style of curtains, use of marble and columns — even, in one case, the exact placement of a painting in his office."

Cat fight! 

As of today, online marketing materials still state the six bedroom and nine bathroom, multi-terraced penthouse was, "Designed by the renowned Juan Pablo Molyneux, a member of Architectural Digest's AD100." More photos and floor plans here.

Mister Molyneux's own, elaborately-done Manhattan townhouse also happens to be available on the open market with a protuberant $48,000,000 asking price and the few listing photographs included with online listings show a more nuanced, richly-textured, and typically Molyneux-ian sort of day-core. 

listing photos: Stribling 

Friday Catch Up: Damon's New Digs

Actor Matt Damon and wife Luciana Barroso have been on a long and as-yet unsuccessful search for a new, super-sized pad in Manhattan for years* but, as the folks at Zillow revealed, they didn't seem to take much time on the west coast where they've dropped a whopping $15,000,000 on a three-story, 8,890 square foot** Zen-contemporary in the upscale Pacific Palisades community.

Previous reports and listing information we managed to dig up out of the depths of the internets show the hulking, KAA Design Group-designed domicile—a blend of California Modernism and traditional Spanish Colonial, according to the architect's website—was built in 2004 and sits on a flat, .68 acre corner lot in the quite-ritzy but none-the-less low-key Riviera section of Pacific Palisades. As it turns out—and maybe not coincidentally—Mister Damon's new digs happen to be on the same street as the plush, gated estate his b.f.f. Ben Affleck shares with wife Jennifer Garner.

The boxy mansion's series of interlocking glass, stone and wood pavilions orbit around a voluminous, cruise ship-like atrium with 35-foot mahogany ceiling and include 7 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, formal living and dining rooms, an office, eat-in kitchen and family room, media room, five-car garage, and what listing information called a "serious" home gym.

Wide and soaring banks of glass open up to various courtyards, garden, patios, and sleeping porches. The fully landscaped grounds include flat lawns and gardens connected by wood walkways, numerous water features—including, as per the architect's website, "a koi pond that functions as a fence," and a swimming pool and spa with adjacent pool house pavilion.

For the last couple of years Mister and Missus Damon (and their four children) have hunkered down in New York City but have long maintained a sprawling, two-parcel waterfront compound in Miami Beach, FL. The first portion of the property was purchased in April 2005 for $10,300,000 and includes a 9 bedroom and 10 bathroom mansion (plus a waterside guest house and additional living space above the garages), and the second parcel (with roof-terraced, bay-side pool house) was picked up a few months later, in December, for $4,200,000. Not too long ago Your Mama heard an entirely unsubstantiated rumor that Mister and Misssus Damon might like to sell their Miami Beach spread but, sorry Charlies, we can't offer up any additional details at this point .

*As far as Your Mama knows—and we really know so very little—Mister Damon still owns an East Village loft-apartment with a private basketball court in the basement.

**Some resources we consulted show the house may actually be as large as 13,508 square feet. 

listing photos: Coldwell Banker (via Curbed)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thursday Catch Up: Alan Jackson Lives Large

In case any of y'all didn't already know, veteran country music kingpin Alan Jackson is—as Your Mama likes to say—a serious Real Estate Baller with a rotating property portfolio stuffed to the gills with a hefty handful of high-cost and high-maintenance residences in both Tennessee and coastal Florida.

Two years ago the award-winning country crooner sold Sweetbriaran epic, 135-acre estate outside Nashville, TN—for around $28,000,000 and the property gossip gals at The Wall Street Journal announced a couple weeks ago he and the missus have now heaved their eye-popping, private peninsula occupying compound on Center Hill Lake near Smithville, TN on the market with a $4,995,000 price tag.

In addition to the 6,100 square foot, five bedroom, multi-story mansion ringed by numerous verandas and terraces and perched on a thickly-treed bluff above the water's edge, the approximately 3.5 acre estate comes complete with a separate four bedroom guest house and a one bedroom cottage perfect for a live-in caretaker.

A detached garage for six or more cars has helipad on the roof and a private dock directly with an elaborate, two-story house bought equipped with indoor and out door lounging areas, couple of water-slides and a raised hot tub on the upper level deck.

Mister and his long-time missus Denise reportedly custom-built the deluxe compound 20 years or so ago and opted to list the vacation property because, according a statement provided to the WSJ, they and their three daughters don't use it as a family much anymore and are "re-evaluating their plans for the future after she [Missus Jackson] beat cancer last year."

Last year Mister and Missus Jackson flipped a Franklin, TN mansion they purchased in June 2010 for $3,675,000 back on the market with a $3,995,000 price tag. The stately, gated estate with its 14,040 square foot mansion and its eight bedrooms and ten terlits in eight full and two half bathroom remains on the open market with a slenderized asking price of $3,750,000. Your Mama, who don't know a hat from a pick-up truck, heard through the grapevine—which means we read it somewhere but don't recall where—the luxury loving country music royals bought the opulent mansion to live in temporarily while they finished construction on a significantly larger mansion nearby.

In September 2010, the big-livin' Jacksons sold a river-front getaway outside Nashville (TN) to fellow country music royal Kenny Chesney for $1,425,000 and in 2009 they acquired a 4.29 acre spread in Franklin (TN) on which now stands the a brand spanking new, custom-built and decidedly baronial 22,136 square foot mansion the Jacksons now, presumably, call home. Just because they're thinning their bulging property portfolio, butter beans, does not mean these country music Jacksons are the least bit interested in downsizing or economizing.

In May of this year (2012) Mister and Missus Jackson took a nearly three-quarter million pounding to their financial pocketbooks when they finally sold a 2,214 square foot Key West-style cottage directly on the Intracoastal Waterway in Tequesta, FL for $725,000. Listing information and property records we squeezed out of the interweb shows the four bedroom and three bathroom property was acquired in June 2004 for $1,270,000, first listed in November 2009 for $1,500,000, and includes a private dock capable of parking two 70-plus foot yachts.

Property records (and The Bizzy Boys at Celebrity Address Aerial) also indicate Mister and Missus Jackson still maintain a second, more substantial 1.1-acre ocean front estate in Jupiter purchased in October 2002 for about $3,500,000. The Martin County Tax Man shows the two-story Mediterranean mansion, built in 2007, measures 8,724 square feet and includes seven bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms. A private dock on the other side of the road extends deep into the Intracoastal Waterway where Mister and Missus Jackson park their armada of pleasure craft.

See, now? We told y'all he was a Real Estate Baller.

listing photos: French Christianson Patterson and Associates and Christie's International Real Estate

Thursday Catch Up: Leasing LeBlanc

As first revealed by the ever-industrious folks at, sitcom star Matt LeBlanc—first famous as do-do bird beau-hunk Joey Tribbiani on Friends, then as do-do bird beau-hunk Joey Tribbiani on the blessedly short-lived Joey and now appearing as a version of himself on the very possibly under-appreciated Episodes—has put a plush and expensively restored and updated Spanish-style abode he owns in Pacific Palisades, CA up for lease—for just six to eight months, according to current listing information—with a monthly rent of $12,995.

Let's just call it $13,000, shall we?

Mister LeBlanc purchased the swimming pool-free property in January 2007 for $7,400,000 and current listing information shows the well-maintained, two-story casa sits on a half-plus landscaped acre; was built in 1933; spans a fairly-modest by celeb standards 3,930 square feet; and is finished with beamed ceilings, wood floors, and original fixtures, iron work and tiles.

Three family/guest bedrooms share 3.5 bathrooms and an additional staff room includes an additional, private lavatory. A few of the primary living and entertaining spaces include a step-down living room (with non-working fireplace); paneled dining room and paneled library (also with non-working fireplace); and contemporary, sky-lit center-island kitchen with compact, adjoining family room outfitted with built-in cabinetry, wet bar and non-working fireplace.*

Leasing out his canyon-view crib in Pacific Palisades hardly leaves Mister LeBlanc homeless. Our entirely unscientific research reveals handsomely goofy actor owns property in Los Alamos, CA as well as a pair of adjacent houses in Encino, CA. One of the Encino residences, a 1,966 square foot ranch-style house, has two bedrooms and three bathrooms according to the L.A. County Tax Man and the other, a far more substantial and recently-renovated contemporary mansion, includes a swimming pool and "sunken" tennis court partially cantilevered over the long, gated driveway that curls up to the front of the main mansion and continues around to the front of the smaller ranch house.

*Current listing information states, "Fireplaces not in working condition."

listing photos: Prudential California Realty

Thursday Catch up: Gomez Snags Hill?

Did Justin Beiber's former Disney star girlfriend Selena Gomez buy comedic actor/producer/screenwriter Jonah Hill's house in Tarzana, CA?

Maybe. Could be.

Property records Your Mama peeked at don't yet reflect a transfer of ownership of the five bedroom, 5.5 bathroom, single-story quasi-Cape Cod/California ranch-style residence young Mister Hill picked up only last September (2011) for $2,175,000 but multiple online reports say he's done flipped his rather matronly-looking house in Tarzana to even younger Miss Gomez.

The .85-acre property was not, as far as we can tell, made available on the open market but at least one report says 20-year old Miss Gomez—who currently lives in an apartment on her parent's substantial Encino estate—paid $2,900,000 for the 4,650 square foot, quintessentially-suburban gated estate that includes a swimming pool, spa, landscaped grounds and a tennis court.

By Your Mama's busy-body, rudimentary calculations, Miss Gomez's new digs are 9.8 miles from her boyfriend's even larger and even more quintessentially-suburban estate in a double-gated private community in Calabasas.

listing photos: Prudential California Realty

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Kristen Stewart's Momma Buys Malibu Beach House

Ever since pasty-pallored Twilight heart throb Rob Pattinson's often-sour-pussed Twilight cast mate and long-time girlfriend Kristen Stewart was caught smoochin' and coochin' with British-born and very-married neophyte movie director Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman), the Pattin-Stew corner of the interweb has been a scalding conflagration of scandal, intrigue, outrage and harsh judgement by fans and foes alike.

Life can get so complicated sometimes, can't it? While we can't condone anyone stepping out on their love-mates and life-partners—unless it's an agreed upon thing, of course—these matters are personal so Your Mama's gonna—for the most part, anyways—leave the cheating lectures and monogamy moralizing to the children and focus, natch, on the (quasi-) related real estate matters at hand.

The celeb-watchers at US Weekly reported yesterday that Mister Pattinson had done booted his  unfaithful but reportedly deeply regretful ex-girlfriend from the swank Los Angeles, CA paradise he bought, they shared, and he now (allegedly) wants to sell because—as per an unidentified "insider"—it holds "too many memories."

We weren't surprised at these rumors or read the reports. Your Mama had thrice heard this scuttlebutt from no fewer than four separate sources more than a week ago. It will undoubtedly appear to many that Your Mama dropped the damn ball on this particular celebrity real estate scoop. And maybe we did. But, alas—and in all honesty—we were unable to come up with a proper confirmation or any significant details—i.e. an asking price—from any of our most trusted and reliable celebrity real estate moles. No shade intended on all my much-adored Chatty Cathies; That's just the way the ol' celebrity real estate llama spits sometimes, you know?

Anyhoodles poodles, our research shows Mister Pattinson—through a blind trust—picked up the 1.52-acre hillside spread (above) in a particularly posh pocket of L.A.'s star-packed Los Feliz neighborhood in September 2011 for $6,275,000. Not bad for a rather unkempt-looking fella in his mid-20s, is it now?

The walled, gated and no-doubt heavily fortified property was not listed on the open market but various online resources indicate the dignified, Spanish-style residence was built in 1921 for a wealthy insurance executive by architect Stiles O. Clements, measures 4,026 square feet and contains just 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms.

The extensive gardens and grounds include a curvaceous gated stone driveway; a second-gated motor court and garage; party-sized terraces off the rear of the main floor; and a painstakingly-planted, completely-landscaped and multi-terraced backyard that climbs the moderately steep hillside behind the house.

Near the top of the backyard oasis, well above the house, there's an honest-to-goodness amphitheater for a scheduled and impromptu performances and even higher up than that a dark-bottomed swimming pool and spa are set into an amorphous stone terrace, a location that not only takes in the city views but unfortunately assures—unless there's a facility up there we don't know about—lazy and/or full-bladdered sunbathers and swimmers will pee (or worse) in a flower bed behind a tree rather than embark on the long, thigh-busting journey down to the house and then undertake the ass-punishing climb back up to the pool. We suggest a high-speed funicular be installed if one hasn't already been.

The seller was movie director Robert Luketic (Legally Blonde, Monster-in-Law, 21) who bought the property from Oscar-winning cinematographer Robert Richardson (JFK, The Aviator, Inglourious Basterds, Kill Bill: Vol. 1 and II). Previous to that the house had been owned by boob-toob actor Noah Wylie (ER) and before that it belonged to English actor Tim Curry (The Rocky Horror Picture Show).

When K-Stew's cheating cat was let out of the bag, R-Pat, now out and about promoting the wildly-successful Cosmopolis, fled to friend Reese Witherspoon's semi-secluded ranch-compound in Ojai, CA. Miss Stewart, so the stories go, alternated between her parents long-time home in Woodland Hills and the Burbank bedsit of bestie actress Scout Taylor Compton. At one point Your Mama heard (but could and can not substantiate) she might also be squirreled away with a pal in Venice and two days ago we heard from another canary we'll call Divine Flowers who chirped to Your Mama that Miss Stewart might also be hiding out now and then in Malibu. Malibu?!? Miss Flowers, dontcha know, told Your Mama Miss Stewart "actually has a property" in Malibu then she thoughtfully and generously provided us with a location and street name.

This was the first we'd ever heard of this Malibu beach house bizness so we took to the interweb and in less than two minutes turned up indisputable evidence (in public records) that in September 2011 a quite contemporary house on the very street named by Miss Flowers was purchased for $4,800,000. However, it's important to note that all the several property records databases we perused show the almost ocean-front residence is actually owned by Miss Stewart's momma, Jules Mann Stewart.

Momma Stewart, a script supervisor originally from Australia, has been in Showbiz since at least the late 1980s with recent tee-vee and movie credits that include Scooby Doo! The Mystery Begins, The Sarah Silverman Program, and My Wife Is Retarded. Shaggy-maned Poppa John Stewart toils primarily as a Tinseltown stage manager for programs like Fear Factor, Man vs. Beast, Weakest Link and Family Feud.

A little internet elbow grease turned up a number of still available online listings for the "radically modern glass and steel" beach house that all show it measures 5,800 square feet while the L.A. County Tax Man shows it's 3,944 square feet. Make of that what you will. Listing information also shows the tree- and shrub-enshrouded mini-compound—lightly perched on a thick, poured concrete base and tucked into a discreet, low-key enclave—is wedged on to a tight .12 acre up-sloping lot, was built in 1993, and includes a total of five bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms divided between the three story main house and the detached and unpredictably oval-shaped guest house.

Listing information states the house has been published a handful of times and listing photographs show the main living space finished in a Post-Modern(esque) sort of contemporary style with pale hardwood floors; a (probably gas) fireplace; long walls of both opaque and clear class; and a slender balcony with over the roof top Pacific Ocean view. The streamlined, galley-style kitchen has blond, burled wood cabinets; grey stone-tiled flooring; some sort of stone or solid-surface counter top; and sleek, stainless steel appliances.

A top floor family room/den, wrapped on three sides by frosted and clear glass, spills out to a root top terrace with panoramic (if not entirely unobstructed) views of the ocean and coastline. A terraced backyard with above-ground spa provides additional and protected outdoor space away from the wind and sea spray.

Now children, use yer noggins now. Firstly, keep in mind the listing photos show the house as it appeared at the time of the sale. the day-core is not that of Missus (or Miss) Stewart but rather, of course, that of the seller. Secondly, this house in Malibu is technically owned by Kristen Stewart's momma Jules Mann Stewart and not, as per property records, by Miss Stewart herself. However, despite her relative success in The Industry and despite our complete and total ignorance of her personal finances and/or net worth, we still think it seems like a bit of a stretch to imagine Momma Stewart has the wherewithal to purchase and maintain a nearly five million dollar beach house.

We confess we don't really know a thing about who actually provided the money to buy the Malibu beach house but we do know, based on a reasonably thorough peek and a poke around public property records, that K-Stew's momma has a straight up eclectic real estate palette. In addition to the (fairly) newly acquired, multi-million dollar Malibu beach house and the family's long-time, six bedroom and five bathroom residence in hot as Hades Woodland Hills, CA—bought in November 1998 for $620,000—Momma Stewart also owns a hodge-podge of residential and commercial properties that include (but may not be limited to):

—A nondescript commercial building in decidedly downmarket downtown Maricopa, CA, bought November 2004 for $59,000

—An undetermined amount of undeveloped land on a two lane state highway just outside of Gainesville, FL near the unlikely community of Williston

—A single-story, triplex apartment building in a leafy but lackluster corner of Pasadena, CA, bought in July 2008 for $628,000

—A couple of adjacent properties with a couple of itty-bitty cottages tucked into a ho-hum section of Topanga, CA and bought in April 2010 for $700,000

—a 1,665 square foot office building in Van Nuys, CA bought in July 2010 for $1,100,000

Although we did find young Miss Stewart's name briefly attached to triplex property a few years ago in Pasadena, it's not clear or obvious—at least to Your Mama—if the broken-hearted Twilight superstar does (or does not) have actual ownership of or a partial stake in any of the above-listed properties.

aerial photo (Los Angeles): Pacific Coast News
listing photos (Malibu): Pritchitt-Rapf & Associates (via Redfin)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Lady Antebellum Lead Singer Double Whammy: Buy

BUYERS: Hillary Scott and Chris Tyrrell
LOCATION: Brentwood, TN
PRICE: $1,940,000
SIZE: 7,604 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Earlier today Your Mama discussed the modern-minded Nashville, TN bungalow recently put on the (open) market by Lady Antebellum lead singer and award-winning songwriter Hillary Scott. This afternoon, country music fans, we take a wee look-see at the proto-typically southern, neo-Colonial Revival(ish) style residence on 3.38 landscaped acres in the semi-rural and decidedly upscale Brentwood area Miz Scott and her new husband—and current Lady A drummer—Chris Tyrrell purchased with a generically- but none-the-less vexatiously-named blind trust, according to The Bizzy Boys at Celebrity Address Aerial, in June (2012) for $1,940,000.

Property records and listing information Your Mama managed to coax out of the interweb indicate custom-built residence recently procured by the Scott-Tyrrells—situated at the tail end of a quiet cul-de-sac about 15 (or so) miles due south of downtown Nashville—was built in 2006 by a prominent local property developer, stands two stories at the front and drops like a real estate mullet to three in the back, measures in at a roomy 7,604 square feet, and contains a total of six bedrooms and eight bathrooms.

A long driveway snakes across rolling lawns and completely landscaped grounds at the front of the stately but inviting mansion where a circular drive arches up to the covered front porch and curls back around and down to a small motor court and attached three-car garage with convenient, direct access to the house.

Interior spaces include (but are not limited to) a narrow but voluminous foyer and stair hall; double-height formal living room with fireplace flanked by built in display cabinets; formal dining room sheathed in a vertical-striped wall covering the Scott-Tyrrells may or may not have chosen to keep; a small study/den/office; a generous, open-plan great room and colossal center-island kitchen; and expansive, lower level entertainment areas in the finished daylight basement that include a family room with brick fireplace, built-in bar area and state-of-the-art home theater lined with gilded pilasters.

Many rooms have direct access to a variety of deep, brick-paved verandas, a screened porch (with brick fireplace for chilly fall evenings) and at least one broad deck that connects via an exterior stairway to the backyard tree-ringed and thickly landscaped backyard complete with dozens of sculpted shrubs, long, flowering beds, and a wide brick accented sunbathing and entertaining terrance around a swimming pool.

As it turns out, Miz Scott isn't the only member of Lady Antebellum to become the new owner of a mutli-million dollar mansion in the Nashville area. Multi-instrument player and singer Dave Haywood—also newly married this year—spent $2,100,000 a few months ago on a 6,750 square foot faux-French Tudor(ish) mansion with 4-5 bedrooms and 6 full and two half bathrooms in Nashville's affluent (and star-stocked) Belle Meade neighborhood. A few months before than lead singer Charles Kelley splashed out $1,600,000 to acquire a 6,682 square foot red brick traditional, also in the Belle Meade nabe, with 4 bedrooms and 4 full and 2 half bathrooms plus a substantial, detached pool/guest house.

*Now children, keep in mind that while property records do reflect a transfer of ownership in the amount of $1,940,000, the property in question was purchased through a blind trust as such we can't say with 100% certainly this house belongs to Miz Scott and Mister Tyrrell. Okay?

listing photos: French Christianson Patterson (via Zillow)

Lady Antebellum Lead Singer Double Whammy: Sell

SELLER: Hillary Scott
LOCATION: Nashville, TN
PRICE: $774,900
SIZE: 3,435 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: In November 2011, not long after she started to scoot around romantically with professional drummer Chris Tyrrell, Lady Antebellum lead singer and award-winning songwriter Hillary Scott shelled out $725,000 on her first home, a cute-as-a-button and contemporary-on-the-inside bungalow in the leafy West End neighborhood of Nashville, TN.

In June of this year the young and newly espoused country music mahatmas—they have at least one triple platinum selling album and six American Country Awards and were hitched in a secret sunset ceremony in Upstate New York in January of this year (2012)—scooped up an appropriately country music queen-worthy mansion in the upscale, semi-rural and semi-suburban community of Brentwood (TN), fifteen miles (or so) due south of downtown Nashville. More on that posh property purchase later.

Thanks to The Bizzy Boys at Celebrity Address Aerial, we've recently come to learn that with a big, nearly two-million dollar new house in Brentwood (and no bun in the oven yet), 26-year old Miz Scott—no doubt in conference with Mister Tyrrell—has not surprisingly opted to flip her modest if not exactly cheap Nashville bungalow back on the (open) market with an asking price of $774,900.

Current listing information shows the updated, upgraded and modern-minded bungalow was originally built in 1920 on a compact, .16 acre lot and currently measures 3,435 square feet with four bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms.

The deep and wide front porch, with its thick, stone-base columns, looks to Your Mama like a perfectly lovely spot to throw back a few late afternoon gin & tonics with a few amigos but off-street parking, it appears, is somewhat limited to a narrow, fender-scraping driveway and slender, carbuncle of a single-car car port affixed to the side of the house like an after thought.

In September 2011, the then unmarried Miss Scott had the people from People in for a partial (video) tour of her two-story West End bungalow that shows a lofty, open plan main living area with gleaming wood floors (that may or may not be mahogany or cherry); a floating, wood and steel switchback staircase; and a glimmery, earth-toned Shabby Sheek-y day-core with lots of slip-covered sofas and chairs, numerous sequin-accented decorative pillows, liberally puddled, semi-opaque (possibly burlap or linen) curtains, and humble vase-fuls of white daisies.

Current listing information indicates there's a (gas) fireplace in the living area but it looks to Your Mama in the People video tour like Miz Scott (and/or her lady- or nice-gay decorator) awkwardly attempted to camouflage it behind dark, floor-pooling fabric panels in front of which hangs a sizable, flat-screen tee-vee. A rustic but no doubt frustratingly expensive twig chandelier hangs over the round, dining room table and in the kitchen crisp, white Shaker-style cabinets are topped by limestone counter tops. The (mostly integrated) appliances are, as to be expected in a celeb-owned home, high-grade and a long, center prep island has a four-stool snack counter for informal meet and greets with neighbors and band members.

The second floor master bedroom is hardly huge at just 16-feet by 15-feet according to listing information but does have a private bathroom with double vanity and a private, slightly cantilevered, pocket-sized balcony.

The 38-foot wide den/family room at the rear of the main floor opens to a newly built deck and somewhat runty, landscaped backyard with outdoor fireplace and direct access to the alley that runs along the rear of the property.

Stay tuned for more information on the star-style, Nashville-area estate Hillary Scott and hubby Chris Tyrell snapped up, once again according to The Bizzy Boys at Celebrity Address Aerial, in June 2012 for $1,940,000.

listing photo: Pilkerton Realtors (via Trulia)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Camille Grammer Lists Malibu Manse

SELLER: Camille Grammer*
PRICE: $17,500,000
SIZE: 6,645 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Listen chickens, we've been holed up all weekend in Minneapolis with our dear old pals Chow Lee and The Laundress—not to mention our boozy, high-maintenance b.f.f. Fiona Trambeau—so we're exhausted and a little out of the celebrity real estate loop. However, before we head to the airport with an almost sober Miss Trambeau and wing our way home to the west coast we've got a wee tidbit to share about Camille Grammer—third ex-wife of sit-com star Kelsey Grammer and current cast member of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills–who's listed the family compound in Malibu, CA with an asking price of $17,500,000.

Property records show Mister and third ex-Missus Grammer purchased the 4.77 acre estate, tucked into the back of the guard-gated (and star-stocked) Serra Retreat, way back in May 1998 for $4,500,000.

Listing information isn't specific but property records we peeped show the main house was originally built in 1969, measures 6,645 square feet and includes four bedrooms and six bathrooms. What listing information does reveal is that the main residence includes formal living room and dining rooms; a Wolfgang Puck-designed kitchen with two center work islands, exposed antique wood timbers, and commercial-style appliances; a ocean view master suite; wood-paneled library; family room; and Creston-engineered home theater equipped with 12 (or more) brown leather seats, an over-sized projection screen, attached bathroom and separate kitchen.

The gated and laboriously landscaped grounds include a detached guest house (with multiple bedrooms, living room, large kitchen, 5-car garage, and roof top deck); free-form swimming pool and at least two spas; nine stall barn and dressage riding ring; lighted tennis court; and a lily pond.

We're not sure where third ex-Missus Grammer plans to decamp—or perhaps she already has vacated the premises—but the former couple still owns an approximately 8,500 square foot ski chalet on 1.67 acres in Avon, CO currently listed at $6,995,000 as well as a 10,567 square foot mansion with 7 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms in the Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles currently on the market with a $16,995,000 price tag. The former couple's former house in the Hamptons was finally sold in May 2011 for $9,995,000 after first being listed in fall 2007 with a substantially higher asking price of $16,100,000.

Mister Grammer, who seems to spend the bulk of his time in New York City with his fourth wife, recently spent $6,500,000 on a new west coast outpost in the form of a 6,000+ square foot Spanish Colonial Revival-style residence in the flats of Beverly Hills.

*The property is owned through a trust and it's not clear to Your Mama if Mister Grammer or third ex-Missus Grammer—who remained in residence after their bitter split—is the legal owner of the property.

listing photos: Coldwell Banker / Malibu West

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Ellen Degeneres Flips Out in Malibu

Celebrity real estate watchers will recall it was only in mid-December 2011 when talk show queen bee Ellen Degeneres and her actress wife Portia de Rossi shelled out $12,000,000 to snatch up Brad Pitt's bluff top beach house in Malibu, CA.

Well, the property-mad ladies appear to have caught an immediate case of The Celebrity Real Estate Fickle because a snitch named Malibu Ken told Your Mama (and property records confirm) the sleek and glassy, 4,088 square foot, low-slung contemporary on 1.26 ocean front acres was sold in mid-June 2012 for $13,000,000.

The property, which Mister Pitt picked up in early 2004 for $8,410,000, was purchased through a blind trust that Your Mama can't crack but Malibu Ken says scuttlebutt on the (celebrity) real estate street is that the new owner is Tinseltown makeup artist turned cosmetics entrepreneur and television infomercial pioneer Victoria Jackson. 

Miz Jackson is married to direct-marketing tycoon Bill Guthy who shills products direct to consumer, many of which are celebrity-owned skin care and beauty products such as Youthful Essence (by Susan Lucci), Meaningful Beauty (by Cindy Crawford), and In an Instant (by Heidi Klum).

The Missus Degeneres's recently sold the bulk of their Beverly Hills (CA) compound to milquetoast Hollywood mogul Ryan Seacrest for $37,500,000. At about the same time they sold their Bev Hills house to Mister Seacrest, they scooped up a single story mid-century modern house in the lower Trousdale Estates area of Beverly Hills and, as far as we know, they still own and maintain a modest condo in Beverly Hills (probably for staff and/or family), a house in Beverly Hills that borders their old compound (and which we imagine they'll sell soon or eventually), and a spectacular, equestrian-oriented ranch in a particularly fancy-pants corner of Thousand Oaks (CA), which they've had on and off the market the last couple years with an asking price of $16,500,000.

aerial photo: Pacific Coast News

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

In Case You Haven't Heard...

...Sheik Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al-Thani—a.k.a. the trophy property collecting Prime Minister of Qatar—did not, as first reported by the New York Post some weeks ago, drop more than $90,000,000 on a duplex penthouse at the not-yet-completed,  Christian de Portzamparc-designed One57 tower in Midtown Manhattan.

The intrepid celebrity chatterboxes at Page Six quoted an unnamed source today who snitched The Sheik chose not to move forward with the purchase of the gigantic duplex digs at One57 "'because he has a huge entourage and the building only had two elevators.'"

In the real estate end, again according to the peeps at Page Six of The Post, The Sheik dropped $47,000,000 for a super-sized, neo-Italian Renaissance townhouse of monumental urban proportions. The deal went down in early July (2012) so, believe it or not, it taken six long weeks for someone to put this particular, high-end real estate two-and-two together.

Your Mama can't confirm or elaborate on the details of the deal—because we don't know a damn thing about the details—but the 22,000-ish square foot, limestone-faced townhouse‚ built in 1922 by C.P.H. Gilbert for German merchant Julius Forstmann, is said to have been sold by real estate mogul Aby Rosen in a private deal without any real estate brokers involved. No brokers means, of course, no real estate commission(s) paid.

Mister Rosen first listed the baronial, 45-foot wide pile in 2008 with a spine-straightening $75,000,000 price tag and (reportedly) rejected two previous offers of $60,000,000 before he slashed the asking price in June 2010 to $59,000,000. He again went chop-chop in November 2010 when he plummeted the price to $50,000,000.

The recorded $47 million sale price may be a substantial fraction of the original list price—and far less than the two, $60 million offers Mister Rosen (reportedly) rejected—but it's still many times the $15,650,000 property records show Mister Rosen paid for the townhouse through a generically-named corporate concern in October 2004.

The regal (and deliciously haughty) seven-floor residence—five above-ground, a full basement and additional sub-basement below—was used as a decorator's show house at some point but, honestly chickens, Your Mama can't recall exactly when or for what philanthropic purpose. Maybe one of y'all do and would be kind enough to give Your Mama a ringy-dingy? Anyhoo, that's why, one presumes, listing photos show some of the vast interiors as done, done, and even more done.

As decoratively worked (and over-worked) as some of the rooms appear in listing photographs, the woefully spare floor plan included with marketing materials may (or may not) suggest significant time and resources will be required to design, customize and construct the interior spaces of the monumental mansion where, according to listing information, "The dramatic entrance foyer leads to a magnificent reception hall and grand-scaled rooms which feature many superb original details, including a spectacular sweeping marble staircase, an enormous skylight, marble fireplace surrounds, hand-carved moldings, and soaring high ceilings."

The purchase of Mister Rosen's townhouse marks the end of an arduous and no-doubt complicated house hunt operation for The Sheik during which he reportedly made a dead-serious (and over-asking) offer to purchase two of reclusive heiress Huguette Clark's three apartments at 907 Fifth Avenue. He was, so the New York property gossips reported, rejected due to the all-powerful board's (understandable) concerns about the significant size of The Sheik's entourage that includes (but may not be limited to) two wives, 15 children, a full-complement of domestics and personal valets, and—natch—an extensive, armed security detail.

So the scuttlebutt goes, The Sheik also considered the purchase of songwriter/philanthropist/international social butterfly Denise Rich's sprawling and decidedly opulent (but depressingly dated) duplex apartment on Fifth Avenue but was (allegedly) rebuffed by the board once again due to concerns about the size of his entourage. Miz Rich—who gave up her U.S. citizenship last year and decamped for Switzerland–later sold the massive penthouse as a pied-a-terre to L.A.-based billionaire David Geffen for $54,000,000.

(Note: The following is lifted almost but entirely verbatim from a previous discussion about The Sheik's real estate activities.)

Naturally, the 50-something year old Sheik owns several other pricey properties around the world including, no doubt, a college campus-sized compound in his home country of Qatar. Like many Middle Eastern sheikhs and potentates, Mister al-Thani maintains a base in London where he owns a sprawling penthouse pad at the stupefyingly expensive One Hyde Park complex in London's natty and nabob-y Knightsbridge nabe.

More than one of Your Mama's better connected informants have told us The Sheik owns an estate in the same gated Los Angeles enclave where action star turned governator Arnold Schwarzenegger, German supermodel turned reality tee-vee mogul Heidi Klum, and professional pig skin tosser Tom Brady and his (possibly) preggers again Brazilian supermodel wife Giselle Bundchen all maintain baronial mansions.

In late 2010 The Sheik paid L.A.-based billionaire Tom Gores $34,500,000 for 8-plus prime (and vacant) acres on a very prominent promontory above the Bel-Air Country Club where—Your Mama imagines—he plans to erect a massive, opulent and high-maintenance residential monument to his wealth that he'll probably only use a few weeks a year. Such are the real estate ways of the world's super rich.

In addition to his myriad of stationary residences around the world, the globe-trotting Sheik also keeps a 437 foot long, navy blue-hulled boat called Al Mirqab said to have a soaring, four-story main staircase with hand-cut crystal panels and a glass sculpture by American artist Dale Chihuly.

Just imagine, children, the amount The Sheik's monthly living expenses total. Sort of makes y'all need a nerve pill chased by a gin & tonic, don't it?

listing photos and floor plan: Sotheby's International Realty via StreetEasy

Justin Timberlake Doesn't Quietly Puts Manhattan Penthouse Up for Grabs

SELLER: Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: $7,650,000
SIZE: 2,598 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms

UPDATE (8/23/12): As it turns out, Mister Timberlake's penthouse isn't for sale although we found active listing on both the New York Times online real estate section and on Boulklis Realty website, both of which now appear to have been subsequently deleted. Some thorough checking and re-checking by the folks at The Daily News debunked the rumors and reports. So there you have it. He's not selling his penthouse after all.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: There were rumors a-swirlin' the last few days that pop star cum actor Justin Timberlake and long-time lady-pal Jessica Biel hitched their love and romance wagons in a clandestine ceremony over the weekend in the upscale, Wyoming ski resort community of Jackson Hole.

The much-gossiped about Rocky Mountain nuptials did not—according to flacks and an unidentified family member—go down but that doesn't meant the on-and-off-and-on-again couple aren't looking to make some changes to their property portfolio(s).

Yesterday, while sipping cheap chardonnay with our high-maintenance but ever-so-entertaining gal pal Sheila Sinn down from Anchorage, Alaska, Your Mama received a covert communique from a little birdie we'll call Wanda Tellyousomething who directed our beady, celebrity real estate eyes to a couple of active online real estate listings that indicate L.A.-based Mister Timberlake and Miss Biel have quietly made their New York City penthouse pied-a-terre available for purchase with an asking price of $7,650,000.

Interesting to note: One listing shows the glassy, 2,598 square foot aerie atop the much-ballyhood, Gwathmey Siegel-designed Soho Mews building—picked up in November 2010 for $6,567,712.50—has actually been semi-covertly available, as of today, for at least 71 days without a single real estate gossip catching wind or word.

Current and past listing information shows the three bedroom and 3.5 bathroom penthouse has a 25-foot plus entry gallery that bisects the apartment and opens into a lofty, (nearly) 30-foot by 30-foot great room with gas fireplace, high (but hard hardly grand) 10'2' ceilings, a sleek galley-style kitchen, and two long curtain glass walls that spill out to an 853-square foot wrap around terrace with Empire State Building Views.

Two curtain walls of glass also wrap the north- and west-facing master bedroom suite complete with walk-in closet and attached private bathroom with two sinks, glass and marble shower stall and separate soaking tub set on a low marble plinth in front of a full wall of glass with western, roof-top view.

The few photographs included with current, active online listings appear to Your Mama to be identical to the ones used in the listing from the time of the Tinseltown pair's 2010 acquisition so the Armani Casa-style furnishings and day-core may or may not reflect the personal decorative proclivities and realities of Miss Biel and Mister Timberlake.

The building—a complex, really, with two, separate low-rise towers separated by a garden courtyard done up by landscape architect Peter Walker—offers its affluent residents a plethora of full-service amenities and luxuries such as 24-hour doormen, concierge services, a state-of-the-art fitness center managed by Drive 495, a bicycle storage room, and a private parking facility with valet service.

Previous to the SoHo penthouse now quietly up for grabs, Mister Timberlake and Miss Biel hunkered down in a 3,000 square foot condo on the 5th floor of the Pearline Soap Factory building in TriBeCa bought, as per property records we peeped, in November 2008 for $4,774,574 and sold at a loss in July 2011 for $4,700,000.

Although she owns a gated and high-hedged two bedroom and three bathroom Mediterranean residence in a leafy, low-key corner of Brentwood just above San Vicente Boulevard—bought in December 2004 for $2,600,000 according to property records—Miss Biel has long lived (in unmarried bliss and sin) with Mister Timberlake in the massive, 13,530 square foot mock-Med mansion high in the Hollywood Hills he snatched up in July 2002 for $8,300,000 from actress Helen Hunt.

listing photos: The Bouklis Group
floor plan: StreetEasy

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Robin Williams To Shed Napa Valley Vineyard

SELLER: Robin Williams
PRICE: $35,000,000
SIZE: 20,000(-ish) square feet, 5 bedrooms, 6 full and 6 half bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: This one comes courtesy of Mister Sassy Pants (aka Phillip Themholes) who kindly let Your Mama know that comedian/actor Robin Williams has hoisted Villa Sorriso, his 653-acre spread tucked semi-remotely into the Mayacama Mountains near Napa, CA on the (open) market with an asking price of $35,000,000.

The 60-year old Mister Williams, recently married in nearby St. Helena for the third time to a younger Sausalito-based artist/graphic designer named Susan Schneider,

Property records are not entirely clear on when Mister Williams acquired the secluded vineyard estate, about 80 miles from the Golden Gate Bridge, but it appears that he's owned at least a portion of it since April 1994.

Listing information shows the monumental, stucco and limestone Italianate villa measures more than 20,000 square foot over three floors with a total of five bedrooms and six full and six half bathrooms.

Opulent but casual interior spaces include an impress the guests type foyer and stair hall with bronze railings, formal living and dining rooms, oak-paneled library, colossal eat-in kitchen, 12-seat state-of-the-art movie theater with tiered seating for 12 (or more), temperature-controlled vaults for wine and art storage, and a bridge gallery that connects to a viewing tower with wrap around views of the surrounding mountains, vineyards and valleys.

The back of the house spills out to an antique stone tiled terrace with 65-foot long infinity-edged swimming pool and party-sized spa. The grounds around the house include flat lawns, a multi-level sculpture garden, equestrian facilities, and detached garage for auto storage.

The 600-plus acres include vineyards, rolling mountains, a solar farm, a natural lake and hiking and horse riding paths that connect to thousands of acres of adjoining and protected open space.

Your Mama spent a few minutes perusing property records and by hook and crook figured out that in addition to the vast Napa Valley estate Mister Williams's property portfolio includes (but may not be limited to) a 6,517 square foot water front residence in Tiburon, CA purchased in the last days of December 2008 for $4,050,000 as well as a comparatively modest 2 bedroom and 1.5 bathroom residence in the Bronson Canyon area of Los Angeles purchased in February 2009 for $857,500 from Stephanie Savage, executive producer and/or co-creator of boob-toob fare that includes Hart of Dixie, Gossip Girl and The O.C.

In August 2007 Mister Williams purchased a small, one bedroom and 2 bathroom condo-crib with private roof terrace in the hipster haven of Williamsburg (Brooklyn) for $1,028,000 that in November 2011 was transferred into the name of his oldest son who, as it turns out, sold it in May of this year (2012) for $1,100,000.

listing photos: Sotheby's International Realty

Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday Mish Mash: Kate Winslet

Oscar winning English actress Kate Winslet and Oscar-winning American filmmaker Sam Mendes parted marital ways in 2010. So the story goes, ex-Missus Mendes retained ownership of the family's New York City duplex penthouse pad atop the Eagle Condominium, a 12-unit, no-door-man building in the heart of the art gallery-choked Chelsea neighborhood.

We're not sure if Miz Winslet and the kids (and/or Mister Mendes) made much use of the house-sized penthouse pied-a-terre since the split and divorce but we are sure, as first revealed by the celebrity gossip hummingbirds at the New York Daily News, the light-flooded duplex digs have come up for lease with a monthly asking price of $30,000. The price includes all the oppressively neutral, ho-hum Shabby Sheek day-core.

Property records show Mister Mendes and Miz Winslet paid $4,995,000 for the approximately 3,300 square foot penthouse during happier wedded days in July 2004. Floor plans included with current lease listing information (above) show the two-floored configuration allows for three or four bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms.

A long entrance hall extends deep into the apartment and explodes open to a capacious, 23-foot wide main living space that stretches nearly 47 feet long with 13-foot ceilings; a dozen over-sized windows on three sides; a central wood-burning fireplace; and a long wall of built-in book cases. The open, center-island kitchen has birch-colored, flat-fronted cabinetry; long snack bar and super-sized, top-grade, commercial-style stainless steel appliances.

Two guest family bedrooms share a vestibule off of which spoke a laundry closet suitable only for stacked machines, and a guest powder pooper plus a shared (if smallish) full bathroom for the bedroom occupants convenience(s). Across the entry all from the guest/family quarters, the south-facing master suite's complete with decent-sized walk-in closet and private, all-white attached bathroom with two sinks, two windows and separate shower and free-standing, claw-footed soaking tub.

The u-shaped stair case bends up to the second floor where a large, double exposure room is suitable for use as a family/media room/den or, because of its walk-in closet and attached bathroom, as a fourth bedroom suite. The upper landing and bedroom/den both open through French doors to an approximately 1,700 square foot wrap around terrace with fab (if not exactly birds-eye) city and river views.

Although one presumes Miz Winslet has long (and perhaps always) maintained a residence in London, we have no specifics about such a thing and our research does not readily turn up any other properties owned by either or the both of them.

listing photos and floor plan: Town Residential

Monday Mish Mash: Rob Dyrdek

Professional skateboarder turned reality tee-vee star Rob Dyrdek seems to have developed a dinero-draining real estate habit of buying multi-million dollar houses in Los Angeles, CA and listing them several years later for considerably less than he paid.

listing photos: Prudential California / Beverly Hills 

In June 2005 Mister Dyrdek dropped $1,400,000 on a 2,792 square foot multi-story contemporary crib set into a steep hillside in a low-key neck the Hollywood Hills known as The Hollywood Knolls. The long-legged gal at Trulia Luxe Living reported the boxy, glassy and airy three bedroom and 3.5 bathroom residence (above) served as a backdrop for the first of Mister Dyrdek's several reality tee-vee programs (Rob & Big, Roby Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory and Ridiculousness), but we can't vouch for that since neither Your Mama nor The Dr. Cooter have neither heard of nor seen any of Mister Dyrdek's programs.

The prolific setter of Guinness world records—he has more than 20 to date—first and unsuccessfully attempted to unload his nest in The Knolls back in 2008 and early 2009 (at an unknown asking price). He recently re-listed the canyon view house with a $1,249,000 price tag.

A few quick flicks of the well-worn beads on Your Mama's bejeweled abacus shows that even with a (not entirely unlikely) full-price sale Mister D. will lose $151,000, not counting renovations and/or improvements, maintenance, upkeep and carrying costs, and, let's not forget, the real estate fees.

listing photos: Prudential California / Beverly Hills

In May 2008, just before his first failed attempt to sell his house in The Knolls, Mister Dyrdek splashed out $2,459,000 for a 4,706 square foot residence in the affluent Mount Olympus neighborhood, a upscale mountaintop enclave above Hollywood known in L.A. real estate circles to be popular with wealthy foreigners, specifically, for some reason, Russians.

Mister Dyrdek first put the five bedroom and five bathroom Mount Olympus concrete-faced contemporary abode that looks more than little like modern-minded prison on the market in May 2012 with an asking price of $2,599,000. By mid-July the price had dipped to $2,399,000. The property was briefly in escrow in early August (2012) but the house is officially back on the market, again with the $2,399,000 asking price. A mathematics degree isn't required to see that's $200,000 less than he paid four years ago, not counting renovations and/or improvements, maintenance, upkeep and carrying costs, and real estate fees.

It's clear Mister Dyrdek wants to sell. He's willing, after all, to endure a combined, pocketbook punishing $351,000 loss on the two houses. However, lest any of the children feel the need to jump to any ugly conclusions about Mister Dyrdek's bank accounts, keep in mind his financial situation would appear to be healthy enough that he did not need to shed either of the above houses from his property portfolio in order to acquire his next.

listing photos: Dream Home Photos for Coldwell Banker / Sunset Boulevard

In June of this year, as first reported more than a month ago by the long-legged gal at Trulia Luxe Living, Mister Dyrdek dumped another $2,500,000 to acquire a third residence in Los Angeles, this one located just below Mulholland Drive not so far from the tippy-top of Lauren Canyon.

Listing information shows the fully renovated and modernized two story residence has four bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms in 3,733 square feet of interior space that also includes high pitched ceilings, a stacked stone fireplace, and clerestory windows. High quality finishes includes Brazilian walnut and Flannel Limestone floors, energy efficient windows, walnut cabinetry and marble counter tops in the kitchen, and swankety-swank Ann Sacks and Walker Zanger tile work.

In addition to a trellis-shaded outdoor kitchen and lounge, outdoor entertainment spaces include multi-level concrete and tile terraces, a dramatically under-lit built-in bar and a seating area grouped around a portable fire pit with glimmery, over-the-hedge views of the lights of the sprawling San Fernando Valley.

Only time will tell how long before Mister Dyrdek will start to feel itchy footed. Your Mama isn't making a prediction but if his real estate history repeats itself Mister Dyrdek may (or may not) very well have his new house back on the market in a few years with an asking price well below the two-point-five he paid. We shall see, butter beans, we shall see.

Monday Mish Mash: Olivier Sarkozy

Several weeks ago Your Mama discussed a sleek, completely contemporized 8,000-plus square foot townhouse on the Upper (and Far) East Side of New York City formerly owned by famed photographer Richard Avedon and later by French-American banker named Olivier "Oliver" Sarkozy who sold it in January 2012 to Showbiz/media mogul Kevin Wendle for $8,400,000. (Mister Wendle, co-founder of the Fox network, E! Online, CNET and iFilm, quickly flipped the townhouse on the market just over a month ago with a $12,500,000 price tag.)

Now comes word slips down the celebrity real estate gossip grapevine via Page Six of the New York Post that Mister Sarkozy—otherwise known as the recently (and contentiously) divorced, 42-year old half-brother of former president of France Nicolas Sarkozy and the current man-beau of pint-sized child star turned mogulette Mary-Kate Olsen—has dropped $6,250,000 to purchase an historic, nearly 150-year old fixer-upper townhouse in the still funky but fully-strollerized East Village neighborhood where Mister Sarkozy, so the scuttlebutt goes, plans to live in May-December sin with 26-year old Miss Olsen.

Listing information shows the 5-story red-brick residence retains many original architectural details, and includes five bedrooms, four bathrooms, more than a dozen closets, eight fireplaces with ornate mantelpieces, a cast-iron Juliet balcony that stretches across the front of the piano nobile, and an English basement that lets out to a terraced garden.

Lucky for Miss Olsen's equally tiny and prodigiously wealthy twin sister Ashley, the townhouse immediately next door is—or, until recently, was—also on the market so, should they choose, the not-quite-identical twins could live in nearly identical side-by-side townhouses. Don't laugh, children, stranger things have happened in the sometimes mystifying world of celebrity real estate.

listing photos and floor plan: Rubicon Property (via StreetEasy)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Rob Lowe Quietly Sells Beach House

SELLER: Rob and Sheryl Lowe
BUYER: William P. "Bill" Foley II
LOCATION: Carpinteria, CA
PRICE: $5,900,000
SIZE: 2,082 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: If Your Mama has told the children once, we've told them a hundred and 87 times: The real estate lives of the rich and/or famous are decidedly different than that of less financially fortunate folks.

Not only does always-working actor and former Brat Packer Rob Lowe (Parks and Recreation, Brothers& Sisters, The West Wing) own a substantial estate with a 14,000-plus square foot mansion in Montecito, CA with  distant, over-the-tree-tops ocean views, until last September (2011) he and the Missus also owned an ocean side getaway just 6.5 miles away in Carpinteria, CA that they quietly sold for $5,900,000 to title insurance tycoon William P. "Bill" Foley II.

Property records—and the Bizzy Boys at Celebrity Address Aerial—indicate Mister and Missus Lowe scooped up their modestly-sized but still quite pricey Carpinteria beach house in June 2004 for $5,050,000. They quickly filed permits for a small, 120-square foot addition (we're not sure if that was approved or not) and soon became embroiled in a legal tangle with an octogenarian neighbor over a hedge the Lowes thought had been trimmed too low and as such compromised the overall "privacy and ambiance" of their postage stamp-sized beach-side backyard. Unfortunately, we're not really sure how that matter got resolved either.

Your Mama is also not sure exactly when Mister and Missus Lowe first put their beach front getaway on the (open) market but we managed to dig up clear evidence on the interweb the house was priced well over $7 million. We also found online evidence that Mister and Missus Lowe looked to lease the property as recently as 2011 with an asking price of $20,000 per month.

Online documentation we dug up shows the very narrow lot spans just .11 acres and listing information from the time of the September 2011 sale show the two-story house has three bedrooms and three bathrooms in 2,082 square feet of (remodeled) interior space, most of which appears to be done up in a uniform brown, black and white color palette that's certainly beach-y but a little to cohesive and colorless for our particular beach house taste.

The open-plan, main floor living spaces include a tiny but expensively equipped kitchen, dining area with built-in bench seating and semi-opaque diamond-paned windows and, at the ocean end, a compact living area with flush-mounted flat-scree tee-vee over the white brick fireplace that's flanked by tall and slender, arched wood storage bins that extend almost to the ceiling.

A corner window (with custom-fitted sectional sofa) and glass door in the living area provide glimmering ocean views and lead out to an ocean side brick terrace and deck separated from the actual beach and shore line by a rock revetment presumably installed in order to manage any erosion issues that may (or may not be) a factor that that particular stretch of sand.

A squeezy den at the front of the house on the main floor has a second (river rock) corner fireplace and there's a third (corner) fireplace in the ocean side master bedroom that opens out to a covered veranda with expansive, over-the-rock-revetment breakwater views.

As far as we know, the Lowe family remains ensconced in the Don Nulty-designed and completely Feng-Shui-ed 20-room Georgian-style pile in Montecito tucked away on more than 4 groomed acres they custom built four or five years ago and had photographed for the November 2010 issue of Architectural Digest.

Previous to their current crib the Lowe clan hunkered down in a somewhat smaller 6 bedroom and 5 bathroom house sold in May 2009, as per property records, for $7,600,000 to ex-retail executive Elliot Mayrock and his former publishing executive wife Alecia Mayrock. Before that they owned yet another luxury estate in Montecito, a 5.5+ acre spread with an 11,170 square foot residence sold in April 2005 and now owned, it appears to Your Mama based on property records we peeped, by San Francisco-based billionaire Peter V. Sperling.

If Mister and Missus Lowe own any additional properties—and it's certainly possible they maintain any number of additional homes—we're not aware of it and a cursory bit of research on our trusty lap top computer didn't turn up any readily available evidence of such. Make of that what you will.

BONUS: Last spring (2011) Mister Lowe gave his Montecito neighbor Oprah Winfrey televised tours of both his Montecito mansion and his (now former) beach house in Carpinteria, which he stated is just 18 feet wide.

listing photos: Coastal Properties

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Katie Holmes Cruise Moves Out

The celebrity gossips at X17 reported today moving trucks were spotted entering and exiting the Beverly Hills (CA) estate that, until recently, Katie Holmes shared with her soon-to-be-ex-husband Tom Cruise. Presumably the trucks were there to haul someone's things out of the 7 bedroom and 9 bathroom mansion the kaput couple picked up in early 2007 for $30,500,000 but Your Mama don't know a thing about a thing so we really don't know for sure which of the two is schlepping their shit to storage.

Ownership of the 10,000-plus square foot residence, originally built in 1937 and situated privately and securely on 1.2 gated and fortified acres with swimming pool, tennis court and parking lot-sized motor court, is reported by the folks at X17 to be up for grabs, meaning it's not accounted for in the couple's pre-nup. The X17 folks also said the former couple's pre-nup (allegedly) grants third-ex-Missus Cruise ownership of a Montecito, CA mansion, but honestly chickadoodles, Your Mama isn't aware of any Montecito mansion owned by Mister and/or third-ex-Missus Cruise and apparently neither do some top realtors in Montecito, according to local society chronicler Richard Mineards at the Montecito Journal (page 19).

Since their divorce announcement last month Mister Cruise has been spotted on a feverish hunt for a high-priced home in some of the more affluent suburbs around New York City such as Snedens Landing, NY and Greenich, CT and third-ex-Missus Cruise has settled into a rented apartment in a celebrity-friendly building in New York City's Chelsea neighborhood.

aerial photo: Pacific Coast News

Michele Lee Lists Little Holmby Estate

SELLERS: Michele Lee and Fred Rappoport
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $7,850,000
SIZE: 9,593 square feet, 5-6 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Every now and then a multi-million dollar estate promoted as a celebrity owned home will pop up on the market. Your Mama's years of celebrity real estate experience tells us that more often than not a home pushed on the open market labeled as owned by a famous person usually turns out to be owned by a "famous" person Your Mama ain't never heard of before.

That's not the case with a large, Los Angeles, CA mansion recently listed for $7,850,000 that floridly advertises itself in (online) marketing materials as an "enchanting celebrity-owned villa steeped in romance and generation." As it turns out, we learned first from The Bizzy Boys at Celebrity Address Aerial and then confirmed with property records, the "celebrity-owned villa" is owned by Emmy- and Tony-nominated singer/dancer/actress/writer/producer/director Michele Lee and her producer husband of 25 (or so) years, Fred Rappoport.

'Course, the youngins won't have a clue who Miz Lee is but old people like Your Mama anyone with a high-camp view of Hollywood certainly knows Miz Michele Lee was a frequent game show panelist in the 1960s and '70s (Match Game, Celebrity Sweepstakes, Hollywood Squares) who also appeared multiple times on The Love Boat and Fantasy Island. Her Showbiz salad days really kicked into high gear in 1978 when she landed a starring role on the long-running prime time soap story Knots Landing. The evening melodrama, which also starred Joan van Ark, ran for 14 seasons into the mid-1990s and Miz Lee is the only cast member to appear in all 344 episodes. That may sound bizarrely trivial to someone who farms or saves lives for a living, akin to the Best Attendance Award in sixth grade, but in Tinseltown, where air-time equals money and power for actors and actresses, that is quite an accomplishment.

Since Knots Landing went off the air in 1993, Miz Lee, now 70 years old, hasn't worked much in front of the camera. Perhaps that's by choice and perhaps not. Let's be honest, Hollywood is an ugly, rejecting place for actresses older than 32 or maybe 35. In 1998 she starred in and executive produced the biopic Scandalous Me: The Jacqueline Susann Story and her slender post-millennial credits include a few small parts on the big screen (Along Came Polly) and a number of smaller parts on the small screen (Miss Match, Will & Grace and Family Guy).

Property records aren't entirely clear, but as best as Your Mama can tell, Miz Lee and Mister Rappoport have owned their Los Angeles estate—at times together and separately—since at least July 1992 and possibly longer.

Property records and listing information shows the gated estate encompasses a pair of pie-shaped parcels that total just over an acre on a narrow, quiet lane in the affluent Los Angeles enclave known in real estate circles as Little Holmby Hills, a collection of curving streets lined with large, well-maintained mansions (and mini-mansions) on the western border of the hoity-toity Los Angeles Country Club, just north of Wilshire Boulevard. The property does not, it should be noted, directly back up to the golf course but a gentle but definitive slope from the front of the property to the back allows for an over-the tree tops view of the links from the mansion's second floor balconies.

The red-tile-roofed Mediterranean villa was originally built in 1929 and was updated and upgraded by its current owners who, according to listing information, engaged the services of architect Eli Attia for said renovations. We're not sure how big this place was when it was built in 1929 but listing information indicates it currently weighs in at a quite commodious but far from colossal 9,593 square feet. Each of the five family/guest bedrooms has an attached bathroom, as per listing information, and there are additional staff quarters for those folks who require or desire live-in domestic assistance.

The multi-winged mansion wraps around a double-gated motor court paved with Spanish tiles that continue into the turreted entry and large foyer outfitted with a fireplace and archways that connect to the various wings of the residence. The red tile floors turn to gleaming, wide-plank hardwood in the light flooded formal living room that also features a fireplace, antique-looking wood-beamed ceiling and banks of French doors on three sides that open to the semi-tropically landscaped backyard entertainment areas.

A wide corridor—conveniently outfitted with a sunken built-in wet bar for refreshing cocktails on the way to dinner—connects the formal living room to the formal dining room. One of the mansion's two kitchens comes equipped with a large center island with snack counter, high grade stainless steel appliances, slab granite counter tops, glass-fronted (upper) cabinetry, and a row of arched windows that over look the lush backyard gardens. We're just going to pretend we don't see the pair of pot racks that flank the copper hood over the range top or that deeply upsetting and perplexing, over-sized rooster figurine on the floor by the spiral staircase that, quite frankly, gives Your Mama the heebie-jeebies. Imagine coming up on that thing on a shadowy and boozy late-night candy run? No thank you.

Listing information indicates the Lee-Rappoport residence also includes a cozy den with built in book cases; window-wrapped home office; wine tasting room; substantial (second floor) fitness room; and a multi-level screening room on the main floor where a wide screen rolls magically down from the ceiling in front of a wide, curving grid of square window that overlook the backyard areas.

The second floor master suite includes a sitting room (with fireplace), bedroom area (with breakfast kitchenette), balcony access, and a out-dated but superstar-style boutique-like closet/dressing room with tons of built-in cabinets and hanging racks and an elevated viewing platform with angled, three-panel mirror for checking panty lines.

The back of the house spills out to multi-level brick terraces that surround a swimming pool and spa with outdoor kitchen and cabana. Listing information indicates there's room for a tennis court should the next owner desire one. Secluded stone pathways meander the tree-shaded slope below the house and backyard.

Your Mama remembers reading somewhere—we can't recall just where now—that Miz Lee and Mister Rappoport also maintain a residence in New York City but unfortunately we can't provide the children with any details of that.

listing photos: Coldwell Banker / Beverly Hills North