Friday, August 10, 2012

Your Mama Hears...

...the media-dubbed "homeless billionaire" Nicolas Berggruen isn't homeless anymore.

Mister Berggruen wasn't exactly homeless homeless, of course. However, he did not—as far as anyone in the media knew or knows—own or maintain a private residence. At one time he did own an island estate in Florida and an apartment in New York but for the last decade or so the extraordinarily well-connected, Paris-born investor, philanthropist and—until now—essentially un-rooted citizen of the world, with dual American and German citizenship, had no fixed residential address and has long preferred to live a profoundly peripatetic life in high-priced hotels.

Unless the wacky real estate ways of billionaires is dinner table fodder in your home Mister Berggruen won't probably be a recognizable name but he's a most certainly a jet-setting if somewhat low-profile power player with deep and powerful connections in high finance, Tinseltown, the art world and geo-global politics.

He founded the Nicolas Berggruen Institute, a non-partisan think tank, according to its website, "dedicated to exploring new ideas of good governance" and the dashing bachelor throws an annual Oscar Party at the Chateau Marmont. He owns a monumental artwork by Chris Burden called Metropolis II, currently on a 10-year loan to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and as of March 2012 the billionaire—who, oddly enough, turns 51 today—did not own a car but he does reportedly own a Gulfstream IV that he uses to scoot around the world.

Here's how this juicy, high-end real estate nugget dropped in Your Mama prodigious lap: We received a covert communique this morning from a trusted informant—let's call her Florinda Fillyouin—who snitched to Your Mama word on the real estate street in Los Angeles is that famously itchy-footed Mister Berggruen has dropped close to $7.5 million on a trio of contiguous units above the 20th floor at the star-studded Sierra Towers building on the border between West Hollywood and Beverly Hills, CA.

We quickly checked with a second source who we though might know a thing or two about the scuttlebutt—let's call her Tina Hasalltheinfo—and, lo and behold, she told us none of the three units were listed on the open market, altogether they stretch from corner to corner on the more desirable city side of building with about 5,000 square feet of interior space, and all three have unobstructed, knee-knocking views that sweep, on a clear day, from downtown to the Pacific Ocean. Each of the three units has a deep terrace that when opened up to one another will make a staggering run almost the entire length of the building.

Miss Hasalltheinfo and Miz Fillyouin both told Your Mama Mister Berggruen will likely spend several to many millions more to combine and convert the three units into one, world-class apartment. Mister Berggruen's own bio states he's "collaborated" on projects with high-toned architects like Richard Meier, Shigeru Ban and David Adjaye so Your Mama expects the overhaul will be handled by an architect of that caliber.

Property records we peeped show two of the units (allegedly) purchased by Mister B. were sold by a (possibly married) non-celebrity couple and the third was owned by a music industry scion turned wildly successful real estate agent. We heard the deal went down quietly and very quickly but since property records do not yet reflect a transfer, this is all just rumor and gossip.

Other high-profile peeps who currently reside (full or part time) at Sierra Towers include Joan Collins, Elton John and David Furnish (whose combined pair of condos, we were a rumor, are in escrow for somewhere in the fours), the late clothier Bijan Pakzad, sit-com star Courtney Cox, uni-named entertainer Cher, septuagenarian actress/singer Diahann Carroll, and diet guru/social world fixture Nikki Haskell. Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne—who just put their Hidden Hills estate up for lease at $50,000 per month according to the long-legged gal at Trulia Luxe Living—currently lease a low-floor apartment they had worked over but good by Million Dollar Decorator Martyn Lawrence-Bullard.


Anonymous said...

Good Lordie, He needs a wife!

I'M AVAILABLE as long as you pay off some (small too you) personal debts!!!!!!!

Viva! said...

Just a little correction Mama, it isn't mega-selling. bonkbuster novel writing novelist Jackie Collins who lives in Sierra Towers, it's her older, grander and far more glamorous sister, Joan Collins, who owns a 25th floor corner unit in the building.

Anonymous said...

One of the drawbacks of Sierra Towers is that the the "terraces" are hardly deep. You couldn't even put a chaise on one unless it was almost sideways. Check out Cher's from AD- there's one flung out there for the photo shoot.

Useless outdoor space.

Anonymous said...

Nicolas Berggruen sounds like a cool billionaire, it would be fun to be him and he seems pretty down-to-earth. Liking cars, I can't imagine not owning own, but a Gulfstream is one Hell of a substitute! Maybe he and Courtney Cox can meet in the elevator and strike up a friendship.

Anonymous said...

4:19: he sounds like a "confirmed bachelor" if you know what that means and I suspect you do. If he needed a wife, I think he would have one by now. I'd go looking elsewhere.

Aunt Gina said...

seriously they should probably ask "current resident" the late Bijan Pakzad, to move out already.

Naughty Nancy said...

Mr. Berggruen is actually very attractive for being as old as he is! Now that he isn't homeless, maybe he won't want to be wifeless either? Or perhaps beard-less?

Rosco Mare said...

Bijan Pakzad lived in the large spec-built Mediterranean house for sale on corner of Copley and Sunset in Beverly Hills. The house was once occupied by singer Luis Miguel.

Previously, Bijan owned the gorgeous Guggenheim mansion on Copley that he tore apart and left un-occupied. Lionel Ritchie lives there now after a lot of restoration.

Anonymous said...

Mistake? Mama said Joan. Has said Joan in past too.

Viva! said...

Anon 2:30,

Mama kindly corrected the post after I made my comment, no harm done.

Current news Memes said...

The "Homeless Billionaire" title is a joke. It's trying to imply that he lives like the homeless people that come to mind when you first heard the title. He's not living on the street. He's living in 8 out of 5 star hotels with maids sitting on his bed.
Here's some memes I made about him: