Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Peter Morton Does It In Trousdale Estates

BUYER: Peter Morton
LOCATION: Beverly Hills, CA
PRICE: $9,800,000
SIZE: 5,367 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms

NOTE FROM YOUR MAMA (01-03-13): Your Mama posted this a week or so ago but we mistakenly deleted it. Here it is again in case anyone was missing it.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Property gossips around the globe went hog wild in October 2012 when a single story French Regency meets mid-century modern style residence high in the terrifically trendy Trousdale Estates 'hood in Beverly Hills hit the open market with at asking price of $12,995,000.

The hoopla and hoo-ha wasn't just because the gated residence occupies a highly desirable 1.18 acre lot on what is arguably one of the better streets in Trousdale Estates where some of the other homes are owned by folks like celebrity photographer Steven Meisel but rather because the house is loosely known in real estate circles as the west coast Graceland. That's right, back in 1967—the year they were married—hip-swiveling music industry icon Elvis Presley and his then new bride Priscilla purchased the house for $400,000.

Property records shows the old Presley pad was sold in mid-December 2012 to a corporate entity for $9,800,000. Everybody Your Mama talked to—including our well-informed confreres Yolanda Yakketyak and Helen A. Hightower—snitched that the buyer was high-end property flipping former restaurateur and hotelier Peter Morton.

Mister Peter Morton—not to be confused with his prolific property flipping restaurateur son Harry who owns the lewdly named Pink Taco eateries in L.A.—made the bulk of his (estimated) half billion dollar fortune in 1995 when he sold his co-founding interest in the Hard Rock Cafe chain for $410 million and in 2006 when he sold the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas for $770 million to boutique hotel magnate Ian Schrager's Morgans Hotel Group.

Your Mama does not have any idea how long The King and his bouffant-haired bride Priscilla owned the house in Trousdale Estates but we do know that for many years—and even still—fans and fanatics alike scrawled and scribbled messages to their rock-n-roll idol on the mini-estate's front gate (above). We can only hope that Mister Morton preserves the front gate for posterity or donates it to the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame or something like that.

Anyhoo, listing information shows the existing, single-story residence was originally built in 1958 and includes four bedrooms and five bathroom in 5,367 square feet of interior space, plus an attached guest house with additional private bathroom.

The low-slung sprawler, recently upgraded and renovated according to listing information, contains a spacious formal living room with fireplace, a formal dining room, family room, office, media room and a newly installed eat-in kitchen that looks to Your Mama like it belongs in an upscale but uninspired suburban mini-mansion.

Floor to ceiling windows and sliders throughout flood the house with natural light and allow for long vistas down the canyons and—on a clear day—over the glittering lights of Los Angeles all the way to the Pacific Ocean. The walls of windows seamlessly integrate the inside and the outside living spaces that include various terraces and patios, a flat patch of grass for the pooches and a free-form swimming pool and spa. Out front, there's a gated motor court and a four-car car port

Your Mama's been told by someone in a position to know that the house remains remarkably intact from the time Mister Presley and Miss Priscilla owned it in the mid- to late-sixties but that's probably no matter since the scuttlebutt on the Trousdale real estate street is that Mister Morton plans to raze the existing residence to make way for an all new house that he'll no doubt sell at an enviably enormous profit.

Certainly buying, knocking down and building anew seems to be the growing trend on this particular cul-de-sac. Back in August (2012), budding real estate baller—and mid-priced handbag purveyor—Bruce Makowsky quietly paid $12,650,000 for an almost 7,000 square foot house directly across from the old Presley pad that's he's already razed in preparation for what will surely be a bigger and sleeker new house that Your Mama imagines will eventually wind up on the market with a fat eight figure asking price. Next door to the house Mister Makowsky recently tore down movie producer turned property developer Nile Niami paid Oscar-winning screenwriter Robert Towne (Chinatown, Shampoo, Mission Impossible franchise) $9,800,000 for a nearly six thousand square foot house that rumor has it he too will tear down to make way for a bigger and slicker house that will also—no doubt—eventually turn up for sale with an eye-popping eight figure asking price.

Mister Morton has bought and sold more pricey properties in some of the more expensive zip codes of Los Angeles that Your Mama cares to count, including a hulking Tudor style pile on 4.1 private acres in Beverly Hills that he bought in 2006 for $18,500,000, never lived in and sold—at a substantial loss—in the spring of 2011 for $16,190,000 to property-collecting Oscar-winning superstar actress Sandra Bullock.

As far as Your Mama knows—and we really don't know a ham from a gold fish—since the mid 1990s Mister Morton's primary residence in Tinseltown has been a 13,000- plus square foot mansion on 1.3-plus gated and landscaped acres in a particularly plum section of the Holmby Hills that he bought from entertainment industry executive Robert A. Daly for $9,250,000.

Mister Morton also maintains an elegantly contemporary Richard Meier-designed mini-compound with a total of seven bedrooms and seven full and two half bathrooms on two—or maybe three—prime ocean front lots on Carbon Beach, Malibu's most expensive stretch of sand where some of the other homeowners include endlessly rich trophy property amassing titans of industry like David Geffen, Michael Milken, Paul Allen, Eli Broad and Larry Ellison.

listing photos: Coldwell Banker


Petra's said...

I may have to steal that gate.

lil' gay boy said...

MCM meets pet mortuary...

...although the bones remain, not sure if this is worthy of rescue; probably the only MCM I've ever seen with a coffered ceiling (what's up with that?)

I'd have to err on the side of restoration, but that's an awful lot of work for little or no payback -- I smell demolition.

Anonymous said...

Tear it down. Ugly,ugly,,,, UGLY. Even the star factor is not enough, and I am no fan of tearing down perfectly good homes to slap a bloated mcmansion in it's place. All the same, good god this place is awful. No saving grace in the structure at all.

Anonymous said...

Trousdale Estates needs to get a better security patrol.

Unknown said...

I am looking for Springfield Illinois real estate agents. Does anyone know of somebody I could call? I would greatly appreciate some recommendations.

Anonymous said...

Really? I see their patrol on Hillcrest constantly. What they need is to get rid of all those damn tour buses. So annoying.

Jesse said...

Mama, 12:48 is spam. She thinks she's being cute but she's not. She's just trying to get some SEO juice from your fine real estate blog.

Damn spammers.

Anonymous said...

Not being an Angeleno, I know this neighborhood only second hand through pictures and writings, having never actually poked around it myself. My sense is, though I may be wrong, that the greatest distinction here is that these are mostly all mid-century modern houses, with their sum creating a context that is perhaps greater than the individual parts.

That context, that character, created through neighborhood design cohesiveness, is going to be destroyed if these buyers don't take the blinders off, and don't start looking beyond their own property lines. Soon it will just be another Amalfi Drive in the Palisades (which I have seen), and it will be worse for it, in my opinion.

Carla Ridge said...

To be charitable to the children, the photos in the story are from before it's recent and colorful remodel, and if you've seen the house -- which I have, many times -- it's actually quite stunning. Part Time Capsule/part Triumph of Capitalism with a definite dollop (or wallop)of High Jewish Gothic by way of Lucile Bluth.

But its appeal is current, it's certainly big enough and luxurious enough and doesn't need to be bigger. What's more, the place has/had PERSONALITY, damn it -- and the last thing we need in Trousdale Estates is another sleek, glacial white-terrazzo-and-chocolate-alpine-wood-meets-stainless-is-brainless nightclub of a house that looks like ten others on the street. They're becoming as much of a cliche as the much (and rightly) maligned Muddleterranean McMansion motif that is the other drug of choice for the flippers in these hills who have forgotten how to tell design innovation from a dolphin.

When these houses went up they were SHOWPLACES, often extraordinary, and I'd really like to see some of that return. Call me, Peter (you know how to reach me); and I'll be glad to give you scads of ideas how to elevate this pad to be truly ultimate. If it's a flip you really want, this one should flip people's MINDS.

Carla Ridge said...

To Lil Gay Boy (hey girl!): the Living Room's coffered ceiling was added later. It replaced the typical 'cottage cheese' ceiling in vogue when the house was built. Does that make it any better? LOL.

Anonymous said...

Wow. High Jewish Gothic by way of Lucille Bluth. Someone's gonna have to explain that one to me.

Anonymous said...

Peter, son of Arni. I well recall the beginnings of the Morton restaurant dynasty. The family had a nice one story place near the lake on S. Shore Drive in Chicago (not a chic location) where I used to go for dinner while at the U of Chicago around 1960. Food exceptionally good and reasonably priced. From then on it was just a matter of expansion.

Carla Ridge said...

Anon 7:40: here, darling, take a look, while the site's still up. Please feel free to supply your own description! (BTW, I was raised Jewish, so in my mind "HJG" is a badge of decorating pride, not a put-down).


And if the Lucile Bluth reference mystifies you, check out Seasons 1-through-3 of "Arrested Development", the most hilarious tv show ever. It'll get you ready for the forthcoming new season being shot NOW! (*squeals with delight*)

Anonymous said...

I live in Trousdale and this house isn't a great example of the amazing homes we have here. Sadly many are being altered beyond recognition - the mid century look is going fast. I restored my home to it's 1961 glory and it is awesome. And yes the patrol stinks. We used to have 2 cars 24/7 now we have one, it costs a lot of money, and one of the guys is a joke.

Candy Spelling said...

I remember when Elvis moved into this house and all the excitement it caused! I was just a girl at the time, but sometimes we would sneak up the hill to try to catch a glimpse of the King. I may have even written on that gate!

The person above seems very rude. This house is not to everyone's taste, but it's very eclectic and is perfect for Trousdale. With its unique history, it should be preserved!

Anonymous said...

They should change the Security patrol to either ACS, SSA, or ADT.

Anonymous said...

I remember driving by the place a while back and thinking it could be revamped and updated without a lot of effort. As I'm not a fan of Hollywood Regency the mansard roof would go and be replaced either with a flat or a low hip; the house's horizontal lines could take either one. I'd also change out the driveway gates (not the one for the fans) and the topiary landscaping. It's a great location.