Monday, May 6, 2013

Monday Mish Mash: Caroline Kennedy

The real estate news out of Boston is that former first daughter Caroline Kennedy—recently selected by President Obama to be the ambassador to Japan—has heaved two separate and undeveloped parcels on the blue-blooded resort island of Martha's Vineyardon the market for a total of $45,000,000.

The smaller parcel—39.1 acres with more than 1,000 feet of frontage on Squibnocket Pond and over-the-dunes view of the Atlantic Ocean—has an asking price of $20,000,000. The larger, nearly 54 acre beach front parcel carries a $25,000,000 price tag.

The two parcels were originally purchased by Miz Kennedy's mother Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis as part of a 366 acre purchase she made back in 1978. According to The Martha's Vineyard Times, in 2006 the original 31 separate parcels acquired by the former first lady were combined and reconfigured into seven sprawling parcels, the largest being 106 acres and the site of Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg's pond-front compound. Three equal-sized lots were reserved for the three Kennedy-Schlossberg children, a fifth was "declared forever non-buildable, to preserve the coast environment," and the remaining two, those that are now for sale, set aside and allowable for sale to pay taxes and/or other expenses.

aerial image: Bing


Anonymous said...

Why would she sell the lots and give up some privacy/buffer? She doesn't need the money - she has her father's, her mother's and her brother's. And the longer she held onto them, the more valuable they would become. They expansion of the original house that I've seen looked aweful. Not the elegance of the original Hugh Newell Jacobsen.

luke220 said...

I agree with you, 7:03. My first reaction was "Why?" It is such a profoundly special parcel that I can not understand why it would be compromised. I can't imaging that $45 million in cash would make up for the lost value if she is to sell.

Anonymous said...

"Three equal-sized lots were reserved for the three Kennedy-Schlossberg children..."

It must be great to be born so rich that it's just expected that at some point you'll need dozen of acres on which to build your own summer home on Martha's Vineyard, or as a parent to be so rich that you just expect that eventually, your children will want to build their own summer homes on Martha's Vineyard, so why not set the land aside for them now?

Give Me A Break said...

We believe the Kennedy-Schlossberg family has a smart financial advisor to take care of their money for granted. Who says there hasn't been some hiccups along the way?

How much $$$ do you think John Jr. and Caroline paid out in inheritance tax when Mama Jackie died? Didn't you recall that famous auction of all her goods including her Tribeca apartment and eventually Camelot in Massachussetts? Some $$ is left but....

How much did Caroline have to shell out to the Bessette family in a wrongful death lawsuit after BOTH daughters, Carolyn and Lauren, were KILLED by JFK Jr's gross negligence in a plane crash?

How much did Caroline lose in the stock market crash? Did she sell or hold on to stock and wait it out? Apple stock has lost over 30% of its value already. Hope she wasn't invested in that company..

How much does Caroline pay in property taxes on 366 acres of land in Massachussetts since inheriting everthing after JFK Jr.'s death? How much does Caroline pay in fees to attorneys, accountants, IRS, brokerage fees, etc.? We really don't know, do we?

Just what is her income, if any? Anyone know for sure? Bueller?

Give her a break. She's suffered so much loss in her life. It's not her fault you don't have $$.

Jealous bitches!

Anonymous said...

Give me a break douche:

I'm not jealous. That wasn't my comment. And save your fake tears about her loses. I'm just surprised she would sacrifice some of her privacy that she values to sell something off sooner than needed. And actually, douche, a family member was a caretaker of red gate farm. It's a special place. Selling it is mostly irreversible. And the Sotheby's sale? That was their version of a rummage sale - junk they didn't want. I think she's doing ok financially - she's grounded and low key, not a wreckless person.

ParkAvenueGrinch said...

I thought this site was a bout real eastate and architecture and design and making fun of REALLY over-sized chandeliers dangling in the middle of marble/malachite/jade/onyx bridal staircases....

This is supposed to be fun and a little dishy ( I personally go for Chinet Dish on weeknights)...where does all the personal venom come from????

Rosco Mare said...

The Sotheby's sale was actually pretty spectacular. Lots included iconic items such as jewelry, both genuine and costume. As someone already suggested, the things weren't needed by the beneficiaries, and the proceeds could be used to offset some of the tax burden. Wasn't Jackie Onassis' house in Chillmark?

Anonymous said...

It pays to have had rum-running grandparents!

Anonymous said...

Folks we have a troll on this site. it likes to include swear words (bitches" is one of its faves);
and then it likes to 'go off' on any random poster.

it is an angry drama brat. the good news all that cortisol and adrenaline the troll makes is wonderfully catabolic and is ripping up troll's brain cells, blood vessels --and gonads! wonderfully aging.

oh and BTW troll, JFK JRs _Doctors_ killed him (and the 2 ladies)

or did you not know John John had the 2nd most common Autoimmune disease
-called Grave's Disease.
(the same Disease that President and Mrs Bush Sr got _)while in the White house )
no troll its not a conspiracy;
its literally how common Autoimmune THYROID diseases are.

its directly related to the MOST common autoimmune Disease (called Hashimoto's amongst older names)

and doctors do NOT know shit about about how the body works at the central and cellular levels.

nor do Trolls.

Anonymous said...

I smell a DEE-VORCE. Rumors, of this marriages demise have been on and off for probably at least 5 years. And yes people, she has "a lot" of money. But when you really thing about it, it's not "that much" in terms of what "rich" is these days.

Her father didnt really have any money of his own, he was simply a beneficiary of the family money. Most of which was tied up in real estate (Specifically the Merchandise Mart in Chicago) by the time that freak estate was broken up and sold (meaning by the time the money actually "came to be"), it was divided up between the fathers brood of siblings, each of their brood of children, and in some cases their children. We are literally talking about DOZENS AND DOZENS, of People who got a piece of the pie equal to what Caroline Kennedy got.

Her mothers money- while she came from a "moneyed" family, they were old money. Meaning, they lived a lifestyle, had the homes, but in terms of cash and non-real estate assets, again not much in the scheme of the Park Ave. - Hamptons crowd that the Bouvier's belonged to. Especially not once you take into account the fact that her father was sitting on real estate he couldn't sell during the depression, and likely didnt recoup much of the original investment in ever. So most of "her" money, came from Ari Onassis. And that money was tied up in a tight ass prenup, lets not forget they were in the divorce process when he died. I think she forgot $10 mil when he croaked.

Her brothers money- not much when you take three things into account. 1) ESTATE TAXES, 2) Much of his money was in his magazine- which was worthless once he died, and closed soon after. 3) The Bessette family (the parents and relatives of his wife and sister in law) settled a massive wrongful death lawsuit with "his estate" (I.e. Caroline & Co.) afterwards. While not disclosed, it is more than likely this sum was $20,000,000 or more. Which after taxes, could easily have been the majority of it.

And most importantly, she doesn't really "do much," now does she? What I mean is, she's not working jobs that are substantially growing this money at a rapid pace. This seems like one of two things to me. 1) Routine estate planning measures. (liquidate the real estate and stick it in a hedge fund so it grows substantially for the kiddos but the time Caroline croaks). 2) Liquidation in preparation for a divorce.

Anonymous said...

@Give me a break....No really, give us a fucking break! Did you seriously just say "her apartment in TriBeCa" when referring to Jackie O?!? Wtf?
Apologize for miss peaking or typo-ing, or don't ever go on a real estate blog again. Rest assured Ms. Onassis was six feet under LONG before tribeca was "TriBeCa."
She of course lived on Fifth Avenue. That would be far, far, far, away from TriBeCa. In one of the penthouses at 1040 (albeit, not 820 or 960) overlooking the reservoir, WHICH NOW BEARS HER NAME!

Lord have mercy on your soul.

Anonymous said...

ParkAveGrinch, me too. What the eff people? This isn't the yahoo comments section on a gay marriage or gun control story. Take your crazy, pack it back up, and take it back down where it belongs. That includes you "Mr. I'm not a troll, but here let me troll for you some."
Any of you people ever watch Arrested Development? Well for some of us, this is like real Arrested Development, and Caroline Kennedy, Resse Witherspoon or god damn Mandonna is "Lucille Bluth." And we want to see what houses her husband built for Saddam in Iraq, or where they got to down size to, or what house Lindsay and Tobias buy next door after drunk bitching at the poo-leece after stealing the stair mobile, ok? Is it too much to ask TO HAVE ONE DAMN WEBSITE WITHOUT ALL THE CRAZY SPEWING ITS NONSENSE EVERYWHERE?!??!!

Mr, Troll. Please, go to a nice hospital somewhere and have some electroshock treatment. It worked wonders for my grandmother and for Kitty Dukakis. It may help clear up all that nonsense in your head. Cause umm a plane crash is a plane crash, and a gunshot wound is a gunshot wound. Also, Graves Disease/Syndrome/Whatever isn't just some random thing, there's specific reasons why you get it, and as stated it ain't that rare. So lets call shit what it is, and not spew this shit out on a blog about damn houses. BECAUSE NO ONE CARES.

Anonymous said...

Wow! All this sniping here --- I have a house in Chilmark. Red Gate Farm is the next town up, Aquinnah. JKO did the skip a generation estate plan, meaning that Caroline and John did not face inheritance taxes. Caroline is far from hurting for money and by all accounts a very private and lovely person.
However legal the sale of these two lots is, it is a shame it wasn't given to the MV Land Bank. (which comes with some tax breaks) In other instances on the island, where public access to the beaches is very limited, people have donated enough property to allow for parking for just 5-10 cars, with access to the ocean only via kayak or canoe. The beach area itself can be limited to just 100 yards or so and it's a beautiful solution.
We have Arcadia and the Grand Tetons thanks to the generosity of the Rockefellers. Caroline, sad to say, doesn't have the same public-minded spirit when it comes to this extraordinary property.

Sandpiper said...

This recent article in the Martha's Vinyard Gazette pretty much reiterates our Mama's write up plus a few more snippets on the property.

What I wouldn't give to live there. Incredible.

luke220 said...

There are 33 separate parcels of land in the public record. Five of them are exclusively in the name of Caroline B. Kennedy, the remainder are held by ESI Design (Ed's company) and Caroline B. Kennedy. I believe that the $45 million dollar sale would be to buy out Ed in a divorce. I am somewhat surprised that the land wasn't held in trust, outside of marital assets. In the past, the Kennedy's have done a good job of protecting real estate assets in divorce situations. I absolutely agree with 6:37 that a gift to the land bank would have been appropriate. Also, 12:59's assessment of family wealth ignores the fact that Jackie's wealth was handled by international arms dealer Maurice Templesman and multiplied many times over. Also, regarding the Kennedy trust assets, Caroline got 100% of a share that was divided 11 times for RFK's children.

Anonymous said...

@10:06, I'm not entirely certain what you're trying to say, but it doesn't seem to make much sense. Caroline was a beneficiary of The Kennedy Family trusts, through her fathers stake in such trusts. So I think what you mean is that Caroline's stake is equal to what a child of RFK got, multiplied by 11. But the whole 100% thing you're saying doesn't really make any sense in the context you're trying to use it. Obviously if she "got a share" it would be 100% of that share - that's what a "share" is.

Also, the Kennedy's sold Merchandise Mart in 1998, this represented the overwhelming majority of all the trusts assests. It also means that this happend before her brothers death. So whatever money John Sr. had been entitled to would've been split either 2 ways, or possibly 4? depending how the trust was set up. It could've been between Caroline and Jonh, or John Jr. and Caroline's children. Some trusts would go directly to the current generation for tax reasons. Either way, John jr's share is taxed twice before it gets to Caroline. First on income or capital gains taxes of whatever sort he paid on it at various times.(considering he likely used a decent amount to invest in his business.) Then inheritance tax.
Either way this does alot of assuming about the trust, and it's operation. Lets not forget how many decades were passed between the sale of Merchandise Mart and JFK's death. It is quite likely that the trust was not established til after both JFK's and RFK's deaths. It would likely have been aroun Joe's death. Which means it would very likely have given Caroline and John Jr the SAME status and share given to one of RFK's children. This is closet to anything I've heard then the theory she'd have gotten 11 times what a child of RFK got. Since the trust was likely not established until after JFK's and RFK's deaths, it never takes into account how many shares either of them would've gotten, they're already dead, so it's entirely irrelevant. Thus Caroline and John Jr, are thrown in with the other grandchildren. This makes the most sense legally speaking, as a trust wouldn't be set up and retroactively split shares between already dead people and their children. Yes, could some have been "given more shares out of preferential treatmen," of course. But if something like that is going on, it actually usually works the opposite. Generally those relatives seen as the most "famous/wealthy/ public" or "most able to accumulate their own wealth," are in fact given less shares than other relatives.

I think it's unlikely that Caroline and her brother were given preferential treatment. It is likely given the timing of the deaths and trust that as was stated by someone before, Caroline's share would have been equal to most of Joe Jr's grandchildren, thus the family fortune would e divided more than a dozen times before she got her share. She never was entitled to "her fathers shares" in the way some of you are thinking. A) because we father was never holding any of his own shares, he was simply the beneficiary of Joe Sr's fortune, which is irrelevant because - B) JFK pre-deceased his father. Which means te trust created when his father died, would not be considering him- as he was already dead. So Caroline's share does not equal x of Joe Sr's money divided by his children divided by two, it equals x of Joe Sr's money divided by x grandchildren. Dead people cannot be the beneficiaries of trusts not set up prior to their deaths.

Anonymous said...

@6:37, I think you misunderstand the "generation skipping trust/tax." A) JKO did NOT do this, she left her children around $45 million, all subject to inheritance taxes and any other taxes various types of real estate sales and auctions would be subject to. B) the generation skipping thing allows the children of the deceased to avoid paying larger estate taxes because certain assets are simply "left to/transferred in trust." So what it means is they would've been left cash, bonds, stocks and various other things, but not larger assets like real estate and art, stakes in corporations, which may have been illiquid and would have sucked up what was left in cash, stocks and bonds, to pay off inheritance tax.
This method does not exempt anyone from any inheritance tax, as you seem to believe.
Some methods employed properly that could've exempted them from inheritance tax would include various trusts which they were already the beneficiaries of. I'm sure this was employed to an extent, but given the types of assets JKO left (things that had to be auctioned to realize their value) a trust would've been of little use for a majority of assets.

Carla In California said...

Wow... what a disappointment. If one person decides to make an unpopular comment, we all do not have to "flame the fire". Don't be so sensitive. No need to take things personally, ok? Get over it.

On another note, I just love the Kennedys. They've been through so much and yet still move forward. Martha's Vineyard seems like a beautiful place to have a family home for everyone to gather for holidays, birthdays, whatever.

No is going to die or divorce either. It's all going to be ok. Chill out everyone.

Anonymous said...

The folks who commented in response to the article on the Vineyard Gazette site were mostly encouraging Caroline to donate the land for preservation, or work out some deal with the MV land bank. I don't know anything about how that land bank works.

But all of the alarm about so-called "development" of the land seems unwarranted given that the article in the Gazette details how the two parcels she wants to sell can not be sub-divided if they are sold outside the family, and only three houses can be built on each parcel.

It does appear that she is in need of a cash event -- divorce settlement, estate planning or otherwise. The true nature of it may or may not become clear at some time in the future.

The Onassis estate plan was detailed in The NY Times after her death, and I recall that it was very sophisticated and complicated and did involve skip trusts. And I am very sure that estate taxes were greatly minimized.

Maurice Templesman was Jackie's companion for a number of years to the end of her life. Never divorced from his wife who lived on the Upper West- side of Manhattan, he was, as far as I know, a diamond dealer, not an arms trader.

Interesting Find said...

If I'm not mistaken, the last will and testaments of JFK, JKO, JFK Jr. and even Ted Kennedy are all online for everyone to view.

JFK Jr.'s will was in something called "John F. Kennedy Jr. 1983 Trust". Wife Carolyn was the initial beneficiary only "if she is living on the thirtieth day after my death". Oops. Sad.

Jackie's last will and testament is an incredibly long read. I had to take coffee breaks, but it was interesting.

@Anon 11:06pm - WTF? It was reported that haze was significant that night and haze can cause spatial disorientation. This disorientation was a major factor in the plane crash. Not to mention JFK Jr. was not instrument rated either. He had no business flying that night. Period. Gross negligence.

Anonymous said...

It's funny, i find that people who label other commenters "trolls" often happen to be hardcore creatures of the same variety. Case in point, poster 11:06.

Anonymous said...

Several sources peg Caroline's net worth in the $100 million dollar plus range. She's doing just fine.

Anonymous said...

Mama, what is wrooooong with the children today? And mightn't we have some more photos of the Rod & Penny casa? Pretty please, with a gin and tonic and lime wedge on top?

luke220 said...

I must respond to 11:39.

Caroline Kennedy received 100% of the JFK share of the Joe Kennedy trusts. The amounts, including the sale of the Merchandise mart were divided equally between the Joe Kennedy children, and the next generation shared that interest equally their siblings. That is why the Caroline Kennedy share is 11 times the RFK children's share.

The Merchandise Mart sale included $450 million in cash ($75 million each to Teddy, Eunice, Patricia, and Jean, with $37.5 million each to Jack’s heirs, Caroline and John Jr., and $75 million split among Ethel and her 11 children) and $110 million in Vornado partnership units issued to established Kennedy trusts. By receiving a stake in Vornado, the Kennedy heirs deferred a significant portion of the sale's capital-gains tax.

Regarding Jackie's wealth, I had seen it estimated to be as high as $200 million. Maurice Templesman is no ordinary diamond dealer, and he managed and multiplied Jackie's wealth exponentially. “I believe this was the beginning of what we now know of as conflict diamonds in the Congo,” says blood diamond expert Janine Roberts. “From then on diamonds would be extensively used to discreetly fund wars, coups, repression and dictatorships, in Africa.” “Tempelsman’s role in the confluence of public policy and private profit as a middleman for the De Beers diamond cartel may have shaped every major U.S. covert action in Africa since the early 1950s. Declassified memos and cables between former U.S. presidents and State Department officials over the last four decades directly linked Tempelsman to the destabilization of Zaire/Congo, Sierra Leone, Angola, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Rwanda and Ghana.”

In other words, I am surprised that Caroline sees a need to sell the two lots for $45 million.

Anonymous said...

Luke, that's all well in good, but when did Merchandise Mart sell? I am not going to shed a tear for Ms.Caroline and her liberal bleeding heart, however I can assure you most of the money has evaporated by now. Speaking of liberals, did those green energy windmills ever get built that the Kennedys objected to?

BillinMI said...

JFK Jr's loft he and his wife owned was in Tribeca. My understanding is that the Kennedy real estate holdings go much farther than just the Chicago Merchandise Mart. In any case, Caroline has written and had published ten books, has a major role within the Kennedy Center and Foundation and raised her children - this is not slacking IMO. Why she has decided to sell these parcels may as someone noted, become clearer later. Her husband and his family were wealthy in their own right before their marriage. I'd be surprised if she "needed" proceeds for any reason - that's an awfully big piece of property to keep and maintain. It could be just that simple of an explanation. Are there any pictures of the house she lives in at Red Gale?

Sandpiper said...
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Sandpiper said...

Squibnocket is my new word for gizmo.

news said...
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Uhu work said...
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Anonymous said...

@Luke, I think you're missing 11:39's key point, which I think is quite relevant. Clearly none of us know how much each got, and any newspaper reports detailing sums and how they got divided will be nothing but speculation. And that's just the reality of things like this.

But the key point I refer to, is that Joe Kennedy outlived all of his sons except Ted. You keep referring to "JFK's shares" in the Joe Kennedy Trusts. It's highly unlikely that these trusts were not changed to reflect the deaths of several of his children. You're also assuming that these trusts were established BEFORE JFK's death. I think it's most likely that the trusts were not created until afterwards, or were significantly changed after the assassinations of his sons. Given the type of man Joe Kennedy was, and the way most wealthy family's operated in those days, it is presumptuous to even assume the trusts were initially set up to benefit all siblings equally. Someone like Joe Kennedy would have wanted to pass down the bulk of his empire to one or two sons, and ensure the rest were merely "taken care of."

I've always heard, and it makes sense given what I stated above, that Joe Kennedy's money would've gone mostly to Ted and the sisters, with the rest divided EQUALLY between the grandchildren. JFK and RFK died before their father, so they died before they got their shares. Thus their children by no means necessarily inherited stakes equal to their shares. It's possible, but certainly not necessarily the case.

luke220 said...

5:52, that is because I know more about it than you do and you are wrong.

Anonymous said...

@luke, while I hate to get involved in some petty feud between you and some anonymous person online, 5:52, and several others, have provided numerous points to back up what they "believe." You have provided nothing other than your passive aggressive "I know more than you do." So you can claim what you want, but why don't you enlighten the kiddos as to what you know, and how it proves the others wrong. If you can't do that it means that you likely know nothing and are just a passionate defender of Ms. Kennedy's wealth. You haven't even addressed the main point 5:52 brought up, which seems to a lay person as myself, very valid-- Joe Kennedy did outlived all his sons except Ted. This would very much change the way his trusts and inheritance worked in all likelihood.

iptfmh said...
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Anonymous said...

What are some posh, upmarket architects in that area?

luke220 said...

The linked article provides some background on the structure of the primary Joseph P Kennedy Trusts.

It is many layers of trusts, but the one holding interest in the Merchandise Mart was divided equally between his six surviving children, with their individual interests going to each of their heirs. It is not an unusual arrangement for second and third generations not to share equally with cousins.

When RFK's son Joe Kennedy was in congress, there was frustration with Uncle Ted (Trustee) with the fact that Joe's personal interest was only a fraction of his first cousins' interests. Some speculate that this was a reason that younger Joe Kennedy did not run for the Senate (this was widely reported at the time).

One of my friends is a fifth generation Carnegie heir and the setup is exactly the same. My friend is an only child so will inherit all the capital of the parent's share. The cousins will have to share their parent's share with their siblings.

The trusts are generally funded at the time of creation with contingencies for additional offspring or deaths of beneficiaries. Who died when is not really an issue after the trust is created.