Monday, March 31, 2014

Suzanne Saperstein Finally Unloads Fleur de Lys (at Record Price)

Buckle your real estate safety belts, children because after more than six years on and off the market with an astronomical $125,000,000 asking price, couture-clad divorceé Suzanne Saperstein has done sold her 50,000 square foot faux-chateau—that would be the (in)famously opulent Fleur de Lys—for $102,000,000, in cash. That's right, puppies, 102 million in cold, hard cash money.

According to the L.A. Times there was not just one interested billionaire buyer but three. Three?!? Six years and the lady can't hardly give the damn place away and, in the end, there are three billionaires who all show up at roughly the same time who are all desperate to acquire the unapologetically palatial white elephant?

So the scuttlebutt goes, one of the losing bidders is Chinese and another is English. The buyer was identified to the L.A. Times as a "French billionaire" although the deeds and other documents related to the transfer will be mailed to the Milken Institute in Santa Monica, a non-partisan think tank chaired by multi-billionaire financier and philanthropist Michael Milken. The buyer's agent, Fred Bernstein of Westside Estate Agency, is married to Michael Milken's daughter, Bari Milken-Bernstein, so there's that connection but a representative of Mister Milken denies he or his institute bought the estate.

Interestingly, back in February Your Mama heard (but can't confirm) that a Chinese billionaire made an $85 million offer for grandiose estate and, more than a week ago now, we heard word from an anonymous and frustratingly cryptic informant who insisted the buyer is not Chinese but rather a "Russian" who is not Roman Abramovich, Andrey Melnichenko or Dmitry Rybolovlev but rather someone "well established in California." Make of that rumor and gossip what you will.

The fully landscaped and lavishly maintained 4.6 acre spread—on the border between Beverly Hills and the Holmby Hills in an area that is, technically, called Beverly Crest —includes impressive driveway gates and a 600 foot long driveway that switchbacks its way to a cobblestone motor court the size of the Place Georges-Pompidou in Paris. (Okay, it's not really that big but it's still huge.) There's secondary, service and staff access through less impressive but still imposing gates that open directly into a second, rear motor court and staff parking area.

The steel-framed and limestone-faced edifice was inspired by the Vaux-le-Vicomte palace outside of Paris and sits on rollers that help safeguard the massive mansion during earthquakes. Inside, according to listing details and other resources, there are 12 bedrooms and 15 bathrooms as well as a slew grand formal entertaining rooms including a gilt-trimmed ballroom that can accommodate more than 300 guests. Arguably more intimate rooms include a double-height library, a music room, a 35-mm digital movie theatre, and a 3,000 square foot wine cellar and tasting room.

There are several kitchens on the property including a colossal commercial-grade cookery with separate storage room(s) for dishes and cutlery and a butler's pantry larger than most kitchens. Staff quarters include a dining room, offices, a dedicated security center, and a separate house for the estate manager.

Formal gardens and expertly trimmed trees surround the property that includes a soccer pitched-sized lawn, a tennis court, jogging track and a swanky swimming pool complex with spa and fitness facilities.

The $102 million sale price makes its the most expensive single family home purchase in L.A. County, well in front of the $94 million telecom tycoon Gary Winnick reportedly paid pineapple mogul David Murdock for the so-called Casa Encantada estate in Bel Air back in 2002 and $17 million more than the $85 million British Formula 1 racing heiress Petra Ecclestone paid Showbiz widow Candy Spelling for The Manor in 2011.

The most expensive house ever sold in in the U.S., a massive manse on nine acres in Northern California's Woodside community, sold last year to one of Japan's richest men in a deal worth $117.5 million. A couple years earlier another large mansion in the nearby community of Los Altos Hills was sold to Yuri Milner, a Russian billionaire venture capitalist with long standing ties in California. Make of that what you will...

listing photo: Westside Estate Agency

René Echevarria Lists Vince Vaughn's Former House in Los Feliz

SELLER: René Echevarria
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $4,200,000
SIZE: 3,587 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 3 full and 2 half bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: A well-connected celebrity real estate birdie landed on Your Mama's window sill this weekend to let us know that Emmy-nominated television writer and producer René Echevarria* listed his house in L.A. celebrity-approved Los Feliz area with an asking price of $4.2 million.

Property records show Mister Echevarria purchased the property in the coveted Oaks area of Los Feliz in August 2005 for $4,050,000. The seller was Vince Vaughn who, as far as Your Mama tell, purchased the property way back in early 1999 for $1.575 million.*

Current digital marketing materials show the two-plus story, 1930s-era Mediterranean main house has four bedrooms and three full and two half bathrooms in 3,587 square feet with additional living space in a detached guest house out back by the swimming pool. The property comprises two (as per the L.A. County Tax Man) or three (as per listing details) parcels—one vacant and undeveloped—that combined come to almost three quarters of an acre.

Not entirely hidden but behind gates and set well above the bucolic street. The main entrance is inconveniently around the side and up a long flight of stairs from the compact motor court and two-car garage. The front door opens to a bi-level, double height foyer with terra cotta tile floors and exposed wood ceilings.

Wide tile steps lead down to a roomy formal living room with wood floors, a high ceiling with rough hewn wood beams and, across from a tile-accented kiva-style fireplace set between over-sized windows with wrought iron grillwork, a generous bank of wood-framed glass doors to open spacious dining terrace fearlessly painted an imaginative shade of vermilion.

There are lower ceilings but more of those delicious, rough-hewn wood beams on the ceiling in the elegantly proportioned formal dining room and the wood flooring switches to an appropriate—if not exactly exciting—terra cotta tile in the expensively equipped—if kinda small and snoozy—eat-in kitchen. Wood-framed glass doors similar to those in the living room link the kitchen to a flag-stone paved terrace that spreads out to surround the swimming pool.

Upstairs there are four bedrooms and two bathrooms including a master suite with dressing area and attached bathroom with vintage-type tile work and updated with modern features such as a glass-enclosed steam shower with built-in bench. At least two of the three other guest/family bedrooms have direct access to a private terraces shaded by awnings that may or may not be the exact shade of vermilion as the terrace off the formal living room.

Off the kitchen a trellis-shaded dining terrace has an outdoor kitchen with built-in barbecue and overlooks a vaguely kidney shaped swimming pool with and attached spa. Beyond the swimming pool there's a self-contained guest/pool house with bathroom and kitchenette and tucked back in a quiet and verdant corner of the ground there's an open air pavilion with wrought iron railings and a inlaid terra cotta tile floors.

Mister Echevarria and his missus, Analisa, appear to have left Los Feliz for the affluent Agoura Hills community, about 35 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, where property records indicate they recently shelled out $1,783,405 for a spacious if nondescript, 5,348 square foot mock-Med with five bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms.

*Since the late 1990s Mister Echevarria has carved a lucrative niche in Hollywood writing and producing sci-fi series, mostly for the small screen. His credits include but are not limited to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star: Trek The Next Generation, Dark Angel, Medium, Castle and Teen Wolf). Both of Mister Echevarria's Emmy nominations were for The 4400, a 2004 t.v. mini-series Your Mama has neither seen nor head of before. But anyways...

**As a brief aside...Mister Vaughn has been a regular in all the celebrity real estate gossip columns over the last several year or so. Early in 2013 he de-listed his titanic triplex penthouse pad atop the Palmolive building in Chicago (IL). In April (2013) he and his Canadian (former) real estate agent missus, Kyla Weber, splashed out almost four million bucks for a Beaver Cleaver-style center hall Colonial the in a well-to-do L.A. suburb—that would be La Cañada-Flintridge—and then just a few weeks ago, the couple shelled out another $6.447 million for a 7,000+ square foot quasi-Craftsman-style house in Manhattan Beach (CA).

listing photos (Los Angeles): Keller Williams

Friday, March 28, 2014

Liongate Revisited, Again

WHAT: Liongate
WHERE: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $65,000,000
SIZE: 24,000 (or so) square feet, 11 bedrooms, 17 bathrooms (total)

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: The well-informed property gossips at the Wall Street Journal announced this week that Liongate,* a mildly pedigreed and recently overhauled estate in a super-prime pocket of L.A.'s swanky East Gate Bel Air area, was put up for sale with a eyebrow raising and pearls clutching $65,000,000 price tag.

The listing agent declined to identify the sellers but did tattle to the peeps at the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that they're "European" and "purchased the home for personal use." She went on to say the sellers are selling because "they haven't spent as much time in Los Angeles as they planned." Naturally, Your Mama questioned a select couple of our better connected contacts in the Platinum Triangle and within minutes of our query we were pinged by ever-vigilant real estate yenta Yolanda Yakkityyak who swears on the life of her beloved pharmacist that the seller is a Switzerland-based entrepreneur named Raoul Walter who, until 2011, owned a couple dozen upscale fitness clubs in Geneva, Zürich and Brussels. Make of that what you will.

The original residence was built in the late 1930s and designed by legendary architect Paul Revere Williams. We don't know who it was built for or if it was an important Paul Williams house but we do know the house and property were substantially altered by country music mandarin Kenny Rogers who bought the 1.63 acre estate in 1979. It was he, so the reportage goes, who added the carved stone lions that stand sentry on either side of the driveway gates and give the estate its current moniker.

According to the Platinum Triangle real estate page turner Unreal Estate, Mister Rogers soon brought in Cher's decorator, Ron Wilson, who instituted a complete makeover that required some hillside engineering derring do and included a theatrical injection of architectural folly and pizazz. One side of the hillside below the house was carved out to accommodate a tennis court and the other cut away for a semi-subterranean living space accessed by a steel and glass outdoor elevator. That's right, a steel and glass outdoor elevator. How deliciously and absolutely ludicrous a thing is that to have, children, a steel and glass outdoor elevator in the backyard?. It's pitiful and glorious all at the same time. It means nothing but says everything. If there isn't there should be a pitch perfect and probably very long German word that encompasses all of those things—pitiful and glorious, nothing and everything. Anyways....

In the late 1980s Liongate was acquired by oil and showbiz heiress Nancy Davis, a woman known in some circles—so says the ever-reliable Wikipedia—as Nicole Richie's godmother. Ironically enough, Mister Rogers sold Liongate because he'd purchased The Knoll, a much more grand, 10-acre estate in Beverly Hills that he would later sell—Tuh-Duh!—to Nancy Davis's parents, Denver-based oil mogul turned Tinseltown power broker Marvin Davis and his philanthropically engaged wife Barbara. (The current owners of The Knoll, discount tool tycoon Eric Smidt and wife Susan, recently listed their former, Tuscan village-like compound in Beverly Park on the market for $45 million. But, we digress...)

As far as this property gossip know, Miz Davis first and unsuccessfully attempted to unload Liongate in 2006 when it was reported in the L.A. Times (link not available) to be listed for nearly $30 million. Your Mama first (dissed and) discussed Liongate in April 2007 when it was back on the market for $23,950,000. By July 2009 the asking price had plummeted to $14,995,000 and, finally, in March 2010 the European buyer (and apparent flipper)—who Yolanda swears is the low profile fitness club fella from Switzerland—snagged the property for $12,200,000.

Over the next three years the entire estate, residence and grounds, was given a soup-to-nuts, spare-no-expense overhaul and expansion under the direction of L.A.-based architect Dean Larkin. The ever-so-soigne decorative treatment was conceived and installed by L.A.-based interior designer Kirk Nix of KNA Design.

(P.S. The $65 million asking price includes all the furniture selected and/or commissioned by Mister Nix. Naturally, a home automation system was installed along with Fort Knox-style security measures. Listing details declare the estate can be transferred with a fully trained staff but if not a detailed estate operation manual will be provided for newbie hires.)

Digital marketing materials show the freshly refurbished and expanded three-plus story mansion and all its attached and detached accessory spaces encompass about 24,000 square feet with six fireplaces and a total of 11 bedrooms, 17 bathrooms. The WSJ parsed those figures to "nine bedrooms and 14 bathrooms" with an additional two bedrooms and three bathrooms planned for a still-to-be-built attached guest house.

On the floor plan included with publicly accessible digital marketing materials Your Mama counted five bedrooms and six full and two half bathrooms on the upper two floors of the three-plus story mansion plus an additional two bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms in the still-to-be-built attached guest house. Simple calculations on Your Mama's bejeweled abacus show that comes to seven bedrooms and eight full and three half bathrooms so that means there are an additional four bedrooms and half a dozen full and/or half bathrooms spread hither and thither throughout the remainder of the estate.

An Old School elegant grey flagstone driveway lined with carefully trimmed trees swoops gently down to a flag stone motor court. A wide, high-gloss ebony door set into a regal arched pediment opens to a marble floored foyer and gallery that balloons open to an elegantly proportioned if somewhat eccentrically shaped formal living room where there are more inlaid marble floors and no fewer than seven sets of French doors lined up along a gently bowed wall through which there's a peek-a-boo, over the tree tops city view.

Just off the foyer/gallery, in the west wing, a cozy, motor court view library has a fireplace with (probably antique) carved marble mantelpiece and is lined with custom milled book shelves. Beyond the library a double-sided fireplace divides a pair of larger adjoining rooms, one a den and the other a billiard/game room with circular bar.

On the east side of the foyer, in addition to a generous formal dining room, a bounteous butler's pantry with walk-in china and stemware closets, and a pair of back-to-back powder rooms, there's a double-island kitchen with (stunning) chevron pattern distressed (and probably antique) wood floors. The kitchen (along with the chevron pattern wood flooring) flows unimpeded into a circular breakfast nook and casual lounge area with fireplace. Floor plans indicate there's an open niche with built-in desks just off the kitchen that passes through to a dedicated security office that, in turn, has direct access to the breezeway that separates the front motor court from the rear motor court and garages.

Our gin-sotted eyes spotted three separate staircases that connect the public and semi-private rooms on main level to the private family quarters upstairs. Each of the three, spacious guest/family bedroom suites in the west wing of the upper level has a walk-in closet, large bathroom, and private terrace while a more modest, fourth guest/family bedroom in the east wing does have a private attached bathroom but does not have a walk-in closet or private outdoor space. The remainder of the mansion's east wing is devoted entirely to a 3,600 square foot master suite. A long, angled gallery links the various and far-flung areas of the master suite that include a central bedroom with fireplace and sitting area and, at opposite ends of the suite his and her bathrooms with adjoining walk-in closets.

Online marketing materials reveal the still-to-be-built attached guest wing is scheduled to be completed in September 2014 and floor plans included with listing information show the two-story addition will include a ground level lounge just off the motor court with kitchenette and half bathroom. Was this room designed to be used as a break room by the estate's domestic staff and/or as a waiting lounge for chauffeurs and personal assistants of visitors? You decide. A separate entrance opens to a foyer with stairway that curves tightly up to a large living room area and two bedrooms, each with walk-in closet and private bathroom.

There is a lower, daylight basement level of the house and that may or may not be where the mansion's state-of-the-art 12-seat home theater and wine cellar with refrigerated wine storage room are located. At least three sets of exterior stairs link the wrought iron railed stone terraces that extend off the rear of the main floor living spaces to the lower level recreation and entertainment areas. A deep and wide loggia with outdoor fireplace and kitchen over looks a dark bottom swimming pool, a separate spa, and built-in fire pit. Off to the west a patch of flat grass looks just about big enough for a couple of medium sized dog to really get their run on.

Opposite the house, on the other side of the swimming pool, a kooky glass roofed pavilion protects and proclaims entrance the aforementioned steel and glass outdoor elevator. One level down the elevator doors open directly into a well-equipped wood floored fitness room and adjoining spa area with sauna, steam, and massage room. Also on this level, there's (exterior) access to the tennis court and a fairly petite ballroom—it's more like a birthday party sized room—with more of those gorgeous chevron pattern wood floors plus a large and professionally equipped bar. Three sets of French doors in the—ahem—ballroom open to tree top level Juliet balconies. The elevator descends at least one more level where there's a secondary entrance to the estate from the street below.

Any of the better connected real estate insiders care to fill Your Mama in on the short list of buyers currently sniffing around Los Angeles in the $50 million price range who might like a peek at and poke around this opulently dressed piece of Platinum Triangle palatiality? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

*In 2007 the estate in question was referred to as Lionsgate, with an "s" in the middle. It's also repeatedly called Lionsgate—again with the "s"—in Michael Gross's Unreal Estate. However, puppies, current marketing materials drop the "s" and call it Liongate and, indeed, the plaque affixed to the front gate also identifies it as Liongate, without the "s." So there you have it. You say toe-may-toe, we say toe-maw-toe, right? Ugh.

listing photos and floor plan: Hilton & Hyland

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Jon Hamm's Petite Penthouse

BUYERS: Jon Hamm and Jennifer Westfeldt
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: $2,450,000
SIZE: 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Like everybody else, Your Mama read almost two weeks ago now in The New York Post that 10-time Emmy nominated Mad Man star Jon Hamm and his long-time lady-mate, actress Jennifer Westfeldt (Notes from the Underbelly, 24, Kissing Jessica Stein), have just about completed renovations on the Upper West Side penthouse they bought last April (2013).

Well, children, we freely confess that y'all coulda blew this property gossip over with the breath of a grasshopper. It's not in the least surprising the couple would own an apartment there—many L.A.-based Showbizzers keep a place in New York—but Your Mama's booze-sotted brain simply doesn't recall previously hearing or reading a thing about the couple's penthouse purchase.

Mister Hamm's dapper and beloved, if amoral, Mad Men character Don Draper and his younger and frustratingly namby-pamby French-Canadian (second) wife live in a sprawling, contemporary aerie on East 73rd Street and Park Avenue with a sunken living room and a city view terrace. But in real life, according to property records (and The New York Post) the (in)famously frequent free baller and his classically beautiful blond lady-mate paid $2,450,000 for a petite pre-war penthouse atop a Rosario Candela-designed building on a tree-lined street just half a block off Central Park.

We really haven't a clue about Mister Hamm and Miz Westfeldts' renovation plans but at the time of their June 2013 purchase the pint-sized penthouse had nicely high 10-foot ceilings and an efficient floor plan with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Based on the floor plan included with digital marketing materials Your Mama loosely calculated there to be a bit more than 1,000 square feet of interior space and nearly as much space contained in a park view terrace that—but for the interjection of a sun room—wraps around the entire apartment.

A barely there entrance hall opens into the combination living and dining space that's floored with an unsuccessful combination of terra cotta tile and parquet. One wall in the living room is anchored by a wood burning fireplace and another is punctured by a pair of doorless doorways that lead into an sky-lit sun room with a long, shoulder-height ribbon of casement windows and glass doors on either end that open to the east and west terraces. If anyone were to ask Your Mama—and no one did—we'd admit the sun room is an unwelcome aspect of this particular penthouse. The extra square footage is certainly a bonus but, frankly, it's just too narrow and there are too many doors (and doorways) on too many walls.

The kitchen doesn't make much of an appearance in listing photos from the time of Mister Hamm and Miz Westfeldt's purchase—never a good sign as regard its condition or quality—but it was, at the time of their purchase, open to the dining area in a large cut out over the counter and does, we're happy to report, have a window for light and ventilation. As is typical of a Rosario Candela designed apartment, whether huge or more modestly sizes like this penthouse, both of the poopers have windows for proper ventilation.

The lower end of the Upper West Side isn't Your Mama's first choice of residential locales in Manhattan and we're not exactly thrilled with the easily (if expensively) changed flooring materials. And let's not even further discuss that sun room since it makes Your Mama need a nerve pill with a brutal desperation. But, honestly kids, otherwise we sort of love this place.Contrary to the opinion of some, neither Your Mama nor The Doctor Cooter are real estate size queens so its somewhat wee size appeals to us. It's on a great (if not exactly quiet) tree-lined street just half a block from the park and public transportation options are many and convenient. The dirty secret of urban terraces is that they're filthy all the time with soot and dust but we still wouldn't mind a park view terrace for barbecuing, boozing and the occasional doobie smoking. The bedrooms are on the small side but they're decently separated and the larger of them has an en suite bathroom, itty-bitty as it may be. Closet space isn't abysmal by Manhattan standards but it's not so great either. Fortunately, listing details indicate there's private storage space in the building that conveys with the penthouse so that's a push (by Manhattan standards).

Listing details show the monthly charges—which include taxes—ring up to a $3,661 and include the building's not exactly white glove services: part-time doormen and porter services, a live-in super, a bicycle storage room, and free laundry facilities, an extra-nice feature given that the building does not permit washers and dryers in individual apartments.

Back on the west coast Mister Hamm and Miz Westerfeldt have owned (and as far as we know occupied) for a decade or so a 3,142 square foot, 1920s Mediterranean perched above a perfectly lovely if undistinguished street in the flats of L.A.'s celebrity-saturated Los Feliz area. Property records show the couple bought the five bedroom and three bathroom residence, three easily walked blocks from the Vermont Avenue shopping and dining district—home of the dee-voon Skylight Books, in late December, 2002, for $900,000.

listing photos and floor plan: Corcoran (via StreetEasy)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Could Taylor Swift... the mystery buyer of Peter Jackson's duplex penthouses in Manhattan's celebrity-approved TriBeCa neighborhood? Based on mounting circumstantial evidence this property gossip thinks she may indeed be. Buckle up, butter beans. Here's what we know (and some of what we don't know, too)...

Last May (2013), Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson, a bushy bearded winner of three Academy Awards, put a pair of side-by-side but uncombined duplex penthouses atop a boutique building in the heart of TriBeCa on the open market with an combined asking price of $21,500,000.* In November the price dropped to $19,950,000 and in mid-December each of the penthouses was also listed separately, the smaller one for $5.1 million and the substantially larger one for $14,850,000.

Listing details Your Mama dug up on the internets show the smaller of the two units (shown above) has three bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms in 2,440 square feet with wide plank wood floors, exposed duct work, exposed brick walls, and a 12-foot beamed ceiling. Oh, and let's not forget the 1,000 square foot private roof terrace.

Listing details for the second and significantly more spacious, 5,869 square foot penthouse show six proper bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms, a coat closet lined foyer and grand double-height stair hall, and a 1,200+ square foot combination living/dining room with fireplace, wet bar and 12-foot exposed beam ceiling.

The floor plan included with digital marketing materials shows three sets of French doors link the living/dining space to a more intimately scaled library (with half bathroom) and, back behind the marble countered eat-in center island kitchen, there's an oddly located butler's pantry that acts as passage to a playroom/den that could probably be pressed into use as seventh bedroom, a formal dining room, a meditation retreat, an art studio or any number of other things.

A convenient dumb waiter ferries food and other (smallish) items like, say, a baby(?), that residents may be too weak or lazy to carry up the stairs to the second floor where, in addition to two small bedrooms and a shared hall bathroom, the floor plan shows a small study leads into the spacious master suite. A 25+ foot long entrance hall lined with 10 or more closets and wardrobes leads back to a separate dressing room, a bedroom with fireplace, and good-sized but hardly over-sized windowed bathroom with two sinks and separate tub and shower.

There are two terraces on the upper floor that together encompass, as pre the floor plan measurements, more than 2,100 square feet. The smaller, north facing terrace is private to the master suite and the much larger, wrap around one on the south end also has views to the east and west.

Here are where things begin to get interesting (and circumstantial). In early February the upper end property gossip peeps at Luxury Listings NYC reported that a mystery buyer put both of Mister Jackson's penthouses in contract for an unknown amount.

Rabid gossip glossy readers know that over the last several months the fantastically rich 24-year old crossover pop-country queen whose stock in trade is catchy and vindictive ditties about her former boyfriends was spotted touring expensive properties in downtown Manhattan. In January (2013) she reportedly peeped a 2,900 square foot townhouse on Charlton Street listed for $6.25 million as well as a 4,400 square foot townhouse on on Leroy Street listed for $12 million and once owned by West Side Story writer Arthur Laurents.

Six days ago she was spotted shopping for arts and crafts supplies in SoHo—good grief—and three days ago Your Mama received a covert communique from a gal we'll call Juanita Juanstoknow who wanted to know what we knew about Taylor Swift's new digs in downtown New York. We responded with a resounding, "Whatchu talkin' 'bout Mister Willis?"

It wasn't long before at least one celebrity gossip site reported that that Miss Taylor had purchased an apartment in TriBiCa and then, late last night, Juanita Juanstoknow sent us the address of a chi-chi boutique building in the heart of TriBeCa. This morning, just after the cock crowed, Your Mama got on our battered and bedraggled princess phone and queried a man we call Mirakle Mike who has an uncanny knack for knowing the whereabouts of famous people. Mike told us that he's 100% certain than Miss Swift has been hold up in the same boutique building in TriBeCa that was first fingered by Juanita and happens to be the same building where Mister Peter Jackson's pair of penthouses were recently put into escrow with a mysterious buyer for an unknown amount.

Of course, this is all just some silly celebrity real estate rumor and gossip, and possibly a whole bunch of hooey. Although Your Mama wouldn't bet our long-bodied bitches, it's entirely possible that there's absolutely no connection between Miss Swift and the Peter Jackson penthouses. What we know for sure is that over the last week or two Miss Pop Country Superstar has been repeatedly photographed entering and exiting the boutique building and we also know it's the same boutique building on top of which Mister Jackson's the penthouses sit. Could be she's renting one (or both) of the penthouses. Could be she's renting or bought one of the nine or ten other luxury loft-style apartments in the building. Could be.

And, while it proves nada zip zilch, let's not forget that Miss Swift kinda has a thing for buying (and sometimes selling) multi-million dollar properties. Her property portfolio currently includes a (crazily decorated) duplex penthouse in Nashville, a charming micro-compound in Beverly Hills, and an historic and humongous bluff top mansion in Rhode Island that she bought last year for $17,750,000. So why not also a pair of penthouse in one of the most expensive zip codes in this U-nited States of America? Exactly. Why not.

In case any of y'all might be worried sick that Miss Swift's real estate britches are too pricey for her designer pocketbook, you can just stop that nonsense before you embarrass yourself. Billboard pegged her 2013 income at (the oddly exact) $39,699,575,60 and Forbes estimated her 2013 income may have ballooned to as much as $55 million. Furthermore, in 2012 Billboard reported her income at $35.7 million and Forbes put her 2011 income at $57 million. So, heifers and hodads, whether you like Miss Swift and/or her particular brand of globally revered and bought musical stylings or not, this beotch is rich so—you can trust Your Mama—the young lady can comfortably afford all her fancy houses and these penthouses, too. She can! Don't hate, haters. Okay, you can hate a little because, really, let's get real... Really?

*Mister Jackson reportedly paid around $17 million for the two penthouses in 2007 and had plans drawn up to combine the units into a single, macdaddy loft with more than 8,000 square feet of interior space and 3,000 square feet of roof terrace.

listing photos and floor plan: Corcoran via StreetEasy

Six—Or Maybe Two—Degrees of Celebrity Real Estate Separation: Reese Withespoon

SELLER: Jim Toth
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $1,795,000
SIZE: 1,788 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: In case you don't read the Showbiz trades or peruse the celebrity gossip glossies when you're in line at the supermarket, Jim Toth is Tinseltown A-lister Reese Witherspoon's Hollywood power player husband, a muckety-muck at talent management colossus CAA who hardly lives in the shadow of his wife's Oscar-winning career. (His client lists includes or included Matthew McConaughey, Robert Downey, Jr., Rachel Bilson and Scarlett Johansson.) Anyways, a week or so ago, Mister Toth, now married and making babies with Miz Witherspoon, listed his former bachelor pad on a wickedly twisted cul-de-sac high in the Hollywood Hills with an asking price of $1,795,000.

Property records show Mister Toth purchased the contemporary crib in December 2006 for $1,950,000. If you're paying attention you'll have already noted that, unless his successful real estate agent can secure a sale price higher than it's current $1.795 million asking price, Mister Toth faces a $155,000 loss on the property not counting upkeep expenses, improvement costs and real estate fees.

Current listing details show the two-story house, behind a tall concrete wall and tightly wedged on to a compact, .17 acre kitchen axe shaped parcel, has two en suite bedrooms and a total of three bathrooms in 1,788 square feet. The tidy, glassy and airy interiors were put in place prior to Mister Toth's 2006 acquisition by celebrity designer Darryl Wilson who installed grey oak floors, rift cut oak cabinetry in the kitchen and bathrooms, and stone counter tops with seamless integrated sinks. There are clerestory window topped sliding glass doors, numerous sky-lights and a fireplace in the living room.

The upper level of the house, where the main living spaces and at least one of the bedrooms are located, opens to a slender, cantilevered deck that hugs that rear facade before, outside the master bedroom, it juts out over the yard at tree top level. Down below, the triangular-shaped backyard, surrounded by a towering wall of bamboo, has a flat patch of grass cut by an row of square cut stone stepping stones and a large dining terrace outfitted with a slightly raised circular spa and a built-in fire pit with curved, cushioned for comfort built-in sofa lounge.

For the record, Your Mama has no idea who or if anyone has occupied this residence since Mister Toth moved across town to the West Side and in to Miz Witherspoon's long-time home in Brentwood. Maybe it sat empty or was rented to some young celebrity client of Mister Toth. Perhaps the couple used it to crash after awards ceremonies or work related dinners in West Hollywood. Who knows? Who cares, right?

In other, celebrity real estate news quasi-related to Miz Witherspoon, whackadoodle action flick actor Steven Seagal put Lava Lakes Ranch, his scenically sensational, luxe-rustic 4,400 acre spread near the town of Mt. Shasta in Siskiyou County, CA, up for sale with a $12,000,000 asking price. In addition to the 14,00 square foot main house—a log-built edifice with 11 bedrooms and 12 bathrooms and at least two taxidermied bears standing up like they'd like to maul somebody—the working cattle ranch and nature preserve has a second, 4,200 square foot house with guest house, a barn or two or three and seven lakes that teem with essentially undisturbed wildlife.

And, finally, our big, sad and desperate lurch in this silly game of Six/Two Degrees of Celebrity Real Estate Separation to connect Mister Seagal to Miz Witherspoon... In August 2010, a year before she married Mister Toth, Miz Witherspoon paid Mister Seagal $6.9 for a bucolic 2.53 acre ranchette in the Mandeville Canyon area of Los Angeles. (The estate was previously owned by famously mustachioed actor Tom Selleck.) Presumably in order to to make way for an estate custom-built to her celebrity specifications, she razed the existing residence and most if not all of the other structures and equestrian facilities on the property.

Alas, Miz Witherspoon clearly caught a case of The Celebrity Real Estate Fickle because she quietly sold the increasingly celebrity pedigreed property in early 2013 for $7.5 million to super producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall who, between them have more than a dozen Oscar nominations. (Back in 2011 Mister Marshall and Miz Kennedy sold their Gwathmey Siegel & Associates-designed mansion in Pacific Palisades for $26 million to Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson. Remember that? Anyhoo...) A couple months ago, a the Kennedy-Marshalls flipped the property back on the market with an asking price of $9.75 million and it's still listed for $9.75 million.

Miz Witherspoon owns a nearly 6,500 square foot house in a gated community in Nashville (TN) that she bought back in 2005 for $760,000 but she and Mister Toth (et famille) primarily live in an expensive and quiet gated enclave in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles on a three-parcel spread purchased in three separate transactions between December 2003—when she was still married to her first husband and the father of two of her three children, actor Ryan Phillippe—and late December 2012. All together, by Your Mama's calculations, Miz Witherspoon has spent a total of $11,050,000 for the three properties.

listing photos (Hollywood Hills): The Agency
listing photos (Siskiyou County): Ranch Marketing Associates

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

In Other Multi-Billionaire Related Real Estate News...

....Octogenarian casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson—a college drop out with a fortune recently estimated to be right about $40 billion—quietly snatched up a pair of non-contiguous properties inside the guarded gates of the coveted Colony enclave in Malibu, CA. The seller of both properties, as per property records—and Yolanda Yakketyyak—was octogenarian soap story creator Lee Phillip Bell. More on Miz Bell in a minute.

In early December, 2013, a corporate entity that Yolanda Yakketyyak swore on baby bunnies is controlled by the monumentally rich Mister Adelson and links back to the same Massachusetts address as his other known homes in California and Nevada, paid exactly $12,000,000 for a two-story contemporary beach front cottage with, as per the Los Angeles County Tax Man, three bedrooms and two bathrooms in 2,700-ish square feet.

In a separate, concurrent transaction a second, somewhat similarly named corporate entity—it, too, links back to the aforementioned Massachusetts address—paid Miz Bell an additional $1,350,000 for a tennis court on a quarter-plus acre land-side parcel located across the street and a few doors down from the $12 million house. No babies, that's not the lunchtime booze typing. The slightly more than quarter acre parcel does not have a house or even a pavilion that we can tell, just a chain link fence ringed tennis court.

A few quick tabulations on Your Mama's bejeweled abacus shows Mister Adeleson coughed up a combined $13,350,000 for his two new and non-contiguous properties in the Colony, a whole lotta dough for anyone in the far less financially endowed 99%. At $9 an hour it would take a California minimum wage worker 150,000 working hours to earn $13,350,000.  That's 3,750 40-hour work weeks or, drilling down a bit deeper, more than 72 years of non-stop 40 hour work weeks. Seventy two years! However, hunny boo boos, for a man who the folks at Forbes estimated hauled in an average $32 million a day for the last year or more, thirteen million and change is an unnoticeable pittance. Mister Adelson could drop $13.35 million dollars of the parking lot at the Piggly Wiggly and not ever even know he lost it. Think about that for a minute, butter beans, because no matter what side of the political fence y'all sit those are some stupefying calculations. Anyways...

As it turns out, this isn't the first or only house Mister Adelson and his (medical) doctor second wife, Miriam, own in the Colony. According to our research on the internets the Adelsons have, since at least the early 1990s, owned an oceanfront house in the Colony that the Los Angeles County Tax Man puts at just over 5,000 square feet with three bedrooms and five bathrooms.*

Iffin we're being honest—and we always are—we're not very clear on the entirety of Mister and Missus Adelson's private residential property portfolio but it appears—on the surface, anyway—they actually live quite modestly for people with the pecuniary ability to live higher on the hog than the Queen of England.

Probably the Adelsons maintain luxurious homes in Macao and/or Singapore where Mister Adelson has substantial and extraordinarily lucrative gambling concerns. However, besides their holdings in Malibu the only other home Your Mama is aware of the couple owning is a chunky, curvilinear contemporary in the swanky, guard-gated Tournament Hills development in the Summerlin area of Las Vegas where, in September 2012, the politically active and ultra-conservative big spenders hosted a high-dollar fundraiser for then presidential candidate Mitt Romney that was attended by Anne Romney.**

Property records indicate the couple picked up the house in May 2005 for $5.5 million and, while the figures may (or may not be) be wildly inaccurate, the Clark County Tax Man shows the house sits on a fully landscaped .83 acre parcel that backs up to a ever-green golf course and has five bedrooms, seven full and three half bathrooms, and five fireplaces in 13,990 square feet.

Now, before we get going, let's get back to Miz Bell, now in her mid-80s. In the early 1970s she her deceased husband, William J. Bell, created The Young and the Restless—now in its 41st season with nearly 11,000 episodes, and in the mid 9180s they created The Bold and the Beautiful—now in its 27th season with almost 7,000 episodes in the can. Miz Bell still owns a nearly three acre estate with a nearly 10,000 square foot main house in Beverly Hills where she lived with her late husband and—don'tcha know?—the two properties she just sold to the Adelson's are hardly the only properties she owns in Malibu or even in the Colony. No, siree, Bob!

It's widely rumored that a massive, modern mansion going up on almost six super-prime bluff top acres in the Paradise Cove area of the Bu is being built by Miz Bell—or perhaps one of her children—
and she still owns a quaint, late 1920s ocean front cottage next door to the one she sold to Mister Adelson. As it turns out, the 4 bedroom and three bathroom house in the Colony—one of only seven or eight houses in the community with a private swimming pool—was listed on the open market from last May (2013) with an asking price of $18.9 million. Although the property was taken off the market in early February (2014) property records do not, as of this morning, reflect a transfer of ownership.

*All or none of the figures related to Mister and Missus Adelesons' long-time hideaway in The Colony may or may not be accurate. Just for shits and giggles: In 2009 Mister Adelson filed a $1.6 million lawsuit against a house-building contractor who, he alleged, did such a shoddy job in the mid-1990—that's right, in the mid-1990s—that the exterior surfaces failed and caused excessive damage including mold infestation and contamination. We have no idea what the result of the lawsuit was.

**For any of the children who cares about such things, in 2012 Mister Adelson himself publicly declared he's spend up to $100 million to thwart a second term for President Obama and, in fact, there are scads of rumors and reports that he actually shelled out somewhere in the neighborhood of an absolutely bonkers $150 million during the 2012 election cycle.

Eric Smidt Lists (Village-like) Beverly Park Compound

SELLER: Eric and Susan Smidt
LOCATION: Beverly Hills, CA
PRICE: $45,000,000
SIZE: 11,204 square feet (main house), 10 bedrooms, 17.5 bathrooms (total)

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: In early 2005 discount tool tycoon Eric Smidt—not to be confused, butter beans, with similarly named Google gajillionaire Eric Schmidt*—paid $39,352,500 for a fabled Beverly Hills estate known 'round the world—or at least throughout Tinseltown—as The Knoll.** Mister Smidt and his wife, Susan, quickly embarked on a recently completed an full-scale, down-to-the-studs renovation of the entire property so it comes as no surprise to this property gossip—as we first heard from eagle-eyed informant Bella d'Ball—that they've (finally and) quietly pushed their old compound in the guard-gated Beverly Park development up for sale with an official asking price of $45,000,000.***

As best as Your Mama can tell for a careful parse of the property records Mister Smidt and his wife, Susan, acquired the two parcels that make up their five acre Beverly Park estate in two separate transactions. In July 1995 they paid former professional ice hockey hunk Wayne Gretzky an unknown sum for the smaller of the two parcels and several years later (November 1999) they snatched up the slightly larger second parcel for $3,054,545.

The couple custom-built a sprawling, multi-structure Italianate compound that arguably has more in common with a Tuscan village than what the less well-heeled hoi polloi consider a private residence. In addition to a multi-winged main residence that the Los Angeles County Tax Man pegs at 11,204 square feet, the estate includes two guest houses, an octagonal pool house, staff quarters, and an at-home office complex with three offices and a conference room.

A short, tree-shaded drive and massive gates open to a cobblestone motor court with with central fountain. We counted garage parking for at least nine cars plus extensive secondary and tertiary parking areas that accommodate, according to listing details, upwards of thirty cars. All this discrete, off street parking is a bonus when you own an estate that surely requires a small army of domestic servants, landscape maintenance workers and personal assistants who would otherwise have to park their Hyundai, Kias and Hondas on the street for the neighbors to see. While the L.A. County tax man shows the main house has 7 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms, listing information goes one to reveal there are a total of ten bedrooms and 17.5 bathrooms throughout the property including a master suite with dual bathrooms and dressing rooms.

A double height foyer with dramatic groin vaulted ceiling and over-scaled chevron pattern honey-blond wood floors leads to an almost ecclesiastical, step-down formal living room with marble mantled fireplace, groin-vaulted ceiling, and a trio of wrought iron accented French doors with massive semi-circular transoms. The groin-vaulted ceiling treatment extends into the adjoining formal dining room where listing photos show a round, inlaid marble table surrounded by eight brocade-upholstered chairs. (Your Mama would be shocked—shocked, we tell you—to learn this dining room isn't capable of holding a second, equally sized table so that 16 can comfortably be sat for a sit down dinner.

Online marketing materials go on to mention or pictorially represent a double-height library (with fireplace), a double-island kitchen flanked by a roomy informal dining area and a spacious family room, a (probably temperature controlled) wine cellar, and a plush screening room done in decadent shades of blood. Not shown in photographs but mentioned in listing descriptions is a "coiffure salon" because when you're this rich and pampered you do not hump down the hill to slum it with the hoi polloi at Frederick Fekkai, you pay extra and dearly to have Fredrick Fekkai come to you and do up your do in your privacy of your own hair salon, right?****

The lavishly landscaped and painstakingly maintained grounds include numerous hedge-lined lawns, vast terraces and shaded loggias for outdoor entertaining, several parterre gardens with obelisks and fountains, a raised bed kitchen garden and small citrus grove, a swimming pool, and a lighted tennis court.

Since its inception in the early1990s Beverly Park has been much coveted by celebrities, foreign potentates and other captains of their industries who have a thing for privacy, security and palatial mansions. Current residents include (but are far from limited to) Sumner Redstone, Sylvester Styllone, Paul Rieser, Denzel Washington, (Prince) Alex von Fürstenberg, Haim Saban, Bruce Makowsky, Jami Gertz (and her financier hubby), Rod Stewart, Ron Tutor, Avi Arad, Reba McEntire, and Eddie Murphy.

There are not, as far as we can tell, any Beverly Park estates currently listed on the open market although we're sure that if you know who to call there are at least several that are available as off-market whisper listings. This scarcity of available estates is good for the Smidts but what's maybe not so good for them is that the last few sold for substantially less than the $45 million price tag they've slapped on their double-lot spread.

In June 2012 Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Paul Nassif and entrepreneurial former Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast member Adrienne Maloof—since bitterly divorved—sold their approximately 13,000 square foot faux-French chateau for $19.5 million to a U.S.-based Pakistani textile tycoon. A few months later producer Lili Zanuck—her late husband was producer Richard Zanuck—sold her nearly 12,000 square foot red-brick Georgian for $20,000,000 to a foreign buyer who—we've been repeatedly told—would like to knock it down and build something much larger and far more modern.

In June 2012 mid-priced handbag designer turned high end house flipper Bruce Makowsky paid comedian Martin Lawrence for $17,200,000 for a 13,000+ square foot mansion that he sold just a year later for $24 million to—so the scuttlebutt goes—György Gattyán, an unusually handsome and often scruffy-faced billionaire who is one of Hungary's wealthiest men. The most recent Beverly Park sale that this property gossip knows went down in early March of this year (2014) when former professional baseballer Barry Bonds sold his 17,000-ish square foot Mediterranean manse for $22,000,000.

In addition to their pair of high maintenance estates in Beverly Hills and Bevelry Park, Mister and Missus Smidt also own a contemporary, ocean front compound on Malibu's quickly disappearing Broad Beach that that they scooped up in 2003 for $14,950,000. It's right next door to Steven Spielberg's even larger ocean front spread and just a few doors down from Pierce Brosnan's Balinese-y beach house-mansion.

*Eric Schmidt—not to be confused with Eric Smidt—is a software engineer who's currently the executive chairman of Google who maintains whole bunch of of high priced homes that include (but may not be limited to) a compound in über-affluent Atherton, CA, a stunning, high-maintenance estate in Montecito, CA, that he picked up in 2007 from inveterate house hopper and chat show host Ellen DeGeneres, and a large in-town house in Nantucket (MA) where we've been told but can't confirm Mister Schmidt's estranged missus, Wendy, spends a great deal of her time. Then there's the 6,000 square foot duplex penthouse in Manhattan's Flatiron District he reportedly picked up in mid-2011 for $14.6 million and last month the Mister Schmidt shelled out $22 million for Gregory Peck's former manse in the Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles that happens to be just down the street from the A. Quincy Jones designed house Ellen DeGeneres and Porta Di Rossi DeGeneres picked up a few months ago for almost $40 million. But we digress...

**The Knoll was designed by architect Roland Coates and built in the 1950s for oil-rich widow Lucy (Smith) Doheny Battson and her financier  (second) husband, Leigh Battson. The 10-ish acre spread was later owed by movie producer Dino De Laurentiis, country music honcho Kenny Rogers, and the late (and famously rotund) oilman turned Hollywood power broker Marvin Davis and his philanthropic wife Barbara. The Smidts hired esteemed architects (William) Hablinkski and (Richard) Manion to transform the original 27,000 square foot streamlined contemporary Georgia into a white brick Regency residence.

***Some of the children may recall that Your Mama heard word more than a year ago that Mister and Missus Smidt planned to slap a forty-or-so million dollar price tag on their Beverly Park compound.

****Use your noggins, children. Your Mama really has no idea if Mister and/or Mister Smidt have their hair cut by Frederic Fekkai or any other name brand hair care specialist but given that they installed a "coiffure salon" in their home it's a pretty safe bet they do, at least occasionally, bring in professionals people to cut and coiffure their hair. Anyways...

listing photos: Nick Springett for Coldwell Banker
aerial image (bottom): Google

Monday, March 24, 2014

Berry Gordy Lists Century City Crash Pad

SELLER: Berry Gordy, Jr.
LOCATION: Century City, CA
PRICE: $1,995,00
SIZE: 2,200 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Your Mama heard word from a kindly informant—let's call her Fannie D. Flames—who lets us know via covert communique that veteran music industry éminence grise Berry Gordy, founder of the seminal Motown record label, put a two-unit combo condo he owns at the snazzy (if somewhat geriatric), I.M. Pei-designed Century Towers complex in L.A.'s Century City on the open market with an asking price of $1,995,000.

Mister Gordy, a vibrant and eternally youthful octogenarian, a confirmed vegan and, back in his virile heyday, a prolific spawner—the man has eight children with six women including a daughter with Motown Highness Herself, Diana Ross,* may have acquired the mid-floor unit as far back as 1993 but we're really not sure since—in all honesty—the murky property records have this boozy property gossip a bit bamboozled.

Naturally, we queried Miz Flames as to why Mister Gordy needed with a condo in Century City when he already owns a multi-acre estate just five miles to the northwest and she told us, "It's a crash pad." We don't really know what that means, "a crash pad," or why one needs a damn crash pad just five miles from home but far be it from Your Mama to make any damn sense of the wacky real estate ways of the rich and/or famous.

Current listing details show Mister Gordy's Century City—ahem—crash pad is a combination of two units that span 2,200 square feet with three bedrooms and 3.25 bathrooms. A careful perusal of the the floor plan included with digital marketing details, however, shows Mister Berry configured his Century City combo condo to have just one bedroom and there are, in functional actuality, 3.5 bathrooms. A second (potential) bedroom is outfitted as an office and a third (potential) bedroom appears in listing photos as some sort of sitting room/chess playing chamber. Should the buyer care to, both rooms are quickly and inexpensively converted back to bedrooms.

Listing photos show empty walk-in closets in the master bedroom that suggest—but do not exactly prove—Mister Gordy and/or whomever else occupied and/or made temporary use of this apartment has done decamped. You Mama hopes that along with his apparel he also took his fabulous day-core because let's be honest, dandelion greens—the monochromatically beige place show in listing photos is about as thrilling as a 280-page dissertation on toenail clipping practices during the Renaissance.

A small foyer with inlaid stone tile floor and free-standing curved volume (that may or may not contain a coat closet) opens directly into a loft-like (if low-ceilinged) open-plan living space that is more than 40 feet long and 30 feet wide with a couple of wide expanses of floor-to-ceiling windows with unobstructed eastern views towards the Sunset Strip and Hollywood Hills.

The contiguous "formal" living and dining areas have travertine (or some other sort of stone) tile laid at a 45-degree angle while the also contiguous but more casual family room area and kitchen have dark chocolate colored (faux) rusticated wide-plank wood floors. There's (an inexplicably) coffered ceiling in the family room area along with a wall-wide built-in entertainment unit with flush-mounted wide-screen television.

A long, double-wide island with 3-4 stool snack counter separates the family room area from a nicely- if generically-equipped and entirely earth-toned kitchen fitted with medium-grade appliances, ordinary looking although probably custom and expensive brown cabinets, and dark speckled light beige granite counter tops with a tumbled travertine back splash.

Double doors open to a small entry vestibule in the master bedroom that includes an adjoining private sitting room, private veranda, two fitted walk-in closets, and a meretriciously glitzy, wall-papered bathroom with double-sink vanity, separate crapper cubby, and a separate bathtub and shower set up.

Residents of the guard-gated, twin towered residential complex pay high HOAs—Mister Gordy's are $2,873 according to listing details—for full-service amenities that include 24-7 security, doormen and concierge services, valet parking, two tennis courts, an outdoor swimming pool and sunbathing deck, a resident's only fitness center with Finnish sauna, a small putting green, and extensive grounds that include landscaped gardens, flat lawns and at least one civic-sized fountain.

A short list of some of the notable folks who have resided in the Century Towers complex includes Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Mister Gordy's fifth baby momma Diana Ross, Karen Carpenter, Burt Lancaster, and Platinum Triangle real estater (and Million Dollar Listing cast member) Josh Flagg. Mister Flagg, who recently moved to a Spanish bungalow just above the Sunset Strip that he acquired last year for $1.6 million from Tinseltown scion David Katzenberg, sold his high-glam spread last year for $1.3 million. As far as we know, his sassy and savvy nonagenarian grandmother, former fashion designer and polyester pioneer Edith Flagg, remain in residence in the penthouse of one of the towers. The other penthouse is owned, so our resources and research reveals, by Dani Janssen—widow of famously luxe living actor David Janssen—who is well known in Showbiz circles for her annual, invite-only and triple a-list attended post-Oscar party.

As we mentioned earlier, in addition to his Century City crash pad that he's now got up for sale, Mister Gordy owns a three-parcel gated estate in Bel Air that Your Mama's calculations on our bejeweled abacus indicate spans just over four acres and includes, as per the L.A. County Tax Man, a nearly 10,000 square foot main manse with thirteen bedrooms and nine bathrooms. Property records suggest Mister Gordy also owns a much less substantial adjoining achored by a 5,203 square foot residence.

*Mister Gordy's youngest son, Stefan Kendal, is more popularly known as the clown clothes wearing and afro-maned Redfoo of the Grammy-nominated hip-hoppy electropop duo LMFAO as well as the romantic paramour of (crazily screechy) professional tennis queen Victoria Azarenka.

listing photos and floor plan: Douglas Elliman

Friday, March 21, 2014

BIll Hader Buys Pacific Palisades Cape Cod

BUYER: Bill Hader and Maggie Carrie
LOCATION: Pacific Palisades, CA
PRICE: $3,050,000
SIZE: 3,400 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: It was from Yolanda Yakketyyak—natch—that Your Mama first heard word that Emmy-winning actor/voice actor/writer Bill Hader—he recently ended an eight-year run on Saturday Night Live—and his filmmaker wife Maggie Carrie shelled out $3,050,000 for a freshly constructed faux-Cape Cod in the L.A.'s posh, ocean-side community of Pacific Palisades.*

Now children, we don't want to hate on Mister Hader because we like him. Well, we don't know him personally, of course, but we like him, none the less. We think he's a talented young man with a talented young wife who we would bet the devil individually possess far more talent in their baby toes than Your Mama does in our entire (and expanding) body. However, for a couple with such active and creative imaginations it's just so ordinary. Expensive and luxurious and—one hopes—well built it surely is but, still, quotidian in extremis, like it belongs in a gated and densely built upscale housing tract. You know it does. Plus, there's not even a pool or, as far as we know, a spa and the front door opens rudely right into the "formal" living room. Call Your Mama a useless snob—and we've been called so much worse, children—but for three million clams, even and in particularly in Los Angeles, we want a pool and a goddamn proper foyer or entrance hall.

Of course, our silly opinion on the matter matters not even a tiny bit. The sale price of a home is largely determined by location and what the market will bear and this house, in a much-coveted if tightly packed Pac Pal 'hood, appears to have been hotly desired by multiple interested parties because our research indicates Mister Hader and Miz Carrie paid $155,000 more than the last published asking price of $2,895,000. Bam! Told you what Your Mama thinks is just a bunch of hooey.

Listing details show the two-story house has five bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms in about 3,400 square feet. The front if the house is defined and—let's be honest—overwhelmed by a two car garage and a storage shed-sized front yard girdled by a white picket fence. Medium toned wood floors run throughout the main floor living spaces and there are (gas) fireplaces in the formal living room at the front of the house and in the family room area at the rear. The family room is opens to a marble-countered and walk-in pantry-equipped center island kitchen and adjoining breakfast nook. French doors open to a trellis-shaded deck that overlooks a compact but very verdant backyard area where there's probably just about enough room to squeeze in a plunge pool and four-person spa with a whisper of space to spare.

This property gossip has no knowledge of the Hader-Carrie couple owning or previously owning any residential real estate—or any real estate of any kind, really—but that does not, of course, mean they don't maintain a property portfolio worthy of a hardcore real estate baller.

*Property records on this one are pretty dang opaque, butter beans so, for the record, Your Mama can't positively connect Mister Hader or Miz Carrie directly to the Pac Pal property in question but Yolanda tells us she's "100% positive"and y'all can believe, hunties, that Yolanda ain't in this crazy-ass racket to be wrong, damnit. Okay? Okay.

listing photos: Mark Singer Photography for Coldwell Banker

Robbie Williams Sells Vacant Lot

SELLER: Robbie Williams
BUYER: Eddie Aslanian
LOCATION: Beverly Hills (Post Office)
SIZE: 3.12 acres

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: It's no secret amongst property gossips and those that follow such trivialities that British pop star Robbie Williams owns an almost 11,000 square foot house in the guard-gated—and bizarrely crime-riddled—Mulholland Estates community in the Beverly Hills Post Office area* that he picked up in July 2002 for $5.4 million from veteran country music superstar Clint Black and flaxen-maned actress Lisa Hartmann Black.

Last May, it was widely nattered and chattered about in property gossip column in Los Angeles and London (and beyond) that Mister Williams sold a two-parcel compound with multiple residences and a private soccer pitch on Mulholland Drive—less than a mile from his Mulholland Estates manse—for $3.7 million to a non-celebrity couple.**

What is less known is that back in early 2008 Mister Williams quietly acquired a vacant, 3.12 acre residential parcel tucked down a long private driveway at the northern tail of the Mulholland Estates development. We're not sure how much Mister Williams paid for the private promontory with unobstructed 180-degree views over the San Fernando Valley but we do know that he unsuccessfully attempted to sell the property several times including in April 2012 when it was listed for $8.5 million. Your Mama's internet research shows the property was last officially listed on the open market in September 2012 with an asking price of $7.9 million and property records reveal the buyer paid exactly $7 million for the property in January 2014.

The buyer, as per property records, is a Las Vegas corporate entity that not only does good ol' Yolanda Yakketyyak swear is controlled by venture capitalist Eddy Aslanian but is tied to a Las Vegas address easily linked to Mister Aslanian. Whether Mister Aslanian is (or is not) acting on behalf of a consortium of investors and what he plans to do (or not do) with the property is a mystery, at least to this property gossip.

Mister Aslanian's name probably rings a bell with some of the children because he's the same fella who last December (2013) managed to get software heiress and accomplished film producer Megan Ellison to cough up an $20 million for a crazy-ass and very visible house in the Hollywood Hills where Mister Aslanian was well known by Angelenos of a certain ilk for throwing raucous—and, some have snitched to Your Mama, sometimes raunchy—parties.

Mulholland Estates has long attracted celebs and other high profile people. Immediately next door to Mister Aslanian's newly purchased bare patch of dirt is the 16,000 square foot mansion that recently divorced former Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast member—and carefree cougar—Adrienne Maloof picked up last year for $13.4 million. Whackadoodle sitcom star Charlie Sheen owns a couple of mansions in the 'hood, Paris Hilton still owns the one that was repeatedly burgled by the notorious Bling Ring and, last year, (2013) X-Tina (Aguilera) shelled out $10 million for an 11,000+ square foot residence. The world's most famous letter turner, Vanna White, has lived in her nearly 9,000 square foot mock-Med macmansion since she bought it in the fall of 2001 for $3.4 million from singer/songwriter and apparently retired actress Crystal Bernard.

*Before any of y'all area and zip code fanatics take Your Mama to task for our L.A.-specific  real estate ignorance, know that we know that, technically, the Mulholland Estates development is not in Beverly Hills or even the Beverly Hills Post Office (BHPO). It's actually in Sherman Oaks, a perfectly lovely and partly upscale semi-suburban community in the San Fernando Valley that, like it or not, has long been popular with Tinseltown types. However Sherman Oaks's 91423 zip code nor its 818 area code carry the same international renown or, generally speaking, pull down the same sort of residential real estate sale prices as the 213 area coded Bev Hills and/or the also 213 area coded BHPO. So, somehow, no doubt much to the chagrin of many but to the multi million dollar delight of residents, the developers of Mulholland Estates managed, somehow—in a most honorable fashion we have to believe—to secure a Beverly Hills zip code, if not a 213 area code, for the enclave. 

**Mister Williams is a semi-permanent fixture in property gossip columns in both the United States and the U.K. In 2008 Your Mama revealed the former boy bander's intention to buy a big mock-Med mansion in Beverly Park. (He did not follow through with the purchase.) He bought a 70-plus acre country estate in Compton Bassett (Wiltshire) in 2009 and has been trying to sell it for years with ever lower asking prices. As far as we know it remains unsold but that didn't stop he and wife Ayda from splashing out about £17.5 million last December (2013) for a somewhat legendary, 46-room mansion in London's Holland Park.

listing photos: The Agency