Thursday, January 31, 2013

Keyshawn Johnson Re-Lists Calabasas Albatross

SELLER: Keyshawn Johnson
LOCATION: Calabasas, CA
PRICE: $10,500,000
SIZE: 11,746 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 7 full and 2 half bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Yesterday Your Mama discussed the Pacific Palisades mansion that Miami-based professional basketball player Chris Bosh bought late last year for $9.4 million and currently has up for lease at $45,000 per month. Today, much to our own surprise since we're not very athletically inclined, we've decided to continue in the professional athlete real estate vein and discuss the Calabasas, CA estate listed in early December 2012 for $10,500,000 by former professional footballer turned television commentator Keyshawn Johnson.

This isn't, as it turns out, the first time at the real estate rodeo for Mister Johnson and his custom built Calabasas crib. In fact, the Superbowl winning former wide receiver has been trying to unload his real estate albatross in Calabasas since at least March 2011 when it was unsuccessfully heaved on the open market with an asking price of $11,995,000. By late 2011 the price tag had plummeted to $9,500,000 but, alas... In early 2012 the hard-to-sell estate popped back up on the open market with a surprisingly higher $10,995,000 asking price that ten months later was dropped to it's current $10.5 million.

The difficulty Mister Johnson has had selling his big ol' house in the guard-gated Oaks community isn't even the most interesting part of the story though, children. Property records show Mister Johnson purchased the then vacant 1.86 acre property in April—or maybe August—2004 for an undisclosed amount of money. By early 2007, according to online documentation we perused, Mister Johnson had secured at least six million dollars in mortgages against the property, presumably for the construction of the residence.

For reasons Your Mama can't possibly know or fathom, especially since he surely earned many millions during his 11 seasons as a professional pig skinner, by late 2009 Mister Johnson fallen enough behind on his mortgage payment(s) that his lender began the ugly foreclosure process. The property was scheduled to be auctioned on the third of June 2010 but sometime before that happened, Mister Johnson must have made good on mortgage because by late June the foreclosure wolves had been called off with a Notice of Rescission recorded on the tenth of June.

Anyhoo, while Your Mama might describe it in less flattering terms, current listing information describes the 11,746 square foot Richard Landry-designed residence as a "Contemporary, Mediterranean" that was completed in 2011 and includes six bedrooms and seven full and two half bathrooms.

The double-height foyer, study/library and formal living and dining areas are complimented, according to listing information, by less formal family quarters that include a colossal and contemporary double-island kitchen that opens to a spacious family room, a media/game room, home theater/multi-purpose room, a bonus room and a home spa and exercise room set up with sauna.

Additional amenities listed in marketing materials include an elevator, a gated driveway with garage space for four cars, various fruit and shade trees, guest/staff quarters and a whole house sound system.

Steel framed windows and doors connect the luxurious interior spaces to the expansive outdoor entertaining spaces that include a wide terrace that hugs the back of the house, a covered veranda with outdoor fireplace and long views over the surrounding mountains, a broad free-form lawn area, a built-in barbecue center, a lighted sunken basketball court, an extra-long rectangular swimming pool with inset spa and plenty of sunbathing space and and adjacent cabana/gazebo.

Far be it from Your Mama to place any kind of value on a property—all property is worth, of course, as much as someone will pay for it—but a few minutes research on the interweb indicates that Mister Johnson and his extremely successful real estate agent(s) may have a tough time getting someone to cough up more than ten million clams for his Calabasas mansion considering it's current price tag is substantially higher, according to the peeps at Redfin, than any other sale in Calabasas in the last three years.

In the last three years, according to Redin, there are only four recorded sales in Calabasas above six million dollars, all of them in gated enclave known as the Estates at The Oaks where—lucky for him—Mister Johnson's mansion is also located. In July 2010 professional baseball pitcher Jeff Suppan and his wife Dana scooped up a 10,816 square foot faux Italian macmansion with six bedrooms and seven full and two half bathrooms for $6,250,000.

Property records (and previous reports) reveal the following January (2011) chat show host Phil McGraw and wife Robin shelled out $6,575,000 for an 11,127 square foot mansion on more than three acres. So the stories go, the six bedroom and 8.5 bathroom pseudo Tuscan villa was purchased for their television producer son Jay McGraw and his former Playboy Playmate wife Erica Dahm.

In April 2012,18-year old bubble gum pop super star Justin Bieber paid $6.5 million for a very grown up 1.28 acre spread with a 9,214 square foot mansion that includes six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, six fireplaces, two three-car garages, an elevator, a movie theater, a second floor game room, a family room with wet bar and wine cellar—somewhat ironic since he's not even close to being old enough to imbibe booze legally—and a poolside guest casita with outdoor living room and a complete indoor kitchen.

The most recent and most expensive purchase in the Estates at the Oaks enclave occurred just last November (2012) when a wealthy businessman paid an abnormally high $9,200,000 for a single story architectural pastiche of a mansion with seven bedrooms and seven full and two half bathrooms in 11,649 square feet. The seller, according to property records we peeped, was tax consultant Ramin Salari. Mister Salari's name won't ring a bell for most of the children but Los Angeles-based real estate watchers may recall Mister Ramin reportedly paid $185,000 in bribes to L.A. County Tax Assessor John Noguez in exchange for reduced property taxes for his wealthy clients. But that's another sordid real estate story for another blog...

Your Mama, who does not know a pencil from a pinhead, has no idea if Mister Johnson lives in this house or if he ever even intended to occupy the premises. What we do know based upon a care perusal of property record data bases is that he maintains some sort of ownership in at least one other luxurious Los Angeles area residence including a 6,549 square foot house in Tarzana that he bought way back in December 1996 for $1,143,000.

Propety records also reveal that back in December 2004 Mister Johnson sold an 11,206 square foot mansion with six bedrooms and nine bathrooms in the guard-gated Beverly Ridge community for $10,500,000. The modern Mediterranean mansion is currently back on the market for lease at $75,000 per month and for sale at $11,750,000, reduced from $13,750,000. The house was later (and very briefly) owned by Greek shipping heir Paris Latsis and was used as the Esquire House by Esquire magazine. It's also just down the street from the massive mega-mansion recently completed by Showbiz tycoon Tyler Perry.

listing photos: Prudential California Realty

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Professional Hoopster Chris Bosh Puts Pacific Palisades Mansion Up for Lease

OWNER: Chris Bosh
LOCATION: Pacific Palisades
PRICE: $45,000 per month
SIZE: 10,755 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: All the children know that Your Mama don't know a football from a baseball bat. So, when our magnificently prolific informant Yolanda Yakketyak sent over a covert communique to tell us that the resort-like mock-Med mansion in Pacific Palisades, CA that professional basketball player Chris Bosh and his new-ish missus Adrienne quietly purchased late last year for $9,400,000 has popped up for lease at $45,000 per month we said, "Who da hell is Chris Bosh?"

Well, turns out six-foot-eleven inch Mister Bosh is really somebody in the professional basketball world. The native Texan started out his professional hoopster career with the Toronto Raptors back in 2003 but he currently dribbles shoots and passes for the Miami Heat.

The eight-time NBA All-Star is reportedly set to earn $17,545,000 for the 2012/13 season, not counting any endorsements he may have. Well compensated Mister Bosh's annual salary is scheduled to rise to more than $22 million for the 2015-16 season so, make no mistake butter beans, the towering power forward can well afford a nearly $9.5 million dollar house in Pacific Palisades not to mention the very contemporary $12-plus million bay front mansion he already owns in Miami Beach. (More on that manse in a minute.)

Property records reveal the seller, Korean-born steel tycoon Steven Koh, Ph.D., purchased the 1.73 acre knoll-top estate, located at the tail end of a gated cul-de-sac and not very cleverly dubbed Villa Cielo, in September 2005 for $12,500,000. That means, according to the well-worn beads of Your Mama's bejeweled abacus, that Dr. Koh took a punishing $3,100,000 financial gut punch when he sold the lavishly fitted mansion to Mister and Missus Bosh.

Listing information kindly provided by Yolanda shows the two-story, tile-roofed Mediterranean-ish mansion was built in 2001, measures in at a substantial 10,755 square feet and contains a total of six bedrooms and eight full bathrooms, a count that Your Mama thinks but isn't sure encompasses the fully equipped staff quarters.

A double-height rotunda entry with a sweeping, wrap-around staircase leads to the many and various living and entertaining spaces that include a formal living with fireplace, a formal dining room with an upsetting tented ceiling, a sky-lit center island kitchen with all the commercial-style stainless steel appliances money can buy and a large library/office with book shelf flanked fireplace, partially paneled walls and a built in aquarium that surely requires a part-time expert to take care of.

An open-concept built-in wet bar separates the living room from the billiard room and a small but expensively equipped movie theater has a state-of-the-art sound and projection system and plush, burnt caramel-colored leather recliner seats with built-in cup holders.

The master suite takes up the entire second floor, according to listing information, and includes an over-sized bedroom with sitting area and fireplace, dual bathrooms and an exceptionally spacious fitted walk-in closet/dressing rooms, a fully-equipped adjoining gym and both indoor and outdoor spas. The master suite opens to a crescent-shaped private terrace with panoramic views of the mountains and mansion-dotted canyons that tumble down to the glittering Pacific Ocean.

The back of the house opens up to deep shaded verandas, at least one of which has an outdoor fireplace. The various verandas and tented pavilions ring a gigantic infinity-edged free-form resort style swimming pool complete with a sunken palapa-covered swim up bar, a super-sized circular spa and a sunken banquette-surrounded fire pit set in the middle of the pool. There's also an outdoor shower and a large outdoor eating area with full outdoor kitchen with pizza oven.

We're not sure why Mister and Missus Bosh would spend nearly ten million bucks on a fancy mansion in Pacific Palisades only to turn around and try to lease it out for $45,000 per month, but if Your Mama has said it once we've said it ten thousand times: It's generally frustrating and futile operation to try and makes sense of the wacky real estate ways of the rich and famous.

Presumably Mister and Missus Bosh live primarily in Miami Beach where in September 2010 they coughed up $12,333,000 for a gated and glassy 12,368 square foot modern mansion (above) with—according to old marketing materials still available online—seven bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a water-side negative edge swimming pool, a spa with adjacent outdoor fireplace, a pool side pavilion with built-in outdoor kitchen and a private dock for parking the water craft.

listing photos (Pacific Palisades): Sotheby's International Realty
listing photos (Miami Beach): London Realty Group (via Zillow)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Irving Azoff Shakes Up Real Estate Portfolio

A well-connected real estate canary we'll call Aston Martin recently sent Your Mama a covert communique to let us know that word on the Platinum Triangle real estate street is that music industry veteran Irving Azoff and his missus Shelli are in the mood to shake up their extensive property portfolio.

In case any of y'all don't know, Mister Azoff was named by the folks at Billboard as the most powerful person in the music industry for 2012. Not only has he represented the professional interests of an almost endless list of high profile recording artists and groups such as Christina Aguilera, Guns N' Roses, Morrissey the Eagles, Seal, Van Halen, Neil Diamond and New Kids on the Block, until the end of 2012 he was the Executive Chairman of the music industry juggernaut now known as Live Nation Entertainment.

Mister and Missus Azoffs recently sold an ocean front house on swanky Carbon Beach for $10,000,000 to an obviously very successful attorney and now—according to our Mister Martin—the couple are seriously considering coughing up around $16,000,000 to acquire a one story contemporary villa next door to the Playboy Mansion in the hoity toity Holmby Hills 'hood. The property is currently listed at $18,500,000.

The reason for the purchase, according to our Mister Martin, is that the pecunious pair need a plush place to temporarily reside while their posh primary residence—a hulking, 12,600-plus square foot Tudor-style pile in Beverly Hills*—gets a multi-year make over.

Listing information shows the 9,632 square foot contemporary Mediterranean villa the Azoff's are thinking of acquiring was originally built in 1932, sits on 1.49 meticulously manicured acres and has five bedrooms and seven bathrooms including a master suite with dual bathrooms. Listing information goes on to indicate there's a staff suite and an attached wing that contains a family room, office and three more guest bedrooms with en suite bathrooms. The property also has a full-sized gym with bathroom, swimming pool with pool house and a separate guest house with living room and kitchen.

Property records reveal the seller is businessman John Pourmoradi who earned his fortune primarily distributing wholesale merchandise to discount, drug and dollar stores and purchased the property way back in August 1998 for $4,000,000.

A little peeping and poking around various property record data bases shows that in addition to their 1932 Tudor in Beverly Hills Mister and Missus Azoff's fat property portfolio still includes—but is not limited to—a 12-plus acre spread in the mountains above Malibu, a couple of houses in La Quinta, CA including a recently erected 17,000-plus square foot residence on 1.52 golf course fronting acres in the guard gated Madison Club community in La Quinta, CA and a ski chalet on six-or-so acres in Snowmass, CO.

Now children, use yer noggins. We haven't any reason to doubt the intel provided by Aston Martin but for now this ain't nuthin' but some high-priced conjecture and rumor at this point, okay?

*Fun but useless real estate tidbit: It was at Mister and Missus Azoff's Beverly Hills estate where Khloe Kardashian wed L.A. Laker Lamar Odom in September 2009.

listing photos: Coldwell Banker

Peter Morton Does It In Trousdale Estates

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

listing photos: Coldwell Banker

Monday, January 28, 2013

Your Mama Hears...

...from Bob N. Weave, a well-connected real estate tattle tale who has provided us with accurate intel in the past, that tool and die tycoon Eric Smidt and wife Susan are fixin' to hoist their big ol' compound-like estate (above) in the garishly swanky guard-gated Beverly Park community on the market with an asking price somewhere in the neighborhood of $40,000,000.

Mister and Missus Smidt's sprawling two-parcel compound comprises more than six acres and, as best as we can tell from a perusal of various property record data bases, the couple picked up the first of their two Beverly Park parcels July 1995 from ice hockey honcho Wayne Gretzky for an undisclosed amount of dough. They subsequently scooped up the the adjacent parcel, in November 1999, for just over three million smackers.

The L.A. County Tax Man indicates the seven bedroom and ten bathroom multi-winged main mansion was built in the late 1990s and, at 11,204 square feet, is actually quite modest by the famously steroidal standards of Beverly Park where a fair number of the super-sized single family abodes top 25,000 square feet. Property records also show the compound includes at least one other secondary structure with an additional two bedrooms and five bathrooms in 3,863 square feet of interior space.

That Mister and Missus Smidt would like to unload their custom-built compound in Beverly Park should come as no surprise to Platinum Triangle property watchers who are well aware the lavish living couple also own The Knoll, the storied Beverly Hills mega-estate they bought from oil baron turned Showbiz tycoon Marvin Davis in February 2005 for—according to the folks at Blockshopper—$39,352,500.

The L.A. County Tax Man shows Mister and Missus Smidt—who spent years and Lord only knowns how many millions on a soup-to-nuts renovation that reportedly changed the original 25,000-plus square foot Georgian mega-mansion into an even larger white brick Regency style pile—shelled out $472,540 and eighteen cents in property taxes in 2010.

The Knoll, one of Los Angeles' most illustrious homes was originally built in the 1950s for Lucy Doheny Batson—the wealthy widow of oil heir Ned Doheny—and was later owned by Italian-born movie producer Dino De Laurentiis who sold it to country music king Kenny Rogers in 1980 for $14,500,000. It was Mister Rogers who sold The Knoll to Marvin and Barbara Davis in 1984 for $20,250,000.

Mister and Missus Smidt also maintain an ocean front residence a few doors down for Pierce Brosnan on Malibu's quickly disappearing Broad Beach that they snatched up in early 2003 for $14,950,000.

Now children, keep in mind that at this poing this is all just just high-priced real estate rumor and gossip; We're just passing along a tidbit we heard from someone who plays in the same sandbox as all the Platinum Triangle real estate big mommas and mack-daddies. We wouldn't bet money on it but for all Your Mama really knows Mister and Missus Smidt plan to keep their Bev Park property to house their domestic staff.

aerial photo: Google

Jude Law Lists in London's Maida Vale

SELLER: Jude Law
LOCATION: London (Maida Vaile), U.K.
PRICE: £4,350,000
SIZE: 4-5 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms*

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: About two years ago, two-time Oscar nominated British actor Jude Law and his on-again/off-again/on-again gal-pal Siena Miller picked up a £7-plus million property in North London's hoity-toity and star-studded Highgate neighborhood.

We don't know when or if Mister Law (and Miss Miller) moved into their big new house in Highgate  where some of the neighboring residences are owned by folks like supermodel Kate Moss, actor Clive Owens, pop star George Michael and veteran rock star Sting and wife Trudy Styler but thanks to an English informant we'll call Bree Tish we've learned that Mister Law has listed his four-floor, Grade II listed Georgian style house on the border between London's natty Maida Vale nabe and the even more posh St. John's Wood 'hood.

Online listings forwarded by Miss Tish show the asking price set at £4,350,000. A few quick clicks on Your Mama's trusty currency conversion contraption shows that equals $6,869,910 (U.S.) at today's rates.

According to Miss Tish, Mister Law's walled and gated residence sits on a very busy thoroughfare across from a high-rise social housing complex. Not the most elegant location but as anyone who'se ever lived in a major metropolitan area, urban living sometimes pushes the privileged up against the less financially fortunate.

Anyhoo, a good-sized gated and graveled motor court with what appears to be a single car garage in front provides enviably generous off-street parking and the rear garden extends a unusually deep 144-feet.

Listing information indicates the raised main floor contains an entrance hall with powder pooper and a double reception room, both filled with all sorts of interesting unusual objects like an over-sized Pez dispenser, an under-sized Foosball machine, a classic Eames lounger, lots of artwork both on the walls and leaning against the walls and scores of books stacked on just about every flat surface. The children will note that the decidedly eclectic decorative chaos is cleverly balanced by matching circular mirrors mounted above the simple fireboxes that anchor the outer wall of each room.

As best as Your Mama can tell from listing information, the partially subterranean lower ground floor contains a guest/staff bedroom, utility rooms, a family room with blood red walls and an all-glass garden view conservatory-style dining room furnished a giant farmhouse table. Also on the lower ground floor—we think—is a U-shaped kitchen with a country house meets city living vibe that's expensively outfitted with slate tile floors, crisp white Shaker style cabinetry, gleaming black granite counter tops, a white porcelain farmhouse style sink and high-grade stainless steel appliances. Regrettably the cabinets stop just shy of the ceiling, a ugly situation that creates a hard-to clean space ripe for growing buffalo sized dust bunnies.

Marketing materials and listing photographs suggest there are two guest/family bedrooms that share a bathroom/shower room plus a master suite with attached dressing room and en suite facility. It's not the low ceilings or the deep burgundy-colored walls in the master bedroom that make Your Mama most squeamish but rather all that stuff tucked up under the bed. If there's anything we loathe more than a lethal-looking pot rack in the kitchen it's a bunch of visible shit shoved up underneath a bed.

The affluent and centrally located Maida Vale neighborhood has long attracted high-profile Showbizzers. Some of the past and present residents with recognizable names include actor Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Victoria Secret bra and panty model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, wacky Icelandic singer Björk, brilliant comedienne Jennifer Saunders, The Cure's lipstick wearing front man Robert Smith and iconic actor John Inman.

*We're not 100% sure the actual count is four-to-five bedrooms and three-point-five bathrooms. We've come up with that number based on a careful parse of somewhat vague online marketing materials which aren't—as it turns our—terribly specific abotu such things.

listing photos: Ian Green Residential

Friday, January 25, 2013

Big Time Banker John J. Mack Lists Duplex Penthouse

SELLER: John J. and Christy Mack
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: $22,500,000
SIZE: 3,650 square feet, 4 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms (plus a staff suite)

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Back in the fall of 2009, former Morgan Stanley CEO John J. Mack and his wife Christy (reportedly and allegedly) coughed up $13,500,000 for a tired but still stunning 33-foot wide Beaux Arts style carriage house with private garage on the Upper East Side owned by high society horticulturist Bunny Mellon who used the 100-plus year old building as a storage facility for her pricey gew-gaws and doo-dads.

Whatever upgrades and renovations Westchester County-based Mister and Missus Mack made to the comely carriage house must be complete—or nearly complete—because they've recently tossed their duplex penthouse pied-a-terre atop an historic pre-war condo building on East 63rd Street on the market with an asking price of $22,500,000.*

The floor plan included with online marketing materials shows the approximately 3,650 square foot penthouse has four bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms, plus a prison cell-sized staff room with attached bathroom.

The main living spaces are on the lower level and include a 26-foot long room with fireplace that Mister and Missus Mack use as a living/dining room combination. The original dining room is set up in listing photos as a library/den that connects directly through to narrow but recently renovated kitchen.

A long corridor off the entrance hall connects to a small guest/family bedroom with large private bathroom and a large master bedroom with decorative fireplace, three closets and a bidet-equipped bathroom.

Upstairs there are two more guest/family bedrooms, both with two closets and private—not to mention properly windowed—en suite bathrooms. Also upstairs are laundry facilities, a 27-plus foot long all-glass solarium with city views and built-in wet bar and an approximately 625 square foot private terrace furnished with what appears to be a whole lotta high-priced patio furniture designed by Richard Schultz.

Listing information suggests the Mack's duplex spread was decorated "in the spirit of" the very proper and 5-star Dorchester Hotel in London. As far as we can tell that means it's all a bit frou-frou, decidedly traditional and a wee bit stuffy but very correct if not exactly exciting.

Property records show Mister and Missus Mack's property portfolio also includes an 8,512 square foot house on 3-plus acres in Rye, NY, at least five bay and ocean properties—three with houses, two vacant—in the upscale seaside community of Wilmington, NC.

*For the record, property records show this penthouse owned by a corporate entity that links directly back to a residential address in Rye, NY owned, according to property records, by Mister and Missus Mack.

exterior photo: Nicholas Strini for Property Shark
(interior) listing photos and floor plan: Sotheby's International Realty

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Texas Businessman Tom Hicks Puts $135M Price Tag on Vast Dallas Estate

SELLER: Tom and Cinda Hicks
PRICE: $135,000,000
SIZE: 28,996 square feet

NOTE: For heaps and piles of photos of every corner of this house, guesthouse, pool house and grounds, head on over here.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: They say everything is bigger in Texas and when it comes to the sprawling estate owned by financier turned professional sport team titan Tom Hicks and his wife Cinda the adage certainly holds true, especially when it comes to the gargantuan $135,000,000 asking price they're rumored and reported by Candy Evans at Candy's DIrt to have quietly slapped on their epic, 25 acre estate in the fancy-schmancy Mayflower Estates 'hood in Dallas.

Mister Hicks made a mountain of money in the leveraged buy out and private equity industries before he started buying up professional sports teams. At various times he's owned the Mesquite Championship Rodeo, fifty-percent of the Liverpool FC (soccer), the Dallas Stars (hockey) and the Texas Rangers (baseball), which he sold in 2010 for around $590 million. Many reports indicate Mister Hicks has lost a significant amount of his net worth over the last few years but make no mistake he and the missus remain filthy rich and financially able to live in whatever manner they choose. Their decision to sell their vast Dallas estate likely has less to do with their declining but still substantial wealth and far more to do with the fact that they're empty nesters rambling around in a house more than ten times the size of the average American home.

According to Miz Evans' thorough discussion, the Hicks' humongous, compound-like estate includes a titanic, chateau-style 28,996 square foot main house, a matching 6,300 square foot guest house and a 7,200 square foot pool house, plus additional outbuildings.

The stately and downright imposing main manse was originally designed in 1939 for Italian count Pio Crespi and his American wife Florence by distinguished high society architect Maurice Fatio and acquired by Mister and Missus Hicks about 16 years ago for an unknown amount of dough. The Hicks spent 5-10 years and—according to Candy's canaries—close to $100,000,000 on a soup-to-nuts renovation, restoration and expansion headed up by motorcycle riding and leather gear loving New York City-based architect Peter Marino.

We're not sure exactly how many bedrooms and bathrooms are in the main house and/or on the property but Your Mama thinks it's probably safe to say there's plenty to room to comfortably house several families.

The grounds are a studied mix of manicured and rustic and include meadow-like rolling lawns, long allees of mature trees, a spring-fed creek criss-crossed by stone bridges, rose and vegetable gardens, several ponds and water features and dense forests woven with quiet pathways. There's also a resort-scaled swimming pool, and adjacent a pool house with recreation facilities and movie theater, a tennis court and second guest house.

The next owner of the Hicks' estate may want to know that maintaining the vast estate will require an astonishing amount of water. Even with a private well Mister and Missus Hicks consistently rank among the highest users of water in a state regularly racked by drought. In August 2011 reports numerous multiple media outlets in the Dallas/Houston/Fort Worth area reported that Mister and Missus Hicks used 1.35 million gallons of public water for the month of June alone and in July 2012 the Dallas Morning News reported they consumed a total of 12,315,020 gallons of public water in 2011.

Like we usually do when it comes to dissin' and discussin' high-priced real estate in Dallas Your Mama gave the deliciously dishy Dallas-based property gossip Candy Evans a ringy-dingy and asked if she thought there was much of a market for a $135,000,000 house in Dallas. She told us, "It is likely there is not a market in Dallas for a $135 million estate but I have no doubt there will be offers because where else can you have 25 acres and horses and be 8 miles from downtown? But then, never underestimate the power of oil money. One local tyke owns a home on Turtle Creek Blvd. plus a home in nearby Highland Park just because he likes to have Sunday picnics on the creek. Rich people are nine kinds of odd ducks so maybe some billionaire oil tyke will indeed thinks it's worth it to cough up $100 million plus for 25 acres to ramble around in?" Well, stranger things have happened, haven't they?

A Very Big Deal Goes Quietly Down in the Bay Area

It seems the global economy isn't suffering much if you're among the super-rich of the world.

Thanks to the fine folks at SF Luxe, Your Mama has learned that a sprawling Silicon Valley estate in hoity-toity Woodside, CA just sold for—buckle your real estate safety belts, butter beans—a mind-numbing and record-breaking $117,500,000.

The seller, according to previous reports and property records we peeped, was San Francisco-based financier Tully Friedman. The deep-pocketed buyer, shielded behind a mysterious limited liability company, has yet to be revealed but Your Mama hears through the Silicon Valley real estate gossip grapevine that the buyer might be a Korean banker who—so the story goes—bought the property as a summer getaway for his wife—or maybe his mistress—who may want to embark on some sort of remodel.

Bueller? Bueller? Anyone? Bueller?

The Neoclassical main mansion, according to noted classical architect Allen Greenberg's website, occupies "an elaborate hilltop garden" and reflects a "strong Palladian tradition" that's " planned around hyphens and dependencies and features a double volume, elliptical garden room." We don't really know what an architectural hyphen or dependency is but it certainly sounds high fallutin' don't it? The San Mateo County Tax Man shows the house measures 8,930 square feet and contains just four bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms but we really can't vouch for the accuracy of those numbers.

The nearly nine acre gated estate also includes acres of elaborate and meticulously maintained formal gardens, at least one reflecting pool, broad expanses of painstakingly manicured lawns, lots and lots of parking and a swimming pool complex with spa and a pool house Your Mama would bet is twice the size of our own house.

The super-sized transaction, which went down very quietly in late November (2012), makes it the most expensive private residence in California and it's likely to be the second or third highest price ever paid for a private home in the United States. Chicago hedge fund fat cat Ken Griffin and wife Anne Dias-Griffin allegedly and possibly coughed up $130 million for a quartet of contiguous properties in Palm Beach late in 2012 and the 124,000 acre Broken O Ranch in Montana—last listed for $132,500,000—was acquired late last year by multi-billionaire businessman Stan Kroenke and wife Ann for an undisclosed amount believed to be in the nine figures. Ann (Walton) Kroenke, for the record, is the daughter of Wal-Mart co-founder Bud Walton.

The wily SF Luxe folks dug up a small cache photos of the property and is it ever a doozy worth having a look-see at. Run don't walk before they're forced by an angry army of attorneys to take them down!

NOTE FROM YOUR MAMA (01-01-13): The Los Angeles Times subsequently suggested the buyer may be Masayoshi San, the CEO of SoftBank and one of Japan's richest men with a fortune in the eight billion dollar range.

aerial images: Google

Hollywood Hot Shot Barry Levinson Shakes Up East Coast Property Portfolio

BUYER: Barry Levinson
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: $5,650,000
SIZE: 3,049 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Looks like Emmy and Oscar winning screenwriter, director, producer and occasional actor Barry Levinson (Rain Man, Oz, Diner, Toys, Sleepers, Good Morning, Vietnam) is in the mood to shake up his real estate portfolio, selling in Connecticut and buying in New York City.

Last September Your Mama discussed Mister Levinson's sprawling, compound in upscale and semi-rural Redding, CT that was, at the time, listed on the open market with an asking price of $12,900,000. Property records reveal that the 40-plus acre spread with it's 17-room shingled mansion was sold last December to an unknown buyer for a total of $11,850,000, slightly more than the $11,250,000 he and The Missus paid for the place in the early Aughts.

Now comes word via the New York Post that Mister and Missus Levinson have spent $5,650,000 to scoop up a classic loft condo-loft in a quintessential late 19th century cast iron building designed by highly regarded architects Theodore De Lemos and A.W. Cordes in the geographical heart of the SoHo shopping district in New York City.

Listing information shows the 3,049 square foot loft has direct access through a key-lock elevator, soaring 13-foot ceilings, over-sized 10-foot tall windows with custom fitted wood shutters, wood floors and exposed wood beams and cast iron columns.

The open-concept main living area measures more than 30 feet wide and almost 39 feet long with a gas fireplace and an all-white kitchen with commercial-style stainless steel appliances, slab counter tops of unknown but unquestionably high quality material, shimmery stainless steel back splashes, an over-sized pantry area and a bulky center work island with breakfast bar. The Ingo Maurer paper chandelier is icing on the style cake and we can only hope Mister and Missus Levinson negotiated that fine fixture into the deal. An unusually spacious and separate laundry room with slop sink completes the service areas.

The three bedrooms all open off a zig-zagging corridor behind the kitchen. The two guest/family bedrooms share a pair of hall bathrooms and the master suite is complete with three closets, a nearly 20-foot square bedroom with two east facing windows and an attached (windowless) bathroom fitted with twin sinks, soaking tub and separate shower and finished with a lot of mirrors and stone tile work.

The $4,209 per month real estate taxes and common charges help pay for the boutique-sized building's doorman services and downstairs storage room.

As far as Your Mama knows Mister and Missus Levinson's property portfolio still includes a 1,887 square foot pied-a-terre in the Westwood area of Los Angeles and a three-story creek-front residence in Annapolis, MD purchased—as far as we can tell—way back in February 2002 for $2,262,500.

exterior photo: Nicholas Strini for Property Shark
listing photos and floor plan: Citi-Habitats

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Ethan Hawke Lists Multi-Colored Two-Family Manhattan Townhouse

SELLER: Ethan Hawke
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: $6,250,000
SIZE: 3,500 square feet (approx.), 6 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms (total in two units)

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Listen chickens, Your Mama is in dental hell so we just have a few minutes today to drop a nice celebrity real estate morsel in the form of a two-family New York City townhouse recently pushed on the open market with an asking price of $6,250,000 and owned, according to property records, by scruffy-faced Oscar-nominated actor and writer Ethan Hawke (Training Day, Gattaca, Dead Poet's Society, New York, I Love You).

Texas-born and New Jersey-raised Mister Hawke is a scruffy-faced movie star more than anything else but he once said, according to the Internet Movie Data Base, that "most people are good at more things than the world gives them the opportunity to do" and he himself refuses to be hemmed in by his movie star status in good standing. Not only is one of his two Academy Award nominations for best adapted screenplay (Before Sunset) he's also written a couple of novels (The Hottest State and Ash Wednesday) and earned a Tony nomination for his spin across the boards in the star-studded Tom Stoppard-written play The Coast of Utopia.

Along the way he married, made two children with and divorced arty-farty Oscar-nominated actress Uma Thurman and subsequently made two more children with his current wife Ryan who, scandalously, once worked as a nanny for Mister Hawke and Miz Thurman.

Property records show that Mister Hawke acquired his fairly non-descript four-floor townhouse in the heart of Manhattan's art gallery filled Chelsea district in April 2005 for an even-steven $3,000,000. The 21-foot wide townhouse, located just around the corner from the perennially-popular Billy's Bakery on Ninth Avenue, contains two units with a total of six bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms, according to listing information and the floor plan included with online marketing materials.

The well-organized ground floor apartment has a private entrance, a 14-foot(ish) square living room with wood burning fireplace surmounted by a large flat screen t.v., a compact but efficient U-shaped kitchen, two small bedrooms, one (windowless) bathroom and two surprisingly large walk-in closets. One of the bedrooms opens directly to a terrace and deep garden that—unfortunately—is in full view of a large apartment building to the north.

The triplex owners unit is entered on the parlor floor through a private entry and stair hall with a half bathroom that is both convenient and perfectly located for privacy. Double pocket doors connect through to the main living area that includes a south-facing living room with fireplace (that may or may not be in working order) and a built-in bookshelf lacquered a deep grass green and filled with actual books. The day-core is quite colorful, multi-patterned and suitably actor-bohemian with a funky patchwork rug on top of what looks to be original wood floors, an upright piano and a fairly spare collection of comfortably mis-matched upholstered pieces.

The well-worn but nicely preserved wood floors in the living room extend into the retro-modern kitchen that includes sunshine yellow cabinetry, white subway tile back splash, and high-grade appliances including a funky Old-Timey tomato red refrigerator. In addition to a built-in breakfast banquette in the kitchen area there's a small dining room at the rear of the parlor floor with a giant casement-style window that looks out over the back garden and a door that opens to a small balcony and stairs that lead down to the lower level garden area.

Up on the second floor there are three bedrooms—one quite large the other too somewhat small—that share a pair of hall bathrooms the sit on either side of a laundry room. The master suite consumes the entire top floor with an L-shaped bedroom painted royal blue, a small adjoining den/dressing room, a couple of small clothes closets, a vintage style bathroom with claw-footed tub—and towel heating rack—and a good-sized north-facing private terrace.

At one point Mister Hawke owned a small private island with a couple of small cottages in Nova Scotia that he bought when married to Uma Thurman but to be honest, children, we're not sure if he/they still own it or not.

exterior photo: Nicholas Strini for Property Shark
listing photos: Corcoran

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Your Mama Hears...

...from prolific informant Yolanda Yakketyak that seventh season American Idol winner David Cook sold his house in L.A.'s historic and still boho-chic Beachwood Canyon 'hood last December for $1,365,000 to the strapping, 6-foot-four-inch tall Welsh-born actor Owain Yeoman.

The well-educated, classically-trained and recently engaged Mister Yeoman currently stars in The Mentalist and previously appeared on the boob-toob programs Generation Kill, The Nine and Kitchen Confidential.

Your Mama and just about every other celebrity property gossip dissed and discussed the 3,071 square foot, three story hillside residence in the shadow of the famed Hollywood sign with its professionally designed recording studio back in March 2012 when Mister Cook listed it with an asking price of $1,495,000.

Is Lindsey Buckingham Downsizing?

BUYER: Lindsey Buckingham
LOCATION: Los Angeles (Brentwood), CA
PRICE: $5,800,000
SIZE: 2,958 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Looks like former Fleetwood Mac front man Lindsey Buckingham might be downsizing in Tinseltown. Although the Grammy winning singer and guitar-picking legend owns a fairly grand and gated estate with an 8,000-plus square foot main mansion in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles that he picked up in late 2004 for $6,600,000,000, according to both Yolanda Yakketyyak and at least one property record data base Your Mama consulted the sixty-something year old rock-n-roll veteran recently scooped up another but much smaller new house just 1.2 miles away for $5,800,000.*

Listing information shows the .82 acre spread sits desirably on a picturesque and prime, star-lined north of Sunset Boulevard street in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles. Some of the other high-profile residents of the narrow, tree-lined street include Maria Shriver, Betty White, Ricky Lake and Arianna Huffington. Way back in 2008 Spiderman actor Tobey Maguire and his jewelry designer wife Jennifer Meyer Maguire dropped ten million big ones on a vacant lot that—as far as Your Mama knows—remains vacant and unimproved.

Anyhoo, the existing residence acquired by Mister Buckingham and his long-time wife Kristen is described in marketing materials as a five bedroom and three bathroom 1920s Spanish with just 2,958 square feet. The house must be a little down on its heels since no interior photos were used in the marketing of the property and listing information billed it as a "rare opportunity to build a magnificent estate." In case some of the children aren't able to interpret that, it's real estate speak for "this old girl is a tear down."**

The existing residence sits well and privately back from the street up a long gently curving driveway that passes under a somewhat graceless porte-cochère at the side of the house before it wraps tightly around to a small motor court at the rear of the residence where there appears to be a detached two car garage.

Beyond the house and garage there are a series of outdoor rooms defined by mature hedges and shrubbery, low red-brick walls and rows of probably near-ancient rose bushes. A classic, kidney-shaped swimming pool is sent into a flat grass pad and if we were the wagering type—and we're not—we'd bet both our long-bodied bitches, Linda and Beverly, that the Buckingham's plan to replace that pool with something more modern and with a built-in spa situation. But then again, what do we know? Nuthin', that's what.

As far as Your Mama's entirely unscientific research reveals, the Buckingham's current residence just over a mile away—a great big turreted affair on 1.16 acres and built in 2007 with six bedrooms, nine bathrooms, a swimming pool and a tennis court according to the L.A. Tax Man—is not on the open market.

*As it turns out, this isn't the first time Mister Buckingham has downsized his real estate circumstances in Los Angeles. In June 2005 he sold a 1.25 acre estate in a particularly posh section of Bel Air—directly across the street from Jennifer Anniston's current crib—for $19,500,000 to a non-celebrity but clearly very rich couple.

**Your Mama has no idea what plans Mister and Missus Buckingham may or may not have for this property. For all we know they plan to restore the house to its original, modestly scaled 1920s glory.

listing photos: Prudential California

Monday, January 21, 2013

Serena Williams Sells L.A. Condo

SELLER: Serena Williams
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $1,850,000
SIZE: 2,403 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: While tennis titaness Serena Williams serves, smacks and slams her way toward the finals in Melbourne at the Australian Open her people back in Los Angeles have just about sold a high-floor condo she (allegedly) owns along the Wilshire Corridor with an listing price of $1,850,000.

We first heard this from Our Fairy Godmother in Beverly Hills who thought the condo in question maybe belonged to Serena's almost as bad ass on the tennis court older sister Venus but according to The Bizzy Boys at Celebrity Address Aerial, the 15th floor spread actually belongs to Serena Williams who picked the place up way back in September 2002 for $1,275,000.

Venus Williams fancies herself a bit of an interior decorator—she has a full-service commercial and residential decoratin' firm called V*Starr based in Jupiter, FL—and presumably she once had a hand in the day-core of her little sister's L.A. condo but listing photos now show a very pared down situation that looks more like Staging Lady in a Pink Toyota has been all up in there working her special brand of generic decorative—ahem—magic.

Anyhoo, the 2,403 square foot condo crib has direct elevator access into a cramped foyer that opens into a decently roomy but hardly huge, sun-splashed living/dining room combination with hardwood floors, a corner (gas) fireplace and two large sets of windows with urban views over the tops of the surrounding condo buildings.

The floors turn to some sort of stone tile in the adjacent kitchen that's a little out-dated looking but well-equipped with a large center work island, honey-colored Shaker-style cabinets, flecked granite counter-tops and higher-grade appliances. There's an unnecessary pass through opening between the kitchen and a small den/family room outfitted with a full wall of custom-built in bookshelves and a large window that looks over the roof top of the building next door towards the the mountains in the distance.

Each of the two bedrooms has direct access to a private marble bathroom and the limestone-floored master suite has two bathrooms—one with separate tub and shower and frosted glass windows for proper pooper privacy—plus at least one custom-fitted walk-in closet.

The 24-story Remington building offers residents full service amenities that include, doorman and concierge services, valet parking, gym facility, swimming pool and spa, wine storage space, a library off the lobby and a residents only recreation room. For all that luxury Miss Williams coughed up, according to listing information, a whopping $2,894.25 per month in home owner's association dues.

As far as we can tell, Serena Williams also owns a tennis court-less mini-estate in the Stone Canyon area of Bel Air that she scooped up in early 2006 for $6,612,000 and as far as we know the grown up Williams sisters still—and strangely—share a sprawling, 11,000 square foot mansion in an upscale golf and sports community in Palm Beach Gardens, FL where a couple years ago, as previously reported by various property gossips, they added on a 4,000-ish square foot two-story wing to house a private training facility for the tennis queens.

listing photos: Gibson International

Friday, January 18, 2013

More Week End Wrapping Up

Is Beyoncé about to dump $5.9 million on a—ahem—redonkulously palatial, 25,000 square foot pile with 16 terlits in Houston, TX as a gift for her beloved momma Tina? Well, we really can't say because we don't know but according to the CultureMap Houston website there's at least one real estate agent in town who's spreading that fun little celebrity real estate tidbit.

There's also some scuttlebutt that retired professional basketball hall of famer Michael Jordan is considering leasing the mansion to hold his 50th birthday party. Could be...


In other Michael Jordan real estate news, Chicago-based property gossip extraordinaire Bob Goldsborough at the Chicago Tribune reported today that the lavish living basketballer has hacked $8,000,000 off the asking price of his 56,000 square foot mega-compound in Highland Park, IL. The new, $21,000,000 asking price still includes all the sleek contemporary furnishings not to mention a full-sized indoor basketball court.

photo: Baird & Warner

In other Chicago celebrity real estate news, nice-gay decorator Nate Berkus has finally, after two long years, unloaded his old Windy City condo for $1.6 million, a mere $100,000 more than he paid for the place way back in 2003 and just over a million dollars less than he hoped to get back in early 2011 when it was listed for $2.65 million.

photo: Pieter Estersohn/Elle Decor via Apartment Therapy

We received a covert communique this afternoon from Sammy Sunsetstrip to let Your Mama known that after more than two long years on the market at a variety of prices, the Sunset Strip mansion owned by actor Ryan Phillippe has finally be put into escrow with an unknown buyer for an unknown amount. Mister Phillippe paid $7.15 million for the Sunset Strip residence—described in listing materials as a "Zen modern retreat"—back in 2008 after he split with ex-wife Reese Witherspoon and was last listed with an asking price of $6,995,000. If Your Mama were the wagering type—and we're not—we'd bet the farm Mister Phillippe's pocketbook is gonna take a pounding.

photo: The Agency

The Week End Wrap Up

Former baseball bigwig—and alleged juicer—Barry Bonds listed his big ol' house in the guard-gated Beverly Park 'hood for $25,000,000 this week. The ever-alert kids at Curbed seem to have been the first of the property gossip to lay their mitts on the interior photographs and—have mercy—it is ever an equilibrium upsetting decorative doozy. Where, children, does a person even buy furniture like that? Seriously, where?


Belgian-born martial artist and action flick actor Jean-Claude Van Damme and his fifth wife—who was also his third wife—have lived in Hong Kong the last six or seven years but must be planning to spend more time in Tinseltown since last July (2012) they dropped six million clams on a newly constructed townhouse-type mansion in Marina del Rey, CA.


The gossip hounds at InTouch Weekly say sitcom star Ashton Kutcher and his former That 70s Show cast mate turned gal pal Mila Kunis want to buy a turn-key apartment overlooking Lake Michigan in Chicago. Call Your Mama suspicious of such real estate scuttlebutt but stranger things have happened, right?


Three time Emmy winning television and movie actor Christopher Lloyd recently unloaded a newly constructed "Umbria-inspired" residence on five ocean view acres in fancy-pants Montecito, CA for $5,100,000.


The ocean-fronting Santa Monica, CA penthouse apartment of late actor Larry Hagman (Dallas)—complete with some really horrific blue wall-to-wall carpeting in the main living room—has hit the market with an oilman's asking price of $5,200,000.


The long-legged blond at Trulia Luxe Living revealed that legendary astronaut Buzz Aldrin has listed his Los Angeles condo along the upscale Wilshire Corridor with an asking price of $3.3 million. Fun fact of no import: Your Mama and The Doctor Cooter used to share a cleaning lady with Mister Aldrin.


Celebrity gossip juggernaut TMZ snitched that house hunting Sean "Diddy-Daddle-Fiddle-Faddle" Combs went for a look-see at the old Harry Cohn estate in Beverly Hills even though super-producer Jerry Bruckheimer is said to be in escrow on the nearly 20,000 square foot mansion with an approximately $23 million sale price.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman Buy House Next Door

BUYERS: Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy
LOCATION: Los Angles, CA
PRICE: $3,800,000
SIZE: 4,566 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Since the late 1990s Oscar-nominated celebrity couple Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives) and William H. Macy (Shameless) have shacked up in a big house on three contiguous hillside lots in the star-studded Outpost Estates section of Los Angeles.

According to our valiant informant Yolanda Yakketyak—and confirmed by Your Mama with property records—the couple recently dropped $3,800,000 to acquire the long, low and run-down residence next door that brings the size of their growing estate to almost 2.75 prime and private acres with sweeping views over Tinseltown. For 45 or so years, the property was owned by semi-shady music industry veteran Artie Ripp.

Set up a cracked driveway that sweeps up the hillside to a large motor court and three car garage, the existing single-story house sits on 1.1 mostly flat acres, measures 4,566 bedraggled square feet, according to listing information, and includes five bedrooms and three bathrooms.

The grounds include a good-sized motor court, a semi-detached three car garage, broad flat lawns in both the front and back and a large swimming pool surrounded by a palm tree dotted terrace. ,

We really have no idea what sort of plans the Macy-Huffmans have for the house but listing photos show the interiors are dated, depressing and—let's get real—a goddamn hot mess of the highest magnitude long in need of a smart architect and nice-gay or lady decorator.

Mister Macy and Miz Huffman also maintain a small residence new The Grove shopping center in L.A. and a remote estate outside of Basalt, CO near the celebrity wintertime playground of Aspen.

listing photos: Sotheby's International Realty

Judge Judy Lists Pricey Pied-à-Terre

SELLER: Judy and Jerry Sheindlin
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: $9,000,000
SIZE: 2 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: It was only just over three years ago now that the famously cantankerous television scold known as Judge Judy (Sheindlin) shelled out $6,750,000 for a two bedroom and 2.5 bathroom corner spread on the 11th floor of the impossibly posh Sherry Netherland building on Fifth Avenue in New York City.

Thanks to an informant we'll call Penny Wise we've just learned that the extraordinarily well-compensated real judge turned boob-toob judge and her husband Jerry Sheindlin—also a real life judge turned (former) t.v. judge—have hoisted their Fifth Avenue pied-à-terre back on the market with an asking price of $9,000,000.

Current listing information shows the approximately 3,000 square foot apartment includes a good-sized foyer that spills into a nearly 30-foot square sun-splashed corner living/dining room with dark hardwood floors, subtly striped wall coverings and multi-million dollar views down Fifth Avenue and over Grand Army Plaza and lower Central Park. A dark paneled room next door makes for a cozy spot to watch some t.v. or read the latest gossip glossies and is convenient to the small but fully equipped kitchen and adjoining laundry room.

The floor plan included with current listing information shows the two bedrooms are well separated for maximum privacy and each has direct access to a private bathroom. The west facing master bedroom isn't particularly big but it does have a snazzy pair of custom-fitted walk-in closets, one larger than many Manhattan studio apartments.

Listing information shows the maintenance charges for the apartment run an pocketbook punishing $17,411 per month but that's a mere pittance for Miz Sheindlin who reportedly earns more than $123,000 per day. That's right, chickens, this lady pulls in more than $123,000 per day doling out televised legal lessons and vituperative moral lashings to the sorts of people who will sue their mother on national television over seven dollars.

Miz Sheindlin and her husband Jerry Sheindlin—who is also a former real judge turned t.v. judge—fly around in a private jet between their variou.s homes that include a penthouse condo in Naples, FL and a 9 bedroom mansion on a spectacularly landscaped estate in high-nosed Greenwich, CT that they bought in September 2007 for $13,200,000.

listing photos and floor plan: Corcoran