...the media-dubbed "homeless billionaire" Nicolas Berggruen isn't homeless anymore.
Mister Berggruen wasn't exactly homeless homeless, of course. However, he did not—as far as anyone in the media knew or knows—own or maintain a private residence. At one time he did own an island estate in Florida and an apartment in New York but for the last decade or so the extraordinarily well-connected, Paris-born investor, philanthropist and—until now—essentially un-rooted citizen of the world, with dual American and German citizenship, had no fixed residential address and has long preferred to live a profoundly peripatetic life in high-priced hotels.
Unless the wacky real estate ways of billionaires is dinner table fodder in your home Mister Berggruen won't probably be a recognizable name but he's a most certainly a jet-setting if somewhat low-profile power player with deep and powerful connections in high finance, Tinseltown, the art world and geo-global politics.
He founded the Nicolas Berggruen Institute, a non-partisan think tank, according to its website, "dedicated to exploring new ideas of good governance" and the dashing bachelor throws an annual Oscar Party at the Chateau Marmont. He owns a monumental artwork by Chris Burden called Metropolis II, currently on a 10-year loan to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and as of March 2012 the billionaire—who, oddly enough, turns 51 today—did not own a car but he does reportedly own a Gulfstream IV that he uses to scoot around the world.
Here's how this juicy, high-end real estate nugget dropped in Your Mama prodigious lap: We received a covert communique this morning from a trusted informant—let's call her Florinda Fillyouin—who snitched to Your Mama word on the real estate street in Los Angeles is that famously itchy-footed Mister Berggruen has dropped close to $7.5 million on a trio of contiguous units above the 20th floor at the star-studded Sierra Towers building on the border between West Hollywood and Beverly Hills, CA.
We quickly checked with a second source who we though might know a thing or two about the scuttlebutt—let's call her Tina Hasalltheinfo—and, lo and behold, she told us none of the three units were listed on the open market, altogether they stretch from corner to corner on the more desirable city side of building with about 5,000 square feet of interior space, and all three have unobstructed, knee-knocking views that sweep, on a clear day, from downtown to the Pacific Ocean. Each of the three units has a deep terrace that when opened up to one another will make a staggering run almost the entire length of the building.
Miss Hasalltheinfo and Miz Fillyouin both told Your Mama Mister Berggruen will likely spend several to many millions more to combine and convert the three units into one, world-class apartment. Mister Berggruen's own bio states he's "collaborated" on projects with high-toned architects like Richard Meier, Shigeru Ban and David Adjaye so Your Mama expects the overhaul will be handled by an architect of that caliber.
Property records we peeped show two of the units (allegedly) purchased by Mister B. were sold by a (possibly married) non-celebrity couple and the third was owned by a music industry scion turned wildly successful real estate agent. We heard the deal went down quietly and very quickly but since property records do not yet reflect a transfer, this is all just rumor and gossip.
Other high-profile peeps who currently reside (full or part time) at Sierra Towers include Joan Collins, Elton John and David Furnish (whose combined pair of condos, we were a rumor, are in escrow for somewhere in the fours), the late clothier Bijan Pakzad, sit-com star Courtney Cox, uni-named entertainer Cher, septuagenarian actress/singer Diahann Carroll, and diet guru/social world fixture Nikki Haskell. Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne—who just put their Hidden Hills estate up for lease at $50,000 per month according to the long-legged gal at Trulia Luxe Living—currently lease a low-floor apartment they had worked over but good by Million Dollar Decorator Martyn Lawrence-Bullard.