Wednesday, October 30, 2013

World's Richest Real Estate Moguls

No matter what profession you are in, you will be impacted by real estate in some form or another. Whether you own, rent or sub-let, your life is impacted by real estate and the professionals or individuals that sell, manage or own it. With that in mind, it would make sense that you just might be interested in people who have made it big in real estate. There are a select few in the entire world who have made their tremendous mark on the real estate landscape. Although, there were many struggles along the way, they arrived at that coveted spot of being a famous real estate tycoon. Sarah Beeny is a developer and a host of Property Ladder, a British television program in the U.K. Beeny is a die-hard optimist and proponent for incorporating energy efficiency into building or remodeling. Tim Blixseth is an American real estate mogul and billionaire businessman. He made a promise early on in his investment life to only collect assets, not liabilities, for the remainder of his life. He says he's stuck to that promise. Donald Bren, according to Forbes.com, is the wealthiest real estate tycoon on the planet with a $12 billion net worth. He currently owns hundreds of office buildings, along with 90 apartment complexes. Conrad Hilton is the founder of Hilton Hotels. Hilton was known as a tremendous philanthropist who believed charity was a basic requirement for humanity. Stanley Ho is one of the richest people in Asia. He's a Macau and Hong Kong billionaire and casino mogul. Lee Shau Kee is recently most famous for losing around $8 billion in net worth just in the past two years. Even with the huge losses, Kee continues to be noted as a real estate magnate as owner for Henderson Land Development. China's greater region still considers Kee as one of the area's richest people. Ray Kroc is a entrepreneur who founded the McDonald's Corporation franchise. Kroc purchased all rights to the McDonald's name from the founding brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald. He took the franchise internationally to Japan and Germany in 1971. Akira Mori is a famous Japanese real estate tycoon and billionaire. He's one of the richest men in the world. President and CEO of Mori Trust, his family's company owns real estate and hotels in Tokyo and all over Japan. Minoru Mori is also a famous Japanese tycoon and billionaire. He and his brother Akira are sons to Taikichiro Mori. Donald Trump is a famous television celebrity and billionaire real estate developer. Although his investments fluctuate with the waves of the sea, he always seems to come out on top. Steve Wynn is a well-known Las Vegas casino and resort developer who developed some of the most opulent casinos and resorts in the City of Las Vegas. Sam Zell's net worth exceeds $6 billion. He is ranked 68th on Forbes' list of richest Americans. He co-founded Equity Group Investments LLC that launched Equity Residential and Equity Office Properties.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Why Invest In Real Estate In Hyderabad?

Nowadays investing in real estate has become a popular trend, people see a big future in the real estate. Real estate dealing has also become a major source of much money for many people. All you have to do is find the right kind of property and invest in it and after a few years see the growth in investment. Investing in real estate of Hyderabad: Many people still have doubts about investing in real estate in Hyderabad, and the time is just right to invest in real estate. Hyderabad has gained a reputation for itself in the global market, and the city grows at a steady rate. Now is the right time to invest in property in Hyderabad, the growth in IT sector and business have prompted many people to move to Hyderabad. And the location and the beauty of the city have also influenced a lot of people to invest in property in Hyderabad. Here are some of the reasons as to why you should invest for property in Hyderabad. • Development in IT industry, international airports, and new projects like IT parks; hardware parks, star hotels etc have influenced the life of Hyderabad. All these projects make Hyderabad the most happening place to invest in property. • Many MNC have setup their Indian offices in Hyderabad, which in turn encourages more people to be employed in Hyderabad. • The cost of living is pretty low in this city when compared to other metropolitan city. • Government has many offices situated in the location. • There are various types of real estate opportunity available for you in Hyderabad; there are lands, independent homes, apartments. There are more homes and lands for sale, and with more and more people looking to buy property in Hyderabad you won’t have a lot of time left. • More and more people are interested in buying property not only in the main areas like Jubilee Hills and Banjara Hills. But many of them are also interested in buying property in the outskirts of the city; we see a tremendous increase in the outskirts mainly because of the IT industry. So now you can find properties of great value on the outskirt cities like Nanakramguda, Manikonda, Gopanpall of Hyderabad. • Wherever you buy property in Hyderabad, you can find all that you will need to live a comfortable life within five kilometers of your home. So when the city is growing at such a rate then it will make your investment worthwhile. • Real Estate Investing in Hyderabad offers many rewards like steady cash flow, security, long-term wealth and other tax benefits. With the city growing in such a rate you will find that the property values are always going up. • Now is the right time to invest in property in Hyderabad, and if you see the past trend of the growth of the city you will regret not purchasing property in Hyderabad. The growth of the city has also influenced many NRIs and foreigners to invest in real estate.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Larry David Lists Pac Pal Compound

SELLER: Larry David
LOCATION: Pacific Palisades, CA
PRICE: $14,999,000
SIZE: 10,000 (or so) square feet, 7 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Looks like lefty liberal Hollywood hot shot Larry David's enthusiasms have done curbed for his sprawling, bluff top English country-style mini-compound in the quietly swank Huntington Palisades area of Pacific Palisades, CA. The gated, ocean view estate on three adjoining bluff top lots that combined total just under an acre has hit the open market with an asking price of $14,999,000.

The dry and dark humored, acerbic witted and socially awkward former failed stand up comic turned writer/producer/actor has been a Showbiz denizen since at least the early 1980s when he was hired as a staff writer on Saturday Night Live. He lasted only a single season and, so the story goes, only managed to get one skit on the air. Early entertainment industry failures aside, Mister David leaped to the top of the Tinseltown heap in the early 1990s as the co-creator, writer, producer and an occasional actor on Seinfeld, an unequivocally seminal sitcom that earned him two Emmy statuettes plus 10 more nominations. Mister David received a dozen more Emmy nominations through the 2000s for the now canceled cult favorite faux reality sitcom Curb Your Enthusiasm. Mister David latest professional endeavor is the upcoming HBO comedy movie Clear History which he co-wrote, co-produced and appears in alongside a slew of celebs who include John Hamm, Bill Hader, Eva Mendes, Amy Ryan, Kate Hudson and Michael Keaton (to name a few).

As best as Your Mama can tell from a careful perusal of property records Mister David andhis sometimes hypocritical eco-warrior/documentary producer ex-wife Laurie (Lennard) David—she was a producer for the Oscar winning An Inconvenient Truth documentary—purchased each of the three lots that comprise the star-style mini-compound in three separate transactions. The first came in November 1993 when the now former couple picked up the central parcel, where the 10,000-ish square foot main residence is situated. The second lot was snatched up in May 1996 and the third three years later in March 1999.

Current listing information shows the meandering, multi-wing main house was originally built in 1950 and currently has seven bedrooms and ten bathrooms with additional living space in the detached guest/pool house out by the heated swimming pool and spa.

Interior spaces are decidedly traditional with medium brown wood floors, rustic wood beamed ceilings and chunky support posts, diamond paned leaded glass windows, lots of custom mill work including an all wood staircase, four (or more) wood burning fireplaces and truckloads of over-stuffed upholstered sofas and chairs that all look like they belong at Grandma's Connecticut country house.

The entertaining-friendly main living areas include multiple living rooms/sitting areas and a formal dining room with half-timber walls and massive used brick fireplace. An open concept family room (with fireplace) and kitchen area with boxcar sized center island, some sort of natural slab stone counter tops, brick accents and top grade commercial style stainless steel appliances.

The second floor mater suite has more exposed wood beams on the ceiling, a sitting area with built-in bookshelves and white brick corner fireplace and a spacious private terrace with through the tree tops canyon, beach and ocean views. It appears to Your Mama that the master suite also has two very large dressing suites and bathrooms, both with half-timber detailing on the ceiling and walls. His facility has rugged wide plank wood floors, a vaulted ceiling and sitting area with flush mounted television and hers is outfitted with a free-standing soaking tub, hair and make-up vanity, and yet another fireplace.

The angled and roomy pool/guesthouse more than just a little resembles an English thatched cottage. A stone sunbathing terrace, an outdoor living room/lounge with kitchen/bar, a monolithic red brick fireplace and a vaulted ceiling with exposed beams and trusses that give the room the look of an upside down ship's hull.

We're not sure who retained ownership after the divorce but Mister and ex-Missus David also maintained multi-residence compound with swimming pool and tennis court on two parcels that total 15.9 acres near Chilmark (MA) on the waspy meets arty farty Martha's Vineyard. Property records show the larger 13.9 acre parcel was purchased in early 2000 for $3,700,000 and the adjacent two acre lot (with a 7 bedroom residence) was acquired in October 2004 for $1,300,000.

listing photos: Partners Trust

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Shoe Mogul Steve Madden Lists Townhouse

SELLER: Steve Madden
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: $8,995,000
SIZE: 6,040 square feet

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Once again our New York-centric aide de camp Hot Chocolate tipped us off that mid-priced shoe tycoon Steve Madden has put an $8,995,000 price tag on his 6,040 square foot Upper East Side Italianate townhouse located on a tree-lined block between Lexington and Third Avenues, hardly Timbuktu but perhaps a bit far east to be fashionable.

The 20-foot townhouse, one of only two left of the original row of six, was built in 1860 and converted in the late 19th century to a blacksmith's shop and residence. The mid-block building, set well back from the sidewalk stands five floors above ground plus a full basement. The townhouse was purchased, according a 2011 report in the New York Observer, in 1978 and converted a couple years later to a four unit coopertive apartment house.

As best as Your Mama can tell the shoe peddler and his missus acquired the four units in four separate transactions for a total of $8,850,000. The first purchase, a three bedroom quadruplex with two outdoor spaces, came in September 2006. This was about a year after Mister Madden was released from 2.5 year long stint in the pokey for securities fraud. Three years later the Maddens scooped up an adjoining, street-facing duplex on the third and fourth floors and just over a year after that they picked up the fourth and fifth floor duplex at the rear of the building. Finally, in late 2012, they bought the fourth unit in the building, a multi-level set up with one bedroom, 1.5 bathrooms, a large living room with fireplace, a brutally compact kitchen and a nearly 200 square foot south facing roof terrace.

Listing details describe the townhouse as currently being used as a single family home with a "unique layout." As far as Your Mama can tell from a thorough study of the floor plan included with current online marketing materials, what's "unique" about the layout of this house is that the four separate units have only been combined in the most cursory and awkward of manners and the six floors connected via a dizzying array of internal staircases.

The elevated front stoop—oh, how Your Mama keens and keels for an urban stoop—makes an elegant entry to the residence. But it all quickly fizzles like air from a pin pricked balloon just as soon as the parlor floor entry vestibule gives way to an impossibly narrow corridor and equally slender switchback main staircase that ascends to the top three floors but does not descend to the lower two floors, at least not on the floor plan.

The "unique layout" includes numerous, relatively ambiguous purpose rooms that include multiple living/dining rooms on at least three different floors including a parlor floor dining room with terrace access. The floor plan show four small kitchens, all of which may (or may not) be expensively outfitted but none of which are larger than what might reasonably expect in just about any small Manhattan apartment.


Other "unique" features include: a windowless, basement level office with private attached bathroom; six variously sized guest/family bedrooms—some of them garden shed sized—that share four hall bathrooms; a garden level master suite (with closets, a dressing hallway and a large private bathroom) through which is the only direct access to the backyard, a garden level living room space and—have mercy—the basement.

Just for shits and giggle, children, check out the necessary route to get from the basement to one of the ambiguously utilized living rooms on the fourth floor. We can't speak for anyone else but Your Mama would have to make a pit stop in one of the parlor floor sitting rooms for a breather and a gin & tonic. Anyhoo...


Although currently weighed down by a crazy-ass and all but unsolvable floor plan, the townhouse itself is not without desirability. There's that stunning stoop, of course, and the deep set back entry that might hinder light exposure a bit too much but just about makes up for it with an enhanced sense of privacy. There's also the sensible 20 foot width—many Big Apple townhouses are less than 16 feet wide—the aforementioned 350-plus square foot back yard, the almost 10 feet deep full-width terrace off the rear of the parlor floor and two of nearly 200 square foot roof terraces.


Just as Your Mama and the children all should expect of wealthy and (presumably) stylish and urbane New Yorkers with an bizarrely configured townhouse, Mister and Missus Madden hired a name brand architect, a residential specialist, to re-imagine and reconfigure the interior spaces into a much more cohesive, proper and modern single family residence of just over 6,000 square feet. And their architect(s) of choice, Gordon Kahn And Associates, did an honest to goodness bang up job with the space planning. We suspect much of any remaining original architectural details would have to be removed to accommodate the vast transformation achieved by Mister Kahn (and co.) but it would seem to Your Mama he succeeded in, if nothing else, setting up the layout for

Plans call for the convoluted system of switchback staircases and zig-zagging corridors to be replaced with an elegantly proportioned central traffic hub with elevator, powder rooms, coat closets and a semi-circular main staircase that connects all floors of the townhouse, from the basement clear on up through to the fifth floor.

The proposed new layout shows a total of four bedrooms: a penthouse floor guest bedroom with private bathroom and roof terrace; two full-width family bedrooms on the fourth floor, each with three closets and en suite facility. Plans call for the entire third floor to be given over to the master suite with fireplace, fitted walk-in closet and dressing hall and over-sized bathroom with twin sink, crapper cubby, free-standing soaking tub and separate stall shower.

The architects retained an informal living area on the garden level but repurposed the master suite into a spacious, family-friendly center island kitchen complex complete with a built-in breakfast banquette, a walk-in pantry, direct access to the garden through the casual dining area and a very smart dumbwaiter that swiftly lifts food (and etc.) from the kitchen to a butler's pantry that adjoins the parlor level formal dining room.

The new and improved floor plan calls for a finished basement level with home gym set up, bathroom and walk-in wine cellar and a sky-lit top floor solarium that spills out to a south-facing street side roof terrace.

Your Mama has not specific intel on where Mister and Missus Madden plan to decamp but if we were the wagering type—and we're not—we'd bet both our long-bodied bitches, Linda and Beverly, that the Madden family's next residence won't require such and extensive, expensive and time consuming overhaul.

listing photos and floor plan: Douglas Elliman

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Jon Bon Jovi Lists Downtown Duplex Penthouse

SELLER: Jon Bon Jovi
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: $42,000,000
SIZE: 7,452 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 5 full and 2 half bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Painstakingly preserved middle-aged rock superstar Jon Bon Jovi and his Missus, Dorothea Hurley, coughed up $24,000,000 in June 2007 for a sleek and sophisticated, suburban MacMansion-sized duplex penthouse atop a very swank cast iron building in New York City's tourist-filled SoHo neighborhood.

Thanks to the diligent research of our unofficial (but much appreciated) aide de camp Hot Chocolate we've learned that Mister and Missus Bon Jovi have hoisted the nearly 7,500 square foot spread on the open market with a significantly increased $42,000,000 price tag.

This isn't the biggest surprise. Avid real estate watchers may recall that back in the fall of 2011 rumors surfaced on Curbed and elsewhere that the post-reno penthouse was quietly being shopped off-market with a $45 million price tag.

A key lock elevator opens directly into the five bedroom penthouse's upper level main foyer off of which are coat closets and an itty-pitty powder room. Floor to ceiling windows wrap around four sides of the massive main living/dining space that includes a mirrored fireplace and access to both the the posh penthouse's expansive roof terraces that together total more than 3,100 square feet of fully landscaped exterior living space.

Besides the addition of a lot of beige, brown and—although undoubtedly excessively expensive—very boring furnishings, a quick comparison of the floor plan included with current marketing materials (above) and the one included with online listings from the time of their purchase (see here) show Mister and Missus Bon Jovi made a couple of significant alterations and reconfigurations. When they purchased the penthouse there were two master suites, one upstairs the other downstairs. The upper level master suite—the one we imagine was likely used by the previous occupant as the actual master bedroom—occupied a private wing on the upper level. That space was converted by the Bon Jovis to a media room with adjacent projection room, a puny, window-lined study and a compact guest bedroom with adjoining bathroom.

The master suite was moved to the lower level and includes small entry vestibule that promotes privacy, a 25-foot long bedroom area with a trio of over-sized street-facing windows, a double-sided fitted dressing room and a spacious (if windowless) bathroom with two sink, crapper cubby and double-headed shower. Three more guest/family bedrooms on the lower level each have private bathrooms as does the squeezy staff bedroom that's tucked up behind the laundry room.

The penthouse has two U-shaped kitchens, one off the main living space on the upper level and the other slightly smaller one off the 1,100-plus square foot so-called "Great Room" on the lower level. Both kitchens are equipped with custom cabinetry and top of the line appliances, natch, but, oddly enough, neither is much bigger than what one might safely expect to find in a mid-priced suburban tract house.

Our brief and entirely unscientific research indicates Mister and Missus Bon Jovi maintain a small but rock star style real estate portfolio that in addition to the Manhattan duplex they'd like to unload and a jaw dropping $18,000,000 profit includes (but may not be limited to) a multi-acre river-front spread in quietly ritzy Red Bank, NJ and a large house on one of the finest and most expensive lanes in East Hampton, NY, that they scooped up in August 2004 for $7,600,000.

exterior photo: Kate Leonova for Property Shark
listing photos and floor plan: Corcoran

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tuesday Floor Plan Porn: Heath Hall

WHAT: Heath Hall
LOCATION: London, U.K.
PRICE: £65,000,000
SIZE: 2509.29 square meters, 15 bedrooms, 15 full and 2 half bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Listen, chickens, Your Mama has some personal matters that require our undivided attention. However, rather than leave the children completely high and dry in the (celebrity) real estate way we thought we'd quickly drop some hardcore floor plan porn on y'all in the form of Heath Hall, an historic, newly renovated and much expanded mega-mansion on The Bishop's Avenue, one the most (in)famously recherché residential enclaves in all of ludicrously expensive London.

Heath Hall has been on the market for a while now but recently had it's monstrous £100,000,000 asking price slashed to a still tumescent £65,000,000. A few quick flicks of the well-worn beads of Your Mama's bejeweled abacus shows that's an electrifying $151,068,000, at today's rates, reduced down to still stultifying $98,194,200.

The seller, according to previous reports, is a property magnate named Andreas Panayiotou who purchased Heath Hall in 2006 and spent—so the stories go—£40,000,000 on the recent overhaul and expansion.

Current listing details show the Edwardian era three story (plus partial basement) mansion, a stately red brick pastiche of Classical, Arts & Crafts and Scottish Baronial styles, was designed and built in 1910 for sugar baron William Lyle and, after its recent expansion, measures in at 2,509.29 square meters. That's just over 27,000 square feet for all us non-metric types.

Your Mama counted at least half a dozen or more public entertaining rooms that include a regal, 700-ish square foot center stair hall with a massive oak staircase and a banquet hall sized dining room; a gargantuan "Garden Room" with a (melo)dramatic glass ceiling and a glinty dandelion-like chandelier. A pair of nearly 30-foot long drawing rooms, both with fireplaces, flank a refreshingly intimate paneled library. All three of the latter rooms spill out to 60-foot long, glassed in veranda that overlook the estate's formal gardens.

The floor plan first provided to Your Mama by a U.K.-based aide-de-camp we'll call Flower Perfectbush and included with online marketing materials shows Heath Hall has not just one but two kitchens. At the northeast corner there's a somewhat isolated commercial catering kitchen with walk in larder. That's a pantry, American butter beans. A more central, expensively outfitted center island family kitchen has a direct view into the adjacent family room but a strangely circuitous route to the formal dining room. It seems a bit odd to Your Mama that there's not a butler's pantry or service kitchen between the kitchen and dining room. Unless there's a weird and ill-advised pass through we don't know about, plated food must be carried from the kitchen through a vestibule off the main reception hall in order to be served in the dining room.

Even though listing details say there are 14 bedrooms and 15 bathrooms Your Mama (repeatedly) counted a total of 15 bedrooms and 15 full or three-quarter bathrooms and two powder poopers on the main floor.

At least four of the bedrooms are located in a separate wing above the catering kitchen and laundry room making them suitable for habitation by live-in domestic staff. In addition to the five guest/family bedrooms and the master bedroom on the second floor there are three large if awkwardly shaped en suite bedrooms on the third floor plus two more smaller bedrooms that share a hall bathroom.

The second floor master suite is a roomy if surprisingly simple affair comprised of a 500-square foot bedroom/sitting area, an itty-bitty stud-nook, a pair of custom-fitted windowed dressing rooms and a single, spacious bathroom sheathed almost entirely in Milas Lilac marble. The high contrast marble in the master bathroom was certainly a bold choice and we imagine many of the children will poo-poo its use as conspicuous and vulgar. And it is, hunties. It is. Even still, Your Mama thinks it's insane. Rachel Zoe might say, "It's mayj!" The free-standing soaking tub carved from a huge hunk of the same marble is just icing on the crazy cake in that glorious high luxury meets high camp style to which Your Mama is inexplicably and somewhat embarrassingly drawn. We don't want that bathroom for our bathroom but we're sorta glad it exists in all its unapologetic über-splendor. Anyhoodles poodles...

Additional creature comforts at Heath Hall include: a cloak room/powder pooper larger than most people's bedrooms; a basement level wine cellar; a discreet and fully equipped panic room (not shown on the floor plan, natch) with toilet and separate telephone wires that can not be cut; a surprisingly compact but state-of-the-art home cinema lined with cream colored suede; an indoor swimming pool complex complete with spa and multi-colored fiber optic lighting situation that kinda gives Your Mama the decorative willies. The indoor fitness area also includes an adjoining gymnasium, steam room and dry sauna and two shower/changing rooms.

Every square foot of the walled, gated and high maintenance 2.5 acre estate is landscaped to include a motor court with central water feature at the front of the house and a rear motor court for easy access to the five car detached garage. There are formal gardens, a serpentine pathway winds in and out through the sylvan edges of the estate, a hard surface tennis court and a rectangular swimming pool overlooked by a slightly elevated glassed-in gazebo.

listing photos and floor plan: Knight Frank

Monday, March 18, 2013

Pam Anderson's Malibu Modern Up for Grabs

SELLER: Pam Anderson
LOCATION: Malibu, CA
PRICE: $7,750,000
SIZE: 2,752 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Your Mama certainly ain't tellin' anybody a damn thing about former Baywatch babe Pam Anderson's money woes, unpaid tax issues and sundry real estate meshugganuh, all of which has been covered at length and ad infinitum by others in the tabloid and celebrity real estate gossip media.

To quickly recap: In the last days of 2000 Miz Anderson coughed up $1,800,000 for a land-side fixer upper in the guard-gated and star-studded Colony enclave in Malibu (CA). She spent years and God only knows how many millions on eco-minded overhaul and re-imagining of the original 1959 cottage led by architect Philip Vertoch of Vertoch Design Architects and designer Josh Chrisant of Chryssanthou.

In November 2011, reportedly strapped for cash, Miz Anderson's newly overhauled contemporary crib in the guard-gated and star-studded Colony enclave in Malibu (CA) unexpectedly popped up for rent on VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner) at twenty grand a week or $75,000 a month with a dozen or so over-processed photographs.  The property was up for least again over the summer of 2012 at a much more reasonable but still pocketbook punishingly high $50,000 per month. We don't know if anyone actually leased the house but we're sure one or two of the children could probably enlighten Your Mama about that if they'd so choose.

When the middle-aged bombshell finally decided to sell her financial albatross in the Colony a month or so ago—that would be February 2013—she pushed it on the open market with a $7,750,000 price tag with but a few—ahem—artfully staged listing photographs. One showed a Golden Retriever lounging on a sun bed, another of a pair of over-sized pillows arranged just so on the roof deck and a third an inane tableau of perfume bottles and pink roses.

However, hunties, it appears that Miz Anderson's extraordinarily successful real estate agent has recently added a whole lotta much more customary photographs to the online listings for the teak-sided contemporary that has three bedrooms and three bathrooms in 2,752 square feet of modern splendor.

An intimate, gated courtyard planted with lavender bushes and olive trees leads to an extra wide pivoting glass door that, for all intents and purposes, opens directly into kitchen. The open concept lower floor, bisected by a muscular wood and steel floating staircase, has a media lounge area with wall-mounted flat-screen tee-vee and built-in surround sound system, a living room lounge with book shelf flanked fireplace and a galley style kitchen expensively equipped with slab stone counter tops, custom cabinetry and the sorts of high grade and extravagantly pricey commercial grade appliances that Make Your Mama swoon. Did y'all see the glass-fronted Sub-Zero? Refrigeration heaven as far as we're concerned. A wall of floor to ceiling glass windows disappear into the walls when opened and seamlessly join the compact interior spaces to the outdoor living spaces.

Up the floating staircase two family/guest bedrooms share a bathroom. The master suite with floor to ceiling wardrobe closets hidden behind matchbook pattern wood doors, a corner fireplace and an open-plan bathroom that Your Mama hates because, seriously, who wants to wake up looking at the sink/vanity and the goddamn bath tub, even if it is a stunningly sculptural, $14,000 Agape Spoon Bathtub? Anyhoo, like in the living area downstairs, a wall of windows slide back into the wall and exposes the room to the elements. The bedroom spills out to a large deck and second, exterior floating staircase that climbs up to a roomy roof deck. Now, naturally we love the roof terrace with its all around mountain and ocean views but it's a little inconvenient for the rood deck access to be through the master bedroom.

A couple more quirky details Your Mama thinks the children ought to take note of include: the flush mounted television in the sauna; the full-sized tepee set on a concrete plinth at the far end of the pool; the glimmering, disco-ball-like mirrored tiles on the wall in that aforementioned master bathroom; the direct view of Jerry Perenchio's private golf course from the upper level decks off the master bedroom; the rather interesting collection of artworks and coffee table books; and, finally, for the love of Pete,the ebony baby grand piano that someone for some inexplicable reason put on the covered porch off the main living space where the salt air can quickly corrode everything there is to corrode on a grand piano.

To be honest, children, we're not sure if Miz Anderson has been living up in this house in the Colony or not. The last we heard of her—which was ages ago, really—she was shacked up in a fancy trailer home in the Paradise Cove Mobile Home Park but we really don't know if she's still living there or no. Bueller? Anyone? Bueller?

listing photos: Coldwell Banker

Summer's Comin': Natasha Gregson Wagner

OWNER: Natasha Gregson Wagner
LOCATION: Malibu, CA
PRICE: $20,000 per month
SIZE: 2-3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Summers a-comin' chickens and children so, if you don't already own a crazy expensive  shack at the beach, it's time to start thinking about securing a sickeningly expensive rental for the beach going season. Thanks to a seaside canary we'll call Ben Tothebeach, Your Mama has learned that one, relatively and comparatively modestly priced option for West Coasters may be the compact ocean front cottage in Malibu, CA that Tinseltown scion and part-time actress Natasha Gregson Wagner has made available for lease at $20,000 per month.*

Miz Gregson Wagner, in case y'all don't know, is the daughter of British producer/writer/agent Richard Gregson and child star turned movie actress Natalie Wood, who tragically and mysteriously drown in 1981 off the coast of Santa Catalina Island. After momma Wood married actor Robert Wagner (Hart to Hart) for the second time in 1972 he adopted Natasha which is how she came to have the (second) surname Wagner.

Anyhoo, property records show Miz Gregson Wagner purchased the property way back in late 1996 for $1,200,000 when she was just a dewy young woman in her mid twenties. Imagine that. Those really were the real estate salad days, weren't they, when you could snatch up a wee beach front home in Malibu for under a million and a quarter clams? Your Mama will let the real estate experts in Malibu determine what the value of this house would be if it were for sale but we'd bet both out long-bodied bitches, Linda and Beverly, that it's at least several times more than the lady paid.

Pale blond wood floors run through out the open plan main living/dining space that has a pitched and beamed ceiling, a brick fireplace in the living room area and a wide bank of wood-framed glass sliders that open to a beach front deck that spans the full width of the house.

The matte finish wood floors extend into a cozy den as well as into the recently-remodeled and sky-lit eat-in kitchen outfitted with crisp, discreetly hardwared white cabinets, open upper cabinets for kitchenware displays, marble counter tops and back splashes and—natch—high grade stainless steel appliances. A wood-framed sliding door set into a wall painted an unusual shade of black connects the kitchen to land side courtyard dining deck and Zen garden.

Listing details suggest the walled and gated beach house has a somewhat unusual set up with a compact beach side main house with just one ocean view master bedroom and one bathroom slathered in olive green subway tiles. Separate detached guest quarters offer a spacious second master suite with vaulted wood ceiling and marble bathroom plus an additional small office, nursery or bedroom.

Last year Miz Gregson Wagner and her actor man-friend Barry Watson (Gossip Girl7th Heaven) made a girl baby out of wedlock—those moral flouting Hollywood types—which may or may not have something to do with her/their decision to lease out her charming but not exactly small child friendly Malibu getaway. As far as we know or can quickly tell from a spin through various property record data bases, Miz Gregson Wagner does not own any other residential real estate in Los Angeles.** Twice married Mister Watson also does not appear to own any residential real estate in Los Angeles** although he did previously own a couple of houses up in Topanga Canyon, one he sold 1995 and the other he got rid of in 2009.

If you're among the financially fortunate who are willing and able to spend ten times as much dinero on a seaside summer rental there's always the glassy, Malibu Road contemporary sold by Perry Ellis's handbag designer daughter Tyler Alexandra in 2007 for $16,000,000 and currently for rent at $200,000 per month. For a mere quarter million clams a month sand and sea seeking Wealthy Wendies and Richie Riches can opt for the much-coveted, guard-gated Colony community where some of the other owners of homes include movers and shakers like Tom Hanks—who owns two houses, Brian Grazer, Jim Carrey, Jason Statham, Peri Gilpin and boob-toob producer Mark Burnett and wife Roma Downey. By Your Mama's admittedly unscientific research, billionaire media mogul Jerry Perenchio owns—buckle your real estate safety belts, butter beans—no fewer than dozen homes behind the guarded gates of the Colony not to mention a controversial private golf course that abuts the swanky seaside enclave.

Three time Academy Award-nominated Tinseltown legend in the making Leo DiCaprio—always a bridesmaid, never a bride at the Oscars—owns (at least) two homes in da Bu including an ocean front compound in the western end of the guard gated Colony community that is up for sale for $23,000,000 and available for short term lease at $150,000 per month.

Barely working (h)actress and occasional tabloid train wreck Pam Anderson has her recently completed land-side contemporary inside the Colony is listed for sale at $7,750,000. (More on that shortly.)

*Listing information indicates the rental rate for the prime June-September months is higher.
**That does not mean she doesn't, only that we're unable to confirm or deny it.
***That does not mean he does not, only that we're unable to confirm or deny it.

listing photos: Westside Estate Agency

It's Back: Camille Grammer

SELLER: Camille Grammer
LOCATION: Malibu, CA
PRICE: $14,995,000
SIZE: 6.645 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms (plus a substantial guest house)

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: After a few months off the market, some legal wrangling and public tongue wagging over a house in Holmby Hills she still co-owns with her luxe-living ex-husband, the expansive Malibu, CA compound owned and occupied by The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Camille Grammer, the fourth ex wife of five-time Emmy winning television star Kelsey Grammer, has popped back up on the open market with a new, improved and much lower asking price of $14,995,000.

Mister and fourth ex-Missus Grammer purchased the property in May 1998 for $4,500,000 and according to at least one online resource first attempted to unload the 4.77 acre equestrian-friendly spread in the guard-gated Serra Retreat back in 2004 when it was listed for an unknown amount for eight months. They unsuccessfully attempted to sell again in 2005 for an also unknown amount.

Fourth ex-Missus Grammer—a former MTV dancer who was granted complete ownership of the Malibu estate in their divorce—first hoisted the high maintenance compound on the open market in August 2012 with an in-hindsight wildly optimistic $17,500,000 price tag. The asking price dropped at least once before it was taken off the market just before the Christmas holidays.

Current listing information shows the main house, a kind of French country villa meets suburban mock-Med mini-mansion, measures in at 6,645 square feet with four bedrooms, six bathrooms, a formal living room, double height formal dining room with a sliver of an ocean view and a wood-paneled library with chateau-style carved stone fireplace surround.

There's also a media room with seating for at least 14 in baby poo colored brown leather recliners with built-in drink holders in the armrests, a spacious—if stylistically very ordinary—Wolfgang Puck designed kitchen with two center islands, a mac-daddy commercial grade range and heavy-duty rustic wood beams on the ceiling.

A detached guest house (above) has spacious living room, kitchen, garage parking for five cars and, according to listing details, "several bedrooms," a private terrace and a rooftop deck.

The nearly five acre, fully landscaped  estate has a long meandering driveway, scad of 18th and 19th century fountains and benches for quiet contemplation, numerous entertainment terraces including at least one for dining and one with a stacked stone outdoor fireplace, a stone terrace surrounded heated swimming pool, at least two spas, a lighted tennis court, equestrian facilities that include a 9-stall barn and dressage riding ring and a large lily pond with canoe dock and and 18th century stone temple.

No doubt much to their mutual chagrin and frustration Mister and fourth ex-Missus Grammer still co-own a luxurious residence with seven bedrooms and eight bathrooms in the exceedingly affluent Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles—once listed at $19.9 million and priced tagged at $14,995,000. They also still have an 8,500 square foot ski chalet near Vail (CO) that's been for sale since at least March 2011 and is currently listed with a $6,995,000 asking price.

listing photos: Coldwell Banker 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Weekend Wrap Up (03.15.13): Penthouse at the Pierre


The real estate gossip grapevine is all atwitter and agog over unconfirmed scuttlebutt that the titanic, 12,000 square foot triplex penthouse of recently deceased financier—and 1987 stock market crash predictor—Martin Zweig is about to hit the (open) market and may well fetch—some chatty Manhattan broker says—between $100 million and $120,000,000.

The positively palatial penthouse pad, perched proudly atop the super-posh Pierre on Fifth Avenue and purchased by Mister Zweig in 1999 for a then record breaking $21,500,000, was previously and long listed from in 2003 until the fall of 2008 with a then unfathomable $70,000,000 price tag. At that time listing information showed maintenance charges rang up $38,720 per month. That's a pearl clutching $464,640 every year for the privilege of living atop one of the most exclusive—if Old School—hotel and residential towers in all of New York City.

The ever industrious and well-connected kids at Curbed managed to turn up some photos and a floor plan from 1996 that—along with previous reports an old online listings—shows the 16-room suburban MacMansion-sized but oddly configured triplex has—or had—five proper bedrooms, seven full bathrooms plus a tight suite of three half crappers for large parties and events and an additional staff bedroom and bathroom. There are—or were—five functional fireplaces, four terraces, two reception rooms that flank an opera house worthy main staircase, a paneled library and a 42nd floor Grand Salon of—let's bet honest, children—epic proportions: 2,800 square feet with soaring 23-foot high coved ceiling, three towering arched windows and two sets of 20-foot tall French doors that connect to a pair of corner terraces with panoramic city and Central Park Views.

Cozier living quarters are located on the lowest level, the 41st floor, and include a surprisingly small kitchen and a corner living room with adjoining dining area/study. Other notable amenities include an oddly located sauna—on the 43rd floor opposite two guest bedrooms—and a private elevator that services all three floors of the penthouse.

The impossibly swish Pierre is the same building where a bevy of millionaire, billionaires, potentates and international power players own primary residences and pieds-a-terre. Just to list a couple there's Harrod's owner and British royal family hater Mohamed Al Fayed, media tycoon Sumner Redstone and fashion mogul/socialite Tory Burch who lives in a massive 9,000 square foot multi-unit combination spread on the 9th floor that she was granted in her divorce from obscenely rich venture capitalist Chris Burch.

Some of the children who follow these things closely will recall that fashion world icon Valentino's business partner and man-friend Giancarlo Giammetti sold his art-filled pad at The Pierre last year for $8,000,000. He bought the apartment, as it turns out, from Pierre Berge, an antique dealer better known in some circles as the former consort of French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent.

listing photos: Brown Harris Stevens via Curbed
floor plan: Curbed

Weekend Wrap Up (03.15.13): Natasha Bedingfield


SELLERS: Natasha Bedingfield and Matt Robinson
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $329,900
SIZE: 1,380 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Your Mama learned from The Bizzy Boys at Celebrity Address Aerial that British pop star Natasha Bedingfield and her businessman husband Matt Robinson have listed (and just about sold) an itty-bitty house on the border between the historic if gritty Lincoln Heights and Montecito Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles. Property records show they picked the place up out of foreclosure—presumably as an investment—in January 2011 for just $78,000.

Rich people and real estate snobs will probably make a kerfuffle about how the Montecito Heights and Lincoln Heights are the goddamn ghetto—they're just east of downtown and Dodger Stadium and about 1.5 miles from the inner city campus of USC. And maybe they are lesser savory zip codes. What does Your Mama know never having actually stepped well shod foot in that particular 'hood? Whatever the economic and security realities of Lincoln and Montecito Heights today they is often cited as among the oldest neighborhoods in Lala Land where, once upon a time in the mid-1800s, wealthy Angelenos built large and elaborate Victorian mansions. Naturally, hipster house flippers have pegged the 'hood' as the next Highland Park or Mount Washington in their not entirely futile or successful attempts to upgrade and gentrify the area.

Anyhoo, listing details available online show the 1,380 square foot bungalow was was originally built in 1914 and completely renovated by Miter Robinson and Miz Bedingfield with all new systems, kitchen and bathrooms. The couple, who also own a much more celebrity-esque style house in the gated Laughlin Park enclave in L.A.'s famous-friendly Los Feliz area, flipped the ho-hum house back on the market in December (2011) with an asking price of $377,000. By early 2012 the price had dropped to $329,900 and—strangely—appears to have been in escrow since April 2012.

The fuzzy listing photos show an open plan main living space with hardwood floors, white walls and butcher block counter tops in the appliance-free kitchen. The bathrooms are finished with renter-grade fixtures—at least one has one of those horrid molded plastic shower enclosures—and both bedrooms appear to have pale beige wall-to-wall carpeting. The master bedroom is located on the lower level along with laundry facilities and small, tile-floored office area.

Listing details also indicate Miz Bedingfield and Mister Robinson were willing to lease the two bedroom and two bathroom hillside house for $1,895 per month, arrange for a lease to purchase situation and/or were possibly willing to carry the loan on the property.

listing photos: Rodeo Realty

Week End Wrap Up (03.15.13): 778 Park Avenue


Floor plan porn addicts like Your Mama went hog wild over the 17th floor co-operative apartment at the high-brow 778 Park Avenue in New York City that popped up on the market this week with a $22,500,000 price tag.

The brutally swank building was originally designed by much lauded and applauded pre-war architect Rosario Candela, a man who really understood how filthy rich folks wanted to lived when they moved from mansions to urban apartment houses. Howevuh, hunties, most of the drop dead swellegant original architectural details Mister Candela is known for—think wedding cake moldings, thick window surrounds, pedimented doorways—have been mostly if not entirely stripped from the apartment in favor of a more austere environment that compliment's the sellers' rather impressive collection of name brand contemporary art.

Current listing information shows the roomy but hardly humongous urban aerie has a private elevator landing, a 600-square foot living room with 11-foot ceilings, three proper bedrooms and three wonderfully windowed bathrooms (plus an unusually spacious staff room and windowed bathroom), two fireplaces (in the dining room and library), a three room kitchen suite (butler's pantry, kitchen and separate but adjacent breakfast room), five terraces (plus one Juliet balcony) and—a feature Your Mama loves like the dickens—a walk-in wet bar in the cozy corner library.

While the apartment is undeniably spectacular and, generally speaking, remarkably and efficiently laid out it lacks for closet space—particularly in the master bedroom—and there does not appear to be a powder room. Guests who are unable to hold their water are, then, forced to traipse through one of the bedrooms or—heaven forfend—weave their way deep into the service quarters to use the staff bathroom.

Listing details indicate the apartment has been in the same family for 70 years and our brief and unscientific research indicates that, until her death at 99 earlier this year, the sumptuous if dated spread was owned by fairly low profile pulp and paper heiress, arts and culture patroness and generous philanthropist Celeste Gottesman Bartos and her second husband, architect Armand Phillip Bartos, who predeceased her by about seven years. Mister Bartos is best known, according to his January 2006 obit in the New York Times, as being (partially) responsible for the Shrine of the Book building "at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem built to house the Dead Sea Scrolls and other ancient manuscripts."

In addition to their art-filled Park Avenue apartment Mister and Missus Bartos maintained a supremely located 3.68 acre spread on Georgica Cove in East Hampton, a walled and gated compound in Santa Fe, N.M., and a villa at Round Hill, Jamaica.

Speaking of Santa Fe—as an unrelated aside—have y'all seen any of the few photos of the super-minimal equestrian and residential complex that Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architect Tadao Ando designed for smoldering fashion world guru Tom Ford on his 24,000 acre ranch outside Santa Fe? Have mercy. The severe, uber-contemporary style will not appeal to anybody with a an architectural yen for the traditional but, holy damn hell butter beans, it's an architectural tour de force to be sure.

listing photos and floor plan: Sotheby's International Realty