Monday, March 11, 2013

Showbiz Bigwig Mike Medavoy Flipping Out Again

SELLER: Mike and Irena Medavoy
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $7,998,000
SIZE: 5,437 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: In 2007 Tinseltown super producer Mike Medavoy and his wife Irena slapped a ludicrously optimistic $23,500,000 price tag on their nearly 11,000 square foot house in the guard-gated Beverly Park community that sold July 2009 for $12,500,000.

A few months later, in September 2009, the Hollywood power player and is charity-minded lady downsized to an approximately 6,200 square foot house in the ever-so-trendy Trousdale Estates neighborhood in Beverly Hills for which they paid $5,850,000. However, Mister and Missus Medavoy soon caught a classic case of The Real Estate Fickle and, in June 2010, flipped the low-slung four bedroom and seven bathroom house back on the market with an asking price of $7,495,000. Property records show the house sold very quickly to a Canadian corporate concern for $7,500,000.

The following April (2011) Mister and Missus Medavoy plunked down $6,000,000 dollars for a 5,437 square foot architectural pastiche of a house in prime East Gate Bel Air that Your Mama will call it a faux-Tuscan Renaissance Revival style villa due to a lack of more discernible or specific vernacular.

The—ahem—villa overlooks the impossibly exclusive Bel-Air Country Club where, as per the country club's website, gentlemen members and their male guests are not allowed to wear "Bermuda or walking shorts, jeans or denims of any color, tank tops, cutoffs, swimwear, football jerseys, or any type of shirt with printed phrases and warm-up suits are not permitted."

Anyhoo, less than two years later, in late February 2013, the itchy-footed Medavoys heaved their Bel Air house back on the market with a $7,998,000 price tag. It might seem ludicrous to some of the children that Mister and Missus Medavoy would slap an asking price on the house 33% higher than they paid for the place less than two years before but they did undertake an extensive and costly renovation of the property and—bully for them—within two weeks the property was put into escrow with an unknown buyer at an unknown price.

Incidentally, the property had been owned since at least the mid-1990s by Jon Peters—another Tinseltown super producer—who sold the house to arts and culture patroness Brindell Roberts Gottlieb in March 2008 for $8,200,000. Miz Gottlieb, bless her real estate heart, lost a $2.2 million bundle when she sold the house to Mister and Missus Medavoy for just six million bucks.*

Listing detials show the two story house was originally built in 1950, sits on .85 gated acres, measures 5,437 square feet and has a total of four bedrooms and five bathrooms including a "romantic" master suite with high ceiling and dual bathrooms.

The formal living room is roomy enough to comfortably accommodate a grand piano and has wood floors, a vaulted exposed beam wood ceiling, hulking stone fireplace and at least four sets of French doors that open to a long and wide, slate-tiled city view terrace. The vaulted ceiling continues over the formal dining room with a quartet of sky-lights that flood the room with light all day long. There aren't any listing photos of the kitchen but listing details call it a "Fabulous country open kitchen with eat-in breakfast room."

Other less formal spaces include a gallery lined with windows and built-in bookshelves, a fully carpeted den/office and an also fully carpeted over-sized family room filled with roll-armed upholstered sofas and chairs and a truckload of books, photographs, accolades and other movie industry memorabilia form Mister Medavoy's nearly 50 years in Da Movie Bizness.

The lower level—where some if not all of the bedrooms are located as far as Your Mama can tell—opens to a basket weave pattern red brick terrace and wedge-shaped deck that surrounds the bullet-shaped swimming pool. The terraced and fully landscaped grounds include tended gardens and walkways, narrow strips of flat lawns and a lighted sport court that overlooks the once exquisite UCLA-owned Hannah Carter Japanese Garden.***

The immediate area where this house is located is chock full of large estates owned by all sorts of wicked-rich people who include apparel mogul Serge Azria—who paid $21 million for his 12 bathroom house in April 2011, billionaire investor Tom Gores, financier Michael Doumani, wealthy widow Bren Simon who once put her 20,000-ish square foot mansion on the market for $50,000,000 but has since reduced it several times the price to its current $29,900,000.

*Mister Medavoy's has had a hand in producing, literally, hundreds of feature films including One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Rocky and Annie Hall, all of which earned best picture Oscars in the mid-1970s. Since then he produced through a variety of companies (Orion, TriStar and Phoenix) a slew of money maker and award winners including The Terminator (and Terminator II), Dances with Wolves, The Silence of the Lambs, Sleepless in Seattle, Hook, The People vs. Larry Flint, The Thin Red Line, Shutter Island and the 2010 mega hit Black Swan. According to his extensive and impressive resume on the Internet Movie Data Base, Mister Medavoy has more than half a dozen projects from several different genres (Sci-Fi, Horror, Drama etc.) in various stages of filming and development. 

**As far as we can tell from a look-see at the property records, Miz Roberts Gottlieb still also owns the nearly 11,000 square foot house on 2.34 acres immediately next door that she and her deceased husband Milton—a former economics professor turned real estate developer—have owned since the late 1990s.

***The 1.5 acre Kyoto-style hillside garden, designed in the late 50s and early 60s by Nagao Sakurai, was donated to UCLA in the mid-60s. Although they had agreed to maintain the garden in perpetuity, in early 2012 the university removed all the valuable art objects and planned to sell the garden citing prohibitively high maintenance costs, deferred maintenance issues and a lack of attendance/revenue related to the strictly limited parking. Controversy ensued and garden preservationists were relieved when the L.A. Superior Court granted a temporary injunction that prohibits the sale of the garden. A trial is set for May (2013) to determine the long-term fate of the stored garden. The university also listed the adjacent house—the so-called Carter House—in February 2012 for $9 million but it was de-listed five months later and has not returned to the (open) market.

listing photos: Coldwell Banker / Beverly Hills South

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