Friday, November 30, 2012

End of Week Wrap Up

Halle Berry puts a $15,000,000 price tag on her walled and gated Los Angeles residence. It was here, the the driveway where Miz Berry's ex-husband and current beau threw it down macho man style the other day.


1980s New Wave British rocker chick Siobahn Fahey—co-founding member of both Bananarama and Shakespears Sister and the former wife of Eurythmics co-founder Dave Stewart—dropped nearly two million smackers on a house in the Hollywood Hills so she can spend more time with her two L.A. based sons.


Former fashion model turned reality t.v. denizen Kelly Bensimon—formerly of The Real Housewives of New York City—finally, after years of unsuccessful efforts, sold her five bedroom cedar shingled house in the East Hampton (NY) for $5,760,000, a lot of money by any standard by a far cry from the twelve million she (reportedly) wanted last summer and the $10,900,000 she (allegedly) wanted in spring 2009.


Earlier this week some delish scuttlebutt made its way down the celebrity real estate gossip grapevine that, despite recently spending six and some million on a Spanish Colonial mini-mansion in Beverly Hills, Emmy-winning actor Kelsey Grammer wants to move his new family into a swank Holmby Hills mansion he previously shared with his former family. Only thing is, ex-wife Camille Grammer, formerly of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, co-owns the home and she's not so keen on the idea, especially since it's on the market she thinks it'll be harder to sell with Kelsey living there.

But that's not even the good part. Newer reports cite court documents that reveal Mister Grammer wants to move into the Holmby Hills house because his cash flow's a bit pinched since his most recent sitcom, Boss, failed to find any Showbiz traction.

Turns out the carrying costs for the Holmby Hills estate come to a whopping $48,130 per month, half of which gets covered by ex-Missus Grammer who—one imagines—isn't so keen on coughing up 25 grand a month to house Mister Grammer, New Missus Grammer and their infant child.


Elle Decor takes a glossy look-see into the Los Angeles (CA) home of much published, world renown and unapologetically pretentious nice-gay decorator Martyn Lawrence Bullard and, Lowerhd have mercy children, it's just as grand, graphic, glammy, multi-layered, kaleidoscopically colorful, expensive looking and internationally oriented as anyone who watches the flamboyant and whimsically dapper Mister Bullard on Million Dollar Decorator might well expect.


Bazillionaire tech tycoon and famously voracious real estate buyer Larry Ellison picks up his tenth house on Carbon Beach, the hoitiest of the toitiest stretch of sand in Malibu. No word on how much he paid yet—transaction records have yet to surface on the interweb—but what is known is that he bought the house from super producer Jerry Bruckheimer and that he already owns the homes on either side of his latest acquisition.


The contemporary home of the late, conservative and sometimes controversial commentator and political pundit Andrew Breitbart—in the affluent Westwood area of Los Angeles, CA—popped up on the market with a $1,995,000 price tag.


Tinseltown icon Jack Nicholson put a $595,000 asking price on a now vacant, .4(ish) acre residential parcel high in the Hollywood Hills. Mister Nicholson bought the property in 1975 for just $49,000 and in September 2011 the existing residence—which he leased out—was irretrievably damaged by fire.

Billie Joe Armstrong Lists Newport Beach Cottage

SELLER: Billie Joe Armstrong
LOCATION: Newport Beach, CA
PRICE: $1,895,000
SIZE: unknown square footage, 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: On the heels of Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong's profanity-laced tirade on stage in September at the iHeartRadio music festival in Las Vegas—an unwise jeremiad that led to him entering a rehab treatment facility for unspecified substance abuse—he and his missus Adrienne have put their itty-bitty beach cottage in Newport Beach, CA on the market with an asking price of $1,895,000.

Property records show the sassy pop-punker and his eco-boutique owning missus picked up the petite cottage located just a couple short blocks from the beach in the densely packed Peninsula Point area of Newport Beach in May 2006 for $1,699,000 and listing information indicates the house was subsequently re-built from the studs up—no doubt at considerable expense—in 2007.

Listing information does not indicate the square footage but The Orange County Tax Man shows the fully renovated and upgraded 1946 shingled cottage measures just 924 square feet. Based on listing photographs it would seem to Your Mama that, although obviously compact, the cottage is considerably larger.

A short white picket fence defines the decidedly diminutive front yard that gives way to a deliciously deep and charming front porch. A glass-paned Dutch door—we do so adore a Dutch door in the right circumstance—opens directly into the relatively roomy living room finished and furnished with with wood floors that may or may not be bamboo, white-painted paneled walls, bamboo blinds, a too-tropical rattan ceiling fan and lots of porch-style wicker and rattan sofas and chairs. Built in shelves and a built-in niche flank the fireplace with hearty red brick surround and french doors at the back of the room open to an narrow, brick-paved and bamboo-shaded side/back yard patio where listing information notes there's an outdoor shower for rinsing off the sand and salt from beach excursions.

The living room opens to the spacious and cook-friendly eat-in kitchen equipped with white Shaker-style cabinetry, some sort of slab stone counter tops, lots of four-pane windows, top grade commercial-style appliances and a white porcelain farmhouse style stink.

There are a total of three adequate but hardly huge bedrooms, one downstairs with private bathroom and two more upstairs.

Mister and Missus Armstrong have long maintained a home base in northern California's Bay Area. In November 2009 they sold a 6,122 square foot French Normandy-style abode in a good part of Oakland for $4,800,000 and moved to a walled, gated and privately situated 7,178 square foot house with 6 bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms in the leafy and affluent Piedmont community—about 15 miles east of the restaurant lined streets of San Fran's Mission District—that they picked up in November 2005 for $3,200,000 and fully re-built.

listing photos: HOM Sotheby's International Realty

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Katherine Heigl Wants a New House

SELLER: Katherine Heigl and Josh Kelley
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
SIZE: 3,690 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Usually when a listing surfaces on the open market that announces that it's owned by an unnamed celebrity we usually find out the celebrity sits pretty far down Tinseltown's totem pole of fame. That, howevuh, ain't the case with a recently renovated 1920s center hall Colonial style residence in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles that popped up on the open market yesterday with an asking price of $2,659,000 and is owned by Emmy-winning hospital drama and rom-com actress Katherine Heigl (Grey's Anatomy) and her country music singing hubby Josh Kelley.

Property records and reports from the time of their purchase reveal the Miz Heigl and Mister Kelley—who recently adopted their second daughter—picked up the walled and gated residence for $2,550,000 in September 2007.

Your Mama happens to know the couple did a major overhaul of the property and, at it's current price—just $109,000 more than they paid—they're looking at a net loss of at least a couple hundred thousand when the renovation expenses, carrying costs and real estate fees are factored in. C'est la vie in the world of house-hopping celebrities who don't seem to blink or bat an fake eyelash at tossing a quarter million clams—or more—down the real estate drain every time they get sick of their house.

Anyhoodles poodles, current listing information, besides calling it "reminiscent of Architectural Digest" and "Celeb-owned," reveals the four bedroom and 3.5 bath traditional has 3,690 square feet with high ceilings, dark wood floors throughout and heavy duty crown moldings and a lot of vintage light fixtures.

The center stair hall—where the stairs are fitted with an awful but probably necessary baby fence—opens on the left through French doors to a glammed up formal living room where there's a fireplace, a lavender velvet sofa, an antique-looking library in the center of the room filled with objet and other tchotchke and two sets of French doors that provide a view of the lattice-lined driveway and the garbage bins.

The back of the central entry hall connects to the less formal and more private open-plan family area at the rear of the residence that includes a spacious center island kitchen that mixes a little bit of modern with a little bit of traditional. There are white Shaker style cabinetry and white subway tile back splashes, gray slab granite—or possibly concrete—counter tops, the usual collection of high grade stainless steel appliances and a stainless steel farmhouse-style sink, lots of multi-paned windows and a Sputnik-style chandelier hung over the center island work space and snack counter.

Thick columns hold aloft what seems to be an architecturally unnecessary archway that divides the kitchen from the breakfast room area. More columns and another seemingly unnecessary archway divides the breakfast room from the family room where there's a white leather sectional sofa that makes Your Mama feel squeamish in our belly, lots of built-in faux-distressed cabinetry and side-lit French doors to connect to a slender grillin' and chillin' deck that runs along the back of the house and over looks the fully landscaped backyard.

The second floor master bedroom has a fireplace, a Baroque, blood red tufted headboard straight out of Auntie Mame's manse, a walk-in closet and a sun-splashed corner bathroom with tumbled stone floors, marble topped vanity with double sinks, white tile accents, a separate soaking tub and an only partially glass-enclosed shower stall that we sorta think might have benefited from being fully enclosed.

A narrow, gated driveway runs up along one side of the house to a tree-shaded flagstone dining terrace with stacked stone outdoor fireplace. A detached two car garage at the very back of the property appears to have been converted to some sort of living space or at least it looks like it's not set up for parking cars anymore. A tall fence and lush plantings separate the driveway/dining terrace from the main part of the high-hedged backyard where there's a wee patch of grass, a sizable spa and smallish swimming pool.

Miz Heigl also owns a second house in the Los Feliz area that was purchased in September 2007 for $2,000,000 and the four bedroom and four bathroom abode is occupied—so we've been told but can not confirm—by Miz Heigl's ever-present mother. The Heigl-Kelleys also maintain a rural and semi-remote spread in a swank gated enclave just outside of Park City, UT that they appear to have purchased sometime in 2011.

Last year, in October 2011, after a long and bumby ride on the bucking bronco of real estate Miz Heigl finally unloaded a 3 bedroom and 2.5 bathroom residence—also in Los Feliz—for $965,000. That's all well and good except that property records show she paid $1,500,000 for the place in May 2006. That's a staggering, $535,000 loss, according to Your Mama's bejeweled abacus, not counting improvements, carrying costs and real estate fees.

See, we told you that some well-compensated celebs—and others with significant cash flow—are so emotionally invested in getting rid of a house they own they are, on a whim or otherwise, willing and able to take a hard hit to their deep pockets. Must be nice, right?

listing photos: Keller Williams Realty / Los Feliz

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Travel Day

Today is a travel day for Your Mama so rather than leave the children totally high and dry we thought we'd post a few of our favorite videos from the YouTube:

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Pharrell Puts Miami Penthouse On Market

SELLER: Pharrell
PRICE: $16,800,000
SIZE: 9,080 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: A little canary down in South Beach flew by the other day and let Your Mama know that uni-named Grammy-winning songwriter/producer/rapper, art collector, entrepreneur and sartorial daredevil Pharrell has hoisted his titanic tri-level penthouse condo in Miami, FL on the market with a sky-high asking price of $16,800,000.

Property records show Mister Pharrell picked up the penthouse in March 2007 for $12,525,000 from a well-known property developer and it wasn't long before he was involved in an ugly legal imbroglio over numerous water leaks that came, according to at least one online report, from "at least six sources in the home, such as the penthouse pool, plant watering system, and Jacuzzi."

Current listing information shows the sprawling, 40th floor penthouse measures a suburban mansion-sized 9,080 square feet with five bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms and knee-knocking 360-degree city, bay, ocean and causeway views.

In December 2010 Mister Pharrell had the art-filled aerie photographed for The Selby—if you don't know The Selby, then you should—and in July 2011 he had dextrous design writer and international style maven Mayer Rus all up in there to do a piece for W Magazine. Based on the lush photographs from both of those shoots it seems that Mister Pharrell may (or may not) have moved out much of his personal belongings, in particular his Ms. Pac Man and Galaga video game consoles, his colossal collection of sneakers and his impressive contemporary art collection that includes significant works by name-brand artists such as Takashi Murakami, Keith Haring, KAWS, and Andy Warhol.

The capacious main floor living/dining room has chestnut colored wood floors, a curving ribbon of nearly floor to ceiling glass with terrace access and panoramic water views, a built-in buffet in the dining area and a built-in entertainment center in the living area with a massive flat screen television. A floating staircase connects the main floor to the second floor landing where a gravity defying spiral staircase corkscrews up to a third floor lounge underneath a spectacular and downright Herculean frosted glass dome that defines the triple height space and for some reason isn't shown in any of the listing photographs we dug up online.

Listing photographs do show the penthouse is luxuriously equipped with a sleek center island kitchen, a six (or maybe nine) seat home theater with plush red leather recliners and paneled walls, a billiard room on the second level mezzanine and library/lounge with built-in bookcases and a smattering of multi-colored modern furniture including the naughty-naughty Perspective chair, designed several years ago by Mister Pharrell in conjunction with the French product manufacturing concern Domeau + Pérès. The chair, in case any of y'all aren't familiar, has human-shaped legs. The front legs are those a woman on her tippy toes and the back legs those of a flat-footed man. Mister Pharrell says the chair "represents the love between a man and a woman" but Your Mama—like most people—see the chair as a not very abstract depiction of the couple doing it doggy style.

Anyhoo, the master suite has a bedroom with watery view and direct terrace access, a big bathroom slathered in inlaid marble and what Mister Rus in W Magazine called a "steroidal closet...filled with a teenager's fantasy trove of Technicolor sneakers."

Three levels of vast terraces offer unparalleled all-around views, an outdoor summer kitchen, miles of tiled planter boxes, a spa and a plunge-sized swimming pool beneath a muscular, vine-draped pergola.
steroidal closet is filled with a teenager’s fan­tasy trove of Technicolor sneakers

Read more:
steroidal closet is filled with a teenager’s fan­tasy trove of Technicolor sneakers

Read more:
steroidal closet is filled with a teenager’s fan­tasy trove of Technicolor sneakers

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Property records show Mister Pharrell—recently engaged to his long-time lady friend and baby momma Helen Lasichanh with whom he has young son named Rocket Mann Williams—still owns the 9,116 square foot waterfront mansion in his hometown of Virginia Beach, VA that he bought way back in December 2001 for $1,850,000.

We really have no idea what real estate plans Mister Pharrell may have up his sleeve but in the W Magazine article he mentioned that his residential real estate fantasies include maverick architect Frank Gehry designing him a "Wyne Manor-style mansion" and avant garde architect Zaha Hadid doing him a domicile "that is partially submerged in the ocean." So there's that...

listing photos: Coldwell Banker Previews

Monday, November 26, 2012

Robbie Williams Lists L.A. Soccer Pitch

SELLER: Robbie Williams
LOCATION: Beverly Hills, CA
PRICE: $3,600,000
SIZE: 4,659 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms (total)

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Thanks to an informant we'll call Yolanda Yaketyyak we've just learned that British-born and L.A.-based pop star Robbie Williams has put his multi-residence compound and private soccer pitch in L.A.'s 90210 zip code on the market with an asking price of $3,600,000.

Property records indicate the new daddy purchased the two-parcel compound—located in the Bev Hills Post Office as opposed to Beverly Hills proper—in February 2005 for $3,700,000, an amount that ensures, even with a full price sale, a $100,000 loss not counting improvements, carrying costs and real estate fees.

The two parcel spread spans .81 acres and is set above the famed Mulholland Drive with long views out over the San Fernando Valley. Garden paths and exterior stairways connect two separate residences with separate gated driveways plus a detached guest house—also with separate gated parking pad—that all surround a regulation sized soccer pitch.

Current listing information and property records reveal the two-story main house was originally built in 1947 and measures 3,525 square feet and has three bedrooms, four bathrooms and a swimming pool encircled by trees.

A second, single-story house was originally built in 1951 and has 1,134 square feet, two bedrooms, one bathrooms and its own pickle-shaped swimming pool and free-form terrace with sweeping valley view.

A third, two-story structure adjacent to the fully-netted soccer pitch offers additional living space/lounge plus garage space for four cars.

When Mister Williams sells his soccer oriented compound above Mulholland Drive he'll be far from homeless in Los Angeles. Property records show he continues to own the 10,681 square foot multi-winged mansion located just over half a mile from his private soccer pitch on one-plus gated and landscaped acres inside the manned gates of the Mulholland Estates community that he bought in July 2002 for $5,450,000 from country music superstar Clint Black. We're not sure what alterations and/or customizations Mister Williams may have made since but at the time he purchased the property it had six bedrooms, eight (or nine) bathrooms, a private recording studio, an elevator, pub room, massive master suite with gym, and a swimming pool with built-in slide.

aerial photo (top): Pacific Coast News
listing photos: The Agency

Monday Afternoon Mish Mash

Even though five-time Emmy winner Kelsey Grammer recently forked out $6,500,000 for a Spanish Colonial Revival style mini-mansion in the flats of Beverly Hills he reportedly wants to move with his current, fourth wife and new baby into a larger Holmby Hills mansion he once shared with his third wife, Camille, and their two children. Problem is, Camille is having none of that real estate merry-go-round nonsense. The 10,000-plus square foot quasi Country English sprawler has been on the market for an eternity at a variety of asking prices and is currently listed at $16,000,000, recently reduced from $17,000,000.


Just months after signing a $54,000,000 contract extension with the New England Patriots, 23 year old tight end Rob Gronkowski spent about $1,600,000 to buy a mock-Med mini-mansion in Tampa, FL, where—so our research revealed—the Patriots do their off-season training.

Besides that the three story house measures 4,781 and has four bedrooms, five bathrooms, three outdoor entertainment areas, a swimming pool and spa, a whole-house surround sound system and one custom built-in fish tank, the only other figure about The Gronk or his new bach-pad in Tampa that our ball crazy b.f.f. Fiona Trambeau thinks is important is—ahem—his size 16 foot.


The Office's Jenna Fischer and her writer hubby Lee Kirk just dropped $1,900,000 on the Mediterranean style estate of legendary baseballer Casey Stengel in the unlikely celebrity locale of Glendale, CA


One of the late and fiercely reclusive copper heiress Huguette Clark's two eighth floor apartments on New York City's Fifth Avenue plus an unknown portion of the other have been sold for $22,500,000 to private equity pasha Frederick Iseman.

The children may recall that Miss Clark's 12th floor spread—originally owned by her mother—was purchased in July for $25,500,000 by hedge fund honcho Boaz Weinstein.


Professional basketballer Danny Granger of the Indiana Pacers has flipped the contemporary Los Angeles, CA residence he bought six months ago for $3,715,000 with an asking price of $4,195,000. The six-foot-eight forward, whose salary topped $13 million in 2012, bought the 5,140 square foot house in the hills from Tinseltown screenwriter Kevin Williamson.

Your Mama don't know a thing from a thing, natch, and we don't mean to be a real beotch about things but we can't really come to terms with the $480,000 price increase in just six months since current listing photos, when compared to listing photos from the time of the July purchase, don't show much if any changes except the addition of a whole lotta depressingly banal furniture and "artwork" that reeks of the handiwork of Staging Lady in a Pink Toyota.

The Miami Beach House Boobs Built

SELLERS: Lisa and Lenny Hochstein
LOCATION: Miami Beach, FL
PRICE: $10,750,000
SIZE: 9,944 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 5 full and 3 half bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Listen children, Your Mama and Sister Woman (and clan) drove out to Big Daddy's ranch the other day morning in the goddamn middle of nowhere where not only isn't there any available WiFi service but there isn't, believe it or not, any internet service at all. We thought about popping into Tinyville to see if we could scare up some WiFi at the dinky diner but we got distracted by a Christmas tree catastrophe—don't ask—and before we knew it it was time to head back to civilization...

Anyhoo, on Thanksgiving, before we left for Big Daddy's, in a glorious haze of tryptophans and gin, we received a covert communique from Betty Butterball who let us know that Dr. Lenny and Lisa Hochstein have their Miami Beach, FL mansion on the market with an asking price of $10,750,000.

Missus Hochstein, in case her name does not ring your celebrity bells, is a former nude model who appears in all her plasticine glory on the second (and current) season of The Real Housewives of Miami and Doctor Hochstein is a well known and highly successful Miami-based plastic surgeon who specializes in facial rejuvenation and boob jobs. Presumably it's Doctor H. who's responsible for Missus H.'s super-sized and very unnatural looking bazooms.

Turns out the Moscow born and New Jersey raised plastic surgeon and the substantially younger and balloon chested former Playboy model have had their house on the market since March 2011—when it was listed with an asking price of $10,750,000—and a few minutes on the interweb tells us we are hardly the first property gossip to discuss the waterfront mini-estate that's located on the northern shore of the northernmost isle of the swank and pricey four-island Sunset Island neighborhood located in the Biscayne Bay just north of South Beach.

Property records show Doctor Hochstein, along another man and woman with the same Hochstein surname, first purchased the property in April 2005 for $4,350,000. They proceeded to custom-build the existing mock-Med manse they dubbed Palacio del Eden and sometime in 2007, right about the time the house was completed, Doctor Hochstein bought out his same-surnamed partners and became the sole owner of the palatial abode where the nipped, tucked and Botoxed couple married in October 2009.*

Current listing information and property records show the essentially symmetrical and decidedly showy domicile sits tightly on just over half a landscaped acre and has five bedrooms and five full and three half bathrooms in 9,944 square feet of gaudy interiors dressed to impress with elaborate frescoed ceilings, intricate vine-like wrought iron railings, solid marble columns and archways, heavy carved wood furniture and cabinetry by the boat load, damask wall coverings and dozens upon dozens of arched windows and French doors.

The meretricious manse was prominently featured on the second season of The Real Housewives of Miami and was the scene of a couple of spectacular and downright tawdry cat fights during which one sassy queen pushed another mouthy queen into the swimming pool and one "housewife" smacked another across the face. There is, of course, absolutely nothing redeeming in behavior like that but ain't none of y'all will convince Your Mama that was not high-larious to watch a bunch of rich and "rich" people who claim to be high brow members of Miami's affluent social circuit screeching like drunken banshees and acting like wild eyed trailer trash.

Anyhoo, a gated driveway paved with herringbone pattern brick passes between two detached two-car garages and into a central motor where a pair of towering palms stand on either side of the main entrance. For reasons Your Mama can not fathom or recommend, there are dense thickets of potted plants placed under the twin floating staircases in the gilt-trimmed double-height foyer. Overhead there's a 14-foot diameter stained glass dome that back lit for maximum architectural (melo)drama.

Ample public spaces for large scale entertaining surround and open to a piazza-sized central courtyard and include formal living and dining rooms and a billiards room fitted with a heavy carved wood built-in buffet and display cabinet, a frescoed groin vaulted ceiling and an unapologetically lurid red and gold brocade sofa that sends shivers up and down Your Mama's delicate decorative spine.

Less formal spaces include a colossal center island kitchen with a soaring barrel vaulted brick ceiling, unnecessarily florid carved wood cabinetry and an adjacent family room that opens through a series of arched french doors to a deep loggia and back yard. The lack of decorative restraint reaches its apex, perhaps, in the thirteen seat gold and blood red home theater. Beyond the oppressively—ahem— sumptuous day-core, who puts puts thirteen seats in a home theater? We don't know who cleans the Hochstein's humongous house but Your Mama and The Dr. Cooter's deeply superstitious house gurl Svetlana would have a violent and destructive conniption if we so much as asked her to step into let along tidy up a room with thirteen of anything. Other necessities of the luxe life include a wine cellar and a home fitness room.

The second floor water-side master suite is certainly sizable but who could sleep peacefully in a room that garish? Plus, Your Mama knows it gets hot and icky humid in Miami in the summertime but, still, why didn't anyone think to purchase a rug to cover up the acre of tile flooring in there? And the big ol' master bathroom, well, let's just say a bathroom that decoratively vulgar binds Your Mama right up.

The courtyard and the back of the house open to a mostly stone-tiled waterside back yard where there's a massive, Versace-style mosaic tiled negative edge swimming pool and an open air poolside cabana with built-in barbecue and crapper that means no one needs to traipse through the house soaking wet from a dip in the pool. A row of palm trees along the 100-plus feet of bulk headed shore line where there's a private dock and boat lift.

Although they can probably afford to carry both mansions indefinitely, Doctor and Missus H. have soe incentive to sell their Sunset Island mansion since they've already acquired their next home on Miami Beach's notoriously affluent and star studded Star Island where some of the high profile residents and homeowners include Gloria Estefan, Rosie O'Donnell and Sean "Diddle Daddle" Combs—or whatever silly name he goes by now—along with a slew of real estate moguls and big business barons who include Vladislav Doronin, otherwise known as the beefcakey Russian billionaire man-friend of sometimes volatile supermodel Naomi Campbell.

Property records we peeped show the Hochsteins officially picked up their Star Island estate in late 2011 for $7,200,000 in a long, complicated and somewhat mysterious foreclosure situation.

The one-plus acre, wedge-shaped spread has, according to various online resources, 205 feet of Biscayne Bay frontage, a somewhat run-down 1920s three story Spanish Colonial style main mansion with 8,117 square foot plus three additional guest/staff residences for a total of eight bedrooms and seven full and three half bathrooms.

The house was used as the home of Al Pacino's iconic character Tony Montana in the 1983 movie Scarface.

*Other than her mammoth mammaries that are quite obviously surgically enhanced we really have no idea what if any other surgical or injectable alterations may or may not have been undertaken by Missus and/or Mister Hochstein.

listing photos (Sunset Island): Coldwell Banker Previews
listing photos (Star Island): Alex Shay

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Gobble Gobble!

Your Mama is thankful for all the children, our spider web of tipsters and informants—you know who you are!—The Dr. Cooter, our long bodied bitches Linda and Beverly, our friends and family and Mister Bobby Flay for his delish chipotle sweet potatoes recipe that is so damn simple Your Mama can make it three stiff gin & tonics into the afternoon.

photo: Burton Robert, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

k.d. lang keeps it real with a coupla condos

BUYER: k.d. lang
LOCATION: Portland, OR
PRICE: $639,000
SIZE: 2,017 square feet 1-2 bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: unbeknownst to this celebrity real estate gossip until yesterday, when we received a covert communique from a gal we'll call anita snitch, by the time crooner k.d. lang sold her long-time residence in los angeles' laurel canyon in may 2012 for $1,900,000 to maroon 5 keyboardist jesse carmichael she'd very quietly already scooped up her next home in the unexpected and—generally speaking—uncelebrified city of portland, or.

miz lang, who busted up with her long time gal pal last year and has been on tour for most of 2012, opted not for a house in portland but rather a couple of loft-style condominiums in a converted warehouse in the hip and trendy downtown neighborhood known locally as the pearl.

even though property records show the units were purchased from the same seller in two, simultaneous transactions in late february 2012, it appears to your mama the two condos are fully combined into a single living space. The larger unit, as per the multnomah county tax man, measures 1,188 square feet and the smaller just 829 square feet for a total of 2,017 square feet. listing information we managed to squirrel out of the internets shows the open-concept loft has one bedroom and 1.5 bathrooms plus an interior den/bedroom with a built-in murphy bed for overnighting guests.

property records show miz lang picked up both units for $639,000, a real ding-dang bargain compared to the cost of a comparable, centrally located 2,000+ square foot loft in a major metropolitan area like los angeles, san fran or the big apple.

yellow birch floors run throughout the spacious, 31-foot long living/dining area that has high, exposed concrete ceilings, a trio of gigantic casement windows and a half-height t.v./art wall that separates the living room from the bedroom area and is cleverly designed on a swivel so the boob toob can be seen from either the living room or the bedroom.

the kitchen, open to but separated from the living room by a long and wide peninsula snack bar, has slab granite counter tops that waterfall over the end of the peninsula, a complete suite of high-grade stainless steel appliances and flat-fronted birch—or maybe maple—cabinetry, some which have metal-framed frosted glass doors.

as far as your mama can tell there's no door that separates the custom-fitted closet/dressing area from the master bathroom that's tucked behind a horizontal grid of frosts glass panels that doesn't quite extend to the ceiling. Although its barely private, the bathroom with well equipped with limestone flooring, slab granite counter tops, a super-sized soaking but and a separate over-sized stall shower tucked behind frosted glass panels.

listing information shows the elevator accessible combo condo crib has private laundry facilities that appear to be located in the half bathroom deeded parking for two cars, city and mountain views, and access to the fully decked and landscaped roof terrace. monthly hoas—those are home owner's association fees—run $661 and cover, heating expenses, insurance, building management, common area maintenance, water and cable t.v. costs.

as far as we know, miz lang does not currently own any other real estate but, then again, what do we really know anyways?

listing photos: John L. Scott Real Estate via Estately

Monday, November 19, 2012

Madonna Says Bye-Buy To Upper West Side Duplex

SELLER: Madonna
PRICE: $23,500,000
SIZE: 6,000 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Thanks to a tipster we'll call Bernardo Bigmouth Your Mama has just learned that her pop music madjesty Herself—that would be Madonna Ciconne Penn Ritchie—has put her long-time New York City duplex spread on the Upper West Side up for sale with a $23,500,000 price tag.

Miz Madonna no longer needs the multi-unit co-operative apartment in the distinguished  Neo-Italian Renaissance style Harperley Hall building on the corner of Central Park West and West 64th Street since she now has an elephantine 12,000+ square foot triple wide townhouse extravaganza on the Upper East Side that she bought in 2009 for $32,500,000 and spent millions more renovating and expanding.

Listing information shows Madge's 5th and 6th floor duplex offers more than 6,000 square feet with 10-plus foot ceilings, five wood burning fireplaces and 110 feet of frontage on Central Park. There are, according to online marketing materials, large living spaces on both levels with wide French doors and park-facing Juliet balconies and a park-facing formal dining room, a library and an eat-in kitchen fitted with marble slab counter tops, sleek chocolate brown cabinetry, a snack bar and and a dining area with a full wall of bookshelves.

There are, according to listing information, four separate bedroom wings with a possibility of six or seven bedrooms and a total of eight bathrooms. The master suite offers A-lister luxury with "endless closet space" and a vintage-style bathroom outfitted with twin pedestal sinks, claw-footed soaking tub and separate marble-lined shower.

The mini-mansion sized apartment has well-taken care of oak flooring, central air-conditioning, and a state-of-the-art sound and humidifier system. The full-service Harperley Hall building offers its well-heeled residents a central courtyard with manned gatehouse, access to a 20 car garage—we're not exactly sure who determines who gets to actually park in it—a bike room, laundry facility, a fully landscaped roof terrace and an on-site fitness facility that that exercise nut Madge would not have likely made use of since her apartment had a private one installed. Monthly maintenance runs $11,774, according to listing information.

Miz Madonna had the place decorated by her younger bother Christopher Ciccone who worked it the sprawling duplex over but good with pedigreed furniture, haute Art Deco details and an insane art collection the includes works by Tamara de Lempicka, Laure Albin-Guillot, Fernand Léger and Picasso. The apartment was photographed for the Architectural Digest.

As far as we know, in addition to her townhouse Madge still owns a horse farm in the Hamptons and a very private, French Country style mansion on Sunset Boulevard in Beverly Hills (CA) that Your Mama has repeatedly heard through the Platinum Triangle gossip grapevine might be quietly available for somewhere in the neighborhood of $28,000,000. She also owns a spacious 7th floor unit at Harperley Hall that she picked up in April 2008 for $7,350,000 but does not appear to be included in the current listing of the 5th and 6th floor duplex. Perhaps that's to come. We shall see!

*For what it's worth, nasal-voiced actress Fran Drescher has also long owned an apartment in the building.

listing photos: Brown Harris Stevens

Allison Janney Loses Palm Springs Getaway to Foreclosure

SELLER: Allison Janney
LOCATION: Palm Springs, CA
PRICE: $2,250,000
SIZE: 6,657 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Over the weekend, while Your Mama did some peeping and poking around in the property records regarding the John Lautner-designed Bob and Delores Hope house in Palm Springs, CA that recently and very quietly available through an upscale Beverly Hills brokerage with—so the rumor goes—an astronomical $45,000,000 asking price, we happened across documentation that reveals the sublime and much-lauded four time Emmy winning actress Allison Janney (West Wing, Juno, The Help) owned a house just down the street from the Hope house that—quelle horror—she lost to unforgiving maw of foreclosure in September or October 2012.

The rambling, glassy and low-slung house was designed by prolific Coachella Valley-based modernist architect Hugh Kaptur* and built in 1977 for Oscar-winning actor William Holden who, may he rest in peace, died just a few years later in 1981.** We're not exactly sure when Mister Holden—or the heirs/executors of his estate—sold the sprawling ridge line residence in the exclusive, guard-gated Southridge enclave but we do know from property records that it eventually came to be owned by a wealthy—and now deceased—Detroit-based attorney whose widow sold the property in late July 2006 for $3,950,000 to Miz Janney and restaurant consultant and self-described menu engineer Gregg Rapp.**

Of course, Your Mama does not know a gila monster from a cockroach so we really can't say whether Miz Janney (and Mister Rapp) acquired the property as an investment, for personal use or for some other reason. However, there's plenty of evidence available online that they returned the residence to the open market in early 2008 with an unknown asking price.

The property was de- and re-listed several times over the next couple of years and in March 2010—or thereabouts—the property popped back up on the open market with a sky-high asking price of $5,500,000. By October (2010) the price tag had plunged to $4,495,000 and later shrank even further to $3,995,000, just a smidge more than Miz Janney and Mister Rapp paid for the place in 2006, near the apex of the most recent and dramatically burst real estate bubble.

It appears to Your Mama that the house was put into escrow in April 2012 but, alas, the transaction was not consummated. Six short months later, according to online documentation we perused, a lending institution took over ownership of the property in a foreclosure proceeding and quickly re-listed the house with an substantially lower asking price of $2,250,000. Within two weeks an offer was accepted by the bank and a sale is, as of today, pending.

Listing information still available online states the sprawling, two story steel and glass residence sits on 3.17 ridge line acres and spans 6,657 square feet with a total of five bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms**** that include a massive master suite with two-way fireplace, 36-foot long walk-in closet/dressing room and a spacious bathroom with fireplace, indoor/outdoor shower, and a sunken tub set in front of a wall floor-to-ceiling windows.

A long and wide driveway capable of parking multiple cars leads to a three-car car port. Inside, exceptionally roomy public entertaining spaces include a vast foyer/living/dining area with fireplace and long expanses of floor to ceiling windows and sliders, a fully paneled library, a separate Balinese-themed media room, an eat-in kitchen and a gigantic lower level entertainment room with built-in wet bar.

The house opens up to both a cantilevered covered deck that runs along the back of the house and connects to the backyard area where there are multi-level terraces, a party-sized spa and a negative edge swimming pool that pushes out over the steep and craggy hillside.

The location high above Palm Springs and the house itself are spectacular but the majority of the finishes and day-core are downright kooky and/or decidedly outdated. Just get a load of the parquet floors, the bizarrely-Balinese style library, the oblong fireplace extrusions, the 1980s era kitchen equipped with notably up-to-date appliances and the fully paneled library that looks like it was ripped straight out of a mansion in the flats of Beverly Hills. None-the-less, in the deft and skilled hands of a smart architect and a nice-gay or lady decorator the house could be a knock-'em-out showstopper with panoramic canyon, desert and valley views. We can only hope the new owners don't do one of those godawful and ridiculously cliche, retro-minded Hollywood Regency meets The Rat Pack themed day-core of which so many folks in Palm Springs seem to be so persistently and ubiquitously enamored.

Property records reveal that Miz Janney still owns a fairly nondescript, 1,925 square foot ranch-style residence with three bedrooms and two bathrooms on two adjacent parcels nestled into a steep slope near the tail end of a quiet canyon cul-de-ac in Studio City, CA that she picked up in late May 2011 for $799,000.

*Almost a decade earlier Mister Kaptur did up a two-story contemporary a few doors down from the Holden house for manly actor Steve McQueen. The McQueen house is now owned by California-based businessman Michael Kilroy who also owns the very daring, John Lautner-designed Elrod House next door as well as the house directly across the street, designed by Arizona-based architect Michael P. Johnson and called The Boat House.

**Mister Holden previously owned another glassy abode in the Deepwell Estates area of Palm Springs that he shared with actress Stephanie Powers and was later owned by actress Tippi Hedren. As it turns out, the four-parcel estate was acquired in July 2011 for $1,349,000 by a couple of fellas from Miami who—we understand from a desert dweller—have given the original mid-century modern über-modern update and renovation.

***We're not sure of the connection between Mister Rapp and Miz Janney but since they both grew up in upper middle class circumstances in Dayton, OH we have to assume they're long-time friends. As it turns out, Mister Rapp also owns another house in the Southridge enclave, a William Cody-deisgned house that he bought for $261,000 in early 2002 with long-time family friend and Ukrainian-born former professional basketball player Vitaly Potapenko. Mister Potapenko went to college in Dayton and that appears to be the connection between him and Mister Rapp. Online documentation suggests Mister Potapenko either sold or gave up any ownership in the house to Mister Rapp in 2005 and, although he's so far managed to hang on, Mister Rapp has repeatedly battled foreclosure on the property since early 2010.

****Some online listings show the house at 8,000 square feet with five bedrooms and seven bathrooms while at least one property record data base we consulted shows the house has 7,508 square feet and the Riverside County Tax Man shows there are just three bedrooms and three bathrooms. Make of that what you will.

listing photos: Windermere Real Estate Coachella Valley and Keller Williams Realty

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Rumor has it...

...that the strange and spectacular Palm Springs, CA residence of Bob and Dolores Hope—now both deceased—may soon become available for the first time ever with an exceptionally elephantine asking price of $45,000,000.

No, babies, Your Mama's gin soaked fingers did not make a mistake, that really is forty-five million clams.

The torus-shaped house (above), with its dramatically undulating copper sheathed roof, was custom designed in the mid-1970s for Mister and Missus Hope by maverick California architect John Lautner. Missus Hope herself described the unusual residence in a 1999 article about Palm Springs in Vanity Fair magazine as a "contemporary castle." Less flattering comparisons have been made—a doughnut on acid, a flying saucer, the TWA terminal at Kennedy Airport in New York—but, whatever. Let's the naysayers nay say all they like. As far as Your Mama is concerned it's a magnificent and idiosyncratic piece of architecture. We love it and we'd pee our pants over an opportunity to get inside for a look around.

But, children, is it worth $45,000,000? Hmm. Maybe. Maybe no. Ask Suzanne Somers, a long-time Palm Springs resident who, back in 2008 amid much brouhaha and ballyhoo, attempted to sell her very different but no less quirky 73-acre mountainside compound in Palm Springs for $35,000,000 before the asking price was slashed to just under thirteen million, a radical reduction that still didn't bring in a moneybags buyer.*

Various reports put the Hope house—near the tippy-top top Southridge, a swank, guard-gated enclave of mostly contemporary residences—at around 22 or 25 and even 29,000 square feet however the Riverside County Tax Man shows the avant garde residence sits high on 3.17 ridge top acres and measures in at 17,531 square feet with six bedrooms and four bathrooms.**

Glass walls ring a circular, multi-level central courtyard and more towering walls of glass spill out to landscaped grounds that feature a private motor court and two car car port, vast rolling lawns dotted with putting greens and sand traps, and a squiggly-shaped in-ground swimming pool. The property does not currently have a tennis court, which is a real shame in Your Mama's book because for forty-five million big one we do not want the extra added expense and hassle of installing a tennis court.

Due to its elevation 200 or more feet above the Coachella Valley desert floor, the Hope house has wrap around views of the rugged mountains and mid-century-modern lined streets of Palm Springs, one of the gayest little cities on the planet where the average age of residents, so novelist Sydney Sheldon once not exactly accurately quipped, is deceased.

Among the approximately 20 homes in the Southridge enclave there are a number of other notable houses including the Cody House—designed by modernist architect William Cody and built in 1964 for Chicago-based industrialist Stanley Goldberg.

Also up in Southridge is the wild, wacky, wonderful and world renown Elrod House, designed in 1968 by John Lautner for interior designer Arthur Elrod. The much photographed and written about Elrod House was briefly owned in the early Aughts by supermarket magnate Ron Burkle who sold it in 2003 to California-based businessman Michael Kilroy for $5,500,000. Mister Kilroy tried in vain to sell the Elrod House in late 2009 when it landed with a much discussed thud on the open market with a $13,890,000 price tag. As it turns out Mister Kilroy also owns the house across the street—and also listed in late 2009 for $2,890,000—as well as the one next door, an interconnected collection of steel-framed glass boxes designed by architect Hugh M. Kaptur for Steve McQueen back in the day when he was hitched to the impossibly chic actress Ali McGraw. Mister Kilroy also listed this house in late 2009, with an asking price of $3,470,000, but also failed to unload it.

In addition to their desert getaway Mister and Missus Hope also maintained—and their estate/heirs still own—a five-plus acre spread in the Toluca Lake area of Los Angeles with a 14,876 square foot main house and several additional outbuildings joined by various driveways and parking areas.

*Miz Somer's 10 bedroom and 9 bathroom compound is currently listed for $17,500,000.

**At least one data base we consulted shows there are six bedrooms and 10 bathrooms.

aerial photo, Palm Springs (top): Google
exterior photos, Palm Springs (bottom left and right): Mossler Properties
aerial photo, Los Angeles: Google

Friday, November 16, 2012

New York Socialite Jo Hallingby Lists Two...Again

Today we take a wee turn from the glitzy, glossy and gift bag strewn world of Tinseltown celebs to the even more rigorous, restrictive and rarefied arena of New York City's high nosed upper crust, a necessary if tightly wound and sometimes jagged cross section of stiff lipped blue bloods whose names still signify importance within their clannish social circle if not so much out of it, ambitious upstarts of both genders who sometimes marry well and divorce better, droves of foreign majesties and potentates, magnificently philanthropic tycoons, low-profile international industrialists by the dozens and, finally—the new dogs on the block—Wall Street royals of all types and stripes with freshly acquired but ever so vast—and sometimes much envied—fortunes.

One such lady who runs amongst the frothy cream of the globe's most financially fortunate and —ahem—socially aristocratic is attorney and socialite Jo Hallingby who we respectfully decline to put into any of the above mentioned categories and who— Your Mama first learned through to the good work of our much appreciated but unpaid aide de camp Hot Chocolate—recently re-listed two of her posh East Coast properties with seven figure price tags.

In New York City Miz Hallingby has a sprawling, mid-floor apartment in what listing information describes as "one of Rosario Candela’s most celebrated white-glove prewar cooperatives" that she's just re-listed with an $18,000,000 asking price and in Southampton (NY), the staunchest of the string of upscale communities that comprise the hoity-toity Hamptons, Miz Hallingby has an Old School Georgian style mansion on 3.2 very prime waterfront acres now listed at $23,000,000.

Miz Hallingby may very well be an attorney and uptown social force in her own right but her surname—and presumably a significant portion of her wealth—comes from her late husband, financier Paul Hallingby. Mister Hallingby, who was often referred to as a billionaire in the press, went to meet The Great Market Maker in the Sky in 2005 at the age of 85. Mister Hallingby is credited with helping with the development of The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York  City. He was a director of the New York Stock Exchange and, for many years, was a well-compensated pooh-bah at the once venerable Bear Stearns—now absorbed into the JP Morgan Chase financial colossus—where he held the title of managing director emeritus at the time of his death.

Miz Hallingby may be the surviving widow of Mister Hallingby but she was not his first wife or his second wife or even his third. In fact, rakish Mr. Hallingby—that naughty naughty goat—had five previous wives, at least one of whom does not—if press accounts are to be believed—care much for the sixth and widowed Missus Hallingby.

Mai Hallingby—the fifth ex-Missus Hallingby who reportedly received "nearly $10 million" in her 1994 divorce—and Jo Hallingby went round and round in the courts for years over which of them is legally entitled to receive a $930 a month annuity check from Mister Hallingby's estate. Imagine the legal bills incurred by these two women over a measly $930 per month annuity payment that neither of them probably needs in order to eat or keep the lights on. Let's be honest, butter beans, these gals probably both spend more than $930 a month having Lin-Lin Sue come over and clip their toenails thrice a week.*

It might help to understand the bitter animosity and legal wrangling between the two women to know that Mister Hallingby (allegedly) met Sixth Missus Hallingby—that's Jo—on the Hampton Jitney six months before he filed for divorce from Fifth Missus Hallingby—Mai—who says she only first heard of her own impending divorce when she read it in Aileen Mehle's always deliciously dishy fashion and high society gossip column in Women's Wear Daily. We don't know if there's any veracity to that or not but, you know, you can't make stuff like this up!

Anyhoo, according to his obit in The New York Times, at the time of his death, in 2005, Mister and Sixth Missus Hallingby maintained three homes, a Sutton Place cooperative apartment, a house in Southampton and a getaway in the gated, expensive and very exclusive Lyford Cay community in the Bahamas where some of the other estate owners include or once included high fallutin' folks like Prince Ranier III of Monaco, American automobile heir and car industry executive Henry Ford II, Greek shipping honcho Stavros Niarchos and Greek shipping magnates George S. and George P. Livanos, Oscar-winning Scottish actor Sean Connery and American billionaire hedge fund tycoon Louis Bacon.

We know nothing of the Hallingby's Lyford Cay crib but we do know that this isn't the first time Miz Hallingby has attempted to sell her sizable Sutton Place spread that has a sweeping and unimpeded view of the 59th Street Bridge, the East River and the south end of Roosevelt Island where the lush but sober Louis Kahn-designed monument to Franklin Delano Roosevelt now sprawls over the tip.

Miz Hallingby first listed the 13-room apartment in September 2010 with a $14,500,000 asking price. The river fronting apartment was taken off the open market in early 2011 only to return nearly a year later, in January 2012, with a slightly higher $15,000,000 price tag. Then, just the other day, Miz Hallingby engaged the services of a second real estate agent who specializes in the New York City residences of the very rich and re-listed her apartment with an inexplicably and remarkably more plump $18,000,000 price tag. If nobody wants it for fifteen million, then maybe someone will want it for eighteen, right? Stranger things have happened.

Current listing information shows the mini-mansion sized apartment has 4 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms. However, those figures are a bit misleading when you compare them against the floor plan included with marketing materials. The floor plan shows three principle bedrooms—two guest/family bedrooms that share a Jack-and-Jill bathroom and a spacious master suite with fireplaced bedroom, separate sitting room, numerous walk-in closets, a pair of dressing rooms and two bathrooms—plus an extensive staff wing with three more prison cell-sized bedrooms that share a single hall bathroom. The floor plan indicates one of the staff bedrooms is or could be used as an office and another as a home gym. Whatever the case there are—in current configuration—three family bedrooms and 1-3 staff bedrooms for at total of 3-7 bedrooms depending on use. A windowless half bathroom off the 33-plus foot long entrance gallery brings the potty count to four point five.

The apartment has a magnificent 56-plus sweep of river frontage from one end of the living room to the far end of the library, 32 windows on four sides, three fireplaces, four Juliet balconies, and at least 15 closets—many of them walk-ins. There are formal living and dining rooms, a library, a butler's pantry and a spacious center island kitchen with walk-in pantry almost as large as the staff bedrooms. Just off the kitchen is a family/breakfast room and the laundry facilities that are tucked into a short corridor that connects the family areas from the staff and service wing. Current listing information shows the monthly maintenance fees run $12,995 per month.

The day-core is decidedly elegant and opulent with rich Parquet de Versailles style hardwood floors, heavy duty moldings, yard after yard of painstakingly swagged and prodigiously passamenteried curtain treatments, jewel-toned brocade covered sofas and gilt-trimmed 18th century French boiserie in the living room, gilded accents and Chinoiserie style wall coverings in the dining room and purposefully mismatched fabrics in the paneled library where at least one built-in set of shelves is filled to the gills with tiny figurines.**

Past residents of Miz Hallingby's storied and hallowed pre-war building include actress Sigourney Weaver, iconic designer Bill Blass, publishing pasha John Fairchild, socialites Winston and C.Z. Guest and gem collecting philanthropist Janet Annenberg Hooker.

While she's somewhat inexplicably raised the asking price on her Sutton Place apartment Miz Hallingby has much more sensibly slashed the asking price for her Old School-stately 3.17 acre estate in Southampton (NY) from its original asking price of $26,500,000 to its new and improved $23,000,000.

Property records aren't entirely clear on when Mister Hallingby purchased the Southampton spread with its approximately 300 feet of Shinnecock Bay frontage but there is some evidence it may have been as long ago as 1960. It was certainly previous to 1994 when records show it was held jointly by Mister Hallingby and his fifth ex-wife, Mai. The property was retained by Mister Hallingby and the deed last passed in early 2010 when the property became wholly owned by Jo Ann Davis Hallingby.

Current listing information shows the two-story white brick Colonial measures about 6,500 square feet with a total of six bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms and is perfectly dressed for its genteel seaside locale with striped window awnings and black shutters that in a perfect world are actually operable.

The center hall house has a marble floored foyer, front and back staircases, a formal dining room and a sunny formal living room with windows on three sides, a fireplace with delicate carved stone mantelpiece, buttercup yellow walls, matching buttercup yellow curtains and a lumpy, lattice-pattern rug that Your Mama would bet both our long bodied bitches, Linda and Beverly, surely stymies foot shufflers and tipsy cocktailers. There's also a "chef's kitchen," according to listing information, and and a mint-condition conservatory/sun room that looks like it was ripped right out of the pages of Better Homes & Gardens in 1974.

For sleeping, dressing, fighting and fornicating in private there are two master suites, according to listing information, a third bedroom guest suite and a separate two-bedroom guest suite—plus a staff suite for a total of six.

An essentially but not exactly octagonal porch-cabana extends somewhat wart-like off the rear of the residence and offers direct access and views of the forty foot long and perfectly turquoise swimming pool. The porch-cabana is on point in Old School style with the most amazing wicker and bamboo furniture—those fan back things are so Marisa Berenson we can't even stand it—all of which is painted summertime white and some of which is custom fitted with crisp, white-piped azure-colored cushions.

At the front of the house a long and gated gravel drive swoops around to a charity party accommodating circular drive and at the rear a broad, flat lawn stretches away from the house down to the pond's edge where there is a deep water dock, according to listing information.

It was Miz Hallingby's house in Southampton where, in February 2011, thieves broke in and pinched "a dozen paintings worth $250,000," according to press accounts, including works by Jean Dufy, Frederick H. McDuff, Jacques Martin-Ferrieres, Pierre Bittar and Howard Behrens, a man sometimes called, according to his own website, "The Monet of the 21st Century." We're not sure if any of the artworks were recovered.

One of the other of many high net worth homeowners on Miz Hallingby's dead end lane in Southampton include lavish livin' hedge hog Larry Robbins who also owns a major estate in Alpine, NJ where he reportedly plans to spend around $10 million to build an approximately 16,000 square foot structure to house a ice hockey rink. Also on the block is lady hedge hogger Karen Fleiss who famously had her Fifth Avenue duplex of staggering proportions on the market in mid-2008 with an optimistically engorged $47,500,000 asking price.***

*Use them noggins, children. We have no idea if either Miz Hallingby pays someone stereotypically named Lin-Lin Sue or any one  else to clip their toe nails on either a frequent or infrequent basis.

**Miz Hallingby reportedly collects 19th century Meissen figurines, the pre-cursors—if you will—to those too-cutesy Precious Moments figurines widely (and disturbingly) collected by those folks who adore a wee figurine but lack a certain monetary prowess.

**Miz Fleiss, bless her bajillionaire heart, failed to sell her 8 bedroom, two unit duplex on Fifth Avenue as a single unit even after the price plunged to $34,500,000. In late 2008 Miz Fleiss and her orthopedic surgeon husband opted to take the duplex off the market and re-listed just the lower level with an in-hindsight still rose-tinted $15,000,000 asking price. The price fell steadily to $9,950,000 before it was purchased in January 2010 for $8,898,000 by fellow hedge hog Richard Duke Buchan III who, incidentally, gut renovated the full-floor apartment and has had it on the market since January 2012 at a variety of asking prices that started at $22,000,000, dipped to $17,500,000 and climbed back up to its current and familiar price tag of $22,000,000. Such are the wild and wacky real estate ways of the super rich.

exterior photo (New York City): Nicholas Strini for Property Shark
interior listing photos (New York City): Sotheby's International Realty
listing photos (Southampton): Sotheby's International Realty

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Richard Perry and Jane Fonda Do It Up Modern

BUYERS: Richard Perry (and Jane Fonda)
LOCATION: Beverly Hills, CA
PRICE: $7,300,000
SIZE: 7,513 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Your Mama gets loads of emails and phone calls from all-kinda folks who want know who bought what, where and for how much. Over the last few months we've received an unexpected and unusual number of queries about the real estate activities of later-in-life lovebirds Richard Perry and Jane Fonda.

Mister Perry is an accomplished music producer of the highest magnitude with more than a dozen gold records and a slew of A-grade credits with superstars like Rod Stewart, Carly Simon, Diana Ross, the divine Martha Reeves, Babs herself, Percy Faith, the Pointer Sisters, Leo Sayer, Donna Summer, Neil Diamond and Andy Williams, to name just a handful or two. Miz Fonda is, natch, the Jane Fonda, the snappy, smart and sassy two-time Oscar winning actress/activist/aerobics instructor once, best and still known in many circles as the campy but preposterously sexy Barbarella and/or the political lightening rod Hanoi Jane.

The queries began almost immediately after our June 2012 (dis and) discussion of the celebrity pedigreed Sunset Strip home Mister Perry then owned, unofficially but openly shared with Miz Fonda and had up for sale for nearly $13 million. Finally for the curious, there's an answer via the long-legged gal at Trulia Luxe Living. Mister Perry and Miz Fonda have decamped the lower Sunset Strip for the stylishly au courant Trousdale Estates 'hood at the very eastern edge of Beverly Hills (CA). Property records show the gated and completely renovated residence was actually acquired by Mister Perry at the tail end of June 2012 for $7,300,000.*

Listing information still available on the internets shows the original residence was built in 1961, had not been on the market in 44 years and had been the long-time home of a "legendary TV & film director." That Tinseltown legend turns out to have been recently deceased and wildly prolific three-time Emmy winner John Rich. Although Mister Rich worked regularly well into the late 1990 he started out way back in the middle 50s (I Married Joan, Where's Raymond). His Showbiz Salad Days were, arguably, the early 1960s to the early 1980s when he directed and/or produced numerous episodes of a long list of iconic sitcoms and westerns that include The Dick Van Dyke Show, Bonanza, Gunsmoke, the Brady Bunch, That Girl, All in the Family and Benson.

Anyhoo, listing information goes on to indicate the spacious and re-conceived mid-century modern has four bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms in 7,513 square feet.

The jagged, angular exterior opens to an airy, multi-level interior with long expanses of crisp white walls, vaulted and beamed ceilings, glass-railed staircases and long ribbons of windows and sliding doors. In addition to some of the more (melo)dramatic flourishes such as an all-glass elevator, the house is chock full of fancy-pants eco-friendly features such as bamboo floors, photovoltaic solar panels, three ventless bio-ethanol fueled fireplaces and double-glazed thermal windows with motorized shades.

The foyer flows into a reception lounge large enough to accommodate a baby grand piano. A short but wide set of steps descends into the formal living room proper that's anchored by a sturdy stacked stone fireplace and visually open to the outdoors through a towering wall of windows that extend from the knees to the ceiling.

The open-concept dining room and kitchen has a second (bio fuel) fireplace exotically set into a wall of glass that allows the fire to be seen and enjoyed both inside and outside. It's an undeniably extraordinary and architecturally arresting visual feature, a real-live, more is more WOW! moment. Howevuh, not that it matters a lick and just between us chickens here, Your Mama thinks that fireplace conceit is a bit too too, you know? Especially in a residence that already has a glass-walled elevator.

Anyhoo, the expensively equipped kitchen and adjoining butler's pantry orbits around a massive center island with lowered snack counter. The streamlined but still organic-minded kitchen has all the expected upscale finishes and swank accoutrement that includes what may or may not be walnut cabinetry, mossy green quartz counter tops, top-quality commercial style appliances and a flat screen t.v. that lifts up out of the counter top at the touch of a button.**

The master suite includes a walled sunken sitting room with another one of those (bio fuel) fireplaces set into a wall of glass—once really is enough when it comes to a showstopper like this—and a pair of large bathrooms with steam showers, soaking tubs and radiant heated floors. There's also at least one to-die-for-sized walk-in closet with icky tan wall-to-wall carpeting, walls lined with miles of hanging racks and a nipple-high built-in dresser stuck smack in the center of the room.

A separate lower-level media/game room, accessible via a glass-railed stairway or that painstakingly engineered glass-elevator, has cork floors and plenty of space for a pool table, television/movie viewing lounge, and a booze-hound's dream bar with sink, dishwasher, ice maker and under-counter wine fridge.

Multiple outdoor living areas include a couple of dining decks directly off the kitchen that overlook the swimming pool, a serene side terrace with stone fountain and a lounging nook set high enough in a concrete wall as to be difficult to climb into without a stepping stool and a flat grassy pad with outdoor fireplace and views that extend down the canyons and across the city.

A deep overhang shades the lower level rooms and runs around two sides of the dark bottomed rectangular swimming pool. Sunbathing terraces run along either side of the pool, away from the house to a slightly raised deck that pushes out over the canyon.

Back in late June (2012), right about the time Mister Perry closed on his and Miz Fonda's new love nest in Trousdale Estates, Your Mama discussed the much more traditional mini-mansion in the lower Sunset Strip area that Mister Perry owned and and had on the open market with an idealistic but ultimately unrealistic $12,750,000 price tag. The asking price for the 5 bedroom and 8 bathroom knoll-top house, originally built for Ronald Reagan and Jane Wyman, eventually plunged to $10,000,000 before a somewhat mysterious corporate entity came along and purchased the property for $8,500,000.

Miz Fonda, who may or may not still maintain a one bedroom and 1.5 bathroom rental apartment at the star-studded Sierra Towers building, also long-maintained a 4,764 square foot multi-unit combination penthouse in Atlanta, GA that she unsuccessfully  first attempted to sell for $4,500,000 in May 2010. By June 2012 the asking price had crashed to just $1,195,000. As far as we can tell, the penthouse has yet to sell but does not appear to currently be listed for sale on the open market.

*Miz Fonda's name does not appear on any of the property records documents we peeped but that does not mean she does not have some sort of stake in the place.

**It could be a press of a button that causes the t.v. to rise up out of the counter top but it could also be a flip of the switch or the swipe of a hand-held touch screen or some other action our caffeine starved brain can't even conceive right now.

listing photos: Coldwell Banker / Beverly Hills South