Friday, February 28, 2014

In Case You Missed It: A Brazilian Giga-Mansion

Just for shits and giggles and the freakish absurdity of the whole thing we're gonna wind up this rainy Friday afternoon with a piggy on the back of the impressively focussed fellow at Homes of the Rich (via Veja São Paulo) who unearthed some recently published details about a 191,000+ square foot residential compound in Santana de Parnaiba, outside of São Paulo, Brazil. The recently completed hill top compound is owned by innovative Brazilian television executive Amilcare Dallevo Jr. and his t.v. presenter wife Daniela Albuquerque, a couple of unrepentant real estate size queens if this property gossip has ever seen one.

The high-walled and no-doubt heavily fortified property has a three-plus story main mansion with—so the scuttlebutt goes—a 13,000 square foot master suite that includes a private, roof-top swimming pool. No, butter cups, that is not a drunken typo, we really meant thirteen thousand square feet...a 13,000 square foot master suite. Think about that for a minute because it makes Your Mama need a nerve pill and a stiff, pre-cocktail hour gin & tonic to imagine a bedroom complex larger than some public schools. Anyways, somewhere on the property there's a cinema and spa—natch—as as well his and her offices of 1,000 or more square feet apiece and a 26-foot long fish tank because, let's be honest, what good is a 191,000 square foot giga-mansion without a 26-foot long fish tank that probably requires constant and expensive upkeep and maintenance by a team of fish wranglers, glass cleaners and tank decorators?

In addition to the main mansion the property also includes an entertainment pavilion that looks the offices of a financial services outfit in Manhasset, NY, along with a multi-storied complex next to the swimming pool, and a rather bizarre cylindrical blue glass structure (with adjacent parking lot) located outside the walls. Other features of note include three heliports—including one on the roof of the main mansion, hanger space for four helicopters, subterranean parking for 50 cars, and extensive formal gardens.

Frankly it looks to Your Mama more like a luxury training facility for top tier CIA executives and operative rather than a private residence, but we've never been a residential real estate size queen so what do we know?

photo: Gutho Galiano for Veja São Paulo

In Case You Missed It: Oliver Stone

SELLER: Oliver Stone
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: $2,999,999
SIZE: 1,736 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: As far as Your Mama knows the real estate gossips at The Wall Street Journal were the first to reveal that New York City-born and L.A.-based movie maker Oliver Stone put his 1,736 square foot—and patriotically paletted—downtown Manhattan pièd-a-terre on the market this week with an asking price of $2,999,999.*

Property records show the vaunted, three-time Oscar winner (Born on the Fourth of July, Platoon, Midnight Express) shelled out $2.2 million in February 2010 for the two bedroom and 2.5 bathroom apartment on the second floor of high cost, full service and the architecturally anti-intellectual 1 Morton Square complex. The rigorously red, white and blue day-core is the handiwork, it was thoughtfully brought to Your Mama's attention Polly Wannacracker, of upper class decorator Geoffrey Bradfield.

The floor plan included with digital marketing materials shows an angled front door opens into the aggressive, outside point of an L-shaped entrance hall that may or may not be property Feng Shui-d. One leg of the foyer leads to 20+ foot, nearly square open-plan living/dining room that connects through to a small but smartly efficient galley kitchen over a three-stool snack counter. The powder room, nicely situated for olfactory and auditory seclusion, has an interesting lattice-pattern riveting detail on the walls that is both visually stimulating and equilibrium compromising all at the same time.

The bedrooms are nicely separate for maximum privacy. A good-sized guest bedroom, opposite the kitchen across the foyer, offers up a generous walk-in closet and simple, windowless bathroom. The master suite, off one end of the aforementioned L-shaped foyer, includes a modest but adequate bedroom, four closets including a fitted walk-in, and a dressing vestibule outside the Crema Marfil marble-lined bathroom.

Other features of note include 11-foot ceilings, gleaming medium brown hardwood floors, large windows with Hudson River views, and high-grade finishes and fixtures. The 280-some unit 1 Morton Place complex hugs the fast moving and heavily trafficked West Side Highway and offers its well-heeled residents 24-hour doorman and concierge services, a state-of-the-art fitness center, children's play room and an on-site attended parking garage.

Your Mama's research shows Mister Stone's west coast residence—purchased in April 2005 for $5.8 million and located on a private, tree-shaded lane in the lower section of the swankily rustic Mandeville Canyon area of L.A.—has five bedrooms and seven bathrooms in more than 6,500 square feet.

*Mister Stone's West Village pièd-a-terre, with monthly common charges and taxes that total $3,521, is also listed for lease at $13,000 per month.

listing photos and floor plan: Corcoran

In Case You Missed It: Christian Audigier

SELLER: Christin Audigier
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $3,199,000
SIZE: 5,330 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Over the last several years French-born (and frequently maligned) fashion designer Christian Audigier—he's the fella who foisted the once ubiquitous and now grimly passé Von Dutch and Ed Hardy brands on the world in the early Aughts—failed to sell at least two multi-million dollar properties he owns in the Los Angeles area. In the fall of 2010 he had his exuberantly decorated mansion in Hancock Park listed for $8,299,000. It did not sell and was de-listed in late February 2012. In the fall of 2011 he put his also exuberantly decorated mini-ranch in Topanga, CA up for sale at $3,299,000 and for lease at $16,500 per month. Alas, the so-called C-A Ranch also did not sell and was taken off the market in July 2012. It was taken off the rental market the following month although, to be honest, puppies, we're not sure if anyone actually leased the place or not. Anyhoo...

The lady property gossip at the L.A. Times revealed this week that Mister Audigier has put yet another of his several multi-million dollar houses in Los Angeles up for sale. The asking price is currently $3,199,000—it's also for lease at $25,000 per month—and property records suggest Mister Audigier bought the property, a few short blocks east of the charming (if somewhat vanilla) Larchmont Village shopping and dining district in the downtown adjacent Windsor Square 'hood, in September 2007 for $2,695,000.

Listing details show the 1925 red brick English Tudor residence has five bedrooms and four bathroom in 5,330 square feet of—not surprisingly—exuberantly decorated and liberally chandeliered interior space. There are additional (if less exuberantly decorated and chandelier free) living quarters in a self-contained two-story back house that's clearly suitable as a pool house or for over-nighting guests or a live-in domestic.

The first of the home's innumerable crystal chandeliers hangs in the center hall foyer that's flanked by chandelier-lit formal living and dining rooms. The foyer stretches deep into the house before it links to the roomy and cook-friendly eat-in kitchen where, much to our surprise, there does not appear to be a chandelier of any kind. The kitchen, which opens through French doors to the backyard, is fully modern with a double-wide commercial-style range and a refrigerator/freezer with a most unusual alligator skin (or faux alligator) facing.

As far as Your Mama can tell, all of the bedrooms are lit by one or more chandeliers. In the master bedroom there are at least three glimmering fixtures as there are in one of the several guest bedroom where there are also three hooded twin beds that strike Your Mama as a little too coffin-esque for our comfort. Three more over-sized chandeliers hand from the exposed rafters in a meandering, en-suite bedroom tucked up into the many-gabled eaves on the third floor. Good grief, Your Mama imagines Charlene Chandelierseller was able to retire to Boca after Mister Audigier bought up every chandelier in her shop.

While some of the children will most assuredly consider Mister Audigier's highly curated day-care unacceptably garish—and that argument is most certainly easily made—the interiors also, as Madonna used to shriek, strike a pose. They are not easily dismissed or soon forgotten and there's something to be said for that, children. We can't defend all (or even many) of Mister Audigier's decorative choices—y'all noticed the table in the living room that's essentially some sort of mold of the lower half of a goddamn elephant or hippopotamus, right?—but we'd much rather be in and look around this house than an appropriately beige and gruesomely forgettable macmansion in a generic gated development. But we're crazy that way. Anyways...

The backyard entertainment and recreation areas include flourishing gardens, a swimming pool and spa surrounded by brick terracing, and various decks and patios that include an alfresco dining area lit with—you got it, kiddos—a crystal chandelier.

listing photos: Hancock Homes Realty

In Case You Missed It: Maggie Lawson

BUYER: Maggie Lawson and James Roday
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $1,100,000
SIZE: 1,419 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Six weeks or so ago Your Mama revealed that actress Maggie Lawson (Psych) listed her eco-friendly home in L.A.'s Los Feliz area for $2.2 million. (It's currently in escrow for an unknown amount with an unknown buyer.) This week, the long-legged blonde gal at Trulia Luxe Living let the cat out of the bag about how Miz Lawson and her long-time man-pal and Psych co-star, actor James Roday, opted to downsize their living situation in L.A. and paid $1.1 million for a fully refurbished, late 19th-century bungalow in L.A.'s Bronson Canyon area in the foothills above Hollywood.

Listing details show the 1,419 square foot house has two bedrooms and two bathrooms, parquet wood floors in the adjoining living and dining rooms, and a nicely-equipped (if somewhat small and generic) kitchen with center work island, black granite counter tops atop simple Shaker-style cabinetry, and higher-end stainless steel appliances.

Terraced and high hedged outdoor spaces provide various outdoor living spaces and lounge areas and a detached garage looks just big enough to park two regular sized cars.

listing photos: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

In Case You Missed It: Deepak Chopra

SELLER: Deepak Chopra
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: $3,595,000
SIZE: 1,551 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Celebrity-approved New Age guru Deepak Chopra has his two bedroom and 2.5 bathroom corner apartment on the 69th floor at the Park Imperial building* on New York City's Upper West Side up for sale with a $3.595 million asking price. As Your Mama taps our fingers to bloody nubbins for the children this morning the Chopra apartment is in contract to be sold to an unidentified buyer for an unknown amount.

Listing details show the 1,551 square foot apartment (above) has a short entry hall that dumps into a 21+ foot long living/dining room wrapped in floor-to-ceiling windows with Hudson River views. There's a compact but well-equipped eat-in kitchen next door and, just off the entry hall, a well-placed (if windowless) powder pooper. Both of the efficiently sized but well separated bedrooms have reasonable closet space and private (and again windowless) bathrooms.

The sometimes controversial alternative health care advocate has already moved forward with the purchase of his next New York City residence, it was revealed by the the property gossips at Page Six in the New York Post and confirmed by the developers. So the stories go, Mister Chopra and his wife, Rita, will acquire a significantly larger and more expensive spread at the Delos building, a high-priced, wellness-oriented boutique development in Greenwich Village where Leo DiCaprio will also buy a place. The lower floor unit has, according to listing details, three bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms in almost 3,700 square feet. The sale price has yet to be revealed or recorded but the lower floor unit was last listed with an asking price of $14.5 million.

*The full-service Park Imperial complex has been home to a number of other high profile people including man-hunk actor Chris Meloni who tried to sell his family-sized aerie in the spring of 2012 for $12 million but ended up leasing it to some young Saudi prince for at $55,000 per month. Still in residence at the Park Imperial would be P. Diddy—or Diddle Fiddle or Papa Puff or whatever hell name he goes by now—who listed his glammy one bedroom apartment in the fall of 2012 for $8.5 million. The price was eventually lowered to $7,999,000 but to no avail and the apartment was taken off the market in 2013.

listing photos and floor plan: Dolly Lenz Real Estate

Thursday, February 27, 2014

James Wan Buys Nebil Zarif's House in The Birds

SELLER: Nebil "Bilo" Zarif
BUYER: James Wan
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $9,750,000
SIZE: 7,500 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Last night, whilst still in recovery from a fantabulously clamorous four-day weekend with long-time pals Miss Anne, Soozie Soo and the tirelessly trampy Fiona Trambeau, Your Mama received a covert communique from inestimable real estate yenta Yolanda Yakketyyak who let the cat out of the bag about Malaysian-Australian horror movie wunderkind James Wan—now 36 years old—shelling out $9,750,000 to upgrade his living circumstances in the star-studded Bird Streets 'hood high above L.A.'s forever-chic—or, depending on your point of view, sheek—Sunset Strip.

Property records we peeped and perused show Mister Wan acquired the property, via trust, from a fella named Nebil "Bilo" Zarif. Mister Zarif is a Turkish-born businessman and winemaker who was once married to L.A.-based heiress, activist and philanthropist Nancy Davis, the fifth child and third daughter of Texas oil tycoon turned Tinseltown power player Marvin Davis. (Mister Davis once owned and lorded over 20th Century Fox as well as the Beverly Hills Hotel, the Aspen Skiing Company, the Pebble Beach Corporation, and the legendary Beverly Hills estate known as The Knoll, once owned by Kenny Rogers and now owned by tool and die mogul Eric Smidt). Anyways, Mister Zarif sired three children with Miz Davis, two of whom—Brandon and Jason—became tabloid catnip in the early and mid-Aught for the shenanigans they participated in with dimmed but not forgotten celebutantes and gossip glossy veterans like Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton. But we digress...

James Wan, born in Malaysia and raised in Melbourne, Australia, may not be a highly recognized name outside of Hollywood but within the insular confines of Tinseltown he's long been a shooting star in the high octane, blood curdling and highly lucrative horror/action flick genre. Ten or so year ago, when just a 20-something year old whippersnapper, Mister Wan and Australian screenwriter/producer Leigh Whannell co-created the globally successful and seemingly ceaseless silver screen psychological horror series Saw, currently in production on its eighth installment.

In addition to his impressive and clearly financially fruitful executive producer credits on about half the Saw films, Mister Wan has also directed an over-flowing handful of other feature length horror films (Dead Silence, Death Sentence, Insidious and Insidious; Chapter 2, The Conjuring). Last year he was tapped to direct the upcoming seventh installment of the also ceaseless and money minting Fast and Furious franchise. In short, he's a very busy—and, hence, wealthy—player in the crowded and competitive horror/action flick sandbox.

As it turns out, children, this isn't the first time Your Mama has (dissed and) discussed this particular property. Back in May 2007, before Mister Zarif gave the property its current modern-minded make over, we briefly discussed the property when it popped up for sale on the open market for an undisclosed amount. The house has been on and off the market ever since at a variety of prices. In October 2013—after Mister Zarif gave the entire property a high-end if fairly generically contemporary and not entirely cohesive overhaul—the property was re-listed on the open market with an indisputably optimistic $13,495,000 price tag that fell steadily and precipitously to $10,250,000 before Mister Wan came along and, at long last, took Mister Zarif's Bird Streets white elephant off his hands in mid-February (2014) for—as we mentioned earlier—$9,750,000.

There are, as per listing details, five bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms in the sprawling, approximately 7,500 square foot single-story main house. A self-contained detached guest house provides additional living space with a combination living room and kitchen space, a city-view bedroom, and a bathroom larger and far more luxuriously equipped than most master bathrooms.

An unexpectedly spacious, gallery-like foyer with multiple skylights and concrete floors leads directly into the main living space, an open-concept area with extra-wide plank wood floors and entire walls of glass that slide open to the backyard entertainment and recreation area. A fireplace with a carved stone (or possibly cast concrete) mantelpiece that looks like it came from the Loire Valley (or someplace like that) warms and anchors the far end of the living room.

At the other end of the long, angled space there's a much more modern fireplace surmounted by an inset flat screen television in the dining area that's open to the kitchen across a super-sized double-wide center island that includes snack counter seating for five or more. The kitchen itself is sleek with two-tone cabinetry—white and chocolate, high quality integrated appliances, and some sort of slab stone (or solid surface) counter tops.

The oddly-shaped master suite has a dramatically high vaulted ceiling with exposed wood beams, an awkwardly positioned fireplace, a flat-screen television hung from the ceiling above the bed for optimal—ahem—news and sitcom watching, and two long banks of sliding glass doors that open to the wrap-around back yard.

Other features of note include a walk-in wine cellar, a separate gym located in a detached pavilion, and a compact and fully-carpeted cave-like screening room with a fourth fireplace, suede covered walls, and a super-long sofa opposite a super-sized wall-mounted flat screen television.

The outdoor living and entertaining areas wrap around two long sides of the angled residence. The rooms along the long, angle side open to an expansive flagstone terrace with free-form swimming pool and slightly raised spa. At the kitchen end of the house a slightly elevated and pergola-shaded platform with built-in barbecue, four-stool snack and booze counter, and a pizza oven. The rooms that open to the ass end of the .63 acre lot hook into a mostly trellis-shaded deck that extends from the above-mentioned gym pavilion and out towards a glass railed perch that provides sweeping, multi-million dollar views across a wide swathe of Los Angeles.

Mister Wan doesn't have far to move his things since, our research and resources indicate, he currently lives literally just around the corner in a nearly 3,000 square foot house with three bedrooms and four bathrooms that was purchased in June 2007 for $3,210,000 via the same trust that bought Mister Zarif's house. As of this morning, Mister Wan's old house does not appear to Your Mama to be listed for sale on the open market.

listing photos: The Agency

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Your Mama Hears...

...from Amanda D. Desert that juicy word on the Coachella Valley real estate street is that A-list Tinseltown hot shot Leo DiCaprio just might be the new owner of the old Dinah Shore estate in Palm Springs (CA) that sold this week according to various online resources for a $5,230,000.

The 1.34 acre estate, in the heart of the fabled and celebrity-pedigreed Old Las Palmas 'hood, was custom designed as a series of glass-walled pavilions and built in the mid-1960s for the late and legendary singer/actress Dinah Shore by prominent mid-century modern architect Donald Wexler, now in his late 80s, who in his professional heyday plied his trade predominantly in and around the Palm Springs area.

Your Mama discussed Miz Shore's former desert digs at some length back in May 2009 when five-time Emmy-winning television writer/producer David Lee (The Jeffersons, Cheers, Wings, Frasier) had the glassy, low-slung mid-century modern compound on the open market with an asking price of $5,995,000.

The estate didn't sell until April 2011 when it was acquired for $4.9 million by Ben and Jude Lipps, an obviously rich but not exactly famous couple from Orange County. The Orange County couple, in turn, listed the compound-like estate in mid-January (2014) for $5,495,000 and this time around—lucky for the Lipps—it took just two weeks instead of nearly two years before it was quickly put into escrow and sold this week to a buyer who, according to My Desert required all parties sign confidentiality agreements. That certainly sounds like something an A-list Showbizzer like, say, Mister DiCaprio would do, right?

Anyways, the estate includes a 7,022 square foot multi-winged main house, a self-contained studio-style pool/guest house, and a third, glass walled pavilion next to the tennis court. Listing details show there are six bedrooms and 7.5 bathrooms, a count that may or may not include any sleeping and/or toileting facilities in the guest house and tennis pavilion.

The groomed grounds include two discreet motor courts, an almost enclosed entrance courtyard with water feature, extensive terraces and courtyards, vast swathes of well-watered lawns, a swimming pool and spa set well away but in view of the main house, and the aforementioned (mostly glass) guest/pool house and the (mostly) glass pavilion that's adjacent to a hedge-ringed tennis court.

Although the entire property has been updated and upgraded to modern standards with all new kitchens and bathrooms the three structures retain much of the architect's original features. We look forward to a rousing debate amongst all the mid-century modern aficionados (and otherwise opinionated children) about the merits of the various improvements and upgrades made to Mixer Wexler's original architectural vision.

In the last few months the five time Academy Award nominee—he's up for an Oscar this year for The Wolf of Wall Street, who owns a pair of neighboring houses near the apex of the celeb-saturated Bird Streets neighborhood above L.A.'s the Sunset Strip, has been on a bit of a real estate buying and selling spree so maybe it's not so unusual he might have opted to acquire a pricey pad in the desert. He sold an ocean front compound in Malibu late last year for $17.35 million—he still owns another ocean front house on Carbon Beach below the estate David and Yolanda Foster have on the market for $27.5 million, has reportedly agreed to shell out an as yet unknown amount for a pied a terre in a newly developed boutique building in New York City's Greenwich Village, and was rumored last August—by yours truly, of course—to have made an offer in the $30 million range for Rupert Murdoch's house in Beverly Hills. None the less, for now, his (alleged) purchase of the historic Dinah Shore estate in Palm Springs ain't nuthin' but some delectable celebrity real estate rumor and gossip and the real buyer could very well just be some Richie Rich who prefers to keep his and/or her name under wraps.

listing photos: Surterre Properties