Friday, July 12, 2013

UPDATE: Burt Sugarman and Mary Hart

Back in mid-January (2013), some of y'all may recall, Your Mama passed along the unconfirmed real estate rumor that pioneering entertainment news reporter Mary Hart and her film and television producer husband, Burt Sugarman, had quietly floated their large and low-slung longtime residence in the chic and trendy Trousdale Estates area of Beverly Hills (CA) as a pocket listing with a price tag in the $37-39 million range. Remember that?

Well, dontcha know that two times already this morning Your Mama has heard word—first from Our Fairy Godmother in Bel Air and later from a plugged in real estate whistle blower we call Charlie Chitchatter—that the Sugarman-Harts managed to quietly unload their (possibly Cliff May-designed) Trousdale Estates mansion for just over $30 million?*

The walled and gated property was not available on the open market so we don't have access to any publicly available digital marketing materials but various resources accessible via the World Wide Web do indicate the sprawling single story residence encompasses more than 11,500 square feet and sits on 2.2 acres with a large flat building pad and knee buckling city views that—on a clear day—stretch all the way to downtown Long Beach and the Pacific Ocean. The Los Angeles County Tax Man shows the existing residence has six bedrooms, nine bathrooms, three fireplaces, and covered parking for up to five cars but, of course, Your Mama don't know a pussy cat from a boll weevil so we really can't vouch for the veracity of the government's numbers.

Property records we peeped do reflect a transfer of ownership in the last few days but at this point Your Mama is unable to accurately identify the new owner of the Sugarman-Hart residence. One of our snitchy sources told us there was some unconfirmed chatter amongst the elites of the Platinum Triangle real estate game that the buyer was Nick and/or Christian Candy, the much ballyhooed British developers of billionaire-style properties. That sorta made sense since everybody in the upper echelons of the L.A. real estate game knows the elder Candy brother, Nick, and his Australian actress wife, Holly, have waged an exhaustive hunt for an appropriate West Coast abode over the last several or more months. Indeed, in early April (2013), the flash and fast-talking developer was reported in The New York Times to be in negotiations for "a two acre estate asking $40 million."

However, hunties, Charlie Chitchatter said he's heard from numerous sources that the buyer of the Sugarman-Hart residence is a straight up a sick rich Saudi and, in fact, property records show the mysteriously named corporate entity that acquired the property for an as yet unrevealed sum (that may or may not be around $32 million) links back to the Century City (CA) offices of and U.S. based international law office that specializes in the needs of Middle Easterners. Make of that connection what you will. Anyhoo...

Whether a Brit or a Saudi or some other jet setting foreigner with seemingly limitless wads of disposable income, the new owner of the Sugarman-Hart home joins a couple of other high profile home owners on the curved cul-de-sac high above West Hollywood and Beverly Hills. In April 2010 eyewear tycoon Jim Jannard shelled out $19,900,000 for a crab-shaped 1960s contemporary immediately next door to the Sugarman-Harts that had been re-worked by master architect Hal Leavitt in the 1980s. Published reports said Mister Jannard acquired the property for use as some sort of guest house for business associates but he's since knocked the mid-century modern beotch down to make way for something brand spanking new and—if we had to guess—probably much larger.

In October of 201, televised talent competition mega-mogul Simon Cowell coughed up $15,500,000 for a thrilling if slightly time-worn mid-century modern a few doors up the hill from the Sugaman-Harts. More recently, in April 2013, a corporation connected to B-movie producer Sergei Bespalov plunked down $13,250,000 for a recently renovated contemporary on just over half an acre. **

These are all big and impressive sales numbers. They are nowhere near, however, the extraordinary—not to mention attention grabbing—$30+ million we heard Mister Sugarman and Miz Hart nabbed for their Trousdale aerie that will, no doubt, be substantially altered by the new owner because, well, that's just what the world's super rich do nowadays. They spend $30 million to buy a house and another 10 or 12 million to rework it into a better representation of their real estate fantasies. Stay tuned...

*Your Mama actually heard the Sugarman-Hart house closed in the last few days and went for $32 million (or so). However, property records do not yet show a sale price. That means, butter beans, the $32 million figure is just some high grade real estate rumor and gossip, at least until it's reported—sans credit, natch—in one of the more respectable property gossip columns.

**For the record, we have no idea if Mister Bespalov is the owner of the referenced home that was recently purchased for $13.25 million. We only know that a search of the company that technically owns the home is somehow linked to Mister Bespalov. Make of that what you will.

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