Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Conviction Colorado Recently

We often hear the words real estate asset class is considered one of the most emotional. Infusion of property virgins forced by low interest rates have resulted in decades long boom in the housing sector Colorado. Colorado has more real estate than ever before because of the price in the largest cities such as Toronto and Vancouver has more than doubled in the last ten years. Colorado Springs real estate investors offers you opportunities for purposes of you're little skewed. It is the conviction Colorado recently, although over the last five years in the U.S. housing market has fallen more than 20%.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Las Vegas Business For Sale

Everyone will want to have a business opportunity to earn a lot of money coming alone, especially the way the economy has been the rise in food and gasoline prices. Lately, we have been threatened by a fiscal cliff situation where if there was a deal struck, the poor will suffer most from unemployment benefits would have been cut and the price of milk will go through the roof. Las Vegas Business For Sale offers a number of attractive business opportunities for the purpose of business you want to develop. For more specific look at this video.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Super-retro Vintage Trailer

I hope this introduction will help you to better understand the different types of camper trailers available and what facilities you can expect from each. As with everything, quality camper trailer 'and value for money will vary so it's worth doing some research and investigation if you are planning to buy. About vintage trailer.

There was a roaring trade in second hand and refurbished vintage trailer, and this willingness to see the back of a classic car or truck. They are super-retro and usually have a wood interior and exterior metal classic in 1950. Maybe not for the first time buyer, but a dream for fans pure!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

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Friday, January 4, 2013

UPDATE: Petra (Ecclestone) Stunt's New Manor

Anybody wonder just how unreservedly (self-)indulged British racing heiress Petra (Ecclestone) Stunt and her new husband James Stunt worked over interiors of the 50,000-plus square foot faux-French pile in L.A.'s Holmby Hills that she bought in mid-2011 for $85,000,000?

We did too, until yesterday when a clever but anonymous commenter directed us to a website with large, post-redo photographs that show the new day-core not particularly surprisingly skews towards a brooding and occasionally girly kind of glammy that looks to Your Mama like a plush hybrid between a fancy boutique hotel, an upscale gentlemen's club and a high end department store. We suggest y'all peep the pictures right quick before they get pulled from the interweb.

We perused the many lush images of the interior and exterior for seven or eight entire minutes and can only hope that Mister and Missus Stunt have flung a few personal knick-knacks and paddywhacks around the 120-some room behemoth since the photos were snapped because it all looks a little impersonal and comes off as overwhelmingly out-sized, especially considering that just two people actually live there.

The paneling in the airline hangar-sized foyer with its massive sweetheart staircase has all been slathered with crisp, white paint and Candy Spelling's plain ol' buff-colored marble flooring was swapped for a high-impact and super graphic over-scaled black and white marble stripe pattern. There are a number of gilt-framed oil portraits of unknown people affixed to the walls as well a deeply saturated photo of Petra that shows her sitting on the edge of some piece of furniture in an unidentifiable but decadent setting looking somewhat forlorn in a turquoise colored shift dress that probably cost as much or more as her cleaning gal's car.*

There are enough reception halls, living rooms, dining areas and lushly textured lounges on both the main and basement levels to comfortably accommodate dozens of people at the same time. This house, children is so damn big that there could easily be a raucous party working it out down in the bowling alley and a tea party going on in the cavernous, ballroom sized living room and neither party would know the better. The tremendous main kitchen has at least three boxcar-sized work islands and commercial-grade appliances that would probably allow a well-oiled kitchen staff to turn out delectable spreads for both hypothetical parties at the same time plus a midnight buffet for forty.

Both the his and the her bathrooms in the master suite are exceptionally spacious and lavishly appointed. Mister Stunt's is mostly brown and manly while hers is girlishly glitzy with a giant heart shaped mirror and a free standing soaking tub smack in the center of the many-sided room.

Mister Stunt's walk-in closet/dressing is cozy and elegant like an expensive haberdashery with lustrous ebony cabinetry and wall-to-wall carpeting while hers is a gigantic, well-lit multi-level extravaganza with built-in jewelry cases and dressers, a grid of handbag cubbies, several dozens of feet of built-in drawers, motorized shoe racks, and rows of hanging racks set into mirrored walls that ring the upper level. In the center of the room a tufted sled-style sofa sits under a white glass chandelier and is flanked by a pair of headless manikins with a metallic finish.

The two-lane bowling alley in the basement was done over in shades of chocolate brown and a nearby game room with a similar milk chocolaty palette has a pool table, poker table and walls that appear to be upholstered in some sort of (probably and hopefully faux) fur.

Photos show Missus Stunt installed a full service professional grade beauty salon with a dizzying mirrored hallway that leads to a semi-circular reception lounge furnished with little more than an obscene, pink heart shaped settee. The salon itself is equipped with at least one make up vanity, two manicure stations and three hair style stations with platinum-toned tufted leather chairs.

And that's just the inside, puppies. Outside there are several acres of precisely manicured lawns and formal gardens, citrus groves, a resort-like swimming pool complex with and outdoor kitchen and lounging pavilion, vast terraces that would be right at home at the Taj Majal, a tennis court and garaging for a dozen or more of the Stunt couple's extensive fleet of high performance whips.

Public records show the 2012 property taxes alone for Missus Stunt's titanic Tinseltown pied-à-terre were almost $1.1. million. Anyone even want to guess at the annual upkeep costs for a property of this magnitude? Boggles and betwixts the mind, don't it?

*Be smart, children, Your Mama has no idea if Missus Stunt employs a cleaning gal and if so how much she earns or the value of any car she might drive. We also have no idea how much Missus Stunt may have paid for the turquoise dress. We sorta doubt it but for all we know she picked it up off the discount rack at T.J.Maxx.

UPDATE: Kim Zolciak

Before she had an on-camera hissy fit and unceremoniously up and quit The Real Housewives of Atlanta, then-preggers and forever be-wigged reality t.v. diva Kim (Zolciak) Biermann was shown all in a dither because she'd (allegedly) been evicted from the 17,000 square foot rental mansion in Roswell, GA that she had hoped to buy before the appraisal came in significantly lower than the sale price. Oxymoronically, Missus Biermann repeatedly said—on camera—that the much bigger house she and her mister were building wasn't ready for move in and, thus, she and her brood were being forced to move back to a 3,500 square foot condo in John's Creek (GA) that she owns and where she lived with her kids prior to marrying and making babies with beefy and big-assed gingy professional football player Kroy Biermann.

On camera, Miz Zolciak appeared none to pleased with the situation. She fretted, groused and otherwise brayed ceaselessly about how she was ever gonna fit her pampered family of six—plus a nanny (or two) and her torpid personal assistant Sweetie—into a condo after getting used to living up in a 17,000 square feet mac-mansion.*

While her displeasure about having to squeeze her family into the 3,500 square foot condo may have been authentic the obviously quite fertile Miz Zolciak-Biermann and her clearly very virile husband were not being entirely truthful about their home erecting situation.

Property records and recent reports actually reveal that it was only in mid-November 2012 that Mister and Missus Biermann coughed up $880,000 for a 1.78 acre foreclosure property that backs up to a pond-sized lake in the gated community that surrounds The Manor Golf and Country Club in Alpharetta. At the time of their purchase, the brown stone and brown brick residence of indeterminable architectural style was mostly unfinished but designed, according to listing information we dug up on the interweb, with six bedrooms and 7.5 bathrooms in 6,907 square feet.

Several celebrity oriented tabs and blogs too Missus Z.-B. to task about the truthiness of her televised statements and eventually—if defensively—'fessed up to buying a unfinished house rather than building a house from the ground up as was the implication she gave both on camera and on the Twitter. Never-the-less, the house did indeed require finishing and its unfinished condition will certainly allow the Zolciak-Biermanns to (re)configure and customize the house to meet their own unique needs.**

Subsequent to all this details discrepancy coming to light in the tabloid media Your Mama received an inneresting covert communique Donnie Bravo, a real estate whippersnapper who has previously proven to Your Mama that he follows The Real Housewives of... series with rare and encyclopedic avidity.

We don't know how he knows this but Young Mister Bravo told us the luxe life pursuing Zolciak-Biermanns are currently in the process of snatching up the 1.41 acre vacant lot next door. Online documentation shows the thickly treed lake view lot was first and unsuccessfully listed in August 2009 for $489,000. In October 2012 the price was hacked down to $275,000 at which point it was immediately put under contract. As of today, there is not evidence in any of the property record data bases we consulted that show a transaction and online listings still show the sale as pending. If Mister and Missus Zoliak-Biermann are indeed the buyers of the vacant lot their new estate will encompass an impressive 3.19 (or so) acres.

This house thing may not have gone down exactly as she intimated on the t.v., and her new digs may be less than half the size of the rented Roswell mansion—and not twice the size like she bragged it was on the t.v.—but it's not like these folks are moving into a shoebox or a hovel. Your Mama has to wonder why Miz Zolciak-Biermann would even bother to stretch the truth about her family's living circumstances when, compared to most people, her actual circumstances are actually quite luxurious? Despite two solid minutes of deep thought on the matter, Your Mama can think of no other reason for Miz Z.-B. to embellish such a thing besides vanity and, well, we just think that's kinda sad.

*Note: Mister and Missus Biermann, their kids and household staff only occupied the six bedroom and ten terlit Roswell mansion for about a year, give or take a month or two.

**Would any of the children be the least bit surprised if Missus Z.-B. installed a temperature controlled wig storage facility with a state-of-the-art biometric security system?

exterior photo: All About The Real Housewives

UPDATE: Howard Marks in Malibu

A bit more than a week ago—Christmas Eve to be exact—Your Mama passed along to the children the pulse quickening real estate rumor that bespectacled billionaire hedge fund fat cat and financial industry oracle Howard Marks and his philanthropic wife Nancy were about to ink an off-market deal to sell their 10-plus acre bluff top estate in Malibu for somewhere around $75,000,000.

Since then we've heard from a number of other snitches and sources who dabble in the high end Malibu market who thoughtfully passed along a few additional bits of unsubstantiated babble making their way down the property gossip grapevine regarding the (allegedly) impending sale of the baronial estate that includes a massive, newly renovated Mediterranean villa worked over by nice-gay and exceedingly successful decorator Michael Smith.*

One canary told us the buyers were an extraordinarily rich Russian couple with "suitcases full of cash" who toured the property multiple times and wanted the property really bad. Another told us she heard the Marks' property had been shown very quietly with an asking price of $125,000,000, that the house was sold furnished and—most interestingly—that Mister Marks has told at least one friend or financial industry associate that after purchase price, renovations, decorating expenses, carrying costs and real estate fees he was gonna take a pocketbook punishing $20 million bath on the property. Imagine, children, having the pecuniary wherewithal to absorb a $20 million loss on a single property transaction and still be sick rich.

Just some juicy high end real estate hearsay and scuttlebutt least until you read about it in one of the more respectable property gossip columns.

*The bulk of the estate had previously been owned by Herbalife founder Mark Hughes who bought in in the late 1990s from Verna Harrah, the recently deceased widow of casino magnate Bill Harrah.

UPDATE: Kelsey Grammer

Did residuals rich sitcom star Kelsey Grammer catch a classic case of The Celebrity Real Estate Fickle? It sure seems so.

It was only seven or maybe eight months ago that the 57-year old and still procreating actor dropped $6,500,000 on a walled and gated 1926 Spanish Colonial Revival-style mini-mansion in an area of Beverly Hills often referred to as 'The Flats.'

Soon came a lot of brouhaha in the tabs and courts about how he wanted to lease the nearly 6,000 square foot house out at $30,000 per month and move his new fourth wife and infant baby back into a significantly larger and more grand mansion in the Holmby Hills 'hood that he still co-owns with third ex-wife Camille Grammer, best known as a semi-regular player on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Not surprisingly, Third ex-Missus Grammer balked at the notion since the 10,567 square foot house is currently for sale with an asking price of $15,995,000 and she quite logically thought it might be tougher to sell if there are people living in it. We have to imagine Third ex-Missus Grammer might also have found it icky and upsetting that Mister Grammer would have the gumption to move his new fourth wife and child into a house she once shared with her ex-husband and their two children.

Anyhoo, not only is sitcom star Kelsey Grammer attempting to lease his newly acquired house in the flats of Beverly Hills, yesterday the property popped up for sale on the open market with an asking price of $7,250,000.

It doesn't take a mathematics savant to see that Mister Grammer has increased the price by $750,000 over the $6.5 million he paid for the place less than a year ago. It also doesn't take a decorative genius to see that Mister and fourth Missus Grammer either purchased the house fully furnished and changed little or that their Real Estate is recycling listing photos from the time of his purchase of the property.

Whatever the case, current listing information shows 6,093 square foot residence was designed by some fella named "Ralph C. Fleming" and includes five bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms in the main house plus a potential staff suite plus a separate one bedroom and one bathroom guesthouse. The house was actually designed by noted California architect Ralph C. Flewelling and listing information from the time of Mister Grammer's spring 2012 purchase shows the house has a total of six bedrooms and 7.5 bathrooms. The more recent—and still active—lease listing shows the house spans just 5,683 square feet and has five bedrooms and six bathrooms. We're not sure why all the discrepancies but let's just suffice to to be somewhat vague about the details and say it's around 6,000 square feet with five or six bedrooms and 6-7.5 bathrooms.

Mister Grammer, who does not currently have a film or television gig nor anything lined up according to his resume on the Internet Movie Data Base, still maintains an expensive apartment residence in New York City and a nearly 200-acre country spread in upstate New York. He and third ex-Missus Grammer also still co-own an 8,000-plus square foot ski house in near Vail (CO) that's long been for sale and currently carries a $6,995,000 price tag. Third ex-Missus Grammer listed her current residence, a sprawling compound in the guard-gated Serra Retreat in Malibu, earlier this year at $17,900,000 but—as far as Your Mama can find—it no longer appears on the open market.

listing photos: Keller Williams Hollywood Hills

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Petra (Ecclestone) Stunt Sells Up in London, Too

SELLER: Petra Ecclestone
LOCATION: London (Chelsea), UK
PRICE: £32,000,000
SIZE: 7,995 square feet, 3-5 bedrooms, 5 full and 2 half bathrooms (plus a staff flat)

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: In case y'all didn't get your fluffy fill yesterday of the outlandishly spendy real estate ways of 28 year old Formula One racing heiress Tamara Ecclestone today Your Mama has a little ditty about her brassy blond, baby-bumped but still thin as a cat walker 24-year old baby sister Petra (Ecclestone) Stunt who also—as it turns out—has her starter house in London on the market. In Missus Stunts case, instead of a gated contemporary in Chelsea, it's a ritzy, white stucco townhouse mansion on gorgeous Eaton Square in London's super-posh Belgravia nabe that's on the open market with a £32,000,000 price tag. A few quick clickety-clacks on Your Mama's currency conversion contraption shows that's a bone rattling $52,116,500 (U.S.), at today's rates.

Missus Stunt acquired the home—most reports suggest it was paid for by her billionaire daddy Bernie—sometime in 2009 for an unknown sum of dough and shared it with her independently wealthy jet setter boyfriend turned husband James Stunt and a whole bunch of dogs. Mister and Missus Stunt were married in an extravagant ceremony in a 15th century lakeside castle outside Rome—the same one where Tom Cruise married his third ex-wife, Katie Holmes—that the tabs, blogs and gossip glossies say cost Momma and Daddy Ecclestone anywhere from £1.3 million to much as $18,750,000.

Current listing information and the floor plan show the 22-and-some foot wide townhouse spans 8 floors—six above ground, two below, measures 7,995 square feet and contains multiple reception rooms, three dedicated bedrooms plus two more potential bedrooms converted by Missus Stunt into dressing rooms. Your Mama counted five full and two half bathrooms, not including the tiny three-quarter number in the one-bedroom basement level staff flat.

The floor plan included with current marketing materials shows a rather svelte, bowling alley-like ground floor entrance hall that runs alongside the roomy formal dining room with built-in buffet, luscious chevron pattern wood floors, heavy duty moldings and a fireplace over which appears to hang a little something butterfly-ish by artist Damien Hirst. We can't say we care for the drippy chandelier that we're certain cost more than Your Mama earns in an entire year but—at the risk of sounding unforgivably rude—still looks to us a bit too much like a bunch of giant, bedazzled condoms.

The hall makes a slight hitch to the left to squeeze past the main staircase where it open to and continues past a snug central reception lobby/foyer nuzzled between the dining room and kitchen complex.

The corridor narrows as it pushed deeper into the house and passes a half bathroom and passenger elevator that services seven of the townhouse's eight floors. A half dozen steps (or so) steps descend into an airy and very contemporary center island eat-in kitchen with gleaming white marble tile floors, fixture-free milk chocolate-colored cabinetry and top grade integrated appliances. An extra wide (gas) fireplace surmounted by a huge flat screen t.v. anchors one side of the room and on the other a geometric staircase—with railings that resemble crutches—that climbs up to a roof terrace that's also accessible from the upstairs reception rooms.

The casual dining area, lit by a gigantic, jellyfish-like chandelier, spills out though a trio of tall and slender French doors to a narrow but wide balcony that—we imagine—peers our over the mews that runs behind the houses on Eaton Square and provides access to the double garage downstairs.

One floor up—the first floor for for Brits, the second for Americans—a spacious but still manageable, two-room reception suite spans the full 22-plus foot width of the townhouse. Combined the two rooms stretch more than 36 feet front to back where French doors connect to a 200-plus square foot terrace equipped with high parapets and planted with privet hedges for maintaining a modicum of privacy in the middle of the city.

The architecture in the main living and dining areas remains unreservedly grand and retains—or at least mimics—the exact sort of period detail that Your Mama might expect to find in an august townhouse of this era in London. There are polished wood floors, high ceilings with elaborate plaster moldings, three street-facing windows that stretch divinely from floor-to-ceiling and, finally, a fireplace surrounded by a glorious carved mantelpiece and mirror.

Three deep sofas in the gunmetal gray-walled living room girdle a book- and tchotchke-laden coffee table and are all three buried a cacophony of neutral colored but variously-textured pillows. We spy at least one fur lap blanket that is likely to be fake if Missus Stunt's PETA-supporting and foie gras-hating sister had anything to say about it. Real or faux fur throw blankets aside, the snazzy but essentially casual room is unquestionably dominated by a controversial, circa-1970 Terry O'Neill photograph of American bombshell Raquel Welch wearing a her famous chamois bikini from One Million Years B.C. while sexily lashed to a wooden cross. In some other average rich person's house Your Mama would guess the O'Neill photograph would be a expensive reproduction. But, somehow, we imagine Missus Stunt's O'Neill is the real damn deal.

Anyhoo, Missus Stunt's master suite spans the full width of the townhouse and occupies the entire third and fourth floors. The lower portion contains the street-side bedroom with fireplace, a fitted walk-in closet and additional cupboards an da large but hardly egregiously sized bathroom that opens to a small private balcony. The upper portion of the master suite—originally two bedrooms with private facilities and only inconveniently accessible by the main public stair—was custom converted by Missus Stunt into a pair of sleek and jam-packed dressing rooms, each of which have direct access to a small private bathroom. In an early 2011 article in the Daily Mail—an article that includes a picture of the heavily maquillaged lady-girl of the house languidly lounging in her living room in front of the aforementioned O'Neill photo—Missus Stunt remarked that one dressing room is for her "casual wardrobe" and the other her "evening wear." That, children, is a perfect example of how an arguably overindulged, modern day heiress with access to unlimited funds rolls.

Each of the two guest/family bedrooms on the fifth floor have private attached bathrooms. A tight staircase curls up to a small attic space under the eaves on the sixth floor that is marked on the floor plan as a "Storage Room." We don't know what exactly Missus Stunt stores here but Your Mama would bet both our long-bodied bitches, Linda and Beverly, that whatever it is has a designer label and/or was luridly expensive.

The decked terrace off the second floor reception room(s)—the one that's also accessible from a staircase in the kitchen—has a couple of portable heaters for taking the edge off London's notorious damp. A large square glass panel in the deck sky light for a light well/atrium that drops through the kitchen and down into the basement where it allows Miz Stunt's personal fitness room a little bit of natural light. In addition to the gym, the basement also includes a half bathroom, a two-car attached garage with direct entry, a wet bar/kitchenette and a staff flat with living room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and a semi-private outdoor space with direct access to the street.

A sub-basement, conveniently accessible by stairs and elevator, contains a room for the home's mechanical systems and laundry equipment as well as cinema/media room with built in snack bar and shelving, upholstered walls, mood lighting and deep sectional sofas.
As Your Mama and every other property gossip around the globe have discussed the recent real estate activities of (Mister and) Missus Stunt ad nauseam over the last couple years we'll suffice to say that the expecting couple frequently reside in the Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles where in the summer of 2011 she paid $85,000,000 for Showbiz widow Candy Spelling's immense, 123-room pile known as The Manor. The Stunts had the place worked over in short order by L.A.-based designer-builder Gavin Brodin who also oversees the overhaul of sister Tamara's 70-or so million dollar mega-mansion on London's leafy, guard gated and brutally expensive Kensington Palace Gardens.

The previous year, in late 2010, Missus Stunt—most likely with a huge financial leg up by one or another of her expensively divorced parents—shelled out an ear piercing $90-100,000,000 on what's known as Sloane House, an historic Grade II listed mansion (and adjoining lodge) in London's hoity-toity Chelsea 'hood. Missus Stunt has since gutted—and we mean gutted*—Sloane House and proceeded with a custom refurbishment that Your Mama unscientifically guesstimates could easily cost her and her Mister a right proper ten or more million pounds.

*Your Mama thanks a kind commenter for sending through the link for the developer-builder of Missus Stunt's new home in Chelsea. To see just how far down to the stud Sloane House was taken, click through to the developments page and scurry around in there until you find the photos marked at "Sloane House." 

listing photos and floor plan: Knight Frank

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Did Ken Griffin Spend $130 million in Palm Beach?

The real estate scuttlebutt on the palm tree-lined streets in more moneyed codes of south Florida is tha married Chicago-based hedge fund managers Ken Griffin and Anne Dias-Griffin may have coughed up a teeth chattering $130,000,000 for four contiguous properties in Palm Beach situated just south of Donald Trump's flamboyantly opulent Mar-a-Lago and the über-elite—and high-WASP—Bath & Tennis Club. The four deal(s) went down quietly, simultaneously and off-market, according to the Palm Beach Daily News, and were recorded by the Palm Beach County Clerk in the last few days of December.*

The four properties—two of which were bought from the same seller—were purchased by a pair of Delaware-based limited liability companies. The children should note that only one the LLCs can be tangentially connected through an Miami Beach condominium linked to Mister Griffin's Citadel Investment Group in Chicago.

With a current net worth recently estimated by the folks at Forbes to be in excess of three billion bucks—that's down from a high of $3.7 billion in 2008 but way back up from the $2.3 billion it had fallen to in 2011—Mister Griffin and Missus Dias-Griffin can easily afford to shell out $130 million all at once for a quartet of luxury homes on one of Palm Beach's most desirable stretches of sand. But that does not mean they did. What that means, hunny bunnies, is that—for now—this fascinatin' potentiality that Mister Griffin and Missus Dias-Griffin might be the buyers of all four properties is little more than a juicy bit of high brow real estate rumor and gossip. Let's proceed unarmed with any confirmation of Mister Griffin's alleged possible purchase in Palm Beach anyways, shall we?

Two of the properties—one ocean front and the other landlocked to the adjoining west—were sold by trusts connected to a lady named Mary Bolton, a Palm Beach grande dame whose grandfather built one of the first ocean front properties in Palm Beach. Miz Bolton's pair of properties were bought by the same oddly named Black Calabash Family Holdings LLC . The landlocked parcel—1.65 acres with an award winning 4,376 square foot Old Florida-style residence designed by Miz Bolton's architect son and built in 1989 with 5 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms—went for $14,300,000 according to the Palm Beach Daily News. The neighboring ocean front spread spans 1.98 ocean front acres with an approximately 10,000 square foot Mediterranean-style mansion built in 1989 with 5 bedrooms and six bathrooms. It went for $35,700,000.

The two adjoining ocean front properties stacked directly to the north of the two sold by Miz Bolton were sold in separate transactions by two different sellers. Both were purchased, again according to the Palm Beach Daily News, by PBH LLC., the mysterious above mentioned corporate entity that is somewhat circuitously "linked in public records to Citadel Investments Group" via a condo in Miami Beach.

The 2.21 acre northernmost parcel, with its 14,354 square foot mansion, was bought from businessman Walter McPhail and his wife Mary Anne and went for $37,950,000. Interestingly the most expensive of the four transactions was the $41,650,000 spent by PBH LLC to acquire a 2.04 acre currently vacant parcel between the Bolton and McPhail properties. The as yet unidentified  sellers did very well on the sale as they had only acquired the beach front property in May 2011 for $29,150,000 after which they knocked down the then-existing house down. That's an impressive $12,500,000 profit, less carrying costs, demolition expenses and real estate fees.

Altogether the four parcels total 7.88 acres and currently contain three substantial houses and three swimming pools. But again, Your Mama must street, children, that the various transactions and LLCs may or may not have anything to do with Mister Griffin.

Whether or not they're the actual buyers of all or any of the four Palm Beach parcels Mister and Missus Griffin none-the-less maintain an impressive portfolio of private residences in Chicago, New York City and the big island of Hawaii.

New York City property watchers may recall that it was Mister and Missus Griffin who, in December 2009, paid wildly wealthy banking widow and international society fixture Lily Safra $40,000,000 for her full-floor penthouse level spread at 820 Fifth Avenue. Those children may also recall that Miz Safra's team of movers didn't have to pack up and haul her precious collectibles very far since she'd paid house builder Ara Hovnanian and his artist wife Rachel Hovnanian $33,000,000 for their seriously sophisticated and almost all white Piet Boon-designed digs on the fourth floor.

In 2009 various property gossips in the business media revealed the hedge fund fat cats coughed up $11,380,000 for a four acre vacant parcel at the Four Seasons Hualalai in Hawaii and in early 2011 they coughed up almost $17,000,000 more for a 5,600 square foot Balinese style house that sits right on the ocean.

In August 2000 Chicago-based Mister Griffin spent $6,900,000 on a penthouse level apartment in a mixed-use skyscraper on Chicago's Miracle Mile. Just a few months ago it was revealed by the Chicago Tribune's real estate chronicler Bob Goldsborough that Mister and Missus Griffin bought the 7,900 square foot full floor unit directly below for a record breaking $15,000,000. Of course, Your Mama don't know an apple from a barbecue pit but we'd bet both our long-bodied bitches, Linda and Beverly, they plan to spend millions more combining their pair of Michigan Avenue aeries.

*Your Mama has zero reason to quibble with or dispute the accuracy of the details in the Palm Beach Daily News report but—for the record—as of today none of the several online databases Your Mama checked, including the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser, reflect a transfer of ownership of any of the four properties.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Racing Heiress Tamara Ecclestone Lists in London

SELLER: Tamara Ecclestone
LOCATION: London (Chelsea), UK
PRICE: £19,750,000
SIZE: 6,245 square feet, 4-7 bedrooms, 4 full and 3 half bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: The notoriously pampered and supremely profligate 20-something year old Ecclestone sisters Petra and Tamara—heiresses to the multi-billion dollar Formula One racing fortune of their diminutive, mop haired daddy Bernie—have been like catnip to all us international property gossips over the last few years due to their frequent hoovering up of mind-numbingly expensive real estate in both London and Los Angeles.

Twenty three year old, newly married and currently preggers Petra garnered oodles of attention for her 2010 purchase of an historic $90,000,000 (or so) mansion in London's natty Chelsea area and even more over the summer of 2011 for her $85,000,000 acquisition of The Manor, Candy and Aaron Spelling's (in)famous 56,000 square foot architectural monstrosity on 1.3 landscaped acres in the hoity-toity Holmby Hills are of Los Angeles.

Twenty eight year old and newly single Tamara, however, is not to be outdone by her younger sister in the personal residence department. In Los Angeles, rumor has it the older Ecclestone sister has secured a short term lease Fleur de Lys, the decidedly immoderate chateau style pile in Bel Air owned by couture-clad divorcée Suzanne Saperstein. In London, Tamara either has already or soon will move into a newly refurbished and expanded mega-mansion tucked behind the heavily guarded gates of the ultra-exclusive Kensington Palace Gardens (K.P.G.) that she scooped up in late 2010 for about £45,000,000, or about $73,000,000 to all us Americanos.

According to a friendly source in London whom we'll call Paulina Propertypornlover, the upcoming completion of the rehab and redo of her new pad in K.P.G.—said to cost young Miss E. an additional £15-20,000,000—probably explains why her current residence, a red brick and limestone contemporary on a quiet street just a block or so from the Thames in the Chelsea area, has popped up on the open market with a sky high but probably not unrealistic asking price of £19,750,000. A few quick calculations on Your Mama's currency conversion contraption and we determine that's 31,902,800 U.S. dollars at today's rates.

Paulina reminded Your Mama that in addition to the purchase price, home buyers in the U.K. are required to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax. In the case of Miss Ecclestone's residence that would be 7% of the purchase price. That means if some Richie Rich comes along and agrees to pay full price he (or she or they) will have to cough up an additional £1,382,500—$2,233,190—in Stamp Tax, an amount that is an up front cost to the buyer and can not—as far as we know, anyways—be rolled into the mortgage.

Miss Ecclestone bought her house in Chelsea sometime in 2007 for about £10,750,000 and current marketing materials show the four floor main house was built in 2005, measures 6,245 square feet and includes a total of 4-6 bedrooms depending on use, four full and three half bathrooms and two full kitchens plus a wet bar/kitchenette. A separate, detached structure across the motor court is idea for housing a staff person and adds another 518 square feet with a narrow living room, and even more narrow bedroom plus a puny kitchenette and a windowless bathroom.

The house sits well out of view of the street at the tail end of a long, gated tunnel driveway that passes through a small street-side apartment house at the ground level and opens into an tight, four-car motor court expensively equipped with a motorized turntable that conveniently turns Miss Ecclestone's fleet of high performance cars around with little more effort than the touch of a button.

The front door opens into an airy entry (above, top left) with powder room and is defined by vast, art filled walls and a glass railed staircase that twists and double-backs in on itself to connect the upper and lower levels.  A quick perusal of the floor plan (above) shows the elevated main floor encompasses a framed photograph filled, 33-plus foot long living/dining room (above, top right and lower center) with high ceiling, marble-faced fireplace over-mounted with a giant flat screen t.v., extra wide plank oak floors and four floor to ceiling windows that peer into the not quite lap length sky-lit indoor swimming pool plus more windows that overlook the motor court.

The sky-lit, galley-style eat-in kitchen (above, top) stretches 28 feet long with marble floors, shiny white cabinetry and top grade appliances that include a washer and dryer. A sky-lit breakfast area at the far end (above, bottom) has floor to ceiling windows with a view of the indoor swimming pool. Don't be fooled, children, by the wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling bookcases filled with books because that's merely an optical illusion created with wallpaper meant to look like book filled book cases. Call Your Mama old fashioned—and Lowerd knows we've been called much worse—but we'd rather by far have actual bookshelves filled with actual books.

Back down on the ground floor there are two fairly petite but adequate guest bedrooms with built-in wardrobes, private bathrooms and itty-bitty windows (above). Miss Ecclestone custom converted a third and larger guest bedroom on the ground floor—at the tail end of a wide, zig-zagging corridor with eye level windows that look into the swimming pool—into a boutique like dressing room with custom wood wardrobes for storing her extensive collection of designer clothing, sky-high shoes, punishingly pricey handbags and statement jewelry.

Marketing materials indicate the shower/tub was removed in the attached bathroom and replaced with a hair and make-up station, a real must have for a high-maintenance young heiress like Miss Ecclestone who—no doubt—keeps a squadron of hairdressers, nail polishers and make-up appliers on retainer. While we totally get that a high maintenance conspicuous consumer/clothes horse like Miss Ecclestone would install extensive storage facilities for her exorbitantly expensive habiliments but does it strike anyone besides Your Mama a bit bothersome that her dressing room is two long flights of stairs and a zig-zagging hallway away from her top floor master bedroom?

A potential fourth bedroom, also on the ground floor, was custom fitted as a compact, oak floored gym with a recumbent bicycle, a scary looking, state-of-the-art tanning bed, a few free-weights for bicep toning, an attached bathroom and an adjoining spiral staircase that ascends to the indoor swimming pool area.

Miss Ecclestone's master suite isn't humongous but it is lavishly appointed and occupies the entire top floor of the residence. The large bedroom (above, top) is fitted with a wall full of mirrored wardrobes, delicious wall-to-wall seal gray silk carpeting and a pair of matching fainting couches, one of which is jammed full of stuffed animals. Seriously? Stuffed animals? Tamara, gurrrl, you are 28 damn years old with artwork by the likes of Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst and a small collection of stuffed animals in your bedroom? Hunny, pleeze. No. Absolutely not. That is not cute and it certainly ain't chic. All the children surely know by now that Rule No. 5 in Your Mama's Big Book of Decoratin' Dos and Don'ts emphatically declares: "Under no circumstances are stuffed animals to be used as day-core except in the bedrooms of children under 10, maybe up to 12 if the child is an immature twelve." Capisce? Anyhoo, the attached master bathroom (above, bottom left) is slathered in beige marble with twin, caved marble sinks, a soaking tub and an over-sized shower fitted with every sort of shower head a rich girl's decorator can buy. (The above photo on the lower right is Miss E.'s previously discussed custom fitted dressing room on the ground floor.)

The master bedroom opens to a large, barely furnished terrace with a high planted parapet that promotes privacy (above, top right). A catwalk connects the terraces to a spiral staircase the corkscrews down to a smaller terrace (above, top left) tucked between the main living/dining room and the indoor swimming pool (above, bottom).

Double doors at the bottom of the stairs on the subterranean lower ground floor open into a nearly 20-foot square dining room with temperature controlled wine cellar, a teeny-tiny but no doubt grossly expensive chandelier and a colorful grid of gorgeous abstract prints by Mumbai-born and London-based artist Anish Kapoor. Glass sliders open to a small terrace and a second set of solit walnut double doors open into a particularly louche cinema/screening room with extra deep silk-velvet upholstered sofas, plush royal blue wall-to-wall carpeting and hidden sound and television systems.

Also located on the basement level are a small study with attached bathroom, a separate powder room, a kitchenette/wet bar just outside the cinema, a fully equipped serving kitchen with in and out doors for the hired servers, laundry facilities and a custom fitted luggage room wall papered with with Louis Vuitton monogrammed wall covering that matches Miss E.'s vast collection of Louis Vuitton luggage.

As mentioned above, Miss Ecclestone—along with her five dogs Alvin, Puggle, Socky, Buster, Hob Nob and Duke but without her philandering former live-in man-friend Omar Khyami—will decamp Chelsea for the gated and heavily fortified Kensington Palace Gardens (above) where she'll settle into a newly refurbished and expanded mega-mansion that at least one report in the British tabs says has 55 rooms in about 55,000 square feet.

Miss E.'s new mega-manse stands more than three floors above ground and at least two floors below and plans called for the installation of a single lane bowling alley, a nightclub, an indoor (and underground) swimming pool complex, fitness center, beauty salon and spa with massage treatment rooms, a media room and a doggie spa with cabinets for storing all their accoutrement.

The master suite, so various reports reveal, encompasses the entire second floor and will feature large bedroom chamber, separate lounge with cocktail and champagne bars, a no longer necessary "his" dressing room with leather lined cabinets and a behemoth bathroom with a £1 million bathtub carved from a single piece of Amazonian crystal, Miss E.'s 600-plus square foot boutique-style dressing room was designed with silk lined lingerie drawers, Hermès leather lined cabinets for sunglasses and jewelry, motorized racks for shoes, hats and handbags and an island storage cabinet with a pop up television that can be watch from a super-sized built-in window seat.

A number of the sumptuous mansions along Kensington Palace Gardens are maintained as official embassies (Lebanon, Russia and Israel and Romania to name a few) while others are owned by high-flying bajillionaires like real estate mogul Jonathan Hunt, the Sultan of Brunei, Russian-American industrialist Leonard Blavatnik and Russian tycoon and prodigious trophy property collector Roman Abramovich.

Half a dozen doors up from Miss Ecclestone's residential beast is the even bigger 'Taj Mittal' owned by Indian steel magnate Laksmki Mittal who bought it in 2004 for £57,000,000 from—hold on to your britches—Miss Ecclestone's father Bernie. Mister Mittal is said to have spent at least two other mansions on the block, one in 2004 for £70,000,000 for his daughter Vanisha and the other in 2008 for a record breaking £117,000,000 for his son Aditya.

Directly across the tree-lined street from Miss Ecclestone is Kensington Palace where Prince William and with-child Duchess Catherine will soon settle into a spacious four floor townhouse type apartment that is said to have upwards of 20 rooms and was inhabited by Princess Margaret and Lord Snowden until her death in 2002.

listing photos and floor plan (Chelsea): John D. Wood & Co.
exterior photo (Kensington Palace Gardens): VOV Giao Thong

Reese Witherspoon Unloads Celebrity Pedigreed Lot

SELLER: Reese Witherspoon
BUYER: Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $7,500,000
SIZE: 2.53 acres

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: In August 2010 Oscar winning movie star Reese Witherspoon* (Walk the Line) paid faded action flick actor Steven Seagal $6,900,000 to acquire an equestrian oriented 2.53 acre estate in the bucolically swank Mandeville Canyon area of Los Angeles that once belonged to famously mustachioed actor Tom Selleck.

She had the existing house and outbuildings razed but eventually caught a classic case of The Celebrity Real Estate Fickle and quietly put the privately situated estate-sized property up for sale off-market in September 2012 with an asking price of $7,995,000.

Thanks to our tirelessly plucky informant Yolanda Yaketyyak Your Mama has learned that the now-vacant property was sold back in early November for $7,500,000 to seven-time Oscar nominated producer Kathleen Kennedy and her five-time Oscar nominated producer husband Frank Marshall.**

Avid property watchers in Los Angeles may recall that Mister Marshall and Miz Kennedy sold their 14,000-plus square foot Gwathmey Siegel & Associates designed domicile perched on a private promontory that overlooks the ritzy Riviera area of Pacific Palisades in 2011 for a whopping $26,000,000 to two-time Oscar winning actor Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson.

Your Mama's research reveals Mister Marshall and Miz Kennedy also own an ocean front house in Malibu (CA), a ski house in Telluride (CO) and a New York City pied-à-terre they picked up in the spring of 2007 for $2,695,000. 

*Presumably Miz Witherspoon's current husband, Tinseltown bigwig Jim Toth, had some input into the purchase and subsequent sale of the property but at the time of the acquisition they were not legally married. They have since married, made a baby and—at least according to our gal Anita Tellyousomething—would like to buy a secluded new family house on the West Side of Los Angeles in the $15-20,000,000 range.

**Both Mister Marshall and Miz Kennedy are long time professional associates of filmmaker Steven Spielberg and have together and/or separately played a part in the making a long list of films such as Lincoln, The Bourne Identity franchise, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Munich, Seabiscuit, The Sixth Sense, Schindler's List, the Jurrassic Park franchise, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Color Purple, the Indiana Jones... franchise, Poltergeist and E.T., just to name a few. The Hollywood power couple has a slew of projects lined up—both together and separately—that include an as yet untitled film about the Wikileaks phenomena, at least three Star Wars projects, the next installment of the Jurassic Park series and the fifth Indiana Jones movie. These people are so busy it exhausts Your Mama just to look at their extensive resumes. Anyhoo...

listing photo: The Agency