Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Your Mama Hears...

...From two well placed real estate busy bodies that the architecturally significant home of recently deceased actor Ricardo Montalban will soon to hit the market with an asking price around $20,000,000.

Although Señor Montalban was in the bizness of show for some seven decades, Your Mama's first memories of him are from the mid-1970s when his wonderfully trilled and accented English showed up on our colossal console tee-vee touting the elegance, affordability and soft Corinthian leather seats of the Chrysler Cordoba. As memorable as those commercial gems are and although he appeared in over 100 films and boob-toob programs, Señor Montalban will, of course, always be remembered for his signature role as the enigmatic and kinda creepy Mr. Roarke on Fantasy Island.

Property records reveal Mexican born Señor Montalban picked up his Oriole Drive property way back in August of 1982 when he paid Hard Rock Cafe founder Peter Morton $630,000 for the 1.22 acre parcel. It's unclear to Your Mama whether or not a residence existed on the property at the time of Señor Montalban's purchase, but we do know that in the early 1990s the suave Señor commissioned legendary Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta to design a sophisticated and contemporary crib that would provide the Montalban clan all the privacy and security they desired.

The resulting structure is 6,678 square feet of stacked volumes, solid planes and well placed voids that manage to provide privacy and take advantage of the views provided by the site's location high on a promontory at the very tippy top of an area above the Sunset Strip known as The Bird Streets. Property records show the house includes 5 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms and both of our sources whispered that although the house is magnificent, it's become a bit shabby and will require updating, upgrading and, natch, a nice gay decorator to do the architecture justice.

Two other large lavish estates occupy the same promontory as Señor Montalban's casa. Immediately next door is hedge fund honcho Robert Krail who purchased his 9,691 square foot Italian villa style pile in September of 2006 for $19,500,000 and has it back on the market with a blistering asking price of $28,000,0000 (lowered from $29,000,000) and next to Mister Krail is motivational speaker and super Scientologist Grant Cardone and his ack-turuss wifey Elena Lyons who shack up in Lionel Ritchie's old residence. Although not currently on the open market, the couple have unsuccessfully attempted to sell their 6,099 square foot architectural white elephant on and off ever since 2005 for prices ranging from $14,900,000 to $17,500,000.

Photos: (top) Pacific Coast News; (bottom) Legorreta & Legorreta

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