Friday, October 30, 2009

Frank and Jamie McCourt Have a Lot of Houses

By now, anyone and everyone who follows the money trail around Los Angeles knows there's a War of the Roses about to erupt on the staid streets of the Holmby Hills where the dueling and dee-vorcing owners of the L.A. Dodgers Frank and Jamie McCourt own an impressive compound on Charing Cross Way.

For those who do not recognize their names, Mister and soon to be ex-Missus McCourt made piles of money developing commercial real estate in Boston, Mass. In 2004, they cashed out and purchased the L.A. Dodgers baseball franchise for a whopping $430,000,000.

Missus McCourt, an attorney with a Masters degree in business, was installed as vice-chairman and named president of the team in 2005. In March of 2009 she was promoted to CEO making her the highest-ranking woman in Major League Baseball earning $2,000,000 per year. Until last week, when her soon to be ex-huzband fired her.

The gory he said/she said details of Missus McCourt’s termination are all over the interweb, but suffice to say she says it’s unwarranted and he says she was insubordinate and that she was having an improper relationship with her bodyguard/driver. Your Mama does not know what is true and what is not true, but what we do know is that the people at gossip juggernaut TMZ managed to get a hold of the Petition for the Dissolution of Marriage filed by Jamie McCourt on October 27, 2009. How they do these things, we don't know, but the document was not only posted on their site it was also forwarded to Your Mama by Sandy Spreadtheword. It took us the better part of half a day and a pitcher of gin and tonic to read the 137-page document which details the couples accumulation of wealth, how they spend all that money and what kind of spousal support the soon to be ex-Missus McCourt is looking for.

By far the most interesting sections of the long document are those that detail the couple's personal real estate holdings and the amounts of money required to maintain them. By our count, the McCourts maintain 7 private residences and own two more parcels of prime property on which they intended to build two more. Prior to moving to Los Angeles in 2004, the couple lived in Massachusetts so that seems a good place to begin a chronicle of their real estate lives based on information culled from public property records and the dee-vorce docs.

According to previous reports and property records, prior to moving west, Mister and Missus McCourt called a Brookline, Mass mansion home since 1993. As best as we can tell, the couple coughed up $4,500,000 for the 8,249 square foot Cottage Street estate that ballooned to a gargantuan 18,216 square feet. Records show that property was sold in August of 2007 for $16,000,000. Interestingly, and somewhat eccentrically, when they sold the property they reserved the right to remove the entire kitchen–lock, stock, and counter tops–if the kitchen was ever to be remodeled or the mansion torn down.

Like many moneyed people in Massachusetts, Mister and Missus McCourt and their four sons often spent vacations on Cape Cod. In the year 2000, the then happy couple dumped $19,500,000 for a 5-parcel ocean front estate on Main Street in the Village of Cotuit, MA that spans more than 90 acres and includes two private ponds.

The main house was built in 1909, measures 7,516 square feet and includes 10 bedrooms and 6.5 poopers. A second, smaller house on the property has another 3 bedrooms and 2.5 poopers which all adds up to an unlucky 13 bedrooms and 10 terlets in 8 full and 2 half poopers.

Court documents indicate the McCourts spent $605,000 on improvements to the property and that they have an $18,000,000 equity line of credit secured by two of their properties, this being one of them. Court documents also indicate that the massive estate is quietly being shopped around with a hair-raising asking price of $50,000,000. Considering they’re into the place for just over twenty million smackers, a fifty million dollar sale–which Your Mama imagines is a bit of a pipe dream–would next them a mind boggling thirty million dollars.

Before buying the big estate on Cape Cod, in 1998, the erstwhile couple spent $775,000 on what is described in the dee-vorce docs as a “golf home” on Willowbend Drive in Mashpee, MA. The house contains a total of 9 bedrooms and 4.5 poopers, some of which according to the dee-vorce docs are in the finished basement.

Upon arriving in LaLa Land in 2004, they immediately cowed and wowed all the real estate people that fill the fancy offices on CaƱon Drive in Bev Hills buy plunking down $21,250,000 for an estate on Charing Cross Road, directly across the street from the Playboy Mansion. Court documents reveal an additional $14,000,000 has been spent on improvements to property which included replacing the outdoor tennis court with an indoor Olympic size swimming pool that has its own pool house, sauna, steam room, shower, dressing room and massage room.

The post-renovation main manse,–their primary residence before busting up–now measures approximately 15,000 square feet and in addition to the 4 bedrooms and 10 poopers, there is also a fully-equipped work out room, a dance studio and guest quarters. The house also contains the kitchen from their Brookline mansion, which they spent $180,000 to remove and ship to California.

According to court documents, the monthly costs for the McCourt’s massive Charing Cross Road mansion total a toe curling $202,716 and include $68,313 for decorating and furnishing, $29,997 for domestic staff, and $5,866 in utilities. Think about that for a few seconds my butter beans. Mister and Missus McCourt and paying more every month to keep their lights on and the lawn watered than most people make in a month. There is, according to records and court documents, an elephantine $13,800,000 mortgage on the property.

A few months after buying the Charing Cross Road residence, in November of 2004, the couple scooped up the property next door for $6,500,000. Their intention, according to dee-vorce docs, was to utilize the 8,385 square foot, 8 bedrooms and 10 pooper property as guest quarters. However, despite spending an additional $4,800,000 in basic improvements and architectural fees, the property has been used for little more than storage. There is no mortgage on the property. However, between the two Holmby Hills properties, according to court docs, the McCourts have spent a mouth drying $46,550,000. It’s certainly not the ninety or so million Gary Winnick paid for his Bel Air spread, but it’s none the less a heart stopping mound of moolah.

In July of 2007, the couple went a-searchin’ for a Malee-boo beach house and found what they wanted in a swoopy John Lautner designed house on Carbon Beach for which they paid actors Courtney Cox and David Arquette $27,300,000. Since splitting with Frankie, Jamie has been occupying the Malibu residence exclusively. According to dee-vorce docs, the 4,486 square foot, 4 bedroom and 5.5 pooper architectural tour de force costs $151,054 per month to maintain, most of which goes to property taxes and servicing a $16,500,000 mortgage.

A few months later, in January of 2008, the couple decided they needed more room at the beach and purchased the property next door to their dee-voon Lautner house. Records and court documents reveal they paid $19,000,000 for the 3 bedroom and 3 pooper property where their children and guests stay when visiting them at the beach. Because the soon to be ex-Missus McCourt is a swimmer, a lap pool is being installed at this property because the small pool at the Lautner next door is, apparently, not big enough for lap swimming. According to dee-vorce docs, this property swallows up $88,106 in monthly costs and was used to secure an $11,400,000 mortgage.

In 2004, about the same time they moved west, the property mad McCourts forked over $6,000,000 for a 3 bedroom and 2.5 bathroom condominium on East Core Creek Drive in Vail, CO. Although the condo was paid for with cold, hard cash, according to the dee-vorce docs, an $18,000,000 equity line of credit was secured with this condo and their Cape Cod compound as collateral.

The couple own two additional pieces of land on which they planned to build two more luxurious residences. In 2006, they spent $7,700,000 for unimproved property at the by invitation only Yellowstone Club in Montana. No house has been built on the property.

In late 2008, seemingly just before they called it quits, they spent $4,625,000 for a vacant parcel of land at the dee-luxe El Dorado Club in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. A residence for the property has been fully designed by not yet built.

A few flicks of the well-worn beads of our bejeweled abacus reveals that Mister and Missus McCourt have spent $167,050,000 on dee-luxe real estate for their personal and private use and are carrying a diarrhea inducing $59,700,000 in mortgages. How do y’all like them real estate apples?

In addition to chronicling their extensive real estate holdings, the dee-vorce docs also detail the couples lavish monthly expenses which include 24/7 security at both their Holmby Hills home and their Malibu properties when they are in residence as well as racking up $6,870,000 in Net Jets costs in 2008 and 2009. According to Jamie and her forensics accountants, the couple’s monthly household expenses total a staggering $760,209 which includes $538,029 in real estate related expenses, $55,782 per month in personal expenses, which we take to mean hair care, fresh flowers and other luxuries, $33,756 per month in expenses related to their four adult children–three of whom are currently attending Stanford University, charity donations in excess of $30,000 per month, and concierge health care services to the tune of nearly $90,000 per year.

Lo-word have mercy, Your Mama needs a nerve pill just thinking about monthly bills in excess of three-quarters of a million clams. Every. Damn. Month. Jeezis. Even Rich people have gotta understand that is a shocking amount of money in monthly bills.

Due to their profligate ways–which they appear to be able to well afford–Missus McCourt is asking the courts to grant her non-taxable spousal support to the tune of $320,967 if she is reinstated to her two million dollar per year job at the Dodgers or $487,634 if she is not reinstated.

Given that California is a community property state and given that Missus McCourt gave Mister McCourt $1,000 for his first bidness deal and given that Missus McCourt has been an integral part of the couple’s wealth accumulation, it seems to Your Mama–who is not an attorney–that Jamie will not only be awarded stunning sums of money in monthly spousal support but will also end up owning half of the couple’s assets.

Whatever happens, expect the dirty details of their dee-vorce to be played out in the media.

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