Thursday, April 8, 2010

Another Beverly Park Beast Goes Up for Sale

SELLER: A Bit of a Mystery Maybe (But See Below)
LOCATION: Beverly Hills, CA
PRICE: $21,995,000
SIZE: 29,069 square feet (approx.), 18 bedrooms, 28 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: It's not unusual for a big ol' beast of a residence in the 24-hour guard gated Beverly Park community to come up for sale. In just the last couple of years alone there have been a multitude of multi-millionaires looking to unload their boo-teek hotel sized homes. This group of sellers includes (but is not limited to): Hollywood honcho Mike Medavoy, who first listed his East Coast style mansion in 2007 at $23,500,000 and sold it in the fall of 2009 for about half that amount; Property developer George Santopietro–that would be Vanna White's ex-man mate–who spec-built a 9 bedroom and 15 pooper pile, listed it at $50,000,000, leased it to Prince for a rumored $200,000 per month and has it currently listed at $29,500,000; Rockstar Energy drink founder Russ Weiner currently has his Beverly Park bachelor pad listed at $28,000,000; The mansion of country music superstars Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, whose manse was last listed at $10,800,000, is currently in escrow; Porn purveyor Norm Zada, whose Beverly Park spread recently fell out of escrow after being tied up for months, recently put his very contemporary compound back on the market with a price tag of $19,500,000, five million clams less its original asking price of $24,500,000; And let's not forget property developer Robert Bisno, who made enemies of his Beverly Park neighbors when he installed a sculpture in the center of his motor court that looked an awful lot like a woman with her legs up in the air in a not very dignified manner and who lost his house last year in an ugly and protracted foreclosure brouhaha.

The newest estate to be put up for sale in the eye poppingly opulent Beverly Hills community of colossal cribs–where real estate size queens go to manifest their mega-mansion dreams–is a 3.03 acre spread with a coral colored Italianate mansion that recently landed on the open market with an asking price of $21,995,000. Your Mama knows we are a little late to the rodeo on this one children, the property having already been discussed here, there and just about everywhere that cares about obscenely sized and insanely expensive mansions. However, we hope to shed a little light on some of the darker corners of this property as regards to its ownership.

But before we get to that, let's cover some of the numbers. At 29,069 square feet, the mansion is large even by Beverly Park standards. This isn't, however and in actuality, a 29,069 square foot single family residence but rather a two-family affair with two (approximately) 15,000 square foot side-by-side and attached mansions. Altogether, according to listing information, the two mansions contain 18 bedrooms and a staggering 28 poopers. The children will note that the Los Angeles tax man shows the manse measures 26,116 square feet and includes 18 bedrooms and 28 poopers. Either way it's ginormous and has a staggering number of bedrooms and bathrooms

This morning, chit-chatting with our imperious and sometimes theatrical house gurl Svetlana while she attached our morning I.V. drip of liberally sugared coffee, we mentioned that there were at least 25 and perhaps as many as 28 terlits between these two houses. All of the sudden ol' Svetlana let out a gutteral and inhuman screech, dropped to the floor in convulsive fits and started speaking in tongues. Your Mama had never seen Svetlana speak in tongues–shmalla holla da lalla shocka muhlocka heeny hiney ho–so we were, to say the least, freaked out. After about four minutes of her unrestrained hysteria, Sveta leaped up and ran from the house howling and hollering that she would rather be a charwoman than scrub 25 terlits every damn day. She's yet to come back and we'd be a wee bit worried except every now and then we can hear an all too familiar screech from up in the scrubby hills behind our house that assures us that our dear Svetlana hasn't gone far and will come home when the shock and awe subsides.

Anyhoo, a single electronically controlled drive gate gives way to two motor courts where each mansion has its own private garages and entrances. Listing information states that each mansion claims its own 2-story story foyer, generously sized living spaces, arched hallways, kitchen quarters and a slew of bedroom suites with private poopers. The meticulously groomed grounds have not been divided and contain just one swimming pool with an adjacent cabana and changing area that is shared by both mansions. There is not a tennis court, which is a real shame because for twenty million bucks Your Mama wants to be able to have Ivan the tennis pro come to the house for our private lessons on swatting balls with big rackets.

Although preposterously long and a little squat looking, the exterior articulation isn't entirely unpleasant. There are, we find, a number attractive architectural moments. Plus, we rather like the muted but still bold coral exterior. We feel, however, less charitable about the interior day-core. The interiors are, as expected, grand in scale and heavy on not always necessary architectural details, at least in some rooms, but the day-core is surprisingly spare and unexpectedly contemporary in style. While Your Mama is positively beside our self with glee not to find the sort of faux Tuscan decorative tragedy we're used to finding over-sized suburban mega-mansions, we're also utterly shocked to find a vermilion colored sitting room with a series of gilded frames on the walls, a Fortuny chandelier and an aggressively minimalist fireplace surround painted a slightly lighter shade of vermilion. Your Mama does loves us a minimalist fireplace surround and we are nuts about the color vermilion, a shade of orange that's full of chutzpah and that in the right hands works in the right circumstances. However, as glorious as the color may be, it's simply not working on any level with those beige overstuffed arm chairs and, horror of all furniture horrors, that cheap looking and profoundly problematic floral davenport.

No less shocking or unnerving is the woven grass wall covering in one of the mansions' dining rooms and even more upsetting still is the painting of the red urn. Who buys a perfectly pedestrian painting like that and thinks it's appropriate to hang it in a twenty million dollar two family house? The damn thing looks like something anyone can find at their local Salvation Army, which is, quite frankly, were it belongs.

There are "concept plans," according to listing information, for converting the two mansions into one gigantic single family house. Honestly chickens, in this day and age of less is more, who'd really want to do that? Then again, there are and probably always will be wildly wealthy real estate size queens who find it a punishment to live in less than 15,000 square feet and who care not a whit about the high cost or environmental ramifications of heating, cooling and maintaining a private house the size of an international damn airport.

As far as Your Mama can tell, the first folks to blab about the newly listed Beverly Park behemoth were the peeps at Guest of a Guest who called the property a "stunner" and who did not–or perhaps were unable to–identify the seller. Your Mama would certainly not be surprised if the peeps at G of a G were unable to identify the seller because–lo-ward have mercy–the property records are nothing if not complicating and discombobulating even for an old school property record reader like Your Mama.

Your Mama wishes we could speak with 100% authority regarding the ownership of this two-family mega mansion in Beverly Park, but we can't. Not really anyway. None the less, based on a thorough study of the public property records available to us and–more importantly–a couple of secret confabs with a few folks with detailed knowledge of the denizens of Beverly Park, we think we've been able to pinpoint the owner. It's certainly no secret among real estate watchers and property gossips in Los Angeles (and beyond) that several of the estates in Beverly Park are owned by Saudi royals and our best guess as to the owner's identity is (Saudi Crown) Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Abdullah whose father is King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Bin Abdulrahman Bin Faisal Bin Turki Bin Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud, otherwise known as the current King of Saudi Arabia.

We come to that conclusion because we actually found the name "A, Abdullah Prince Abdul" on some public tax records. That said, it's mind boggling and nearly impossible for us to say with 100% authority that the two-family mansion is owned (Saudi Crown) Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Abdullah whose father is King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Bin Abdulrahman Bin Faisal Bin Turki Bin Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud, otherwise known as the current King of Saudi Arabia because so many of these members of the Saudi royal family have nearly identical names or full names that incorporate a jumbled series of the same names. For example, we might find the name Prince Turki al Saud bin Faisal bin Abdullah and we might find the name Prince Abdullah bin Faisal bin Turki al Saud. And since we're not privvy to or knowledgeable of the nuances of Saudi royal family naming practices we would not for the life of us know if those would be the same person or two different people. Are y'all as upsettingly perplexed as Your Mama? Yes, well, it doesn't get any clearer so do your best to keep up.

Based on our research, in addition to the two-family spread currently on the market, Saudi royals own two other residential beasts in Beverly Park, one a 16,520 square foot pile with 8 bedrooms and 17 poopers and another with 26,072 square feet of interior space and an unknown number of bedrooms and poopers. The two estates owned by Saudi royals that are not currently for sale appear to be owned by either (Saudi) Prince Turki Bin Faisal Al Saud, a nephew of King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Bin Abdulrahman Bin Faisal Bin Turki Bin Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud, otherwise known as the current King of Saudi Arabia or, possibly, by the King himself. There again we run into the problem of close relatives having nearly identical names.

Listen butter beans, if it wasn't clear before then it should be now that Your Mama really don't know a cookie jar from a Fendi clutch and we are just grasping at straws based on the the unclear information we obtained from the property records and information provided to us by usually very reliable sources. At some point we imagine someone will be able to sort out just which Saudi royal owns which estate, but until then we're going to keep on keepin' on and head on over to the bar to make us a big and stiff gin & tonic to soother our oh so addled brains.

source: David Kramer / Hilton & Hyland

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