Sunday, September 19, 2010

Weekend Wrap Up

According to good people at Curbed (via The Smoking Gun) the U-nited States gubbamint has sicced the money hungry I.R.S. on wedding dress designer turned lifestyle guru Vera Wang. The tax man claims Miz Wang, who is married to big biznessman Arthur Becker, owes $349,781 in back taxes from 2008. In order to ensure they get their pound of flesh–or until Miz Wang proves them wrong–the I.R.S. has placed a lien against the fashionista's seriously swank doo-plex digs at 740 Park Avenue, arguably the grande dame of all the tight sphinctered dowagers that line New York City's posh Park Avenue.

Your Mama fully expects the ugly matter to be taken care of toot de suite and that some p.r. flack will soon be charged with the task telling the gossips that it was all an unfortunate mistake or an unintentional oversight. And maybe it was.

The children may recall that Miz Wang famously paid her brother a mouth drying $23,100,000 for her two floor beast at 740 Park Avenue in late 2007 after the lucky, lucky, lucky siblings each inherited half of the vast apartment from their very wealthy businessman father C.C. Wang. According to the always entertaining author Michael Gross, who penned the definitive and de-voon tome on the tight lipped and high collared building, C.C. Wang purchased his spread at 740 in 1983 from the family of Campbell's Soup heiress Elinor "Dodo" Dorrance. Prepare to fall over dead with shock when you learn just how little Mister Wang paid for the fit for royalty residence: $350,000.

Other wildly wealthy co-op owners at 740 Park Avenue include Time Warner widow Courtney Sale Ross who was not so long ago rumored to be quietly shopping her 30-some room triplex for a staggering $60,000,000, Greek shipping tycoon Spyros Niarchos, money maven Steven Schwarzman, make-up mogul Ron Lauder, hotel magnate Kent Swig, and hedge fund honcho David Ganek, just to name a few.

As these things often seem to go with the queen of discord and confusion, the saga of Courtney Love's desire lease and/or buy model turned actress Milla Jovovich's Greek Revival style townhouse in Manhattan's formerly bohemian West Village continues apace.

Since at least the beginning of August 2010 (see #3), mercurial Miz Love has been telling whatever press person who will listen that she's been trying to get her people in touch with Miss Jovovich's people in order to discuss the real estate matter. There were some reports that said that Miz Love had done moved into the four floor townhouse, but apparently that is not the case.

Recent reports in New York magazine reveal that the two women have failed to get in touch with each other in order to make a deal. Miss Jovovich told New York that she loves the little townhouse but no longer spends much time in New York. She also told New York that little Miz Love has "been contacting a lot of people, and I thought I gave her my e-mail address through a friend of ours, but I don’t know."

Your Mama smells the sweet and sick scent of evasion. We have a very difficult time believing that it's really so difficult for the of publicists or business managers of these two ladies to get together. Or, duh, Miz Love or one of her people could just pick up the damn telephone and call the real estate agent who's handing the sale of the townhouse like a normal person would. Of course, Your Mama don't know a piggy bank from a bubble bath but are we the only people who have a sneaking suspicion that Miz Jovovich might not actually want to rent (or sell) her beloved downtown townhouse to Miz Love?

As far as we know–which is really not a thing–Miz Love remains ensconced in the celebrity friendly Mercer Hotel in Soho.

Word on the celebrity real estate street in Los Angeles' Platinum Triangle is that, if it hasn't already, financially battered Oscar winning actor Nic Cage's former home in Bel Air–the one previously owned by hairy chested crooner Tom Jones and Rat Pack boozer Dean Martin–is about to close escrow. Your Mama hears from a chatty Beverly Hills real estate denizen that the buyer is a wealthy L.A. bizness man who plans to remodel and restore the down on its heels residence. The price? We hear it's $10,500,000 but until the transaction is recorded it's all just rumor and gossip kids, rumor and gossip.

Last week the real estate gossips were all abuzz about Nick and Christian Candy selling their penthouse pad in Monte Carlo for a migraine making $306,446,000. Some reports say it was $308,000,000 and other $312,000,000. Whatever it was is high enough to make Your Mama need a damn nerve pill.

Although was first reported that the buyer was American born Greek billionaire Constantine Alexander-Goulandris, as it turns out Mister Alexander-Goulandris only helped to facilitate the titanic sized transaction. According to the fine folks at Luxist the new ree-dick-u-lus-lee rich owner of the fabled and fancy penthouse was a member of Dubai's royal family, the Al-Mahktoums. The luxe-livin' Al-Mahktoums were encouraged to diversify their portfolio, according to Luxist, following financial troubles and topsy-turvy economy that have beset the emirate in the last few years.

The leader of the wildly wealthy clan is Sheikh Mohammed bin Rahsid Al-Mahktoum, who reportedly breeds championship racehorses in Ireland and Britain and who made headlines recently when it was announced–or leaked–that he plans to extend his mega-yacht the Dubai another six or 8 feet feet so that it's a smidge longer than the 533-foot long Eclipse owned by 43-year old Russian multi-billionaire Roman Abramovich. He with the biggest boat....

The palatial penthouse was sold by to the Candy brothers in 1999 by Lily Safra, the widow of Lebanese banker Edmund Safra who perished along with a nurse in a conflagration set by another of the nurses employed at the penthouse to care for the ailing financier. The Candy brothers, never ones to do anything on a small scale, spent a rumored and heart stopping $40,000,000 on renovations before finally moving into the mansion aerie in 2008.

The other day Your Mama discussed the reported bankruptcy of Los Angeles based attorney and financier Leonard Ross and his behemoth Beverly Hills compound. Back in 2007 and 2008 Mister Ross had his historic and much bally-hooed house on the market with an ear piercingly outlandish asking price $165,000,000. There were–perhaps not surprisingly to real estate watching Angelenos–no buyers who were willing to sign on the deed's dotted line at anywhere near that number.
Bankruptcy, one would hope, helps to clarify things and in the new wake of his surprising bankruptcy Mister Ross has re-listed his palatial pinky-orange pad with a new and lower asking price of $95,000,000.

The much marked down price tag is still, quite frankly, a very steep figure. However, given that the property is now priced well below couture queen Suzanne Saperstein's architecturally correct Fleur de Lys ($125,000,000) and a whopping 37% less than Candy Spelling's architecturally awkward pile in Holmby Hills that she calls The Manor ($150,000,000), it's probably priced much more appropriately to attract a foreign potentate, tech tycoon or, say, a Russian oligarch like fertilizer fat cat Andrey Melnichenko who recently had his $300,000,000+ Philippe Starck designed boat "A" parked off the coast of Venice, CA and who, Your Mama hears from a couple of well connected tattle tales, toured at at least one of the three houses mentioned above.

If there is anyone who could or might pay such a stratospheric price for a titanic trophy property in Los Angeles it would to a be one of those high flying property collecting Russian billionaires who are well known to drop tens of millions of dollars on lavish residences around the world where they'll probably spend just a few weeks a year.

We shall see, children, we shall see.

listing photos: Hilton & Hyland

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