It has been a bountiful few days for The Real Estalker, whose reported sale of no less than four of the country's mega-estates in as many business days. It began Friday, when news broke that L.A.'s Owlwood Estate found a buyer willing to shell out between $75M to $85M for its 10-plus acres and 12,000-square-foot Italian Renaissance-style villa. It got got more insane from there. Below, the rundown on each fantastic and fantastically expensive mansion that has reportedly sold in the last week.
↑ Though Owlwood has never been officially listed, the estate, once three separate parcels that were cobbled together into one freakish display of Southern California opulence, had been quietly shown to potential buyers since July 2012, reportedly with a palm out for $150M. A year later the place splashed—sans photos or much in the way of intel—onto the high-profile listings of Southern California's The Agency brokerage (the one owned by a husband of a Real Housewife) with a "price upon request" tag, though The Real Estalker's snitches insisted they had still hoped for a record-setting $150M.
What justifies such an ask? Well, for one thing, the estate, being sold by the widow of a subprime mortgage billionaire, boasts 10-plus acres in L.A.'s posh Holmby Hills neighborhood. On that land stands a 12,000-square-foot villa, a sunken tennis court, a swimming pool, two guest houses, and a greenhouse. The mansion—video tour of which is this way—was built in 1936 for the ex-wife of a department store magnate, but has since been owned by 20th Century Fox founder Joseph Shenk, actor Tony Curtis, and Sonny and Cher.
On Valentine's Day The Real Estalker revealed that her informants had on good authority that a mystery buyer had agreed to pay between $75M and $85M for it all. Is it an Ecclestone? An Ellison? Let the guessing games begin!
↑ On Monday The Real Estalker wrote that producer Jerry Bruckheimer—Top Gun, Pirates of the Caribbean, CSI—was poised to drop $60M on L.A.'s Singleton mansion, a Southern Colonial designed by noted SoCal architect Wallace Neff in the '73. (To be clear, this estate is a totally different animal than L.A.'s other Singleton House, which Richard Neutra built for the family more than a decade before. That property was once owned by Vidal Sassoon, and sold to François Pinault for $16.5M over a year ago.) Angeleno brokers may have since disavowed the Bruckheimer connection in favor of a less splashy story of an anonymous buyer from the UK,but insiders, it seems, have confirmed that the 7.65-acre property is indeed changing hands.
While the place had been looking for a buyer since 2008, Singleton Mansion most recently hit the listings in September 2013, when it asked $75M. What's on offer for that pocket change? Oh, the usual: 10 bedrooms, a grand entryway perfect for prom photos, seven acres of "rolling" lawns, a private tennis court, and a motor court—all of which would be absolutely mahvelous if the estate had anything by way of contemporary decor. Though, to be fair, it seems unlikely the orange velvet pillows or matching set of chinoiserie sofas and curtains are included the deal. Still, word is the new buyer plans to tear down the '70s estate—and all the shiny, mustard-colored carpeting and elaborate floral frescoes that come with it.
Huguette Clark's Le Beau Château
↑ After nearly a decade sitting on the market, the 52-acre estate in New Canaan, Conn., of late copper heiress Huguette Clark has finally found a buyer: former Coach exec Reed Krakoff and his wife, interior designer Delphine Krakoff, who are probably using the $51M they got from recently selling their NYC mansion to buy what's known as Le Beau Château. Though Clark purchased the 1937-built mansion in '52, it's fairly well-known that her reclusiveness kept her away from the estate for the entirety half-century she owned it. (Perhaps she imagined they were just bigger versions of the elaborate dollhouses she was known to adore.) Despite the fact that the old-money millionaire never actually moved in, she added an entirely new wing to the main house, though never moved a stick of furniture into the 22-room manse, which she bought, according to grand-grand-nephew, to be a place to "get away from the horrors" of the Cold War.
The 13,000-square-foot chateau features nine bedrooms, nine bathrooms, 11 fireplaces, a trunk room, an elevator, and a walk-in vault. One of the highlights is the completely untouched '50s kitchen with stainless steel countertops and a perfectly preserved gas range. That Clark never moved in might seem odd to outsiders, but she had also been maintaining, in abstentia, a sprawling seaside estate in Santa Barbara, Calif. In 2008, Clark reportedly turned down an unsolicited $100M offer for that property. And where had she been living while giving these supreme estates the cold shoulder? Well she did own the single largest apartment on NYC's Fifth Avenue (coveted by Martha Stewart), though she reportedly spent the last 22 years of her life in a well-guarded hospital room.
Le Beau Château was last listed at $15.9M after tumbling from an original ask of $34M. The estate's acreage was approved to be subdivided some years back, but according to the News, the buyers are "creative" types who intend to keep it intact, as well as restore and renovate both the residence and grounds. From the look of things, the interiors could really benefit from the touch of a design-versed power couple like the Krakoffs.
Fleur de Lys
↑ Also located in L.A.'s Holmby Hills, Fleur de Lys was designed by Richard Robertson III and completed in 2002 for billionaire David Saperstein and his then-wife, Suzanne. After Mr. Saperstein's affair with their Swedish nanny, the two went through a much-publicized divorce, which left the Mrs. with the 35,000-square-foot mansion. The news-maker first listed for an eye-watering $125M in 2007, then got pulled off the market in Oct. 2009, and, nearly two years later, relisted in July 2011 ... for $125M.
Fleur de Lys has become sort of famous for its blindly optimistic ask, but it's not like the palace doesn't have a floor-length list of ultra luxe amenities to (sort of) back up its pricetag. With 100 total rooms, including 12 bedrooms and 15 bathrooms, plus marble walls, limestone floors, a ballroom, accommodations for a 10-person staff, two kitchens, a 50-seat screening room, a nine-car garage, and a three-bedroom caretaker's house, Fleur de Lys is, at least compared to other $125M offerings, a whole lotta house.
Anyway, on Wednesday the Real Estalker reported that, at long last, L.A.'s very own chateau lookalike is escrow. For real this time. Maybe. Apparently one of the Real Estalker's informants knows that the place is about to be sold to a Chinese businessman willing to drop $85M on what has long been a contender for America's priciest estate. Sorry, Tamara Ecclestone, looks like you missed your chance.
· Update: Owlwood Estate [The Real Estalker]
· Billionaire Widow Rumored to List Massive Estate For $150M [Curbed National]
· Update: Singleton Mansion [The Real Estalker]
· All Singleton House coverage [Curbed National]
· Huguette Clark Connecticut Estate Sells [The Real Estalker]
· All Huguette Clark coverage [Curbed National]
· Fleur de Lys is in Escrow [The Real Estalker]
· All Fleur de Lys posts [Curbed National]