Jeff Greene, the self-parodying billionaire and would-be senator who once damaged a coral reef with the anchor of his yacht, and recently told a crowd at Davos that "American lifestyle expectations are too high," is apparently having trouble living with less of his own wildly excessive real estate portfolio. Last fall, his 25-acre Beverly Hills compound earned the dubious title of most expensive residential listing in the country when Greene listed it for a reasonable $195M. Now, to get some money out of the behemoth estate while he waits for someone to pony up, he's put it up for rent at a fraction of the price—just $475K a month!
A January piece in the New York Times found Greene reaching rare heights of tone-deafness when talking about the home:
"It's paradise here," he says, looking out over the crystal blue water as his wife, Mei Sze, and year-old son played nearby. "And it's just getting wealthier."
"When you consider the value of the land and the quality of the construction," Mr. Greene said, "$195 million is really quite reasonable." "We've become a country of have-nots and have-a-lots," Mr. Greene said in his living room filled with French antiques and fine art. "More and more of the rewards for this economy are going to the rich and leaving the rest behind. So I think you're going to have more and more very wealthy people. And hopefully they're going to want houses like this."Greene paid $35 million for Beverly Hills' Palazzo di Amore in 2007 when it was still only half-built. Once he finished the job, the estate was outfitted with a walk-in fridge, a Turkish spa, a vineyard, a tennis court, a 50-seat theater, and of course, a bowling alley. A mere half-million a month and all of this can be pretend-yours! For comparison, that's just a bit less than one family paid to spend a month in a full floor of New York's Pierre Hotel.