It has been a bountiful few days for the Real Estalker, who has reported the rumored sales of no fewer than three of Los Angeles's most highly-pedigreed mega-estates in as many business days. It began Friday, when news broke that LA's Owlwood found a buyer willing to shell out between $75 million and $85 million for its 10-plus acres and 12,000-square-foot Italian Renaissance-style villa. It 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 opulence, had been quietly shown to potential buyers since July 2012, reportedly with a palm out for $150 million. A year later the place splashed—sans photos or much in the way of intel—onto the high-profile listings of 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 the sellers were still hoping for a record-setting $150 million.
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 posh Holmby Hills. On that land stands a 12,000-square-foot villa, a sunken tennis court, a swimming pool, two guesthouses, and a greenhouse. The mansion—video tour of which is right 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 $75 million and $85 million for the whole thing. 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 $60 million on the Singleton mansion, a Southern Colonial designed by noted SoCal architect Wallace Neff in '73. (To be clear, this estate is a totally different animal than LA'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 $16.5 million more than a year ago.) Local 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, the Singleton House most recently hit the listings in September 2013, when it asked $75 million. 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.
Fleur de Lys
↑ Also located in 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 newsmaker first listed for an eye-watering $125 million in 2007, then got pulled off the market in October 2009, and, nearly two years later, relisted in July 2011 ... for $125 million.
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 $125 million offerings, a whole lotta house.
Anyway, on Wednesday the Real Estalker reported that, at long last, LA's very own chateau lookalike is in 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 $85 million on what has long been a contender for America's priciest estate. Sorry, Tamara Ecclestone, looks like you missed your chance.
-- Amy Schellenbaum
· Update: Owlwood Estate [The Real Estalker]
· Owlwood [Curbed LA]
· Update: Singleton Mansion [The Real Estalker]
· Singleton House [Curbed LA]
· Fleur de Lys is in Escrow [The Real Estalker]
· Fleur de Lys [Curbed LA]