40 Million Clams for 48 Acres in Mandeville Canyon

SELLER: Glorya Kaufman
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $40,000,000
SIZE: 12,000 square feet, 13 bedrooms, 7.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Last night, whilst we perused some of the newest listings in and around Los Angeles we stumbled across a 48-acre compound tucked up in the L.A.'s Mandeville Canyon that's just popped up on the open market with an asking price of $40,000,000. That's right, puppies, that's 48 contiguous residential acres in the middle of goddamn Los Angeles.

Although ownership of the compound is through a trust, no fewer than three of Your Mama's beloved coterie of canaries previously told us the unusually expansive property in urban-rustic Upper Mandeville Canyon is owned by wealthy widow and philanthropist Glorya Kaufman.* The bulk of Miz Kaufman's vast fortune comes from her late husband Donald Kaufman who, with business partner cum art world super-patron Eli Broad, founded the home building behemoth Kaufman & Broad, now known as KB Home, and went to meet The Great Contractor in the Sky in 1983.

We're not actually sure when Missus Kaufman acquired her Mandeville Canyon mega-estate but it was not after 1992 and all of y'all can all be assured she paid only a fraction of its current forty million dollar asking price.

Custom electronic gates swing open to a quarter mile long tree-lined driveway that swoops up, around and over a short bridge that spans a narrow finger of a multi-acre private lake to a parking lot-sized circular motor court at the front of the main mansion, an approximately 12,000 square foot two-story ranch residence originally built in 1964.

Listing details show there are 13 bedrooms and 7.5 bathrooms but, to be honest, chickens, Your Mama isn't sure if those figures reflect the number of bedrooms and bathrooms in the main house only or if they also encompass any bedrooms and bathrooms located in the other half dozen structures on the property that include a separate guest house, a caretaker's apartment, a pavilion that overlooks the lighted tennis court and a substantial maintenance building.

The acreage immediately around Miz Kaufman's house and its satellite structures is landscaped with such meticulous abandon that Miz Kaufman surely employ at least one full-time groundskeeper to keep all those shrubs, flower and trees looking 5-star resort worthy.

Miz Kaufman has decided to downsize and two of Your Mama's better informed sources whispered that last May (2012) the elderly but still vivacious and socially engaged philanthropist shelled out $18.2 million for a very private single-story villa in Beverly Hills that she purchased from Las Vegas-based media mogul Carl Parmer, owner of the Robb Report, a glossy publication dedicated to the luxury lifestyles of the rich and super rich.

*Uh oh. At least one former employees is mad as a hornet and has lots of less than flattering things to say about Miz Kaufman and the authenticity and motivations of of her numerous philanthropic endeavors, specifically as they relate to her eponymous Glorya Kaufman Dance Foundation. that recently endowed an new school of dance at the University of Southern California.

listing photos: Mark Singer Photography for Keller Williams Beverly Hills

Chris Meloni Flipping Out in New Canaan

SELLER: Chris Meloni
LOCATION: New Canaan, CT
PRICE: $4,750,000
SIZE: 8,063 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 5 full and 3 half bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Looks like well-built and increasingly in-demand 50-something year old actor Chris Meloni and his former set designer turned occasional decorator wife Sherman Williams Meloni have caught a classic case of The Celebrity Real Estate Fickle.

It was only last August (2012), the children will recall, that Mister and Missus Meloni shelled out $4,381,000 for a four acre country estate in affluent and bucolic New Canaan, CT with what Your Mama previously described as "an unquestionably luxurious but perfectly ordinary two-story proto-suburban mansion with 8,063 square feet of expensively but blandly finished interior space."

Thanks to Phatlady Sings, a sassy and well-informed Connecticut-based real estate canary we've learned that Mister and Missus Meloni flipped their five bedroom and five full and three half bathroom spread in New Canaan on the market in early April (2013) with an asking price of $4,750,000. Miz Sings has no idea why Mister and Missus Meloni have decided to up and sell their New Canaan crib just eight months after buying it or where they might be going. She did, howevuh, cattily snitch to Your Mama that Mister Meloni is well known around town for staring other well-welled but not famous residents down at the supermarket—or wherever—until they acknowledge his celebrity eminence. Oh, dear. Ouch! Your Mama really hopes that's not true because that sort of behavior would be, well, vulgar and depressing. Anyhoo...

Current listing details show the spacious but architecturally vague residence was originally built—no surprise—in 1987 and has recently "undergone a complete interior transformation" with all new interior paint, newly refinished and stained hardwood floors throughout, the installation of a hard-wired generator for when the power goes out.

A privately situated home office, according to listing information, was re-vamped—one imagines—to the specifications of Missus Sherman Meloni who floated a long and narrow desk in front of a bay window, placed a Jacobson Egg Chair covered in beautifully worn brown leather in the corner and set a manly antique ship model mounted in a wood-framed vitrine on the floor in front of a towering, 26-pane arched window. Despite the ill-chosen teal paint on the walls—we know teal is decoratively hot right now but Your Mama is not feeling it—would it help any of the children to like this room more if they knew it has a private half bathroom and a wet bar?

We can't be certain but appears to Your Mama that a wall was removed between the wood-panelled billiards room with its fully stocked wet bar and the adjacent wood-panelled library with fireplace and direct access to the backyard through a room-wide bank of French doors. Based on a comparison of current listing photos and those included with online listings at the time of Mister and Missus Meloni's purchase we can, however, surmise that, short of paint, few alterations to have been made in the master bathroom or the open-concept kitchen and family room where Your Mama notes there are a few new light fixtures over the center island snack bar but, sadly, the seller's same ol' ho-hum plaid window shades.

Upstairs there are three guest/family bedrooms, each with private three-quarter en suite facility, plus a smaller fourth bedroom that makes use of a large double-sink three-quarter bathroom across the hall. The master suite occupies its own wing of the upper level and encompasses a bedroom with fireplace, a large marble-floored bathroom, and spacious windowed walk-in closet/dressing room and, finally, a private loggia with a corkscrew staircase the descends to a lower level veranda with swimming pool access and ascends to a roof terrace with wrap around views.

Other notable features include an attached three car side-facing garage with convenient direct entry, a total of four fireplaces, two mud rooms that both connect through to the kitchen/family room, butler's pantry, walk-in pantry and walk-in wine room off the kitchen, a fully finished basement and front and back stairs.

The tree-ringed grounds include a long driveway off a semi-private lane, a super-sized circular driveway, vast swathes of lawn, deep flagstone terraces bordered by lush foliage, a free-form swimming pool and spa set into a cluster of boulders and a charming red barn large enough to park six cars and a second floor convertible to an art studio, home office, yoga retreat, party room or whatever.

Mister and Missus Meloni also own an almost 3,000 square foot aerie on the 60th floor of the Park Imperial building on Manhattan's Upper West Side that they had photographed for the March 2008 issue of Architectural Digest and heaved on the open market in March 2012 with a $12 million price tag. The price has since plummeted to $9,950,000 and is currently in contract to be sold to an unknown buyer for an unknown sum of dinero.

Property records also reveal that Mister and Missus Meloni also maintain a 4,600-plus square foot lake front getaway in Candlewood Springs, CT, near New Milford, that they scooped up in November 2003 for $1,325,000. As far as we can tell, the property is not currently on the market.

listing photos: Prudential Connecticut Realty

Didja Hear...

...that Ekaterina Rybolovleva, the ludicrously pampered daughter of Russian potash potentate Dmitry Rybolovlev, has agreed to pay $154,000,000 to acquire the famed private Greek island of Skorpios and the neighboring island of Sparti from legendarily rich Sao Paulo Brazil-based Greek shipping heiress Athina Onassis Roussell? Well, she did. The two island purchase was, in fact, confirmed by the Rybolovlev family investment office.

The rumor is that Missus Onassis Roussell's grandfather Aristotle Onassis picked up the islands in 1962 for only about £10,000. He married Jackie Kennedy on Skorpios in October 1968.

This is hardly the first time the Miss Rybolovlev and her free-spending father have have made the international property gossip columns. In late 2011, amid a deluge of publicity, the 24-year old competitive equestrian spent $88,000,000 on a nearly seven thousand square foot Manhattan penthouse pied-a-terre and several years earlier her father—on behalf of his daughters—coughed up $95,000,000 to acquire a grotesquely opulent ocean front villa in Palm Beach from the famously brash businessman Donald Trump.

Such are the mind numbing real estate ways of the global super rich, children.

UPDATE: Sonja Tremont-Morgan

SELLER: Sonja Morgan
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: $9,950,000
SIZE: 4,500 square feet 4-5 bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: It was way back in April 2010 when Your Mama last discussed the real estate machinations of The Real Housewives of New York City cast member Sonja Morgan. At that time Miz Morgan—a former luncheon hostess at the tycoon-friendly Midtown eatery San Pietro who became the fourth ex-wife of wildly rich J.P. Morgan descendant and heir John Adams Morgan the Third—had her slender 15-foot wide townhouse on Manhattan's Upper East Side on the open market with a $7,250,000 price tag, hugely reduced from its original $12 million asking price.

Despite the much-publicized financial reorganization plan she filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan in 2011 in which she declared her long-time townhouse was her '"most necessary and cherished asset,"' the sometimes ditzy and recently charmingly drunk in public Miz Morgan re-listed her Manhattan townhouse late last week for $9,950,000, as was first reported by the folks at The Real Deal.

Property records show the reality star turned wannabe toaster oven mogul and her much older ex-husband acquired the limestone-faced townhouse in April 1998 for $9,100,000. A surface glance of the 1998 purchase price and the current list price would indicate there's not much equity in the property but 2010 bankruptcy filings by Miz Morgan reveal she does not—or did not then—carry an underlying mortgage on the property. That means, of course, that Miz Morgan stands to take the full sale price less expenses, real estate fees and etc. Presumably she'd be required to use a substantial portion of the proceeds of a sale to pay off the film production company that successfully sued her for seven million dollars a few years ago.

Reality television aficionados will recall that on the last season of The Real Housewives of New York City Miz Morgan grappled with a handful of water leaks throughout the townhouse. She even got uncomfortably flirty with her plumber....on camera. Remember that? Naturally, the listing says nothing of any leaks or water damage and—one hopes—Miz Morgan has repaired the leaks and any resulting damages because, well, their existence was documented on national television.

Your Mama discussed at length Miz Morgan's elevator-equipped four bedroom and 5.5 bathroom five floor townhouse three years ago and simply can't bear the thought of doing it again so if any of y'all care for a tetch of snarky commentary about the the rich old lady style day-core and its less than ideal location next door to a parking garage between Lexington and Third Avenues then we suggest you have a look at our previous discussion.

Bankruptcy filings and property records reveal Miz Morgan and her octogenarian ex-husband co-own a screamingly scenic 70-acre spread near Telluride, CO that she claimed he prevented her from visiting even though she forks over about $16,000 every month for her share of the underlying mortgages.

Lo and behold, children, Mister and Miz Morgan's co-owned Rocky Mountain getaway is currently on the open market with an asking price of $9,150,000. The ranch property (above), located in the exclusive Gray Head enclave with direct views of the craggy Wilson Range, includes an 8,362 square foot main residence with six bedrooms and eight bathrooms plus numerous fireplaces, an expensively equipped open-concept kitchen and a cavernous great room with stone walls, rustic wood accents and a staggering 35-foot timber-framed vaulted ceiling.

We're not entirely sure but Your Mama is pretty sure that last year Miz Morgan managed to unload a small house in the South of France that she was granted in her divorce and for what it's worth to anyone who might be interested, Miz Morgan's ex-husband continues to own Caritas Island, a 3.5 acre private island compound off the coast of Stamford, CT with a 14,000-plus square foot main house (plus guest cottage, greenhouse and staff quarters) that he originally listed for $25,000,000 but had on the market late last year for the much-reduced asking price of $15,400,000.

exterior photo (New York City): Sotheby's International Realty (via Street Easy)
listing photos and floor plan (New York City): Corcoran
listing photos (Telluride): Telluride Real Estate Corp.

UPDATE: Christina Aguilera

BUYER: Christina Aguilera
SELLER: Tom Gores
LOCATION: Sherman Oaks/Beverly Hills, CA
PRICE: $10,000,000
SIZE: 11,107 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Looks like Charlie Sheen, Paris Hilton and Robbie Williams are getting a new superstar neighbor. The latest celebrity real estate report from the celebrity gossip juggernaut TMZ is that Christina Aguilera has dropped $10 million for a gated, Mediterranean mansion of 11,107 square feet set on a .84 landscaped acre in the guard-gated Mulholland Estates community that's nestled into the Santa Monica Mountains between Sherman Oaks and Beverly Hills (CA).

The seller was private equity multi-billionaire Tom Gores who owns the Detroit Pistons and who bought the property in June 1999 for $4,595,000. Last year Mister Gores leased the house to the newly and acrimoniously divorced businesswoman and (former) Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast member Adrienne Maloof for—so the scuttlebutt goes—around $20,000 per month.

In addition to substantial formal living and dining rooms and a manly wood panelled library, listing details show Miz Aguilera's new crib has six bedrooms, nine bathrooms, at least five fireplaces and two bars plus a walk-in wine cellar. A den/family room has a double height ceiling and the colossal eat-in center island kitchen with walk-in pantry and top grade appliances including a massive La Cornue range that Your Mama can assure the children cost more than the car Miz Aguilera's maid drives.* Listing information also indicates there's a screening room and an enclosed loggia with wood panelled ceiling, completely muraled walls and several over-sized arched glass doors that link the to lush backyard entertainment areas.

Each of the five guest/family bedrooms has a private en suite facility and the celebrity-sized second floor master suite comprises a behemoth bedroom with carved stone fireplace and direct access to a private terrace with outdoor fireplace, a separate private office that Your Mama imagines will soon become Miz Aguilera's dressing room, two walk-in closets and a massive two-room marble-floored bathroom with twin vanities and free standing soaking tub.

The lush grounds have mature landscaping, flagstone terraces, a fountain or two, a saltwater swimming pool and spa with a nearby bathhouse for convenient mid-swim evacuations, a stone gazebo and a built-in barbecue station. Naturally the entire property is secured with a state-of-the-art security system and equipped with high-tech audio/visual systems.

As it turns out this isn't the first time Miz Aguilera has owned a home in the Mulholland Estates enclave. In late 2000 when the former Mickey Mouse Club performer was in her early 20s she shelled out $2,750,000 to acquire a 7,492 square foot mock-Med mac-mansion. She quickly caught a classic case of The Celebrity Real Estate Fickle and flipped the property at a loss just over a year later to its current owner for $2,575,000.

For the last five or six years Miz Aguilera has owned a walled and gated mansion in Beverly Hills that she bought in August 2007 for $11,500,000 from Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne. More than two years ago, not long after it was revealed she and her now ex-husband music exec Jordan Bratman were to be divorced, Miz Aguilera's exuberantly festooned domicile was dropped on the open market with an asking price of $13,500,000. Current online listings show the 11,571 square foot mock-Med mansion is currently in escrow and Your Mama was told by a little birdie who often knows such things that word on the Platinum Triangle Real Estate Street is that the buyer is foreign.

*Your Mama has no idea if Miz Aguilera employs a maid and, if she does, what sort of car the maid drives. 

listing photos: Hilton & Hyland

Matt Damon Dumps Miami Beach Digs

SELLER: Matt Damon
LOCATION: Miami Beach, FL
PRICE: $20,000,000
SIZE: 12,705 square feet, 7 bedrooms, 9.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Your Mama knows we're a little late to this party but perhaps a little late is better than never? If not and any of y'all already know all you need or want to know about Oscar-winning actor Matt Damon and former-bartender wife Luciana Barroso shoving their two lot bay front Miami Beach estate on the market with a $20,000,000 price tag then we kindly ask you sit tight until we have some other, newer and/or more exciting celebrity real estate morsel for you to chew on.

Property records reveal that Mister Damon picked up the first of the two water front lots that comprise the compound-like estate in April 2005 for $10,300,000. Once upon a time, the .55 acre property was owned by the late Maurice Gibb of Bee Gees super fame. Eight months later he scooped up the .46 acre property next door for $4,200,000. A few quick flicks of the well-worn beads of Your Mama's trusty abacus shows that combined the compound encompasses a hair more than one acre and cost Mister Damon $14,500,000 not counting carrying costs, improvements, additions, alterations and real estate fees that could easily exceed half a million clams depending on what percentage of the sale price his real estate agents—a pair of high volume gals known around town as "The Jills"—are charging him.

Property records and current listing details show the fully updated and upgraded 1935 villa, dubbed Maravilla, has seven bedrooms and 9.5 bathrooms in 12,705 square feet of contemporary interior spaces enveloped in the architectural skin of a Mediterranean villa. In addition to the perfectly ordinary formal dining room with one of those fake-candle chandeliers that make Your Mama's decorative skin crawl with Pottery Barn banality the main living/entertaining space is an over-sized living room with three sets of wood-framed glass doors that open to the water side backyard.

Listing details go on to reveal there's a custom-fitted den/library/office, a media lounge, a temperature controlled wine cellar and a roomy center island kitchen with all the customary high grade stainless steel appliances and lots of orange- and brown-hued marble counter tops and back splashes.

The second floor master bedroom appears to be as large as the super-sized living room downstairs and offers access to a private waterside terrace through three sets of wood-framed glass doors plus a spacious minimalist bathroom with dramatic lighting and twin vanities separated by a free-standing soaking tub.

In addition to the main house Mister Damon's digs includes a waterside guest house with two bedrooms and two bathrooms plus an open air poolside cabana with full summer kitchen/wet bar, changing facilities and a roof top terrace with unobstructed views over Biscayne Bay towards North Bay Village and downtown Miami.

The fully landscaped grounds also include a gated motor court, a courtyard entry with water feature, a soccer pitch-sized lawn and extensive waterside terraces for lounging, dining and sunbathing. A private dock and boat lift at the water's edge allows for direct boat access.

This is actually not the first house Mister Damon has owned in Miami Beach or even on this particular road. In May 2002 he coughed up $9.5 million for a 11 bedroom and 10 bathroom spread down and around the bend just one-third of a mile from his current estate that he sold in March 2005 for $13,900,000.

It's not entirely clear to Your Mama if Mister Damon still owns the 7,000 square foot duplex loft in lower Manhattan that he scooped up for about $2.4 in 2004—the one that allegedly has a private indoor basketball court—but we do know he and the missus have been on a multi-year hunt for a substantial, family sized apartment or townhouse in New York City with a budget in the $12-20,000,000 range. Despite their exhaustive quest for an urban spread large enough to accommodate Mister Damon, his wife, their three children, her child from a previous marriage and their retinue of live-in domestic help being well documented by all the New York-base property gossips, as far as Your Mama knows the Damons have yet to buy anything in The Big Apple.

Over on the West Coast, the actor and his wife bit the real estate bullet earlier this year when in January (2013) they plunked down $15,000,000 for a gated and high-hedged 13,508 square foot modern mansion on the same swank street in quietly posh Pacific Palisades (CA) community as b.f.f. Ben Affleck and wife Jennifer Garner.

listing photos: The Jills, Coldwell Banker Previews

Your Mama Hears...

...that rainbow haired pop music powerhouse Katy Perry is about to purchase three adjoining properties nestled into a sylvan hollow in the Hollywood Hills, high above the glittering lights and shattered dreams of Tinseltown. Miz Perry's plan—so it was tattled to Your Mama—is to merge the two existing mini-compounds into a almost four acre multi-residence situation worthy of a global superstar who—like her bubbly brand of bubblegum pop or not—reportedly earns more than forty million clams a year.*

Two separate, unconnected and trusted informants—they would be Patty Propertyseller and Lucy Spillerguts—have both tattled to Your Mama that Miz Perry is currently in contract to spent an unknown amount of dough to acquire the three parcels (that comprise two mini-compounds) all currently owned by a corporate entity easily linked to philanthropic HIV-positive oil heiress and former junkie Aileen Getty.

The larger of the two properties (above) spans 2.33 acre and has been substantially upgraded since it was last sold for $3,540,000 to the corporate concern connected to Aileen Getty in April 2004 by, according to property records, Wal-Mart heiress Sybil Robson Orr. As best as we can tell via various online resources, the mini-compound comprises a 3,800-plus square foot mock-Med main house, a semi-detached poolside guesthouse/cabana, equestrian facilities, a vast stone terrace around a slightly elevated swimming pool and expensively engineered terraced gardens linked by serpentine stairways and meandering paths.

The second, also gated and heavily secured mini-compound encompasses two adjacent residential parcels—one vacant and the other all but undeveloped—that combined come to 1.62 acres. The corporate entity linked to Miz Getty acquired both parcels in a single transaction for $2,950,000 in January 2011. The seller was house hopping drummer/bandleader Max Weinberg who had only acquired the modern minded mini-compound two years earlier for $2,888,000 from Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal's then feuding now-divorced parents, screenwriter Naomi Foner and television director Stephen Gyllenhaal.

Your Mama has no idea if Miz Getty—or, rather, the corporate entity connected to her—made any significant alterations to the property or existing residence but listing details from the time Mister Weinberg sold the property in early 2011 show the completely over-hauled single-story mid-century residence had three bedrooms and two bathrooms in 2,916 square feet of largely open-plan living space with an additional two bedrooms and a bathroom located in a semi-detached guest house connected to the main house by a breezeway. The back yard area has a good-sized patch of flat lawn, a wee negative edge swimming pool and a rustic-modern tree-shaded outdoor dining area with built-in fire pit.

In summation, the two properties combined come to just less than four acres with two gated entrances, two fairly modestly sized main houses, two semi-detached guesthouses, two swimming pools and spas and (what appears to be) equestrian facilities that, with significant financial input, would make an excellent sound and recording studio for Miz Perry.

There prolly isn't a property gossip alive that still hasn't written about the historic, multi-residence compound above the mouth of Laurel Canyon that Miz Perry bought with ex-husband Russell Brand bought in mid-2011 for $6.5 million and hoisted (just this week) on the open market by Miz Perry, who was granted full ownership of the property in her divorce, for $6,925,000.

For the record, Your Mama would like the children to note that neither of the mini-compounds in question was on the open market and none of the property record data bases Your Mama checked yet reflect a recent change of ownership. That means this ain't nuthin' but some celebrity real estate rumor and gossip, at least until one of the more reputable media outlets reports it as fact. Something else circumstantial to keep in mind is that a third informant, the inestimable Yolanda Yakketyak, recently whispered to Your Mama that word on the L.A.-based Heiresses Real Estate Street is that Aileen Getty recently spent a bit over $3.5 million to acquire a walled, gated and totally upgraded 1920s mini-compound with a Golden Age celebrity pedigree on a wide, tree-lined street that has more than once been described to Your Mama as the "Beverly Hills of West Hollywood."

aerial image: Google
listing photos (from 2009): Prudential California and Sotheby's International Realty (via Redfin)