In the busy past week Yolanda has received queries from no fewer than four different peeps who were all just dyin’ of curiosity about the same damn thing: what’s really the real estate deal with monosyllabic entertainment superstars Beyonce & Jay-Z? Are they actually about to close on The Manor, one of LA’s largest and most famous — or most infamous, if you prefer — mega-mansions?
Now, you’ll forgive Yolanda if she’s more than a bit skeptical at these reports. After all, these two are mentioned as an interested party or an unsuccessful bidder just about every time a big ass LA mansion sells for $30 million or more. They’re always “looking” but never buyin’ and it’s gotten more than a wee bit tiresome. You’ll forgive us if we’re a tad jaded at this point.
The origin of these latest stories, as far as we can suss out, is an article that was printed in the British gossip rag The Sun about two weeks ago (February 2017). In addition to kindly informing us all that Mr. & Mrs. Carter were buying the house and that “having a statement pad in Hollywood is at the top of their list“, the article’s author also included what the actual sale price would be: an oddly specific 85 million British pounds, which equates to $103,370,200 at today’s currency exchange rates. That would narrowly make this the most expensive residential real estate transaction in LA history, of course.
Now, kiddies, far be it from a rude upstart like Yolanda to question a report from a gossip veteran like The Sun. But we’re a big believer in mathematics and 2 + 2 just ain’t equal 4 in this scenario. For one, Mrs. Ecclestone-Stunt actually turned down a $150 million offer on the house just a couple years ago. We have that on top-notch authority. Furthermore, everyone says she likes LA just fine and would only consider selling for the right price. Why would she suddenly settle for about 30% less than the number she rejected just a little bit ago? Celebrity star wattage?
As anyone with even a modicum of interest in high-end LA real estate should know, the 56,000+ square foot beast of a mansion was built in 1988 — on the site of Bing Crosby’s former home — by prolific TeeVee show producer Aaron Spelling and his uppity wife Candy. It was Mrs. Spelling, y’all may know, who “helped” their architect draw the plans for the monster mansion.
The 5-acre property backs up to the hoity-toity Los Angeles Country Club in the hoitier-toitier Holmby Hills neighborhood and sits on what is often considered to be the hoitiest-toitiest street in all of Southern California: South Mapleton Drive.
According to Mrs. Spelling, the fact that the house wound up being the biggest damn mansion in all of LA — and one of the largest in the entire world — was a complete accident. She just drew the plans too big, y’all! Whoopsies! Just a lil rookie mistake! Know what we’re sayin’?
Uh huh. Totally, gurl.
In summer 2011, the beast grabbed all the headlines yet again when it was sold for $85,000,000 — in cash — to Formula 1 racing heiress Petra Ecclestone Stunt. Our Mrs. Stunt then balled out even more when she hired no fewer than 500 construction workers and spent at least another $15 million to transform the stuffy shopping mall with its old lady frou-frou decor into a slick but rather cliche warehouse filled with about 500,000 acres of black and white marble.
In early 2012, not long after moving into the house, Mrs. Ecclestone Stunt conducted a rather bizarre interview in the house with W Magazine during which she said a lot of thoughtful things like “We’re learning how to do a roast chicken,” and “I’ve got quite masculine taste,” and even “I don’t think I’ve ever worn gloves.”
Now on the market for $200 million, Mrs. Ecclestone Stunt is indeed ready to big the comically oversized premises adieu. But only for the right price. Remember that.
Anyway, it’s worth noting that the house sits on the very same street — on the very same block — as a smaller Nile Niami-built mansion that was sold back in 2014 to Jay-Z’s longtime friend (?) Puff Diddy for the princely sum of $39,000,000. Wouldn’t it be just like Beysus and Jay to upstage their (friendly) rival like this? Sorta lends some credibility to the story, don’t it?
Nope. We just don’t buy it (pardon the pun).
Don’t get us wrong. Everyone knows that Mr. & Mrs. Carter are stupendously rich and can afford just about any house they want. Fer Christ’s sake, Forbes recently pegged their combined net worths at about $900 million bucks. But do they actually want a house like this, or do they just want their names plastered in every real estate gossip rag forever and ever, until this worldends? The only property they actually own — as far as Yolanda knows — is a historic but relatively modest house in New Orleans and a $7 million penthouse in Manhattan’s Tribeca nabe that Jay-Z bought in 2004, long before they were even married.
Now we hate to get catty here, but we simply must. If any of y’all are easily offended, close your eyes and your ears at this point.
You see, Yolanda doesn’t think that Mr. & Mrs. Carter are the type of folks who would take kindly to people forgetting — even for a second — how very, very rich they are. We know we risk getting stung by the Beyhive with that comment, but so bee it. These two relish attention and that’s just the way it is. Yolanda knows these things, okay? That’s why we always gotta read about them in the real estate columns. Yolanda likes to call these two the Kardashians of LA property.
Of course, we could be totally wrong. Maybe they’re signing the closing papers right now. Maybe Yolanda will be eating crow very soon. Could be!
But for now, and until are proven incorrect, we’re calling this rumor some good ol’ bullshit.