He may no longer be the phenomenon he was back in ’99 — at least not in the USA — but in case y’all didn’t know, Puerto Rican pop star Ricky Martin is still working, still touring, and still rich as hell.
Take a look at this. A very renovated and “reimagined” (wink wink) mid-century modern in the 90210 just sold for an extremely A-list $13,500,000. The buyer? A mysteriously-named LLC. Humph! When she saw that, Yolanda’s eyes narrowed and her nostrils flared. We resolved to find out who the big-bucks culprit was. But first, we enjoyed our holiday weekend. We met up with a bunch of other old ladies. And then we all put on wigs, got drunk, and rolled dice. Yup. Just like that.
After we finished our game and began slapping a few fools, we were more than a little surprised to find out the new owner is our Mr. Martin. Frankly, y’all, we didn’t know he still had this much cash. And we also didn’t know that he fancied a return to LA. As far as Yolanda knows, Mr. Martin hasn’t owned a house here in a full decade. More on that a bit later.
But yes, Mr. Martin does have the cash. Duh. The US of A may have forgotten about him, but the rest of the world still loves seeing him shake his bon-bons and whatever else he does on stage. He’s still releasing critically-acclaimed albums, still popping up as a judge on The Voice Australia (that’s kinda random, but whatevs), and a couple months ago he released a duet with Columbian singer Maluma that already has nearly 200 million views on the YouTube. That sounds like a lot to Yolanda!
Oh, and Mr. Martin also got engaged recently, as he announced on the Ellen show. His husband to-be is a Swedish fellow named Jwan Yosef. Congrats! (We hope our invite doesn’t get lost in the mail yet again!)
Anywho, although the house has a 90210 zip code, it’s actually located on one of the best streets of an area commonly referred to as Beverly Hills Post Office or Beverly Crest because it’s technically the city of Los Angeles. Also worth noting is the fact thaat the property backs directly up to the super-posh Holmby Hills neighborhood and is just around the corner from the exclusive Harvard-Westlake middle school, where total tuition and fees can exceed $40,000 per year. With this huge purchase, coupled with the fact that he’s about to get hitched and his twin sons are now 8 years old, Yolanda wonders if Mr. Martin might be planning to reside and raise his kids primarily in Los Angeles. We shall see!
As for the structure itself, it was originally built in 1953 by acclaimed mid-century architect Gregory Ain for his psychiatrist, Dr. Fred Feldman. Yes, Mr. Ain designed a home for his shrink. How wonderfully Hollywood of him, ain’t it?
Anywho, the “Feldman House” was once a right lovely 2,616-square-foot, 4-bedroom 2-bathroom abode. Over the decades, however, time happened. The landscaping got ratty and the house — while still gorgeous — suddenly became far too cramped for a modern millionaire’s needs. And then there came the giant pussycat sculpture, which Yolanda refuses to discuss any further. Quite frankly, y’all, there are no words.
In 2014, the house was sold for just $3,000,000 to a real estate developer named Josh Borris. Our Mr. Borris “renovated” the house. Take a gander at the YouTube video construction documentary, however, and y’all can see that Mr. Borris’s definition of renovation entails taking the original house down to the studs and essentially rebuilding from scratch.
Now, y’all can weigh and discuss Mr. Borris’s renovations amongst yourself. We’re sure some folks will like the spiffy, contemporary new home. Other original-MCM preservationists, however, will no doubt gasp and clutch their pearls over this sacrilege.
But Yolanda will say that Mr. Borris is clearly an astute man who knows how to turn a big profit and he gave today’s buyer what today’s buyer wants. The proof is right there in the $13.5 million sale price. And let’s face it, Mr. Borris deserves to be commended for keeping the footprint of the original house intact, rather than simply razing and building anew. Y’alls opinion of the changes — whether you feel they enhance or bastardize the original Ain — aside, that certainly wasn’t the easiest (or cheapest) way to go.
The walled and gated house sits below the street and well beyond outsiders’ sightlines. Perfect for celeb-style privacy. While still a low-slung, mostly single story affair, the structure now clocks in at a mansion-sized 11,300-square-feet with 7 bedrooms and 8.5 bathrooms. The kids at Curbed described the whole thing as a “fancy rehab center“. So there you have it.
The wooden front door swings open to a foyer with trendy white oak flooring. Around the corner is the family room, which features a king-sized wet bar and walls of glass overlooking the woodsy, nearly 1-acre yard.
The showpiece of the house is the master suite. Lookie here, Mr. Martin, check out that nifty (but somewhat gimmicky) three-sided fireplace. Then there are dual his-and-hers bathrooms (his and his in Mr. Martin’s case), both of which sport glass-walled showers that open to an inner courtyard area. So your voyeuristic self can watch your partner shower. And then y’all can meet for some naked tea-time in the courtyard.
Sexy! Just watch out for those pesky drones.
Walls of glass feature prominently in the estate, true to the original Ain intention. At least in spirit.
Outdoor living spaces include a somewhat hokey-lookin’ setup around a rock fountain and a chair danglin’ ominously from a tree that appears to be growing into the ground. Damn, boy — what’s up with that deathtrap? Seriously.
One thing we think everyone will agree upon is that the new pool is an improvement on the old pool. That’s because the original house did not have a pool.
Mr. Martin’s new house lies just a couple doors down and around the bend from a much-larger Tudor estate that is currently owned and occupied by Hollywood A-lister Sandra Bullock. A bit further up the same street are the enormous compounds of tycoons like Tony Pritzker, James Murdoch, and Dr. Phil.
Also just up the street from Mr. Martin’s new house is a hulking Mediterranean complex (below). That place was owned from 2004 to 2006 by none other than — wait for it — Mr. Ricky Martin. Clearly, our boy likes this neck of the woods.
Mr. Martin purchased the house for $10,900,000 and sold it just two years later for $15,000,000 to natural gas billionaire Michael S. Smith and his wife Iris, who continue to own the property.
As an aside, Mr. & Mrs. Smith made all the gossip rags earlier this year when they paid an astounding $110,000,000 for a three-parcel property on super-swanky Lily Pond Lane in the Hamptons. Not only is that the most-expensive sale in the entire USA for 2016, kiddies, it’s the fifth-largest deal of all time.
However, kiddies, the Smith family resides primarily in Los Angeles. Mr. Smith’s elder daughter Tara Smith Swibel owns a $9.6 million mansion in Brentwood. And their younger daughter Kaily Smith Westbrook — check out her baller-style wedding — owns an $11 million mansion in nearby Pacific Palisades.
But we digress. As for Mr. Martin, as far as we know he continues to own a home in Dorado, Puerto Rico as well as a villa in Madrid. Oh, and lest we forget — earlier this year he sold his NYC apartment at 40 Bond Street for $7,550,000 to a mysterious corporate veil with a Fort Worth (Texas) address.
Listing agent: Jana Bezdek, Teles Properties Inc.
Mr. Martin’s agent: Josh Altman, Douglas Elliman