Tom Ford closes on Betsy Bloomingdale’s glam Holmby Hills estate for $40+ million

If you’re a frequenter of all them real estate columns and publications, you probably know that high-priced fashion tycoon Tom Ford has been on a rather extended hunt for a major estate in the toniest neighborhoods of Los Angeles.

Earlier this year, his $53 million (or so) escrow for the big Beverly Hills spread of love-her-or-hate-her interior designer Kelly Wearstler and her richie-rich real estate investor hubby Brad Korzen was abruptly aborted for not-publicized reasons. Too bad for Ms. Wearstler and Mr. Korzen. But honestly, y’all, Yolanda really doesn’t care about those two so we’re not even gonna attempt our normal fake tears schtick.

Kelly Wearstler & Brad Korzen’s big Bev Hills estate

As always, one rich dude’s (and/or dudette’s) loss is another rich dude’s (or dudette’s) gain. In this case the gainers are (presumably) the three adult children and heirs of international fashion icon Betsy Bloomingdale, who strode down heaven’s catwalk just this past July (2016) at the ripe old age of 93 and whose longtime Holmby Hills compound was quickly made available for purchase on the down low.

Our Mama at Variety first reported the impending sale of Mrs. Bloomingdale’s longtime home to Mr. Ford and now Yolanda hears from all corners that although property records do not yet reflect an ownership transfer, the deal is done, done, done. The purchase price, we have been told, is significantly below the $55,000,000 off-market ask (apparently Tom Ford is a bargain-hunter!), but “in excess” of $40 million.

Clearly, Mr. Ford is a very rich man.

Should that rumored number be proven correct, it would make this deal the fourth-largest residential sale in LA County for 2016 (so far). And that’s worth noting because it means that all four largest sales went down in the Holmby Hills neighborhood. You must understand, kiddies — that’s a very big deal. Sure, Holmby Hills has always been full of rich folks. But the neighborhood is tiny! Barely 10 streets and most of them are damn short! And yet the area absolutely murdered the 2016 real estate game. RIP.

Holmby Hills: small yet mighty

Since the deal was totally off-market, Yolanda has no official pics to share with y’all. And that’s a right damn shame in this case because the house is Old Hollywood glamorous-ness realized. Mrs. Bloomingdale was, after all, the widow of Bloomingdale’s heir Alfred Bloomingdale, and the couple wielded their considerable power and influence (not to mention their limitless finances) to wine and dine every 20th century head of state , business titan, and society sphinx in their Holmby casa. The ol’ gurl has had more foreign potentates, politicians, and Hollywood elite inside her than Marilyn Monroe and Lindsay Lohan combined. No joke.

The Bloomingdale-cum-Ford Holmby Hills palace

The house was originally built in the 1920s as a Spanish Colonial, but in the 1950s the Bloomingdales hired actor-turned-interior-designer Billy Haines to “reimagine” it as a Hollywood Regency, the successful results of which you see above. BTW, Haines also did up the now-razed Pacific Palisades home of Mrs. Bloomingdale’s BFF, the late Nancy Reagan. But we digress.

From what we can tell, the estate sports a tennis court, full-sized swimming pool with pool house, extensive formal gardens, large motor court, and a detached garage with staff living quarters directly above the parking spaces. The main house, per property records, weighs in at just under 10,000 square feet with 9 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms.

The Bloomingdale pool house is a rather lovely, low-slung affair.

Mr. Ford’s current LA residence is a rather stunning and meticulously-maintained 1955 structure by master architect Richard Neutra. Sited on a very good corner of perennially high-nosed Bel Air, it’s got 3 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms in a puny-by-billionaire-standards 3,795-square-feet. The high-hedged “Brown-Sidney House” (as it is known) was acquired by Mr. Ford and his husband Richard Buckley back in 2000.

Tom Ford’s Neutra in Bel Air. Circa 1955

Mr. Ford also has a mansion-sized house in a luxury Santa Fe enclave and a Paris apartment, about which we must confess we know precious little. But the most stunning property currently within Mr. Ford’s portfolio has got to be his 20,000+ acre ranch outside Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The massive compound features a long, low, minimalist main residence with walls of glass and concrete. The Marmol Radziner-structure is surrounded by a reflecting pool the size of a small ocean that must’ve cost a fortune to engineer and construct. Then there are separate staff quarters, two guest houses, and the actual movie town from 1985’s Silverado

The whole thing drinks in the barren, forbidding surrounding landscape in a magical way. Which must be why the spread currently has a dumbfounding $75 million pricetag slapped on it. Yolanda can’t fathom who would be in the market for a $75 million ranch outside Santa Fe, but whoever they are — we’d like to be their BFF so we can visit this place.

In any case, kiddies, we wish Mr. Ford continued success and Yolanda sends him our congratulations on getting himself a sweet Black Friday deal on what is — we are quite certain — a truly major LA estate in every sense of the phrase.


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