Yolanda was sifting through our queue of stories, trying to decide which one deserves to close out 2018. Should we chat about sick-rich talent agents, lovesick tech tycoons, a rapper in Tarzana or a humongous Newport Beach pile? Decisions, decisions. Finally, we decided to keep it simple with a proven crowd-pleaser. Give the people what they want.
Seems like what everyone wants is more Paul McClean. Anytime we gab about a house drawn up by the prolific architect, we get clicks up the wazoo. And this particular story has been sitting on our desk for the past 6+ months — we skipped over it time and time again — so here goes. It’s a McClean manse way high up in the Bird Streets, and it sold way back in April (2018) for a fat $16,950,000.
Born and bred in Ireland, Mr. McClean first began designing LA residences a decade (or so) ago. One of his first works was the $17.5 million Birds nest owned by the late DJ Avicii and recently sold to Fashion Nova CEO Richard Saghian. Since then Mr. McClean has graduated to a whole slew of progressively larger and glassier mega-mansions — often in collaboration with developer Nile Niami — culminating in the upcoming $500 million The One project.
Mr. McClean’s homes have been purchased by the likes of Jay-Z and Beyoncé, Calvin Klein, Simon Kinberg and many lesser-known (but no less wealthy) financiers and foreign potentates.
Anywho, in addition to the folks listed above, the typical buyers of Paul McClean-style contemporary homes are wealthy young entrepreneurs and silly heiresses. So Yolanda was surprised when records revealed the new owner of today’s property is actually a physician named William Kennedy. His full name, actually, is William Aloysius Kennedy III, M.D. But he prefers Dr. Kennedy so henceforth he shall be that.
Dr. Kennedy is an otolaryngologist — a doctor specializing in the ear, nose and throat, so we take it — and his primary practice is located in New York City. But he also appears to practice in LA, too. Maybe that’s the reason for his extravagant home purchase.
The good Doc is a fairly low-profile guy, so we know very little about his background and family. He’s in his late 40s, currently unmarried, originally hails from New England and is Irish by ancestry. He’s also got a taste for luxury real estate — in addition to the $17 million pad in LA, he owns at least two multi-million dollar properties on the East Coast. More on those in a minute.
It seems a bit unlikely to Yolanda that all Dr. Kennedy’s moolah comes solely from his medical practice, but what do we really know? Not much. And for what it’s worth, property records show that Dr. Kennedy is carrying a (very) hefty mortgage in the Birdies — his principal payments exceed $25,000 per month. And yes, that’s before interest. Yowza!
The cul-de-sac property was last sold in 2015 for about $4.5 million to hotel heir James Curnin, who quickly razed the existing structure. He then recruited Mr. McClean to design a lavish spec-mansion and forked out untold millions in construction fees.
Records show the resulting contemporary has 4 beds and 7 baths in a total of 4,021-square-feet of living space, meaning this is actually one of Mr. McClean’s smaller residential works. But despite the two-level home’s (relatively) meager proportions, it still manages to feel huge thanks to the very open floorplan. [EDIT: one of our readers says the house is actually 9,000 SF, so… maybe records done made a boo-boo?]
Unfortunately for Mr. Curnin, however, the spec-house was put up for sale in late 2016 with a too-aggressive $25,500,000 asking price. It took a brutal 1.5 years and several significant pricechops (and at least one change of realtors) before the property finally transferred for the aforementioned $16.95 million, or nearly 35% less than what was originally requested. Maybe the house was just ridiculously overpriced to start, or maybe the Birds ain’t as fashionable as they once were. Or both, right?
The home’s entryway features a glass-encased wine rack guaranteed to wow Dr. Kennedy’s less financially-fortunate friends. Just beyond that is the main (indoor) entertaining area — which is essentially one giant room with a kitchen, formal dining and loungin’ spaces.
Somewhere on the main level lies the master bedroom, with its walls of glass and view over the distant LA basin. The marble-swaddled bathroom and spacious closet both feature large skylights.
The other three bedrooms aren’t particularly cavernous — this is meant to be the home of a wealthy bachelor(ette) or child-free couple, it would seem — but at least they all sport en-suite bathrooms.
A broad flight of stairs leads to the party-tastic lower level, where there’s a mirror-walled gym and an attached sauna plus a cigar room (does Doc smoke?!?!) and home theater with seating for 18. Also somewhere down in the depths is a terrazzo-floored garage — or “car museum” as the listing calls it — with room for ten luxury vehicles.
Since the .3-acre lot is not particularly big, outdoor space is limited to a terrace and grassy patch of lawn. There’s also an infinity pool, though the views from it are somewhat compromised by a towering (if necessary) privacy hedge. Also somewhat disappointing is that the sightlines do not include the Pacific Ocean or the DTLA/Century City skylines. Oh well, at least there’s an elongated firepit with loads of built-in bench seating around one side of the property.
If you’d like to see more of this place, check out this unofficial video tour.
Whether Dr. Kennedy intends to make the fancy LA abode his main residence is unknown to us, but Yolanda does know that his current primary digs are located in NYC’s Midtown East neighborhood — in a new luxury condo building known simply by its address: 301 East 50th Street.
Designed by COOKFOX, the 29-story, limestone-sheathed high-rise was completed in 2016 and features 57 condos, all of them priced in the $2-$5 million range. Records show that Dr. Kennedy paid just under $3.8 million for his 24th-floor pied-a-terre, which includes 2 beds/2.5 baths in 1,690 SF of space.
Dr. Kennedy’s condo building also includes various other luxury amenities: 24-hour doorman and concierge, state-of-the-art fitness center, spa with private treatment room, sauna, tea lounge and a terrace/yoga deck.
Sounds lavish! But for those times when he’s feeling choked by the city’s congestion and pollution — y’all know what the Doc says about fresh air and sunshine — our boy also has a lovely R&R spot up in Cape Cod, specifically the slow-paced seaside town of Chatham, Massachusetts.
Records show that Dr. Kennedy laid out $2,400,000 for his casually luxe hideaway in 2014. The 2005-built structure contains 5,584-square-feet of living space with not one but two master suites, a big ol’ kitchen with fancy Wolf appliances, a three-car garage, and nearly one acre of land. Old listing materials boast how the home is “a short walk to Chatham Village, Oyster Pond and Stage Harbor Marina.”
Listing agents (LA): Jade Mills, Coldwell Banker; Drew Fenton, Hilton & Hyland
Dr. Kennedy’s agent (LA): Carrie Berkman Lewis, Douglas Elliman
Listing agent (NYC): Joan Swift, Douglas Elliman
Listing & Selling agent (Chatham): Helene Case, William Raveis Real Estate