Buoyed by the ultra-high-end LA real estate market’s relentless (?) optimism (and that crazy Carter family spending $88 million), some folks are going hog-wild with outlandish prices. As Yolanda first heard from our online BFF Your Mama at Variety magazine, there’s a new $125 million listing coming to market in that blue-blooded bastion of Bel Air.
And believe it or not, kiddies, but this is one compound that Yolanda believes may actually be worth close to the nostril-flaring nine-figure asking price. But before we chat more about it, a wee background on the low-profile owners.
Ellen Bronfman Hauptman is a low-profile yet enormously wealthy woman who comes from one of those old money backgrounds for which lower Bel Air is oh-so very famous. Her grandpappy Samuel Bronfman — a Russian Jewish immigrant to Canada — built the Seagram’s corporation into what was formerly the largest distributor of alcoholic beverages in the whole wide world. Phyllis Lambert — Samuel Bronfman’s daughter and Ms. Bronfman Hauptman’s aunt — is an architect who commissioned the iconic Seagram Building on Manhattan’s Park Avenue. And Charles Bronfman — Ms. Bronfman Hauptman’s 86-year-old father — is a philanthropist who was once owner of Major League Baseball’s Montreal Expos and makes do with a net worth of $2.3 billion.
Andrew Hauptman may not quite be on his wife’s wealth level, but he’is certainly no slouch in the moolah department. The Harvard MBA has a investment banking background and also was once a Universal Studios executive. Side note: at that time, Universal was majority-owned by Edgar Bronfman Jr., Mr. Hauptman’s wife’s second (?) cousin.
The Bronfman-Hauptman couple have a family holding company — Andell Inc. — that currently owns the Major League Soccer team Chicago Fire. (Mr. Hauptman serves as the team’s Chairman). They are also philanthropists and major Democratic Party donors.
Now then, y’all. Yolanda is well aware that this house is not to everyone’s persnickety architectural taste. Don’t feel shame if your real estate libido isn’t stimulated by these forthcoming photos. That’s totally okay. Different strokes and all that. But for those of us who enjoy a spot of extreme minimalism done up on a no-budget scale (Yolanda included), this place is breathtaking and brings all the wows.
As detailed in its 2011 Architectural Digest feature, this house was designed by London-based master minimalist architect John Pawson — a longtime friend of the Bronfman-Hauptmans — and is one of only two homes he has built in the USA. Four years of design planning and four years of construction, and here is the result.
Completed in 2009, the residence appears smaller than its mega-mansion-sized 20,000-square-feet — or at least it does to Yolanda in photos. The structure consists of two slender boxes — one cantilevered over the other — plus a subterranean level that features a screening room, staff quarters, a children’s playroom, and storage space. The home’s exterior is clad in stucco accented by red cedar trim.
Acres of oak flooring fill the home. The monolithic double-height dining room is completely featureless, save for a fireplace.
It may look basic, but the appliances in this kitchen are probably worth more than 99% of folks earn in an entire year. That’s a super-expensive La Cornue range, the sink is Caesarstone, and the fittings are by Dornbracht.
The dining room has crystal-clear views of the Los Angeles basin (on a clear day, natch). And there’s a outdoor dining room, too.
The master bedroom is large, but certainly not as oppressively huge as one might expect for a 20k square foot house. An intimate study also lies on the home’s uppermost level.
Also in the master bath is a built-in soaking tub with Dornbracht fittings looking out into a courtyard featuring with an outdoor shower, a hot tub, and firepit. The negative-edge swimming pool has city lights views.
Records indicate that the Bronfman Hauptman couple bought up the land for their two-parcel Bel Air stunner in two separate transactions: the first parcel was acquired in 1997 for $2,500,000, and they picked up the adjacent parcel two years later for $1,440,000. Whatever structures existed on the land were immediately razed, and the couple spent untold millions to construct and landscape the place y’all just gawked at.
But that’s not all! Property records indicate that the Bronfman-Hauptmans acquired yet another adjacent property in 2002 — this one for about $10,750,000 or so. This parcel features a 6,341-square-foot Traditional-style mansion built in 1941 and designed by venerable American architect Paul Williams. It is Yolanda’s understanding that this house — and the property it sits on, natch — is also included in the compound’s nine-figure ask.
So the $125 million price buys you 26,000-square-feet of compound living in a John Pawson showpiece and a Paul Williams classic, all on nearly four acres of elegantly landscaped, prime Bel Air land. And stunning views, yet total privacy! Furnishings included.
Almost seems like a steal! No? Shall we ask the Carters?
Listing agent: Kurt Rappaport, Westside Estate Agency