As every botoxed beotch from the Bird Streets to Brentwood knows, LA is chock-a-block full of rich billionaire families. Some are so wealthy that they own more hideously expensive mansions in town than we have fingers and toes. Take the Milkens, who together own at least a dozen spreads, most worth $10 million or more. Many of Sam Walton’s descendants have also scooped up some very prime real estate here. And let’s not forget the endlessly rich Al Saud dynasty, who apparently have never met a Beverly Hills or Bel Air compound they didn’t fall truly, madly, deeply in love with.
Our old comrade Wikipedia says, “the Pritzker family is one of the wealthiest in the United States.” $30 billion or so will do that for you. Rather than discussing how they made their mountain of money, let’s have some fun and look at how they choose to spend it in our beautiful LA. Shall we?
A few years ago, legendary Grammy-winning songwriter/producer Glen Ballard (he made oodles of moolah writing and producing songs and albums for luminaries such as Michael Jackson and Alanis Morissette) and his longtime jewelry-designer wife Liv, like so many Tinseltown couple before them, went splitsville. Tragic. But perhaps less tragic for her than him, as she got their downright delicious Beverly Hills home in the split.
The “Chimorro House“, as it is known, was built way back in 1926 in a Hispano-Moorish style not typical of Beverly Hills and spans a generous (but not huge) 5,512 square feet with 7 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms. The architect? Legendary Roy Seldon Price. The house’s namesake and first owner was a mysterious single lady (a “Mrs.” Chimorro), and the property, according to Mrs. Ballard, was “clearly” used by her as a speakeasy. While they were still married and raising their two sons, the Ballards hired prestigious architects Tichenor & Thorp to give the place a thoughtful restoration.
By 2014, Ms. Ballard’s children were grown and as empty-nesters often do, she decided to downsize or maybe just try some new scenery. Though the property was never on the open market, property records show Ms. Ballard transferred ownership of the home to a mysterious corporate entity (“Bevcal LLC”) in December (’14). The sale price was a very A-list $12,100,000.
Yolanda just happens to know that the secret new owner is 30-year-old Adam Pritzker, the oldest of San Francisco-based billionaire John Pritzker’s three sons. A cursory search on the internets reveals young Mr. Pritzker founded a holding company called “Assembled Brands”, which includes a whole bunch of fashion and retail stores/labels that Yolanda ain’t never heard of before. Anyway, suffice to say that Mr. Pritzker has been living in his new home for the past year and doing whatever rich young ambitious fellows do in LA.
Mrs. Ballard filled the home with authentic period pieces and knick-knacks from her global travels. Oh, and check out those groovy original tiles.
What should feel cluttered somehow seems to suit the house’s bones perfectly. We also confess Yolanda has a real thing for a four-post bed like this fairytale example here.
The teahouse is not original; it was built during the Ballards’ ownership by Tichenor & Thorpe. However, both the pool and fountain remain essentially unchanged since 1926.
Original architectural details on the windows. Yolanda had the good fortune to score an invite to an event held at this home several years ago and if you can’t tell from the photo, the home’s front gates might be the biggest we’ve ever seen in any home in LA.
Try to out wrought-iron that window. And that’s gotta be one of the sexiest wine cellar tasting rooms we’ve ever seen.
Just a month after Adam Pritzker completed the purchase of his historic Beverly Hills home, a residence near the tippy-top of the high-priced “Bird Streets” sold for $7,000,000 in another secret off-market deal to the imaginatively-named “Mexican Hat LLC”. The new owner, both Yolanda and Your Mama over at Variety happen to know, is 28-year-old Noah Pritzker, Adam’s younger brother and the middle child of John Pritzker’s three sons, as well as an indie film writer and director.
While most residences in the Birds are either funky old-school boxy pads or ultra-modern swoopy and sexed-up coke castles, this house is atypical for the hood with traditionalist appearance and wooden slab-sided walls. Looks like something meant for Pacific Palisades that somehow mistakenly got built in Ho-wood. Well, whatever. Tax records reveal it crams 6 bedrooms and 5 baths into just 4,112 square feet.
Just down the hill, near where the Hills turn into the Sunset Strip, is a much more cliche-for-the-hood mod-mod-mod-modern residence. This is the former home of (alleged douchebag) Matthew Pritzker, son of the late Robert Pritzker and apparently now an entrepreneur of some sort. He and his former actress sister Liesel (remember her from ’90s hits A Little Princess or Air Force One?) made news as teens when they sued their older relatives over money. Apparently that suit was settled for something like $500 million and in 2007, at the tender age of 25, Matthew sunk $7,900,000 into his Ho-Wood Hills house through the generically-named “Sierra Mar Holdings LLC”.
Apparently young Mr. Pritzker didn’t cotton too much to LA or something, because he sold the house just four years for $5,650,000 to another mysterious corporate entity (“Montezuma Realty 2011 LLC”). A quick calculation reveals Mr. Pritzker lost (at least) a gasp-worthy $2.25 million on the property, not counting any upgrades or renovation costs, real estate fees, or taxes he incurred during his brief residence. Pritzker, by all accounts, then high-tailed it back to his hometown of Chicago.
Side note: Yolanda happens to know that the mysterious entity that bought the property from Mr. Pritzker at a huge discount was a shield for a guy named Francisco J. Perez, who still lives in the home. Yolanda happens to have a friend who lives on this very street and he/she told us that Mr. Perez doesn’t work and just “trolls WeHo in his Audi R8 convertible and brings new guys home all the time”. We wondered how Mr. Perez could afford a $5.65 million house in the Birds and our friend cattily snitched that Mr. Perez is an “associate” of [name redacted per request].
Ooh la la, y’all. But you didn’t hear all that from Yolanda.
Beverly Hills and the Bird Streets are always fun, of course. But the hottest area in LA right now is the beach cities area and the once-gritty (and still kinda-gritty) but quickly gentrifying area of Venice is perhaps the most action-packed area of all.
Back in 2008, 30-something-year-old race car driver Roland Pritzker quietly paid $3,200,000 (via “Scorpion Properties LLC”) for a newly-built uber-contemporary confection that’s so close to uber-trendy Abbot Kinney Boulevard, he could probably crawl there within two minutes. If he chose to do so, of course. As far as we can tell, this Mr. Pritzker is the son of billionaire Linda Pritzker, an American Tibetan Buddhist lama. Linda Pritzker happens to be a daughter of the late Robert Pritzker, which makes her Matthew Pritzker’s older half-sister and makes Roland the half-nephew of Matthew, though the two men are roughly the same age (actually, Roland is a few years older than his half-uncle). Whew.
As it turns out, Mr. Roland’s Venice home has been for sale for nearly six months with an unchanged asking price of $3,295,000. That figure is, of course, only $95k more than he paid for the home over seven years ago. What that means is that even in the unlikely scenario that he gets an offer close to his asking price, poor (rich) Mr. Pritzker will almost assuredly lose some dough when factoring in taxes, real estate fees, and any additional upgrade costs and etc.
Of course, no LA-based discussion of the Pritzkers can be complete without mentioning the “shopping mall on the hill” aka the 53,000 square foot home base of the philanthropically-minded billionaire Tony Pritzker and his wife Jeanne. As far as we can tell, this Pritzker is a first cousin of Matthew Pritzker and the first cousin once removed of Roland, Adam, and Noah Pritzker.
The story of the construction of this polarizing oinker has been repeated in many publications in excruciating detail, so we won’t bother to discuss it here. However, the latest word on the Platinum Triangle gossip grapevine is that Mr. Pritzker apparently entertains so often at his home that he simply doesn’t have enough parking space to fit all those cars, despite his driveway being more generous than all five of your closest Whole Foods’ parking lots combined. So what’s a fellow to do? Well, if you’re a crazy-rich billionaire like Tony Pritzker, then you buy not one but two of your neighbors’ houses and raze them to make more parking space for your guests and staff.
Both of Mr. Pritzker’s newly-acquired houses are directly across the street from his colossal main residence. The first one, a modest home that was owned for years by Carmen Electra, was acquired by Mr. Pritzker in 2014 for $4,800,000 in an off-market deal and has already been razed and paved. The second home, a mid-century modern, was acquired about six months ago for $6,300,000. To be honest, we’re not sure if this one has been razed yet or not but we can’t help but imagine it’s not long for the world even if it remains standing.
If you’re keeping track, Mr. Pritzker forked out a staggering $11,100,000 for his neighbors’ houses. And that’s likely just for some extra guest parking! Holy moly, this dude is rich.
Gurls, this is totally Yolanda’s style. Too bad the home is probably not long for this world – it might just be asphalt by this time next year.
Only time will tell if more Prtzkers will join their relatives here . But it you ask us, we’d wager this ain’t the last we’ll hear of their LA real estate exploits by far. Stay tuned.