SELLER: Michael Bay
LOCATION: Montecito, CA
SIZE: 5,431 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 4 full and 2 half bathrooms (total)
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Action film director/producer Michael Bay (The Rock, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, the Transformers franchise) has gotten a lot flack in the Tinseltown trade papers and snarky movie blogs over the years for being a hack, an honest-to-goodness no-talent whose professional forte leans towards hiring pin-thin model-hot women and making scores of things blow up in a cinematically exhilarating manner.
Your Mama does not have an opinion of Mister Bay’s film making talents–or alleged lack thereof–since we can honestly say we’ve never seen a single one of his many films. Film making hack or not, Mister Bay’s notoriously high-octane action flicks have grossed billions of dollars and, although we suspect it’s, a bit high, some online outlets peg the movie makers net worth at as much as half a billion bucks. We make no claim as to Mister Bay’s actual net worth but we can say property records indicate the man has ample dough-re-mi to buy and maintain a hefty handful of modern mansions in some of the most expensive (and celebrity stocked) zip codes in the United States.
Thanks to an informant we’ll call I.M. Uhsnitch Your Mama has come to learn that Mister Bay recently opted to lighten his heavy real estate load and listed an airy contemporary tucked privately into a hilly slope in high-brow Montecito, CA with an asking price of $6,800,000. Our limited poke through publicly available online records did not turn up a purchase price for the property but considering that Mister Bay bought the somewhat secluded 1.3 acre estate way back in early 1997 we can all be assured he stands to make a small fortune upon the sale.
Listing information shows the voluminous mansion, designed by Santa Barbara-based architect Jan Hochhauser, measures 5,431 square feet and includes a total of 4 bedrooms and 4 full and 2 half bathrooms. The main house, an L-shaped cluster of square and rectangular masses of varying size, contains both of the half bathrooms and 3 of the bedrooms, each of which has an en suite terliting and bathing facility. The remaining bedroom and bathroom are located in the detached guest cabana perched in the tree tops off to one side of the swimming pool and spa.
A long gated drive winds up through the thickly treed grounds to a large motor court with front-facing attached three-car garage. A powerful pair of towering vertical planes of glass block partially shielded by a magnificent mature eucalyptus tree and a small steel awning mark the main entrance to the house. We know there will be many children who whine and complain about these massive glass block insets. Certainly Your Mama would not recommend a person do this in their house today, but perhaps this house is probably best seen through the architectural goggles of the early 1990s when the concrete, steel and glass residence was designed and built..
A slightly curved and sky lit foyer organizes and connects the main rooms on the lower level of the two story house. For better or worse, most of the floors in most of the house are covered in slate-colored tiles that we imagine are far more expensive and materially exclusive than that description makes them sound. At least one of the bedrooms has wall-to-wall carpeting and there is a chocolate brown hardwood floor inset into the prairie like floor in the family room.
Art gallery white walls are broken by broad swathes of sliding glass doors in the eat-in kitchen and living and dining room that all open to the multifunctional terrace that extends from the back of the house into the lushly landscaped yard and the panoramic views beyond.
The unusually vast family room, the architectural red meat of the residence, is defined by a pair of barrel vaulted sky lights set into the ceiling of the double height space, the high-drama sort of element one might more readily expect to find in a shopping mall and not in a mansion in Montecito. The room sits discreetly between the kitchen and garage/service areas of the house where it’s almost divorced from the dramatic panoramic ocean vistas available from the rear of the house. For what it’s worth–and it ain’t worth a damn thing–Your Mama thinks the room has more in common architecturally with the frequent flyer lounge of an international airport than it does a private residence in one of the most expensive residential enclaves in all of California. That does not mean we hate the room. We don’t. But is not, hunnies, let’s be honest, an easy room to love iffin your idea of a perfect Friday night at home is curled up into a cozy corner with a book and a bowl of penny candy. We do, it shall be noted, appreciate the fireplace, built-in entertainment cabinets, wet bar, and adjoining shaded dining/barbecue patio that bring necessary human-scale elements to a room.
A quick perusal of the floor plan (above) shows the three upstairs bedrooms are privately situated in two wings connected by a balcony/bridge cantilevered out over the void above the family room beneath the barrel vaulted sky lights. One wing contains two family bedrooms, each with private bathroom and one with access to a substantial patio and rose garden on top of the garage. Privacy lovers will appreciate the master suite which occupies its own separate wing and includes a large bedroom with sitting area plus two private balconies, one that overlooks the motor court and another that juts out over the dining terrace below and provides unimpeded views of the Pacific Ocean and the outline of the Channel Islands along the horizon. The attached bathroom features separate sinks and vanities, terlit cubby, exercise area and two walk-in closets of generous proportions. The jetted soaking tub and shower both have direct ocean views through a wide band of glass that framelessly wraps around the outside corner of the shower.
The lower level of Mister Bay’s Montecito mansion opens seamlessly to a u-shaped terrace with dining, lounging and sunbathing sections. The terrace, some sort of stone tile laid at a 45-degree angle to the house, has a narrow border of perfectly manicured lawn that wraps around an infinity edged swimming pool and inset spa.
A bantam studio-style guest/pool house offers an approximately 400 square foot sky lit living area with built in cabinetry, a wet bar, private bathroom, and a wall of floor to ceiling windows with views across the swimming pool to the ocean and Channel Islands in the far distance.
In addition to his no longer wanted mansion in Montecito Mister Bay also owns several posh properties in Los Angeles plus a thoroughly modern mansion in Miami Beach, FL that he bought in August 2007 for $17,000,000. The titanic 17,339 square foot pile sits directly on the Intracoastal Waterway and contains an astonishing 11 bedrooms and 11.5 bathrooms. It could be noted here that Mister Bay is single–or, at least, unmarried and without children. As far as Your Mama is concerned, 11 bedrooms and 11.5 bathrooms just seems so lonely for one person but we’re funny that way maybe. Anyhoo, some of the children who have been around the celebrity real estate block a time or two with Your Mama may recall that Mister Bay bought his behemoth beach house in Miami from former professional wrestler turned showbiz fixture and frequent tabloid fodder Hulk Hogan. Mister Bay eventually had the monumentally-scaled house photographed for the glossy pages of Elle Decor.
In 1999, on the financial successes brought by The Rock in 1996 and Armageddon in 1998, Mister Bay shelled out a very a-list $5,160,000 for a boxy white contemporary crib with 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms in 7,919 square feet in the real estate heart of Bel Air, directly north of the very posh Bel Air Country Club. Views over the Bel Air Country Club and Los Angeles.
In late 2005 the hot chick dater scooped up another residence in Los Angeles, this one west of the 405 freeway in the rustic Mandeville Canyon area between the Brentwood and Pacific Palisades communities. Property records shows the gated house–also a boxy white modern thing set into a thick stand of trees–measures a comparatively modest but hardly small 3,248 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms. We have no idea why Mister Bay bought a second luxury residence just a few miles from is other one in Bel Air but such are the sometimes inexplicable real estate ways of the rich and famous.
Perhaps not content with the two homes he already owned in Los Angeles, Mister Bay went house hunting again in 2009. We don’t know how many houses he looked at but eventually he settled on an iconic and well-known low-slung contemporary in Bel Air built in 1951 and dramatically sited on a nearly five acre promontory on some of the most hallowed real estate grounds in all of Los Angeles.
Mister Bay purchased the spectacular if outdated compound for $10,900,000 from the estate of well-known and extraordinarily well-connected west coast philanthropist and socialite Marion Jorgensen and her previously deceased second husband, steel magnate Earle Jorgensen. Rumors immediately began to swirl through the real estate community that Mister Bay planned to raze the Jorgensen residence and replace it with his own version of multimillion dollar residential heaven. Your Mama isn’t sure what exactly Mister Bay intends to erect on the site but we do know that he has indeed torn down the multi-winged single-story house and its various outbuildings that once contained a total of 7 bedrooms and 7.5 bathrooms.
If all the boxy moderns that remain in Mister Bay’s property portfolio are a hint as to what his new house in Bel Air might look like Your Mama would bet our long-bodied bitches Linda and Beverly there’s a big boxy modern in the works with voluminous rooms and vast expanses of windows that blur psychological and actual divisions between the interior and exterior living spaces. We shall see, buttons, we shall just have to wait and see.
A little additional looking around on the interweb tells us we are not and hardly the first pony out of the gate at this particular celebrity real estate rodeo. C’est la vie, butter beans.
listing photos and floor plan: Sotheby’s International Realty