BUYER: Peter Morton
LOCATION: Beverly Hills, CA
SIZE: 5,367 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms
NOTE FROM YOUR MAMA (01-03-13): Your Mama posted this a week or so ago but we mistakenly deleted it. Here it is again in case anyone was missing it.
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Property gossips around the globe went hog wild in October 2012 when a single story French Regency meets mid-century modern style residence high in the terrifically trendy Trousdale Estates ‘hood in Beverly Hills hit the open market with at asking price of $12,995,000.
The hoopla and hoo-ha wasn’t just because the gated residence occupies a highly desirable 1.18 acre lot on what is arguably one of the better streets in Trousdale Estates where some of the other homes are owned by folks like celebrity photographer Steven Meisel but rather because the house is loosely known in real estate circles as the west coast Graceland. That’s right, back in 1967—the year they were married—hip-swiveling music industry icon Elvis Presley and his then new bride Priscilla purchased the house for $400,000.
Property records shows the old Presley pad was sold in mid-December 2012 to a corporate entity for $9,800,000. Everybody Your Mama talked to—including our well-informed confreres Yolanda Yakketyak and Helen A. Hightower—snitched that the buyer was high-end property flipping former restaurateur and hotelier Peter Morton.
Mister Peter Morton—not to be confused with his prolific property flipping restaurateur son Harry who owns the lewdly named Pink Taco eateries in L.A.—made the bulk of his (estimated) half billion dollar fortune in 1995 when he sold his co-founding interest in the Hard Rock Cafe chain for $410 million and in 2006 when he sold the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas for $770 million to boutique hotel magnate Ian Schrager’s Morgans Hotel Group.
Your Mama does not have any idea how long The King and his bouffant-haired bride Priscilla owned the house in Trousdale Estates but we do know that for many years—and even still—fans and fanatics alike scrawled and scribbled messages to their rock-n-roll idol on the mini-estate’s front gate (above). We can only hope that Mister Morton preserves the front gate for posterity or donates it to the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame or something like that.
Anyhoo, listing information shows the existing, single-story residence was originally built in 1958 and includes four bedrooms and five bathroom in 5,367 square feet of interior space, plus an attached guest house with additional private bathroom.
The low-slung sprawler, recently upgraded and renovated according to listing information, contains a spacious formal living room with fireplace, a formal dining room, family room, office, media room and a newly installed eat-in kitchen that looks to Your Mama like it belongs in an upscale but uninspired suburban mini-mansion.
Floor to ceiling windows and sliders throughout flood the house with natural light and allow for long vistas down the canyons and—on a clear day—over the glittering lights of Los Angeles all the way to the Pacific Ocean. The walls of windows seamlessly integrate the inside and the outside living spaces that include various terraces and patios, a flat patch of grass for the pooches and a free-form swimming pool and spa. Out front, there’s a gated motor court and a four-car car port
Your Mama’s been told by someone in a position to know that the house remains remarkably intact from the time Mister Presley and Miss Priscilla owned it in the mid- to late-sixties but that’s probably no matter since the scuttlebutt on the Trousdale real estate street is that Mister Morton plans to raze the existing residence to make way for an all new house that he’ll no doubt sell at an enviably enormous profit.
Certainly buying, knocking down and building anew seems to be the growing trend on this particular cul-de-sac. Back in August (2012), budding real estate baller—and mid-priced handbag purveyor—Bruce Makowsky quietly paid $12,650,000 for an almost 7,000 square foot house directly across from the old Presley pad that’s he’s already razed in preparation for what will surely be a bigger and sleeker new house that Your Mama imagines will eventually wind up on the market with a fat eight figure asking price. Next door to the house Mister Makowsky recently tore down movie producer turned property developer Nile Niami paid Oscar-winning screenwriter Robert Towne (Chinatown, Shampoo, Mission Impossible franchise) $9,800,000 for a nearly six thousand square foot house that rumor has it he too will tear down to make way for a bigger and slicker house that will also—no doubt—eventually turn up for sale with an eye-popping eight figure asking price.
Mister Morton has bought and sold more pricey properties in some of the more expensive zip codes of Los Angeles that Your Mama cares to count, including a hulking Tudor style pile on 4.1 private acres in Beverly Hills that he bought in 2006 for $18,500,000, never lived in and sold—at a substantial loss—in the spring of 2011 for $16,190,000 to property-collecting Oscar-winning superstar actress Sandra Bullock.
As far as Your Mama knows—and we really don’t know a ham from a gold fish—since the mid 1990s Mister Morton’s primary residence in Tinseltown has been a 13,000- plus square foot mansion on 1.3-plus gated and landscaped acres in a particularly plum section of the Holmby Hills that he bought from entertainment industry executive Robert A. Daly for $9,250,000.
Mister Morton also maintains an elegantly contemporary Richard Meier-designed mini-compound with a total of seven bedrooms and seven full and two half bathrooms on two—or maybe three—prime ocean front lots on Carbon Beach, Malibu’s most expensive stretch of sand where some of the other homeowners include endlessly rich trophy property amassing titans of industry like David Geffen, Michael Milken, Paul Allen, Eli Broad and Larry Ellison.
listing photos: Coldwell Banker