We apologize once again for our tardiness and lack of attention. Not only was today a travel day, but it’s taken Your Mama a couple of days to recover from the dee–voon debauchery that ensued at the wild and wonderful wedding of our finely feathered friend Falsetta Knockers and her louche literary lover. Besides, whether y’all like it or not, we’re entitled to a few days of child-freedom without having to endure a bunch of bitching from morons upset that we did not put something up on a damn Sunday. Pleeze. Get a damn grip. When y’all start paying our mortgage you can start running your mouth about our comings and goings. Until then, we do not want to hear it. Anyhoo…
Today, Your Mama is going to go slightly off topic and discuss a number of high priced properties that have recently undergone heavy duty price cuts. Your Mama knows this topic will unleash a fuming and vengeful army of Chicken Littles who will holler and howl about how the real estate sky is falling and blather on endlessly about how the global economy appears to be going to hell in Joe Cassano and Timothy Geithner’s hand baskets of complex financial instruments. But a case can be made that these properties were priced too high even for the white hot markets of 2004 and 2005 and their lower asking prices are simply owners having a necessary real estate reality check about the value of their residential assets. Whatever your stand on the matter may be, it’s increasingly clear that many owners of exuberantly priced properties who actually want to sell them have had to start shaving, slashing, chopping and hacking at the asking prices of their prodigiously priced real estate white elephants.
We cherry picked properties from the deep recesses of our gin soaked mind and are well aware our little list of properties with recent price cuts is far from complete, so do not go workin‘ Your Mama’s last nerve with some self righteous donkey crap about how we missed this property or failed to include that price cut. We know. So it’s not going to be very interesting news to have y’all screaming about it.
Let’s start down in the quicksand of Florida’s sinking real estate markets where former professional golfer and Chris Evert wooer Greg Norman has reduced the asking price of Tranquility, his jinormous Jupiter Island estate, from a teeth chattering $65,000,000 to a still staggering $47,000,000. The 7.4-acre estate was first hoisted on to the open market sometime in late 2007 and, according to listing information, the ocean front property also includes 370-feet of Intracoastal Waterway frontage, a 140-foot long dock, 17,825 square feet of air conditioned space spread across 6 structures that contain a grand total of 9 bedrooms, 11 full and 3 half bathrooms. Not bad for a dude who swats a little white ball around the lawn.
Up the right coast, the late Brooke Astor’s legendary doo–plex apartment was first put on the market in a blaze of publicity in May of 2008 with a not entirely unexpected asking price of $46,000,000. However, a lack of qualified or interested buyers has forced the asking price of the palatial and perfectly provenanced Park Avenue co-op apartment all the way down to $29,000,000. Listing information and floor plan renderings reveal the 14-room residence features 5 principal bedrooms that share 4.5 bathrooms plus 3 itty bitty staff rooms that all share a single terlit. There are also 6 terraces, 5 fireplaces, 24 closets (and 1 dressing room), a vault for the valuables, a private elevator landing and, of course, that red lacquered library where the inestimable Miz Astor hosted untold numbers of luminaries, high society types, bizness barons and political movers and shakers.
A few blocks away from Miz Astor’s doo–plex is the never lived Astor Suite at The Plaza which is owned by German biznessman Jürgen Friedrich who purchased the 5th floor sprawler in November of 2007 for $25,036,463 and boldly flipped it back on the market in September of 2008 with a stunning asking price of $55,000,000. Your Mama does not even need to consult our bejeweled abacus to see that’s more than twice what the clothing tycoon paid for the 4,284 square foot apartment. The listing for the 3 bedroom and 5 bathroom apartment disappeared just days after being listed on the open market and then popped up again in December of 2008 with a new listing agent and a new and lower–but still optimistic–asking price of $38,000,000. In the summer of 2008 the lavish living Mister Friedrich also listed his 18,000 square foot weekend getaway in Southampton, NY with a goose pimple producing asking price of $67,500,000.
The west coast has also seen its fair share of asking price slices and dices. Super producer Jon Peters (Superman and Batman franchises, Bonfire of the Vanities, Rain Man and Flashdance to name a few) has long owned and been planning to build an opulent 30,000 square foot Richard Landry designed mega-mansion on Tower Lane in Beverly Hills but change his mind in late 2007 when the multi-parcel, partially developed 6+ acre property first hit the open market with a hefty price tag of $39,500,000. The property currently includes a very long, winding driveway, swimming pool complex and an underground garage that holds 14 or 25 cars, depending on whether you consult new or old listings. What that forty million clams did not include, rather surprisingly, was an actual house where the insanely rich buyer could actually live. After languishing for an eternity, the listing disappeared from the MLS only to reappear recently with an drastically slashed asking price of $19,995,000, which Your Mama’s admittedly rudimentary calculations on our bejeweled abacus show represents a near 50% price reduction.
Another high profile property owner who has hacked nearly 50% off the asking price of his Bel Air residence is hair challenged and Oscar wining actor Nic Cage who possesses a bulging portfolio of trophy properties around the world, several of which are currently listed for sale with fat asking prices. Mister Cage’s long time Los Angeles crib is a legendary 11,817 square foot brick built behemoth on Bel Air’s Copa de Oro Road that he’s been trying to unload for a number of years. Mister Cage, a man with a bit of a fetish for houses with storied pasts, is hardly the only celeb to occupy the prime 1-acre parcel East Gate property which was formerly owned by both . cheesetastic crooner Tom Jones and womanizing Rat Packer Dean Martin. First listed on the open market in September of 2007, the current asking price for the ivy covered 7 bedroom–some say 9 bedroom–and 9 bathroom mansion has dropped drastically to $19,750,000, a figure which our bejeweled abacus reveals is a stunning 44% drop from the original asking price of $35,000,000.
On the other side of Los Angeles, in the gated Laughlin Park community, the historic Cecil B. DeMille estate hit the market in late May of 2008 with an unheard of for that neck of the woods $26,250,000 and has been subjected to several price cuts that leave it currently with a still very high but substantially less$18,900,000.
Prolific Platinum Triangle property developer/flipper John Bersci has been trying to sell The Harvey Mudd Estate, which happens to be his personal residence in Beverly Hills. First listed in October of 2008 at $11,495,000, the 7 bedroom and 7 bathroom Elmer Grey designed digs has undergone several price chops and recently had a hefty $1,000,000 was hacked off the asking price which now stands at $7,995,000.
A smaller chop, but no less an indication of the depth and breadth of price plunging, is the Bel Air manse of big-booty entertainment juggernaut Jennifer Lopez and her pin thin huzband Mark Anthony who listed their 4 bedroom and 5.5 house in November of 2008 with an asking price of $8,500,000. The French Farmhouse style pile on swank St. Pierre Road now has an asking price of $7,900,000. The three-quarter acre property is heavily secured and includes well tended specimen gardens, a guest house, a pool and pool house and The Jonas Brothers for next door neighbors.