SELLER: estate of Sue Mengers
BUYER: Allen and Deborah Grubman
LOCATION: Beverly Hills, CA
PRICE: currently unknown
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: It was only a few short weeks ago that Your Mama and just about every other celebrity real estate and/or property gossip went bat shit crazy about the legendary John Elgin-Woolf-designed Beverly Hills, CA residence of recently deceased Hollywood über-agent Sue Mengers. The house, a touchstone of high-Hollywood real estate if there ever was one, was listed (mostly) to architectural oohs and aahs with an asking price of $4,995,000 just a few short weeks after the kaftan-clad pint-size dynamo went to meet her maker in mid-October 2011.
The somewhat out-dated, old-school and divinely enigmatic property, according to the New York Post, has been sold to New York City-based law man Allen J. Grubman and his wife Deborah Grubman, a superstar slinger of swanky New York City condos, co-ops and townhouses.
The sale price was not reported but Your Mama hears from an usually very well-informed Bev Hills real estate mover and shaker that Mister and Missus Grubman paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $6,500,000 for the single-story abode situated in a prime neck of the Beverly Hills woods just above Sunset Boulevard and–super conveniently–an easy stumble and bumble to the various hooch and food emporiums at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
Miz Mengers, a star in her own right, purchased the house in the spring of 1988 and spent the better part of the last 20-some years kibitzing with everyone who is (or was) anyone in Showbiz. As far as we know, which is nothing, none of the Kardashians ever kibitzed with Miz Mengers but Fran Lebowitz, Barry Diller, Tina Fey, Warren Beatty and Angelica Huston, Elton John, Sidney Poitier, and Jennifers Lopez and Aniston did, to name just a few. The very modestly-scaled by Beverly Hills standards house coils tightly around a stunning (if oddly colored) column-lined courtyard with phenomenal oval-shaped swimming pool. The house measures, as per listing information, 4,434 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms including Miz Menger’s oval-shaped pink marble master facility.
Mister Grubman may not be a household name but his star-studded roster of clients reads like the VIP room guest list of an Oscar party: Elton John, David Geffen, Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Bruce Springsteen, Mariah Carey, Robert DeNiro, Martha Stewart, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Vera Wang and on and on and on.
As a Senior Vice President/Associate Broker at real estate juggernaut Corcoran in NYC, Deborah Grubman frequently steers the transactions of more than $100,000,000 in mostly high-end residential real estate deals each year. In 2010 she was the 33rd highest producing team in the entire United States (as per the Wall Street Journal) and in 2008 she was listed at number 22 with almost $135,000,000 in sales volume, an amount that sounds like a lot–and it is–until you see that Missus Grubman’s company-mate Carrie Chiang ranked in at number one with a truly mind-melting $505,931,920 in sales volume in a single year. (If you hear a whip cracking sound in your mind as you read that last figure it all works better.) Missus Grubman’s clientele is every bit as high wattage as her husband’s and includes bigwigs and luminaries like Lyor Cohen, Tommy Mottola, Harvey Weinstein, Martha Stewart and Rupert Murdoch.
Mister Grubman’s daughter (from a previous marriage) Lizzie Grubman owns and operates a well-connected New York City-based public relations agency that was it in the go-go-aren’t-we-so-fabulous-in-our-Prada-sneakers 1990s. Long a regular in the New York City/Hamptons-centric publications’ party pictures Miss Grubman achieved tabloid infamy in the humid summer of 2001 when she backed her daddy’s big Mercedes SUV into a group of people outside the Conscience Point nightclub in East Hampton, NY.
The New York Post reports that Mister Grubman (along with, we presume, Missus Grubman) purchased chez Mengers in Beverly Hills because the powerhouse attorney has increasing amounts of business in Los Angeles and because his wife’s children (from a previous marriage) live in the area.
In New York City, Mister and Missus Grubman maintain a Park Avenue apartment and own a 2,201 square foot condo crib in a nearly featureless black-glassy TriBeCa tower designed by prolific (but often maligned) architect Costas Kondylis. Property records we peeped show Mister and Missus G. coughed up $3,070,000 for the high-floor unit in July 2007. Mister Grubman also owns three contiguous apartments on two high-floors of an East 61st Street tower where, according to CityFile, Lizzie Grubman lives with her husband.
Like many of New York high-fallutin’ well-to-do, the celeb-surrounded Grubmans additionally own a pretty house on a particularly posh seaside lane in East Hampton, NY that records show Mister Grubman acquired in August 1995 for $2,800,000. Their street-mates in the Hamptons include various titans and tycoons who include Martha Stewart, Mort Zuckerman, and Starbucks chieftain Howard Schultz.
As it turns out Miz Mengers’ Woolf house is not the first property Mister and Missus Grubman have purchased in Los Angeles. In March 2006 property records indicate they paid $1,195,000 for a 1,956 square foot condo with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms in a perfectly undistinguished (and not very attractive) building in a high-density section of upscale Brentwood. Of course, Your Mama don’t know a rain spout from dim sum so we haven’t an iota if Mister and Missus Grubman use the condo in Brentwood as their own west coast pied a terre, if it’s occupied by one of Missus Grubman’s children, if it’s rented out as an investment, or if it has some other raison d’etre for taking up space in the bi-coastal couple’s property portfolio.
We also have no idea what plans Mister and Missus Grubman have (or don’t have) for Miz Mengers’ fabled residence. The purist and and nostalgic sections of Your Mama’s delicate psyche cling with an insecure desperation to the hope the new owners will update as they see fit yet maintain the vital spirit of Mister Woolf’s original architectural intent and the spirited (and even brash) eclecticism and vibrancy of Miz Mengers. We’re not sure exactly how they would do that but we’re certain it could all be worked over and turned out in fine form by way of a close collaboration between a smart architect and an nice, gay decorator. We shall see, butter beans, we shall see.
listing photo: Nourmand & Associates