There’s little Your Mama loves more than a convoluted real estate ditty. And this one’s a doozy so we suggest you grab a candy snack, mix up a cocktail of your choice—we’re already up to our neck in gin & tonics, and settle in for a bumpy ride.
A couple days ago those ever-so-clever kids at Curbed revealed that The Reserve, a ritzy recently renovated estate in the outlandishly posh Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles, was sold for exactly $24,000,000 and, according to the public property records Your Mama peeped, it was indeed.
We know some of the children are rolling their eyes, smacking their lips and generally giving Your Mama the stank eye because they think they know all there is to know about this here story. But, iffin you’ll have a wee bit o’ of patience, Your Mama thinks we might have a few details and nuances not previously discussed by any of our real estate gossip compadres. Ready? Go.
What’s less clear to Your Mama than the actual sale price of The Reserve is who exactly bought and sold the extravagantly refurbished spread that’s tucked into a punishing curve of Sunset Boulevard behind a thick thicket of trees, hedges, and shrubbery.
Ever since the sexed up estate hit the open market in early 2013 with its attention grabbing $24,950,000 price tag The Reserve was reported by scores of property gossips to be owned by house-flipping b.f.f. actors Jeremy Renner and Kristoffer Winters who, so the stories went, picked up the property in August 2010 for $7,000,000, gave it a $10 million soup-to-nuts overhaul with an assist by architect Philip Vertoch, and pushed it back on the open market in early 2013 with a hefty (almost) $8 million mark up.
Although Mister Winters and Mister Renner have collaborated on two dozen (or so) house flips over the last dozen years, Mister Renner did not, contrary to most reports, have a financial stake in The Reserve. Mister Winters, who is billed in marketing materials as the The Reserve‘s designer, did own The Reserve but he did not own it all by himself. Turns out, according to our snitches and subsequent research, Mister Winters purchased the property as an investment with a previously unidentified Denver-based billionaire. More on that in a minute but first let’s have a quick spin through and around the palatial abode.
Listing details show the sprawling, single-story mansion—a glammy, 1920s neo-Art Deco-y affair—measures in at 10,005 square feet with six bedrooms, eight full and three half bathrooms, and five fireplaces. An imposing quartet of columns mark the grand entrance to the house where a spacious foyer with central fountain melts into an open concept formal living and dining room. There’s an adjacent library hall off the living area fitted with custom book cases and beyond the dining area there’s a spacious and expensively equipped kitchen with two center work islands, a breakfast area, and a family room that opens to the manicured terraces and gardens at the back of the house. The kitchen fittings are undeniably exquisite and the patterned tile floor is insanely good but Your Mama could, in all honesty, do without the pressed tin ceiling that feels unnecessary and forced.
Listing information shows there are several sumptuous powder rooms, a handsome home office, a sizable den with wet bar—Mister Winters referred to it here as “‘the gentleman’s room,” a television lounge with built-in study desk, and a swank 12-seat cinema with state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment.
Each of the four or five guest/family bedrooms has a private bathroom trimmed with marble and gray grouted white subway tiles. The plush master suite is probably larger than Your Mama and the Doctor Cooter’s entire house and comes complete with decadent dual bathrooms and a pair of elegant dressing rooms, hers appointed like a chic lingerie boutique and his appointed like a high-end haberdashery.
The grounds of the gated estate include a roomy motor court at the front that wraps around to a second motor court and three car garage, numerous water features, multiple terraces including an L-shaped veranda, a built-in fire pit, broad expanses of flat lawns, and a simple rectangular swimming pool backed by an elevated sunbathing terrace.
Now then, let’s get back to this aforementioned mystery billionaire. After a long consult with real estate yenta Yolanda Yakketyyak and a deep dive into the dark bowels of various property record data bases we’ve determined that Mister Winters co-owned The Reserve with a low-profile billionaire named Gary Magness who is based—you got it, butter beans—in Denver, CO. Indeed, Miz Yakketyyak swears on her French-tipped toenails that Mister Magness was the real owner of The Reserve or, at the very least, the money man behind the seven million dollar acquisition in 2010.
Mister Magness inherited a fortune from his cable television pioneer father, Bob Magness, who founded TCI, an early and very successful cable television provider. TCI was sold in 1999 to AT&T for $54 billion and according to his own biography, Mister (Gary) Magness remains, a “significant stakeholder” in AT&T today. He parlayed his inherited riches with lucrative investments in cattle ranching, data storage, and aquaculture breeding.
If any of the children find it strange that Mister Magness would invest in high priced real estate in Los Angeles perhaps it would ease your troubled minds to know that in March 2010 he and his missus, Sarah Siegel-Magness, quietly shelled out $18,000,000 for a privately situated 3.8-acre compound in Beverly Hills that has a quarter mile long (gated) driveway, a 13,000 square foot Spanish-style villa, two guest houses, and a gigantic subterranean parking garage where Mister Magness no doubt keeps a few select pieces of his extensive vintage car collection.
It will probably make even more sense to the still perplexed among us that Mister Magness and Missus Magness probably maintain a serious mansion in Los Angeles due to the fact that they own and operate Smokewood Entertainment; They are both listed as producers for a small but growing number of movies including Tennessee, Crazy Kind of Love, and the double Oscar-winning film Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire.
Now that we know that The Reserve was sold by Mister Magness and Mister Winters and not Mister Renner, let’s discuss the buyer of The Reserve, shall we?
Shortly after they reported the $24 million dollar purchase price the kids at Curbed updated their discussion and named Nick Candy as the mysterious buyer. Nick Candy, for those of the children who might somehow not know, makes up one half of the international property development concern known as Candy & Candy. The other Candy in Candy & Candy is Nick’s younger and more cerebral brother, Christian, the same fella who owns that crazy-ass triplex at The Plaza in New York City that’s currently on the market for $59,000,000 (see last item).
Believe it or not, that the notoriously luxe living Nick Candy was outed by the Curbed kids as the buyer of The Reserve didn’t come as much of a surprise to Your Mama. Not only did we and every other property gossip with a toe in the L.A. real estate gossip game know that Nick Candy has been out touring $20+ million mansions in the Platinum Triangle for quite some time, like the kids and Curbed Your Mama also heard—from two separate, trusted, and well-connected canaries, neither of whom is Yolanda Yakketyyak—that the buyer was Nick Candy and his new-ish bride, Holly Valance.*,**,***
One of Your Mama’s informants who is not Yolanda Yakketyyak not only told us the buyer was Nick Candy s/he also tattled that Mister and Missus Candy purchased nearly all of the Kristoffer Winters-selected furniture shown in listing photos and marketing materials. Your Mama also heard, from the other exceptionally well-informed source that isn’t Yolanda Yakketyyak, that Mister and Missus Nick Candy plan to make a few alterations and customizations as well as increase the size of the residence by a substantial amount.
Mystery solved? Hold yer real estate horses, children, because the day after Curbed updated their discussion that named Nick Candy as the buyer they updated it again with the following: “Actually, a rep for Candy &Candy Limited tells us [them] now that the buyer is actually Nick’s brother/business partner Christian Candy.”
Hmm. Huh. Fssh. Do the children smell the distinct odor of obfuscation or a rare sniff of honesty? As Linda Richman would say, “Discuss!“
Mister (Nick) Candy—and now his new-ish wife—also maintain a 17,000 square foot penthouse atop The Candy Brother’s ludicrously expensive One Hyde Park complex in London’s Knightsbridge area.**** Last May (2012) The Candy Brothers’ shared yacht, the 208-foot Candyscape II, popped up for sale with a £39,000,000 price tag. (That’s just a bit more than 61 million U.S. dollars, according to Your Mama’s trusty currency conversion contraption.) The Candy Bros. reportedly commissioned another yacht and it appears Candyscape II was sold. At the very least it’s been re-christened as Sealyon and the six cabin floating mansion is available for charter at a bank account depleting rate of €300-350,000 per week (plus expenses), or about 391,626-$456,897 U.S. dollars at today’s rates.
Christian Candy and his blond wife, Emily, make their home in Monaco but last year spent £75 million on a long-term lease on Gordon House, a titanic, Grade II listed Georgian style building in London’s Chelsea nabe. The Christian Candys have reportedly embarked on an extensive renovation that will convert the include a subterranean extension that’s scheduled to include a 65-foot long swimming pool, a plunge pool and jacuzzi, a two-lane bowling alley, and a private cinema.
*The jet-setting couple, married in an opulent ceremony in late September last year (2012) at Greenacres, the Tinseltown pedigreed Beverly Hills estate owned by supermarket multi-billionaire Ron Burkle.
**Missus (Nick) Candy was born with the surname Vukadinovic, goes professionally by the surname Valance and is increasingly identified in the media by her porny sounding married name, Holly Candy. Sorry, hunny, we don’t mean to make a cheap dig here because it is what it is but—no tea no shade—Holly Candy is a sweet name for a porn star. How’s about you let Your Mama offer you a little unsolicited (and probably rude) advice, Missus Holly Candy: You better get your husband buy up all those .com, .biz and .cc web addresses before someone, you know, appropriates your married name does something salacious with the web addresses. Okay? Anyhoodles, poodles…
***Although it’s a bit, uh, downmarket for her high-flying husband, Missus (Nick) Candy has owned a condominium in a nondescript building in (super-gay) West Hollywood since September 2005 when she paid $717,000 perfectly ordinary two bedroom and two bathroom pad just off the tail end of the Sunset Strip where Boystown turns to Beverly Hills.
****One Hyde Park is a joint venture between The Candy Brothers and Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar.
listing photos: Mark Singer for Hilton and Hyland