Midweek Mash Up: The McCourts

Former Bostonians…Frank and Jamie McCourt moved to L.A. when they bought the L.A. Dodgers baseball franchise in 2004 for a $430 million.* The now bitterly divorced former couple settled into a 2.6 acre estate in the Holmby Hills area that they bought $21,500,000 from Grammy-winning R&B musician Babyface Edmonds. Court documents related to the McCourts’ much publicized and scrutinized divorce indicate that they spent another $14,000,000 on upgrades, renovations and expansions.**

Back in the spring of 2012, shortly after the couple’s divorce was finalized, Your Mama heard word from Platinum Triangle real estate insider Heidi N. Holmbyhills that ex-Missus McCourt—granted sole ownership of the Holmby Hills estate in her divorce—quietly floated the fancy, fortified property as a whisper listing with an (unconfirmed) asking price of $65 million. More than two years later, with no off-market takers, ex-Missus McCourt opted this week to push the palatial property on the open market with a much lower but still sky-high official asking price of $55,000,000.

The compound, across the street from the Playboy Mansion behind thick and towering hedges, comprises of a 20,637 square foot main house—described as a “Contemporary European Villa” in listing details—as well as two additional structures that contain guest quarters, a staff apartment and a pool house.

Iron gates swing open to a long driveway that sweeps across the lower end of the estate and up and around to a civic-scaled motor court. Guests are grandly greeted in and surely impressed by a double-height foyer with symmetrical fireplaces on each end. There are, as per current listing details, five bedrooms, at least eight fireplaces, and six bathrooms. (Six bathrooms doesn’t seem quite enough for a house of this size, does it?) There’s a step down formal living room, a formal dining room commodious enough to accommodate large sit down dinners, and a commercial-quality kitchen that adjoins a roomy family room. Even though the house tops out at more than 20,000 square feet the library, as per listing details, does double duty as a state of the art screening room. There are also, as per marketing materials, separate art, dance and sound studios.

The manicured grounds include a thick ring of mature trees on the perimeter that private privacy from looky loos, lawns large enough to pitch circus tents, and in addition to the outdoor swimming pool there’s also a partly subterranean Olympic-length indoor swimming pool with nearby spa area, steam room, and massage nook, natch.

Court documents related to the couple’s divorce reveal that it cost the McCourts more than $200,000 a month to maintain the property, including nearly six grand in utility bills and close to $30,000 in domestic staff payments.***

If the asking price seems a bit on the high side, children, keep in mind this is the same, über-prime pocket of the Platinum Triangle where in 2011 pampered Formula One racing heiress Petra Whatsherface paid a downright shocking $85 million for the (in)famous Spelling Mansion and where just a month or two ago inveterate house-hoppers Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi DeGeneres shelled out $39.8 million for an iconic A. Quincy Jones designed residence that had recently undergone a thorough restoration and sensitive update by Thousand Oaks-based high end house flipper Joanne Chao.

Mister McCourt, we heard recently from Platinum Triangle real estate insider Peter Propertyseller but can not confirm, is rumored by some in the real estate bidness to be holed up at Montage in Beverly Hills where Oprah Winfrey did not, as we first heard she had, buy an apartment but Judge Judy Sheindlin did. Ex-Missus McCourt continues to own and occupy side-by-side houses on Carbon Beach in Malibu, including the John Lautner-designed fantasia they bought in 2007 from Courtney Cox and ex-husband David Arquette for $27.3 million. Late last year she shelled out $11.25 million for a 21-acre spread in Napa (CA) with a four acre vineyard, a 3,500 square foot modern-minded main house with two bedrooms plus an architecturally significant two bedroom guest house.

*Mister McCourt sold the Dodgers in 2012 for $2.15 billion in cash to a consortium of investors that includes professional b-ball mandarin Magic Johnson and entertainment industry mover and shaker Peter Guber.

**The McCourts, a couple of bona fide real estate ballers, also bought the house next door for $6.5 million and sold it off in 2011 for $6.525 million.

***When the McCourts were married they concurrently maintained numerous other high maintenance homes that court documents related to their 2012 divorce show cost them a total of $167 million to buy and were secured with more than $60 million in mortgages.

aerial photo: Bing

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