Buckle your seat belts butter beans because it seems the free spending Russian oligarchs that have been snatching up high priced properties in Europe and all up and down the eastern seaboard of the U-nited States have finally hit the west coast and hit it big.
Yesterday we received word from the peeps at Yo! Venice! that word on the real estate street was that 30-something year old banking, steel and fertilizer fat cat Andrey Melnichenko–not to be confused with the fertilizer honcho Dmitry Rybolovlev who paid $95,000,000 for Donald Trump’s Maison La Amitie in Palm Beach in the summer of 2008–was in the process of buying up an entire block on Venice’s Ocean Front Walk. That’s right chickens, you heard that right, an entire damn block.
Although there are no confirmations by anyone connected to the alleged situation, a well connected and intrepid source told Yo! Venice! that indeed several title orders had been opened on multiple properties between Paloma and Sunset Avenues. It’s not known, nor does Your Mama have a clue, what Gospadin Melnichenko might want with an entire city block of ocean front property in Venice. Perhaps it’s just an investment, maybe he’d like to build a hotel, or possibly erect a massive residential monument to his extreme wealth.
Mister Melnichenko and his supermodel Serbian wife Aleksandra have been cat nip for the gossip glossies, billionaire obsessed, and boat queens around the world ever since it became public knowledge that he spent upwards of $300,000,000 to have a super-yacht built at the Blohm + Voss shipyards in Hamburg. The big glittery boat, the one sitting in the waters of the coast of Venice (shown above), was quite simply dubbed A.
Listen chickens, if you haven’t seen photos–or better yet the video–of Gaspadin Melnichenko’s floating mega-mansion, get thee eyeballs on them quick. The submarine-shaped ocean liner measures 394-feet long–that’s longer than a damn football field–and includes 23,600 square feet of living space. The lavish and very contemporary interior spaces of the super sleek and somewhat sinister looking boat were all did up in quintessential Philippe Starck style with acres of mirrors, rotating beds, Baccarat crystal wash basins in the poopers, and walls covered in silver leaf, white sting ray hides, and hand-stitched calf’s leather. There’s even a hidden “nookie” room in one of the many guest suites for, well, for doing the dirty, of course. Other ocean going luxuries includes three swimming pools, a helipad, a gigantic garage with 3 large launches and, natch, heavy duty security including bullet proof glass and dozens of cameras including night vision cameras.
Mister Starck rather humorously told the Wall Street Journal that “while most megayachts are ‘vulgar’ statements of wealth and power” Gaspadin Melnichenko’s A is not. The French designer went on to pronouce–presumably with a straight face–that, ” this boat has elegance and intelligence, it is not trying to show the money.” Bitch, pleeze. You gotta be completely out of touch with reality not recognize that spending $300,000,000 to build a 394-foot private yacht with three damn swimming pools and a helipad ain’t about nuthin‘ but showing the damn money.
Anyhoo, all us real estate gossips will wait on pins and needles for confirmation–or denial–of Gaspadin Melnichenko’s rumored property purchase in Venice.
top photo: Guillaume Pilsson for The Wall Street Journal
bottom photo: Yo! Venice!