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Bruce Makowsky, Budding Real Estate Baller

listing photos: Hilton & Hyland

SELLER: Martin Lawrence
BUYER: Bruce Makowsky
LOCATION: Beverly Hills, CA
PRICE: $17,200,000
SIZE: 16,178 square feet, 7 bedrooms, 9.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Back in mid-June (2012), the children may recall, Your Mama and just about every other celebrity property gossip around the globe (dissed and) discussed a lavish (and garish) multi-winged mansion in the notorious, guard-gated Beverly Hills enclave known as Beverly Park, where even the smallest homes are the size of a small shopping mall. The gilded and festooned residence was (and as of today still is) listed for lease with an astronomical $200,000 per month price tag.

All us property gossips reported the walled and gated estate as owned by soon-to-be-divorced comedian Martin Lawrence. Turns out, kitty cats, the grandiose Beverly Park estate isn’t now and wasn’t then owned by Mister Lawrence. No sireee, Bob. Turns out Mister Lawrence had quietly sold the 2.23 acre spread off-market in early June (2012) for $17,200,000. The buyer of record, as per prop records, is a mysterious, L.A.-based concern our wickedly well-informed canary-friend Lucy Spillerguts tells us is directly connected to a fella named Bruce Makowsky.

Mister Makowsky and his wife, Kathy Van Zeeland, may not be household names of the Tinseltown gossip glossy variety but shut-ins, old people and others who shop at home on their televisions probably recognize them as handbag, shoe and accessories designers who rake in vast sums of money hawking their mid-priced lady-wares on the QVC. Your Mama knows them as up-an-coming, bad-ass west coast real estate ballers with an fast-expanding and increasingly epic property portfolio. Soon, you will too.

According to the current lease listing, Mister Lawrence’s now-former, multi-winged mansion measures in at 16,178 square feet and includes 7 bedrooms and 9.5 bathrooms. Naturally the big house is fully kit-and-kaboodled with many if not all the other customary accouterments typically found in an and average if elephantine Beverly Park mansion: an airport terminal-sized foyer with curved floating staircase, white marble floor and Salvatoree Pollizzi stained glass sky light; formal living and dining rooms so stiff they look like they only people who ever go in them are the domestic staff…to clean; a huge family room and separate game room; colossal kitchen; a built-in sunken wet bar backed by a high-maintenance fish tank; and a home theater, with concession stand, natch.

Exterior spaces include a plaza-like cobblestone motor court ringed by a thicket of lush vegetation and trees; landscaped grounds where lawns meander and are shaded by mature trees; party-accommodating patios; an outdoor kitchen; sunken tennis court; and a resort-style swimming pool and spa with octagonal cabana.

But children, buckle you real estate safety belts and get our yer smellin’ salts because not only is this new acquisition not the only mansion Mister Makowsky and Miz Van Zeeland own in Beverly Park, it’s not even the largest.

listing photos: Hilton & Hyland

In December 2010 Mister Makowsky and Miz Van Zeeland dropped a big-time $23,500,000 to acquire a supermarket-sized faux-Tuscan villa with 9 bedrooms and 15 bathrooms. The palatial, U-shaped beast was spec-built in 2007 by Vanna White’s ex-husband George Santo Pietro, who happens to live next door and who, we heard through the Platinum Triangle Gossip Grapevine, was shopping his house around off-market earlier in the year with a undisclosed asking price.

Prior to unloading the 24,595 square foot behemoth to Mister Makowsky and Miz Van Zeeland, Mister Santo Pietro famously listed the massive mansion with an in-hind-sight rose-tinted asking price of $50,000,000. He also leased the house for short stints to both Prince, who is rumored to have paid somewhere around $200,000 per month, and Puff Diddle—or Diddle Fiddle or Daddy Puff or whatever name Sean Combs goes by nowawdays—who hosted one of his (yawningly passé) White Parties on the property in July 2009.

Although we can’t prove it, it is our understanding Mister Makowsky and Miz Van Zeeland have made the mansion their primary residence. At least when they’re not in West Chester, PA pushing purses and (animal print) peep-toed slingbacks on the QVC.

Wait, butter beans, there’s more.

listing photos: Sotheby’s International Realty

A widowed woman named Helma C. Zingerman heaved her 1.21 acre Beverly Park spread on the market in mid-November 2011 December 2011 with an asking price of $14,900,000. Four short weeks later it sold, according to the ever-knowledgeable Lucy Spillerguts, to a corporate entity linked to Mister Makowsky (and Miz Van Zeeland). Property record show the 12,130 square foot mansion of indeterminable architectural style was bought for $13,450,000.

The 7 bedroom and 8.5 bathrooms residence, designed by mega-mansion architect Richard Landry, includes a voluminous, double-height foyer with twin staircases; formal living and dining rooms; a mahogany paneled study and commodious family room plus a second floor entertainment room; chef-friendly, eat-in kitchen; wine cellar; and a separate guest house. The garage has room for four cars and the mostly flat back yard has a croquet-friendly lawn, lap-lane swimming pool, spa and built-in barbecue center.

Just as soon as the ink was dry on deed’s dotted lines Mister Makowsky and Miz Van Zeeland put the property up for lease at $100,000 per month. It appears to have been leased but it may have just been taken off the (open) market, we don’t really know.

Hold on to your britches again though because Your Mama’s various sources and (unscientific) research reveal that addition to their trio of mansions in Beverly Park Mister Makowsky and Miz Van Zeeland also own at least two other multi-million dollar residences in the Los Angeles area.

listing photos: Hilton & Hyland

In August 2010 the property-mad purse purveyors forked over $14,950,000 to buy a foreclosed and glassy contemporary on the ocean in Malibu’s fabled, guard-gated Malibu Colony. The sleek and sexy four bedroom and four bathroom house was the subject of some press and controversy in 2009 after it was discovered a ballsy (female) bank executive at Wells Fargo—the lender who took possession of the house after the owners, victims of Bernie Madoff’s hedge fund swindle, defaulted on their mortgage—made regular use of the foreclosed property as a summertime party pad. At least one report from the time of the purchase stated Mister Makowsky and Miz Van Zeeland planned to use the property as a vacation home.

listing photos: Hilton & Hyland

Just a couple months before Mister Makowsky and Miz Van Zeeland (allegedly) bought Martin Lawrence’s mansion in Beverly Park, they spent $11,725,000 to acquire a 12,500 square foot Mediterranean mansion in Beverly Ridge Terrace, another supah-swank, guard-gated enclave in the mountains above Beverly Hills where the houses run towards the gargantuan.

The 5 bedroom and 8 bathroom house was also bought by a corporate concern that, once again, the frightfully clued in Lucy Spillerguts swears is connected to Mister Makowsky (and Miz Van Zeeland).

Listing information shows the 1.99 acre estate has 200 mature fruit trees (avocado, peach, apple and more) and multiple terraces and broad lawns with long canyon views. The house itself has, as per listing information, antique doors imported from Spain, Moroccan tiles, onyx counter tops, reclaimed barn wood flooring, and extensive master with private bathroom, attached office and private terrace. What it does not have is a swimming pool, (outdoor) spa or tennis court. Twelve million and you gotta put in a pool?

The property went up for lease in May (2012) at $85,000 per month and was leased in July, as per intel we ferreted out of the interweb, for $75,000 per month.

By our rudimentary calculations, in the last 2 or 3 years Mister Makowsky and Miz Van Zeeland have dropped a staggering $80,825,000 on five multi-million dollar residence in Los Angeles (that we know about), not counting the million-plus bucks they spent in 2011 on a pair of very ordinary residences in Valley Village bought for unknown reasons that may (or may not) be investments or used to house staff and/or family members.

We told y’all he was a budding real estate baller, didn’t we?

aerial photo: Bing

Mister Makowsky and Miz Van Zeeland aren’t just in the mood to acquire but also to slightly lighten their considerable real estate load. In November last year (2011) they sold their stately estate in the affluent Long Island, NY community of Oyster Bay for $10,395,000. Property records (and aerial imagery available online) show the tree-ringed, 5.37 acre estate encompasses a motor court the size of a 7-11 parking lot; a symmetrical, two-story red brick main mansion with 9,587 square feet and built in 1999 with 7 bedrooms, 7.5 bathrooms and 5 fireplaces; a detached, four-car garage; acres of flat, manicured lawns; a swimming pool and spa surrounded by broad sunbathing terraces; and a spacious pool house with deep, shaded veranda that overlooks the pool.

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