BUYER: Kevin James
LOCATION: Delray Beach, FL
SIZE: 26,509, 8 bedrooms, 9 full and 3 half bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Thanks to a brief note from The Bizzy Boys at Celebrity Address Aerial—and a previously overlooked report by the intrepid peeps at the Palm Beach Post way back in mid-August (2012)—Your Mama has learned that Emmy- and Razzie-nominated stand-up comedian, sitcom success and low-brow comedy movie superstar Kevin James shoveled out some serious, unambiguously Tinseltown-A-lister type of loot for a humongous house in the somewhat unexpected and out-of-the-way Delray Beach, FL.
In late August (2012) Mister James and his part-time-actress wife and baby momma Steffiana De La Cruz shelled out $18,500,000 to purchase an honest-to-goodness, ding-dang celebrity-style doozy of a (sort-of) oceanfront residential compound in Delray Beach that sprawls across two lots that total 1.85 acres. The Palm Beach County Tax Man shows the main mansion has 12,808 square feet, as does listing information easily conjured out of the interweb. Listing information we peeped also states—it should be noted—the actual living spaces encompassed by the entire “Mediterranean Revival estate” spans a far more substantial, real estate baller-sized 26,509 square feet with a total of 8 bedrooms and 9 full and 3 half bathrooms.
Does it seem surprising or odd to any of the children that Mister James—a man whose professional shtick is pretty much summed up by portraying stupid but lovable middle class straight guys—can afford to acquire and maintain an estate of this magnitude? For chrissakes, the 2011 taxes alone, even after an 11.3% reduction, came to a nauseating $240,492, according to public records. Believe it or not, booter beans, that’s a hefty and even prohibitive annual tax nut for a just-regular-rich person, especially since the taxes don’t cover the—likely to be exorbitant—costs associated with property insurance, staffing and security, landscaping upkeep and swimming pool maintenance. The utility bills—we can only to imagine—could probably choke a middle class Clydesdale and quickly drive a run-of-the-mill millionaire to the poorhouse.
Luckily for Mister James, he’s not just a run-of-the-mill millionaire. See children, for his Showbiz efforts and talents he is extraordinarily well compensated and, more importantly to his future working opportunities, Mister James pretty much mints money for movie studios. In 2007 it was reported his salary for the final years of the now heavily syndicated sitcom King of Queens was upwards of $400,000 per episode, and possibly as much as $500,000 per episode for the final season. That’s a lot of damn chicken scratch, you know. Rudimentary calculations on our bejeweled abacus indicate the professionally charmed Mister James very well may have hauled in over four million clams just for the abbreviated 9-episode final season. And that’s not counting the piles and miles of greenbacks, one imagines, he earns in residuals. Not bad work if you can get it, right?
Since King of Queens went dark in 2007 Mister James has steadily built his professional reputation as a comedic movie star who can deliver prodigious profits with a handful of starring roles in sophomoric, fart-humor movies like I Now Pronounce Your Chuck & Larry, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Grown Ups and Zookeeper. Your Mama freely confesses that we’ve never seen any of these movies so we can’t and won’t speak to their quality as cinematic entertainment but we can tell the children that hordes and swarms of people paid good money to see them. Just those four movies, according to Box Office Mojo, have a total of $810,648,293 in worldwide box office receipts. The residuals from non-theater revenues must also, one imagines, boggle the brain.
Now it makes perfect sense that Mister and Missus James can afford a Wall Street fat cat-priced residence, right?
The nearly two acre lot isn’t directly on the beach but sits across the street. The location allows for plenty of direct and oblique ocean vistas from the house, for sure, but, unless there’s a a tunnel we don’t know about, actually getting to the beach requires a mad dash across a probably not usually very busy two-lane road and a trek across a short stretch of rolling dunes.
The cavernous formal living room, with massive fireplace, lighted built-in display niches and soaring beamed ceiling, has three, exceptionally tall arched French doors that open out to an ocean side loggia. The baronial formal dining room has yet another massive stone fireplace as well as a series of arched French doors separated by tall, Macedonian stone Doric columns.
Other spacious and luxurious entertaining spaces include a mahogany-paneled billiard room with inlaid stone floors and built-in wet bar, an adjoining, carpeted “club room” with another fireplace, and a bookcase-lined library with—you got it—yet another fireplace.
The colossal and expensively equipped eat-in kitchen has an undulating, barrel-vaulted brick ceiling, all the top-grade appliances money can buy, both butler’s and storage pantries and a walk-in fridge/cooler. The nearby family room contains—yep—a fireplace, built-in bookshelves and a trio of towering arched French doors that connect to a second outdoor living loggia that overlooks the swimming pool complex.
Upstairs five family/guest bedrooms each have access to a private bathroom and share a separate playroom/den. The house-sized master suite has a column-encircled entry vestibule and a behemoth bed chamber defined by a rather monolithic wood fretwork panel. The suite opens privately to a deep covered terrace with fireplace and ocean view. The suite is complete with an adjoining meditation lounge, a pair of “wardrobe rooms” and a titanic bathroom with his and her areas plus a free-standing, egg-shaped soaking tub set on an inlaid, free-form bed of stone in the center of the room.
The luxury appointments and accouterments extend down into the extensive finished basement area where, according to listing information, there are staff quarters, a wine room, a game room, a fitness room, and a professional-style spa with hydrotherapy tub, massage area, shower space and steam room.
In addition to the sumptuous main house, the double-gated, resort-like seaside estate contains several motor courts and parking areas, an underground 8-bay garage, fairway-like lawns, stone pathways that meander through lush tropical gardens, several shaded porches and loggias for escaping the relentless south Florida sunshine, a slightly sunken sport court with viewing platform and a separate guest house that overlooks the saltwater swimming pool and semi-circular spa. A monumentally-scaled, stone-columned poolside cabana is outfitted with a colossal carved stone fireplace, pool bath and summer kitchen.
In addition to his dee-luxe new digs in Delray Beach, Mister James still owns, according to our resources, two homes in the, like, oh-muh-gawd, ur-suburban Los Angeles community of Encino (CA), both of which he bought before he was married. In May 2002 he dropped $1,450,000 on a 5,386 square foot mock-Med mini-mansion in an itty-bitty gated enclave just a couple blocks north of Ventura Boulevard and in August the following year he forked over $3,200,000 for a far more substantial 10,042 square foot mock-Med mansion with 7 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms tucked privately up a shared drive and behind gates in the foothills a few blocks south of Ventura Boulevard. Your Mama does not know an oscillating fan from a palm tree so we really can’t say what plans Mister and Missus James have for their west coast abodes but as of this morning, based on our brief and unscientific research, neither home appears to be on the open market.
listing photos: via Zillow