BUYER: John McEnroe and Patty Smyth
LOCATION: Malibu, CA
SIZE: 2,800 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Thanks to tireless real estate yenta Yolanda Yakketyyak and a second-on-the-motion from our eerily well-informed confrère Lucy Spillerguts, Your Mama has learned that even though famously volatile tennis great John McEnroe and his part-time musician wife Patty Smyth (of the 1980s New Wave band Scandal) already own an ocean front house in Malibu’s guard-gated, much coveted, and star-studded Colony community, the couple quietly snatched up a second home six miles to the west.
Information Your Mama turned up on the internets reveals the non-celebrity sellers first put the 1.52 acre property in the scenic and coveted Paradise Cove area on the market way back in October 2009 with a wildly unrealistic and arguably quite greedy $8,800,000 price tag. The asking price was dropped no fewer than a dozen times until, in October 2012, it reached its nadir of $3,650,000. It wasn’t too long before along came Mister and Missus Johnny Mac who somewhat surreptitiously acquired the property by way of a vaguely named trust in March (2013) for $3,345,000.
As best as Your Mama’s booze soaked brain can surmise from a careful reading of listing details from the time of the sale, the low-slung single story residence of about 2,800 square feet—a classic example of a quintessential California ranch house—has three bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. There’s also a detached, and entirely self-contained one bedroom and one bathroom guest house that’s absolute perfection for anyone with flatulent over nighting family members who snore and/or weekend house guest friends like our famously ill-behaved b.f.f. Fiona Trambeau who has an tendency to show up with an unruly looking man-friend she meets God only knows where when she comes to visit. Anyhoodles, poodles…
Semi-glossy wood floors, a pleasantly vaulted exposed wood ceiling, and numerous over-sized windows and wood-framed glass doors tie the main house’s open concept main living spaces together. At one end a living room/t.v. lounge area has clerestory windows, a red brick accent wall that we’re oddly fond of, and, believe it or not butter beans, there’s a fireplace hidden behind the seller’s big ol’ tufted black leather sectional sofa. As much as we abhor the behemoth, bachelor pad-ish black leather sectional sofa we’re smitten like a kitten with the rustic picnic table-style dining table. We know they’re a little decoratively passé nowadays but we none-the-less think a picnic is perfect for a casual, care free, and bare-footed house at the beach like this.
The main living/dining area flows right on into the roomy and well-outfitted kitchen where a thick slab of lightly veined marble water falls over one end of the super-sized center island. One one side of the island there’s a full wall of Shaker-style blond wood cabinetry—maybe it’s maple?— and on the other a row of counter-to-ceiling windows provide the dishwasher an all-but-unobstructed view into the red brick courtyard nestled between the main house and the guest house.
Listing details show the master suite “feels like a spa” and includes a spacious, glass-walled bathroom finished with slate tile floors (and walls). There’s a long, floating double sink vanity with wall-mounted taps, a free-standing tub that looks like it might be crafted of polished poured concrete, and both indoor and outdoor showers.
Instead of wood, the guest house has travertine or limestone floors or some other material that probably cost a small fortune. Otherwise the guest house has a very similar vibe to the main house with over-sized windows, a vaulted (and sky-lit) exposed wood ceiling, and an open-plan main living area with a full-sized kitchen. Maybe it’s just the obsessive-compulsive in us, but Your Mama would prefer the kitchen in the guest house have the exact same finishes as in the main house. What do the children think?
In addition to the cozy courtyard between the main and guest houses where there’s a convenient built-in barbecue/outdoor kitchen, the private property’s expansive grounds include several more patios and terraces, an inconveniently located circular fire pit, and a broad sloping lawn dotted with mature shade trees and various fruit trees. Best of all—and perhaps most valuable of all—is that the McEnroe-Smyth’s newest addition to their impressive residential property portfolio comes with private, deeded access to a dazzling stretch of sand along purdy Paradise Cove. The long, crescent-shaped beach at Paradise Cove isn’t easily accessible to the public but the hoi polloi can spread their sheet on the sand if they cough up forty bucks to park their car in the parking lot that surrounds the funky—if kinda pricey—Paradise Beach Cafe where a hamburger runs $17 and a two-plus pound of steamed clams go for about thirty bucks.
The McEnroe-Smyth’s new digs in Da Bu are located in the same discreet, gated enclave where some of the other homes are owned by retired pro hockey player Chris Chelios, photographer (and Hollywood scion) Tina Broccoli—her daddy is the late James Bond producer Cubby Broccoli, powerful but semi-mysterious venture capitalist Aviv “Vivi” Nevo, and country music royals Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood/
Property records reveal Mister McEnroe purchased his aforementioned Colony crib for an unknown amount in 1984, the very height of his illustrious professional career that includes seven Grand Slam titles. Sadly, at this point and time Your Mama doesn’t have any inside intel about the fate the prime property. Could be they’ll sell for many times what Mister McEnroe paid for it. Maybe be they’ll keep it and rent it out in the summer for many tens of thousands of dollars per month to rich people with money to burn. Or, maybe, since they have half a dozen children between them—he has three adult children with chronically troubled Tinseltown scion Tatum O’Neal, she has one adult daughter with punk pioneer Richard Hell and they have two teen-aged daughters together, they’ll opt to hang on to it so they can comfortably accommodate their Brady Bunch brood when they all come to down for a family clam bake (or whatever).
Our research indicates (but does not prove) that Mister McEnroe and Miz Smyth live primarily in New York City where they’re known to own one of the multi-floor tower units at the venerable, tri-towered Beresford building on Central Park West. (As far as Your Mama knows, the other two quirky quadruplex penthouses continue to be owned by retiring Coach CEO Lew Frankfort and the estate of legendary Cosmopolitan editrix Helen Gurley Brown.)
Like many New Yorkers with the necessary financial resources Mister and Missus Johnny Mac also keep a high-hedged spread in the Hamptons that they picked up in May 1999 for $4,200,000. The Southampton estate, a stone’s throw from the beach and just up the lane from Howard Stern’s super-sized ocean front summer house, includes a 7,000 square foot main residence fronted by massive motor court, extensive lawns and gardens, an in-ground swimming pool, and—natch—a tree-ringed tennis court.
listing photos: Coldwell Banker