Buckle your real estate safety belts, children because after more than six years on and off the market with an astronomical $125,000,000 asking price, couture-clad divorceé Suzanne Saperstein has done sold her 50,000 square foot faux-chateau—that would be the (in)famously opulent Fleur de Lys—for $102,000,000, in cash. That’s right, puppies, 102 million in cold, hard cash money.
According to the L.A. Times there was not just one interested billionaire buyer but three. Three?!? Six years and the lady can’t hardly give the damn place away and, in the end, there are three billionaires who all show up at roughly the same time who are all desperate to acquire the unapologetically palatial white elephant?
So the scuttlebutt goes, one of the losing bidders is Chinese and another is English. The buyer was identified to the L.A. Times as a “French billionaire” although the deeds and other documents related to the transfer will be mailed to the Milken Institute in Santa Monica, a non-partisan think tank chaired by multi-billionaire financier and philanthropist Michael Milken. The buyer’s agent, Fred Bernstein of Westside Estate Agency, is married to Michael Milken’s daughter, Bari Milken-Bernstein, so there’s that connection but a representative of Mister Milken denies he or his institute bought the estate.
Interestingly, back in February Your Mama heard (but can’t confirm) that a Chinese billionaire made an $85 million offer for grandiose estate and, more than a week ago now, we heard word from an anonymous and frustratingly cryptic informant who insisted the buyer is not Chinese but rather a “Russian” who is not Roman Abramovich, Andrey Melnichenko or Dmitry Rybolovlev but rather someone “well established in California.” Make of that rumor and gossip what you will.
The fully landscaped and lavishly maintained 4.6 acre spread—on the border between Beverly Hills and the Holmby Hills in an area that is, technically, called Beverly Crest —includes impressive driveway gates and a 600 foot long driveway that switchbacks its way to a cobblestone motor court the size of the Place Georges-Pompidou in Paris. (Okay, it’s not really that big but it’s still huge.) There’s secondary, service and staff access through less impressive but still imposing gates that open directly into a second, rear motor court and staff parking area.
The steel-framed and limestone-faced edifice was inspired by the Vaux-le-Vicomte palace outside of Paris and sits on rollers that help safeguard the massive mansion during earthquakes. Inside, according to listing details and other resources, there are 12 bedrooms and 15 bathrooms as well as a slew grand formal entertaining rooms including a gilt-trimmed ballroom that can accommodate more than 300 guests. Arguably more intimate rooms include a double-height library, a music room, a 35-mm digital movie theatre, and a 3,000 square foot wine cellar and tasting room.
There are several kitchens on the property including a colossal commercial-grade cookery with separate storage room(s) for dishes and cutlery and a butler’s pantry larger than most kitchens. Staff quarters include a dining room, offices, a dedicated security center, and a separate house for the estate manager.
Formal gardens and expertly trimmed trees surround the property that includes a soccer pitched-sized lawn, a tennis court, jogging track and a swanky swimming pool complex with spa and fitness facilities.
The $102 million sale price makes its the most expensive single family home purchase in L.A. County, well in front of the $94 million telecom tycoon Gary Winnick reportedly paid pineapple mogul David Murdock for the so-called Casa Encantada estate in Bel Air back in 2002 and $17 million more than the $85 million British Formula 1 racing heiress Petra Ecclestone paid Showbiz widow Candy Spelling for The Manor in 2011.
The most expensive house ever sold in in the U.S., a massive manse on nine acres in Northern California’s Woodside community, sold last year to one of Japan’s richest men in a deal worth $117.5 million. A couple years earlier another large mansion in the nearby community of Los Altos Hills was sold to Yuri Milner, a Russian billionaire venture capitalist with long standing ties in California. Make of that what you will…
listing photo: Westside Estate Agency