BUYER: Steve Wynn (allegedly)
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: (in the neighborhood of) $50,000,000
SIZE: about 24,000 square feet (total), 11 bedrooms and 17 bathrooms (total)
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: It’s no secret amongst all us real estate dirt dishing property gossips that multi-billionaire casino kingpin Steven Wynn has been out with a few of L.A.’s top producing brokers on an extensive hunt for a mogul-worthy mansion in Los Angeles. Well, buckle your safety belts, butter beans, because two well-connected snitches who both operate in the highest orbits of the Platinum Triangle real estate game have tattled to Your Mama that the legally blind gambling tycoon has initiated escrow for the acquisition of the much ballyhooed and occasionally poo-pooed “Liongate” estate in Bel Air.
The recently refurbished estate was listed in March (2014) with a mouth-drying $65 million price tag and both our informants told us that word on the Platinum Triangle real estate street is that the agreed upon purchase price is somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 million, an amount that includes all the furnishings. (The architecture was handled by architect Dean Larkin, as per digital marketing materials, and the day-core by Kirk Nix of KNA Design.)
In the late ‘70s country legend Kenny Rogers bought he estate and it was he who plopped the carved stone lions on either side of the driveway gates and dubbed the place “Liongate.” The estate was acquired in the late ‘80s for what looks like $7.7 million by Kenneth Rickel and Nancy Davis, one of the daughters of the late and famously autocratic oilman turned Tinseltown tycoon Marvin Davis.
It was Miz Davis who, after many unsuccessful attempts over a period of three or four years, finally sold the property in March 2010 for $12.2 million to someone “The Wall Street Journal” identified in March (2014) as Europeans who “bought the house for personal use” but, after three years and a good-sized fortune on renovations decided to sell. (FYI: We can’t prove it — which makes it just rumor and gossip, puppies — but the ever-irrepressible real estate yenta Yolanda Yakketyyak swears Miz Davis sold “Liongate” to Raoul Walter, a Switzerland-based entrepreneur who made his first fortune in upscale fitness clubs, and it was he who spearheaded and paid for the recent overhaul. Anyhoo…)
Architectural purists may take issue with some or many of the choices made by the seller in its recent refurbishment and vast expansion — the square footage ballooned from just under 10,000 square feet to somewhere around 24,000 — as the original residence was designed by beloved L.A. architect Paul Williams and built in 1938 on just over 1.6 mega-prime lower East Gate Bel Air acres. Some of the neighboring estates are owned by the likes of Johnny’s third ex-wife Joanna Carson, big-time businessman Stephen Bollenbach, and hotel and mega-mansion developer Mohamed Hadid who, reality TV watchers well know, frequently pops up on “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”
Some of the children may recall Your Mama dissed and discussed the estate at great length and detail in March (2014) so head on over here if you’d care for a more extensive parse of the property. Suffice here to say that current listing details and other online resources show the estate has a total of 11 bedrooms, 17 bathrooms spread throughout the main house and guest house. There are a handful of roomy main floor entertaining spaces (living room, dining room, library, billiard lounge) as well as a double-island eat-in kitchen that’s open to a family room and dining area. Somewhere, there’s a state of the art home theater with 12 automated recliners and, beyond the swimming pool in the back yard, a glass-topped folly shelters a glass elevator that descends to a partly subterranean space where there’s a ballroom with built-in bar and a fitness center with sauna and massage room. The landscaped grounds include a long stone driveway and motor court, spacious, multi level terraces — the uppermost one has an over-the-treetops city view — a swimming pool and spa, a sunken tennis court and a flat patch of grass plenty large enough to pitch a good-sized party tent.
Interestingly, we also heard, from the same pair of real estate whistleblowers who told us about Mister Wynn’s (alleged) impending purchase of “Liongate,” that the voracious art collector was previously and recently in escrow to purchase the massive, multi-acre compound that apparel mogul Armand Marciano originally listed in 2011 for a wildly optimistic $63 million, (allegedly) almost sold to Kimora Lee Simmons earlier in the year for an unknown amount and recently re-listed at $39.9 million.
Mister Wynn’s children — not to mention his ex-wife, Elaine, who is said to have paid $142.4 million for a Francis Bacon triptych last year — live in Los Angeles so it’s not so surprising he’d want a place to crash when visiting. And certainly, with a net worth well in excess of $3 billion he has the financial wherewithal spend whatever he wants for as many ultra-luxe residences any- and everywhere he pleases. Case in point, in 2012 he paid property developer Christopher Jeffries of Millenium Partners an astonishing $70 million for an epic duplex of almost 11,000 square feet on New York City’s Central Park South.
Listing photos and floor plans: Hilton & Hyland