BUYER: Rosie O’Donnell
LOCATION: West Palm Beach, Fla.
SIZE: 7,592 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: It was ever-saucy South Florida celebrity gossip José Lambiet who was the first to let the celebrity real estate cat out of the bag that occasionally controversial comedienne and (in)famously outspoken former talk show host Rosie O’Donnell — the sworn enemy of real estate tycoon and Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump — shelled out $4.975 million for a waterfront residence, along with the vacant parcel next door, in the affluent and gay-friendly West Palm Beach nabe of Northwood Village. By our rudimentary calculations, the two parcels combined encompass just over an acre with about 180 feet of bulkheaded frontage on the Intracoastal Waterway. Miz O’Donnell reportedly and, as far as this property gossip is concerned, absolutely inexplicably purchased the property with all of its obviously staged and — let’s be honest, butterbeans — utterly middlebrow furnishings.
The spacious and much amenitied if unremarkable dwelling — some architecture snobs we know might scoff it’s grotesquely characterless — was originally built in the mid-1950s and sits privately behind driveway gates and a thicket of palm trees and tropical shrubbery. The two-story mini-mansion spans 7,592 square feet, according to the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser, with six bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms plus a guesthouse with kitchen and bath. Listing details we dug up on the Internet show a gated courtyard between the bifurcated three-car garage leads to wrought iron festooned glass doors that open inelegantly directly into a voluminous double-height “formal” living room that features a used brick fireplace and a broad bank of wood-framed glass doors that provide backyard access and head-on view of the glimmering Intracoastal Waterway. The main dining area, a very “Miami Vice” semi-circular situation, is open to the well-equipped if stylistically overwrought kitchen that, in turn, opens to a family room. The various guest and family bedrooms are divided between the two wings of the upper floor and are linked by a bridge that spans the living room, while the main floor master suite, which opens through more glass doors to a cypress-ceiled loggia with fireplace, includes a wee sitting area with television surmounted fireplace, a couple of walk-in closets with lighted shoe racks, a massage room, and a freshly renovated bathroom that includes a sky-lit soaking tub, separate shower and twin vanities with televisions built in to the mirrors. Backyard amenities include an awning shaded dining terrace and built-in barbecue, a waterside swimming pool and spa, a soccer pitch-sized expanse of lawn, a deep water dock, and a long view over the Intracoastal to much more high-fallutin’ Palm Beach proper and, more specifically, the extravagantly landscaped, five-plus acre estate of multibillionaire Wall Street financier Henry Kravis.
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Even the most casual celebrity real estate watchers well know this is not the first Panhandle State property the soon-to-be-single-again mother of five has owned. Over the summer of 2013 she sold a waterfront compound on swanky, pill-shaped Star Island in Miami Beach for $16.5 million — she apparently and understandably didn’t care for all the tourist boats that regularly trolled by — and just this most recent April (2015), not long after it was publicly announced that she and wife Michelle Rounds were headed for the court of divorce, she dumped the couple’s gulf-front retreat near Sarasota, Fla., for $5.3 million. In addition to her multi-residence compound on the scenic shore of the Hudson River in Nyack, N.Y., the property gossip column staple owns a multi-acre estate in Saddle River, N.J., that she acquired in October 2013 for $6.375 million and several weeks ago put up for sale at $6.975 million.