BUYER: David Geffen
LOCATION: East Hampton, NY
SIZE: 2.04 acres
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: It was only about two years ago that David Geffen paid education oriented philanthropist Courtney Sale Ross about $50 million for a nearly six-acre, multi-residence estate on the prestigious southern shore of ungodly gorgeous Georgica Pond in a particularly posh pocket of East Hampton, New York — Steven Spielberg owns the 10-acre equestrian compound next door, none-the-less, the capricious multi-billionaire has already traded up to a considerably more expensive oceanfront spread that’s only just around the corner on tony Lily Pond Lane that cost him, per property records, a knee-buckling $70 million. The purchase went down on the down low so there aren’t a lot of details floating around but property records and other online resources show the 2.04-acre estate is anchored by a classic, gambrel-roofed Hamptons-style shingled “cottage” of considerable but unknown size that opens on its backside to a roomy red brick terrace with beach-side swimming pool. The estate also incorporates broad lawns edged by high hedges and flowering gardens, a slightly sunken tennis court, a kidney-shaped lily pond, and a secondary residence of unknown size and configuration. The estate was previously owned by late and obviously well-heeled apparel executive Josephine Chaus who, as it turns out, also owned an opulent 9,050-square-foot red brick Neo-Georgian townhouse on the Upper East Side of Manhattan that’s currently for sale at $36.5 million. Geffen’s four-parcel Georgica compound was also sold, according to the well-informed property gossip at the New York Post, in a top-secret off-market deal for “around $50 million” to a “troop of developers.”
The music and film industry tycoon, who presides over an elephantine fortune estimated by Forbes at more than $6.5 billion, is a lavish living real estate baller of the highest order who in addition to a tanker-sized yacht owns a heavy-duty handful of huge and sumptuous trophy homes on both coasts that all together probably cost more to maintain each year than the GDP of a small country. Mister Geffen has long made his primary home in an approximately 13,600-square-foot Neoclassical mansion on not quite ten completely landscaped acres in Beverly Hills that he acquired in 1990 from the estate of showbiz pioneer Jack Warner for an undisclosed amount widely reported to be $47.5 million. So the stories go the stately manse sports such rarefied decorative accoutrement as boiseries carved by celebrated 18th-century cabinetmaker Thomas Chippendale himself and the very floor Napoleon Bonaparte stood on when he proposed to his first wife Joséphine de Beauharnais.
Like many entertainment industry movers and shakers, Mister Geffen also maintains an oceanfront getaway in Malibu, in his case a multi-structure compound on Carbon Beach — a.k.a. “Billionaire’s Beach” for the high number of billionaires who own homes along that stretch of sand — that last year this property gossip repeatedly heard through the real estate gossip grapevine was covertly being shopped around to deep-pocketed potential buyers with an asking price in the neighborhood of $100 million. He additionally owns a second, much smaller cottage on Carbon Beach, bought in early 2008 from $9.8 from Peter Morton, and he continues to own a home in the Beverly Crest neighborhood in Beverly Hills that he picked up in the early 1970s.
In New York City, where he previously and ever-so-briefly owned Nelson Rockefeller’s elegant Fifth Avenue penthouse — bought in February 2006 for $31.5 million and flipped at a substantial profit the following May (2007) for $37,842,187 to Blackstone Group co-founder Pete Peterson, property records reveal Mister Geffen owns not just one but three apartments at the über-posh Parc V co-operative apartment house on Fifth Avenue at East 60th Street. In 2010 he paid Robert Daly and Carole Bayer Sager $14.17 million for an approximately 5,000-square-foot, two-unit combination on a high floor; In late 2014 he coughed up $2.3 million for a slickly renovated one-bedroom and 1.5 bathroom unit on a middle floor, presumably for staff, office space or guests; And over the summer of 2012 he gobbled up the suburban macmansion-sized jewel in his Parc V crown, a 12,000-square-foot duplex penthouse he bought from three-time Grammy-nominated socialite-songwriter Denise Rich for $54 million.
The generously philanthropic 73-year-old mogul soon embarked on a comprehensive and no doubt brutally costly gut renovation of his Parc V penthouse that has more than just irked a significant number of his high-toned neighbors. According to a March 16 (2016) report in the New York Post, a couple on the 12th floor filed a $2.5 million lawsuit that alleges hoists mounted the exterior of the building outside their apartment that are used to lift heavy equipment and construction materials up to the penthouse not only make an amount of noise described in the suit as “constant and ear splitting” but also rattle the walls enough to have caused significant and expensive to fix damage to their gypsum block walls, marble floor tiles, ceiling moldings, and baseboards. The lawsuit claims 17 other shareholders in the building have also submitted claims, six of which had been resolved as the time of the Post’s report.