SELLER: Thomas J. Barrack Jr.
LOCATION: Santa Monica, CA
SIZE: 23,515 square feet, 7 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: High flying financier Thomas J. Barrack Jr. hopes to cash in on the lavish Santa Monica mansion he bought a bit more than two years ago for $24.5 million and put up for sale on open market late last week with an unquestionably bullish price tag of $46.5 million.
The handsomely fit, deep-tanned and smooth-pated 69-year old near-billionaire is known in international monetary circles as a “contrarian real estate investor” who founded Colony Capital in the early 1990s to buy up distressed properties and he is probably best known by the celebrity real estate obsessed as the man who saved Michael Jackson’s infamous Neverland Ranch in Santa Ynez, CA, from foreclosure in 2008 when he purchased, via Colony Capital, a $23.5 million note on the legendary estate that is currently listed for sale at $100 million. Mister Barrack, who in 2010 swooped in and saved celebrity photographer Annie Leibowitz from bankruptcy when he bought out her $24 million debt, made a name for himself in the entertainment industry in 2010 when he, again via Colony Capital along with a consortium of investors who included Rob Lowe, paid $663 million for indie film juggernaut Miramax and, after setting it out for sale at around $1 billion, sold it in March of this year (2016) to the Qatar-based beIN Media Group for an undisclosed amount. Mister Barrack has also become a quite the power player in right-side politics who, as a long-standing good buddy of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, formed a super PAC (Rebuilding America Now) in support of the presidential nominee, in late May (2016) hosted a $25,000 per plate fundraiser at his Santa Monica mansion — the very mansion now up for sale, spoke glowingly of the candidate at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last month, and just last week was named as one of the 13 men on the bombastic, Twitter-storming presidential nominee’s economic advisory team.
Situated at the end of a long, gated and hedge-lined drive on 1.35 verdantly landscaped acres with 200 prime feet of bluff-top frontage that overlooks the exclusive Riviera Country Club, Mister Barrack’s magnanimously wide if somewhat squat-looking Neoclassical Colonial behemoth was designed by mega-mansion specialist Richard Landry and spans 23,515-square-feet with 7 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms. A double-stacked portico at the center of the symmetrical front façade signifies the main entrance to the mansion that opens to an elegant double-height foyer that will surely impress wealthy guests and the Domino pizza delivery person alike with its black and white marble checkerboard floor, planet-sized crystal chandelier and sweeping curved staircase. Public entertainment spaces includes baronial formal living and dining rooms, the former with fireplace and coffered ceiling and the latter comfortably commodious enough to seat two dozen diners, plus a more intimately proportioned library lined with lighted floor-to-ceiling bookcases. In addition to a gigantic family kitchen with not just one but two islands and every modern cooking convenience and appliance money can buy, there’s a separate catering kitchen for large events, a spacious and sunny breakfast room, an adjoining family room with built-in entertainment unit and French doors to the backyard. As best as we can surmise from a careful parse of online marketing materials there are a couple of staff bedrooms and four en suite guest/family bedrooms along with an approximately 2,500-square-foot master suite — right about the size of the average American home — that includes two vast marble bathrooms and a couple of decadent fitted walk-in closets/dressing rooms. Other notable features and creature comforts include subterranean parking for 15 cars, a mirror-walled gym, indoor half-court basketball court, spa facilities, elevator, security room, wine cellar, and professional grade screening room. A cavernous, 1,000-square-foot covered porch with TV-surmounted fireplace and double-height ceiling overlooks a vast sweep of lawn, swimming pool, fire pit, and what listings describe as a “citrus grove walkway.”
We’re confess we haven’t a clue where the private equity powerhouse plans to move once he sells his massive Santa Monica mansion but not surprisingly for a man of his financial means he doesn’t lack for high-maintenance luxury residences to call home. In the low-key but high-brow seaside community of Montecito, CA, Mister Barrack has long-owned an utterly stunning 1920s Spanish of 8,817-square-feet on 3.28-acres that he purchased per property records in late 1997 for an unrecorded amount from “Saturday Night Live” director John Badham. Near the eastern edge of the scenic Santa Ynez Valley, just over 30 miles from his Montecito estate, Mister Barrack maintains Piocho Ranch, an approximately 1,200-acre spread that incorporates a family-operated boutique winery (Happy Canyon Vineyard) and extensive polo facilities. Since the late 1990s the west coast-based financier has also kept a remarkably petite pied-a-terre of just 814-square feet in a full-service building on New York City’s Central Park South that was developed by his b.f.f. Donald Trump and where one of his neighbors on the same floor is the developer/reality star/potential president’s big-game hunting second son Eric Trump.
Listing photos: Coldwell Banker