BUYER: Jeff Bezos
LOCATION: Beverly Hills, CA
SIZE: (per tax records) 4,568 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: Jeff Bezos, the unfathomably rich 53-year-old founder, chairman and CEO of the online retail über-juggernaut Amazon, surreptitiously shelled out $12.9 million to acquire a neighboring property to another Beverly Hills estate he’s owned since 2007 when he scooped it up for $24.45 million. As noted by the eagle-eyed property gossip at the L.A. Times who first sussed out the transaction the newly purchased property was not listed on the open market so details are slim. Tax records, however, indicate the unassuming, 4,568-square-foot single-story residence, located on a prime, pine tree-lined street just north of Sunset Boulevard and south of Coldwater Canyon, sits on about half of an acre and was built in 1956 with four bedrooms and six bathrooms. The property includes a double-gated semi-circular drive and a swimming pool set into an expansive concrete terrace ringed by a thick wall of mature trees and foliage.
Mister Bezo’s larger property, once owned by David Geffen and squirreled down a long driveway behind an imposing gate shrouded in a towering grove of bamboo, spans just over two landscaped acres and includes a sprawling mansion, a swimming pool and a sunken tennis court. Presumably the property has been substantially improved and altered over the last decade, but at the time of his 2007 purchase the 11,891-square-foot California Spanish residence had four en suite family bedrooms plus a two-bedroom staff suite and a total of six bathrooms. A separate, self-contained guesthouse added another bedroom and bathroom. The Bezos estate now horseshoes around a third property that is not currently owned by the tech and retail tycoon but that no one would be even a teensy bit surprised if he eventually, and sooner probably rather than later, also acquired.
Unsurprisingly for a man who the bean counters at Forbes say is one of the top three richest people on the planet with a mind-numbing estimated fortune of nearly $84 billion, Mister Bezos and his novelist wife, McKenzie Bezos, maintain a straight-up baller-style portfolio of spectacular private residences. Since the late 1990s the Bezos family have made their primary home in the moneyed Seattle suburb of Medina where in 1998 they shelled out $10 million for a roughly 5.5-acre waterfront estate on the pristine, mansion-lined shore of Lake Washington. A deep dive into property records suggests the couple subsequently acquired several neighboring properties that brought their vast, park-like compound to well over ten acres with multiple residences and several docks and boathouses.
In the fall of 1999 the Bezos were reported to have paid powerhouse music executive Tommy Mottola $7.65 million for three contiguous apartments located on two high floors of the iconic, Art Deco-style Century building on New York City’s Central Park West. Together the three units span just over 4,400-square-feet and property records show that in May of 2012 the same corporate entity used to purchase the three units from Mister Mottola coughed up another $5.3 million for a neighboring unit, sold by late filmmaker Otto Preminger’s niece Eve Preminger, that brought the combined size of the Bezos’ holdings in the prestigious, twin-towered apartment house to a smidgen below 6,200-square-feet.
Though he bought the venerable Washington Post newspaper in 2013 for around $250 million, the Bezoses did not buy a home in the nation’s capital until late 2016 and it was the newspaper he owns that in early 2017 identified Mister Bezos as the mysterious buyer who shelled out $23 million — in cash, natch — for a titanic, two-mansion complex in the diplomat packed and, hence, heavily secured Kalorama neighborhood. Barak and Michelle Obama first rented and then paid $8.1 million for a mansion in the leafy neighborhood where, just around the corner, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump pay a reported $15,000 per month for a not quite 7,000-square-foot residence designed in the early 1920s by illustrious D.C. architect Waddy Butler Wood.
Sandwiched between the embassy of Myanmar and The President Woodrow Wilson House, where the 28th president moved after he left the White House in 1921 and live until his death in 1924 — Wilson’s wife, Edith, remained in residence until her death in 1961 at which point the house and its contents were bequeathed to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Bezoses colossal D.C. complex comprises two stately if awkwardly conjoined historic mansions that together total almost 27,000-square-feet and that for almost 90 years, until 2013, housed the The Textile Museum. The smaller of the two residences, a three-story red brick Georgian, was designed and built in 1912 by John Russell Pope, architect of the Jefferson Memorial, and the larger, built around the same time, was designed by architect Waddy Butler Wood. Both homes are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Bezos have reportedly engaged the services of the prominent architecture firm Barnes Vanze to oversee a substantial restoration and renovation to convert the former museum into what will be D.C.’s largest private home.