Has your gurl Yolanda ever told all you wee little pumpernickels that Trousdale Estates real estate is hot as hell?
We have. We know we have. Either way, you should know. Because it’s been hot for as long as we can remember. And Yolanda is an old hag with a long memory, so that’s really saying somethin’. But yes, Trousdale simply amazes us with how prices continue to skyrocket with reckless abandon. They already stormed through the recession. And now, in 2016, this year of economic uncertainty and political discontent — they’re still out-climbing even the most adroit marsupials.
The hills of Beverly could burn to the ground and then be hit with a radioactive nuclear missile strike while Hillary and The Donald conduct wild outdoor lovemaking from Carla Ridge to Hillcrest Road and still people would be spending absolutely insane amounts of money for a piece of the pie. This we wholeheartedly believe.
Take a look at this property. Located in a very notoriously pricey section of lower Trousdale, the home was the longtime residence of professional funny man Morey Amsterdam.
His heirs eventually sold the Hawaiian-ish single-story sprawler in April 2012 for $4,900,000 to a group of three Beverly Hills-based Israeli investors. After letting the home sit for a hot minute, the group bulldozed the ol’ beotch and constructed a contemporary single-story sprawler in its place.
After only two months on the market, the spec-mansion just sold last month (July 2016) for a gob-smacking $22,500,000.
Let’s contemplate that for a minute, kiddies. Even if the investors sunk $10 million of their own funds into building this place (and we doubt it cost that much), that’s still a $7.5 million profit. Not bad work if you can get it, right?
The spendy buyer’s identity is oh-so-carefully cloaked behind a Florida-based entity calling itself “Drew’s Adventure LLC”. So Yolanda had to do what she does best, and that’s a little bit of slappin’ and a little bit of spankin’. Now we can tell y’all — for a fact — that the new owner is Stein Mart owner Jay Stein and his wifey Deanie Stein.
Stein Mart, for those of you kiddies outside the USA or dwelling under a rock inside the USA, is a massive department store chain with locations in the southern of the United States. It’s kinda like a bigger-box version of Marshall’s or Mervyn’s (may it RIP).
We’re embarrassed to mention it, but our own mama Mrs. Yakketyyak had (and still has) a rather unhealthy obsession with this store. We still fail to understand why this particular chain. Unfortunately for Yolanda’s lovely legs, they have several locations in the greater LA area. We distinctly remember getting dragged along on several of Mrs. Yakketyyak’s shopping sprees in our younger days and with that an errant car would just mow us down in the parking lot. We joke. Sorta But in a way, we should feel honored because we’re a little part of the reason why Mr. Stein can afford a $22 million house in what is perhaps the priciest neighborhood of LA.
But it’s no time to digress! Let’s check out the house discounted women’s pantaloons (and other stuff) hath bought.
Despite the property’s generous (and essentially flat) .77-acre lot, the house sits fairly hard up on the street. However, we do like the rather ingenious way the developers kept the front motor court private. Not with foliage, but rather with a windowed wall. Okay, it might not be to everyone’s taste, but Yolanda approves.
The front drive also features a pair of pimpmobiles that we’re guessing were not included with the sale (although at this price point it’s our opinion they ought to have been). In the background you’ve got a black Khloe Kardashian-approved Rolls-Royce Wraith (base price: $304,350) and then in the foreground is a red McLaren 650S (base price: $265,500).
The house is referred to in marketing materials as “Museum Modern”, whatever the heck that is. But there is a ton of cool art shit on the walls. Walls of glass, many skylights, and white terrazzo everywhere give the home a stark and vaguely precious feel.
Listing info does not indicate square footage, but based on the enormity of the many rooms with their 14-foot ceilings, we’d guess the new structure is a minimum of 6,000 square feet. The super-luxe mansion features not one but two kitchens, one a “full catering kitchen” completely done up in white, and the other an outrageously expensive Bulthaup-designed masterpiece in a moodier dark grey.
The lounge/informal eating area sports a massive glassy Lucite wine cellar that takes up an entire wall. Around the corner, there’s a wow-inducing step-down formal dining room that appears to double as an art gallery.
The wows continue with the indoor/outdoor living room. Per the digital marketing materials, the area converts to a state-of-the-art screening room, probably at the touch of a button, all Bruce Wayne-like. There’s also a half indoor/outdoor zero-edge swimming pool at one end and a large reflecting pond with the city view at the other.
The reflecting pond.
The master suite has over-the-treetops views to downtown Beverly Hills and his-and-hers-closets that the listing rather grandiosely proclaims “rival the finest stores on Rodeo Drive”. But they are exceptionally swank!
Oh, and there’s also a master bath dressed almost entirely in book-matched Calacutta marble slabs.
In addition to the master, there are four first-class guest/family suites, each with walls of glass opening to various parts of the smallish yard. The house also sports an attached staff quarter area with a bedroom and a three-quarter bath.
The view says “Every day is a lovely day when you’re this rich.”
Did we mention? Yolanda did not note any financing recorded with this sale. So although we aren’t absolutely certain, we suspect that Mr. & Mrs. Stein paid cold, hard cash for the home.
Mr. Stein, who as CEO grew the company his grandfather founded back in 1908 to nearly $1.3 billion in revenue last year, stepped out of the chief executive role in 2002 after 25 years at the helm. He returned, briefly, from 2013 to early 2016, but now serves solely as Executive Chairman. He remains the largest shareholder of the firm. Back in 2013, Forbes estimated his 15% stake alone was worth about $167 million. So rest assured Mr. Stein can well afford to maintain a property of this magnitude.
Mr. & Mrs. Stein have long resided in Jacksonville, Florida’s largest city by population. The couple lay claim to an 11,625-square-foot Colonial-style mansion that was built in 1948 per tax records and sits on 2.78 waterfront acres. The average home price in the immediate neighborhood, for what it’s worth, seems to hover around $300,000. Yolanda thinks $300k in LA might cover the down payment on a nice refurbished double-wide in a trendy corner of Pacoima. Not sure. They’ve been jackin’ up the prices on them thangs, dammit.
At least at their home in Trousdale, Mr. & Mrs. Stein can take comfort in the fact that most of their neighbors are as ridonkulously rich as they. A few doors down is mega-producer Roger Birnbaum, who paid $20,000,000 for Ellen DeGeneres’s home a couple years ago. Just 100 yards away as the crow flies is the A. Quincy Jones-designed pad that David Arquette recently sold to producer Dr. Luke for $18,000,000. Practically next door to the new Stein mansion is another large home that Jennifer Aniston sold back in 2011 for a shocking $35,000,000 to billionaire real estate baller Bill Gross. And way up the street is the huge new mega-mansion for which billionaire Markus Persson paid a sanity-defying (and record-breaking) $70,000,000 back in 2014.
Before we close, we just wanted to point out that the similarity of Stein Mart and Walmart’s brand names ain’t no coincidence. Until the late 1950s, what is now Stein Mart was known simply as Stein’s. Then Mr. Stein’s uncle mentioned to his father that he had a friend named Sam Walton in Arkansas who was also building a chain known as Wal-Mart. And the rest is, well, history.
Speaking of Walmart….