Tom Gores: Profile of a Real Estate Baller

As has now been reported far and wide, last week (mid-October 2016) multi-billionaire Tom Gores paid an astounding $100,000,000 for a brand-new, 30,000-square-foot mega-mansion on exuberantly-expensive Carolwood Drive in the high-nosed Holmby Hills neighborhood of the Platinum Triangle. Not to overly toot our own horn, but y’all know Yolanda was the first to call that one, right? Of course you do.

But it was our real estate compadres at gossip kingpin TMZ who first confirmed that Mr. Gores was indeed the buyer. And sure enough, property records now reflect that the estate was acquired by an LLC with very clear links back to him. But we digress.

Meanwhile, the LA Times then hissed that the $100 million deal was not a straight-cash sale. Rather, it involved the trade of at least one other property, a 3.2-acre, essentially vacant spread in prime Bel Air. While property-for-property non-standard transactions in the ultra-high-end real estate market may seem unusual — and indeed they are — they are not entirely unheard of. For 16 years, the record for most expensive house ever sold in LA County was held by a Bel Air property that went for $94 million back in 2000. That sale was also a non-standard transaction that involved cash and two vacant parcels of land.

Mr. Gores (and his wife Holly, we assume) were represented in the $100 million sale by his nieces, Tiffany & Christy Martin, and by his sister Samira Gores, all of The Agency.

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Tom & Holly Gores

For those of you wonderful readers who have been following this silly blog for some time, you may know that it’s been quite awhile since we’ve posted one of our absurdly legendary “real estate baller profiles” up in here. Not since Bren Simon and Patrick Soon-Shiong several months ago, in fact. Frankly, it takes a long ass time to type one of these up and collect all the data. Yolanda just can’t spare the bother. We’ve got manicures and spousal support checks to pick up, you know. But we’re sacrificing for y’all and dictating to our assistant today because Mr. Gores is worth it. He is! Outside of perhaps Jerry Perenchio, we think he may be the biggest luxury real estate baller in all of Los Angeles.

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Smizing?

In 1964, Tewfiq Georgious (AKA Tom Gores) — a longtime fan of the head-tilt — was born in Israel (he is not Jewish, in case you were wondering). Mr. Georgious’s family moved to America when he was just a tot and he grew up near Flint, Michigan. That’s where he met his wife Holly, who was born and also raised in Michigan. The couple have three children — the oldest of which happens to be a freshman at Yolanda’s alma mater. Good school choice, Miss Gores. Oops. We digress!

Many of Mr. Gores’s extended family members continue to reside in Michigan, and he himself still has property holdings back there as well. And of course he owns the Detroit Pistons NBA team. Michigan is home for the Gores clan.

As the founder of Beverly Hills-based Platinum Equity, a leveraged buyout private equity firm, Mr. Gores currently commands a net worth of $3.3 billion, according to Forbes.

Over-achievement runs in the Gores blood, apparently. Mr. Gores has two older brothers — Alec and Sam — who are both extremely powerful and successful (and rich) in their own right. Sam is the founder of Paradigm Talent Agency, which is one of the top entertainment agencies in the whole wide world. Alec (the eldest brother) is also in private equity and has a net worth of $2.1 billion, according to Forbes.

Now we hate to dredge up the ancient past, but Tom Gores (and his brother Alec) were long ago caught up in the infamous Anthony Pellicano wiretapping scandal that rocked Hollywood lives from Los Feliz to Malibu. It’s all a case of once upon a time, y’all.

Once upon a time, Alec Gores suspected his then-wife Lisa might be fooling around with his little brother Tom. At that time, the brothers both lived in the same guard-gated community above Beverly Hills. Anyway, Mr. Gores didn’t have any proof, but all the same he was convinced. He had a hunch, you see.

So what do you think he did? Order a Ryan’s Roses?

Nope. Our Mr. Alec Gores goes out and pays Anthony Pellicano — at that time widely-known as the top private investigator in LA — a whopping $280,000 to spy on his wife and brother and to wiretap both their phones. Mr. Pellicano did just that and guess what? Turns out Mr. Gores’ suspicions were correct. Tom and Lisa Gores were doing the hokey-pokey! As you might imagine, a mega-blowout ensued and Alec & Lisa Gores quickly divorced. Tom Gores, meanwhile, remains married to his longtime wife Holly. But let’s move on.

For many years now, Mr. Gores has primarily split his time between his estate in Beverly Park and his extravagant oceanfront compound in Malibu. But he owns so much other real estate that it almost hurts our noggin to think of it. So we’re gonna put it down on paper (or at least in a blog post) so we can forget about it all. Make sense? Let’s go.

Oh, one more thing. Our Mama over at Variety already performed an in-depth and very comprehensive dissection of Mr. Gores’ holdings back in 2011. But in the five years since, much has been sold or bought. So we’re just gonna expand on her previous story. Capiche?

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Mr. Gores’ first LA residence was in the “Royal Oak” Encino gated community

Mr. Gores’ first LA property purchase (we think) was his 1995 acquisition of a mansion out in the Valley. Yes, the Valley. Encino, to be precise. He paid about $1.3 million and sold it for $1,875,000 in 2002 to a family friend/associate.

In 1999, Mr. Gores significantly upped the stakes with the $4,595,000 acquisition of a 10,000+ square foot mansion in the Mulholland Estates guard-gated enclave. While this community — home to klassy folks like Charlie Sheen, Paris Hilton, Sydney Holland and Slash — carries a 90210 zip code and therefore is considered part of the Beverly Hills Post Office, it’s technically located within the much less-glam Valley neighborhood of Sherman Oaks.

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Mr. Gores’ former three-parcel Mulholland Estates compound

There’s his first Mulholland Estates purchase on the left. Not satisfied with just one mansion, however, Mr. Gores began to build a baller-style compound. In early 2002, he paid $1,105,000 to acquire a small vacant lot directly across the street, which he gated and hedged and developed with little more than a patch of grass and a sport court.

But that’s not all. In May 2006 he forked out $5,712,000 for a second, smaller mansion that’s also across the street from his first mansion and two doors down from his sports court. Guess who the seller was? His brother Sam Gores, naturally.

As y’all may be aware, Mr. Gores is no longer a Mulholland Estates resident — he sold off all three of his holdings in 2012 and 2013 (to three different buyers). The sports court sold in March 2012 for $1,600,000 to Armenian TV producer Vaagn Sarkissian (who has since built a large mansion on the property), the smaller mansion sold in October 2012 for $4,800,000 to whack-a-doodle non-winning actor Charlie Sheen (who used it to house his third ex-wife Brooke Mueller before selling it in June 2016 for $5,415,000 to real estate agent Matthew Altman), and the large mansion (which Mr. Gores briefly rented to former Real Housewives star Adrienne Maloof) sold in April 2013 for exactly $10,000,000 to professional screecher and chair turner Christina Aguilera.

Whew. But we’re just gettin’ started.

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Mr. Gores’ $42 million Malibu compound

Around the turn of the century, Mr. Gores’ net worth really started to skyrocket. And what’s one thing that every good rich Angeleno does? They buy a house in Malibu, duh! In August 2003, Mr. Gores slammed down a baller-style $22,600,000 to acquire internet entrepreneur Marc Andreessen‘s mansion located on what is oft-considered to be one of the best strips of sand in the city. At that time, the sale was believed to be one of the highest prices ever paid for a home in the city.

But Mr. Gores wasn’t done spending the cash. Apparently he loves Malibu so much that he decided to double down out there. In 2014, the much smaller house next door (owned by a lady from back East) came up for sale with an asking price of $14,995,000. Our Mr. Gores went a little cray-cray and sealed the deal by paying $20,000,000 for the property that August.

No, kiddies, that’s not a typo. Mr. Gores really did pay more than $5 million over the asking price for his next-door neighbor’s house. So either he really liked the lady or he faced some amazingly stiff competition for the property. Or both, right?

Anyway, if you’ve ever driven down Malibu Road you’ve probably noticed Mr. Gores’ compound. It’s the one that almost always has a dozen luxury vehicles parked in a neat row out front (Maybachs, Bentleys, Ranges, Astons and the like). Out Mr. Gores is an automobile connoisseur, in addition to being a trophy real estate collector.

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Mr. Gores’ $35 million Bel Air mountaintop — sold to the Emir of Qatar

Now listen up. For more than a decade, y’all, the fickle Mr. Gores has been on a fruitless hunt for a proper Platinum Triangle mega-mansion to call home. We’re not 100% sure when he acquired it or how much he paid (we think he bought it in 2006 massage chair entrepreneur Matt Wolman) but we do know that in late 2010, Mr. Gores sold a massive 8-acre vacant promontory above the Bel Air Country Club for somewhere around $35,000,000 to Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, better known as the former Emir of Qatar. His Former Highness is currently engaged in building a outrageously immodest compound on the property.

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Mr. Gores’ $45 million compound at the intersection of Beverly Hills, Holmby Hills, and Beverly Crest

Speaking of 2006, that’s when our beloved Mr. Gores transformed into a bonafide real estate baller. That February, he forked out an amazing $33,640,000 for another vacant 6+ acre property located in what is one of the poshest pockets of Los Angeles. The estate sits directly between David Geffen and Ron Burkle’s mega-estates and directly across the street from Fleur de Lys, that mega-mansion that sold for a ludicrous $88,300,000 back in 2014.

Incidentally, while Fleur de Lys has long been thought to have been purchased by Michael Milken — he’s not actually the owner. It’s a different and more enigmatic billionaire who actually holds the title. But we digress. That’s a story for another day (soon, we promise!).

Anyway. Just one year after acquiring all that vacant land, Mr. Gores paid another $11,500,000 for a “French Mediterranean” 10,000+ square foot mansion directly next door. At some point, it seems, Mr. Gores was planning to build a massive complex up there. But for whatever reason, he abandoned his plans and the $45 million property remains all but undeveloped.

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Mr. Gores’ $60 million+ Bel Air compound… before he demolished it

Next, our Mr. Gores turned his attention to constructing a new compound in the proverbial heart of lower Bel Air, just above the entrance to the Bel Air Country Club. In November 2008, the perennially itchy-footed fellow forked out $18,000,000 for a 7,000+ square foot mansion. Then — to everyone’s shock and consternation — he laid out $38,000,000 for the 11,000+ square foot historic house next door, which was once owned by Herbert Kalmus and later owned by Verna Harrah, the seventh wife and widow of casino tycoon Bill Harrah. It was Ms. Harrah who sold the house in 2005 for $14 million to Vegas-based entrepreneur Carl Parmer, who then raked in a profit of more than $20 million by selling it to Mr. & Mrs. Gores.

But now things get murky. Just after paying an obscene total of $56 million to acquire this prime compound, Mr. & Mrs. Gores started doing some strange stuff. First they razed the smaller house, then they began a multi-year expansion and renovation of the Harrah-Parmer place. (That’s what you see in the old satelline image above).

Bizarrely enough, however, after spending years and many millions of dollars on permits and construction (which included a massive underground garage), Mr. Gores either lost interest or decided it was too much trouble or something. You know what he did? He razed the not-yet-complete compound, the one he just spent millions building!

Let’s see here, kiddies. Mr. Gores has so far spent (conservatively) about $65 million total on this 3.2-acre property. However, the vacant land was part of his “trade” in exchange for his new $100 million house, and the spread is now listed with an asking price of $37,900,000. It’s also been reported that Mr. Gores will retain “profit rights” in the land, should it be sold.

Profit rights?!?! Pardon our improper language, but there ain’t gonna be no profits on this mess. Mr. Gores is gonna have to write off about 30 million bucks once all is said and done — and that’s in the unlikely event of a full-price sale. That’s an awful lot of moolah to anyone. Anyone who is not named Tom Gores, that is.

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Mr. Gores’ $21 million Beverly Park mansion (his current main residence)

Today, Mr. & Mrs. Gores primarily reside in Beverly Park, that (in)famously steroidal guard-gated community in the mountains above Beverly Hills. It’s all new money and foreign money, kiddies. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

The Goreses paid fitness mogul Bill Phillips $21,000,000 for the 3-acre, 20,000+ square foot Moorish-Med behemoth back in November 2010. For what it’s worth, the mega-mansion next door and the one across the street are both owned by members of the Saudi royal family. But let’s not digress any further, k?

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Mr. Gores has big boy toys up in Beverly Park. And a pumpkin car.

Today is Halloween, so let’s all say it together: it’s a jack-o-lantern BOO-gatti. Light that beotch up.

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The iconic Sierra Towers luxury condo building, where Mr. Gores owns a high-floor unit

Is there no place sacred? Our Mr. Gores has even infiltrated the iconic Sierra Towers building above the Sunset Strip, where he owns a multi-million dollar condo on one of the higher floors (for unknown reasons).

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Mr. Gores’ compound in Grosse Ile, MI. Frontage on Detroit River

And just because he’s an LA boy now doesn’t mean that Mr. Gores has abandoned his roots. He and the wifey still lay claim to a luxury compound in Grosse Ile, Michigan. The two-house spread features a pool, a pool house, a full soccer pitch, and a private boat dock on the Detroit River. We imagine the Goreses fly in every so often on their private jet and enjoy a few summer weeks here. Must be nice!

Last but most definitely not least, there’s Mr. Gores’ latest acquisition — the $100 million mansion on hoity-toity Carolwood Drive. 30,000-square-feet of spec-built space, two outdoor pools, one indoor pool, a 5,300-square-foot master suite, and plenty of space for taking all the head-tilt photographs he could want. But just two measly acres of land. Hmmm.

In addition to all these properties we’ve just discussed, Mr. Gores lays claim to many more less-significant holdings in LA. There’s a million-dollar condo in the Stone Canyon area near Mulholland Drive, a tiny house in the flats of Beverly Hills (acquired for $3,325,000), a tiny house in Mandeville Canyon (purchased for $1,900,000), and a large (and rather ugly) “fixer” in the hills of Brentwood, purchased earlier this year for $7,400,000.

All told, we believe Mr. Gores currently owns more than $250 million in luxury housing. And that, of course, doesn’t count taxes, utilities, labor costs, or maintenance for any of these properties. Are you seeing why we wrote all this up? As that Victoria Beckham creature would say, it’s mayja.

Last thing. We didn’t intend to post this on Halloween. It was supposed to go up this past weekend, but lousy life and boring Bettys got in the way. So, although we can’t think of a decent Halloween connection, we’ll say that the amount of money Mr. Gores has is just plain scary.

 

 

5 Comment

  1. CeCe says: Reply

    Wow, this man literally has owned not one, not two, but three of the largest swaths of vacant land in LA in the toniest pockets of LA in last couple of decades. Kinda mind blowing why he would buy this somewhat hideous house on a much smaller / oddly proportioned piece of land when he owns 6 acres literally around the corner and 3.2 acres in lower Bel Air.

    I honestly think the best piece land he has had in his property portfolio was the huge pad he sold off to Hamad for $35m. 8 acres, above the Bel Air country club literally with no neighbors on its own peninsula shaped promontory with views would make for an epic spread and surely what’s under construction there is massive.

    His Beverly Park house is pretty blah… unless he did some massive changes I remember seeing photo’s of it when it was for sale at the time of his acquisition very cookie cutter spec mansion on steroids. And considering there are multiple 20k sq.ft. houses on the market as well as several smaller homes right now in Beverly Park he’ll have some competition if he goes to offload it anytime soon.

    I just can’t get over what possessed him to piece together the Siena Bel Air property of 3.2 acres when at the time he owned the two other properties already… and go in so deep. The property will sell for half of what he has into it which is pretty crazy to think about.

  2. Ghislanzaio says: Reply

    Oh, to be Tom, have his money, and the taste of Marella Agnelli… Instead of this interminable dirge of ugly houses… Dreams…

    Cece, isn’t his most spectacular lot the one in Holmby Hills? Just imagine what a great architect could build there! Instead, we’ll end up with another hideous eyesore.

    1. CeCe says: Reply

      Everyone will have their own opinion, but the Bel Air lot is larger, more private and has spectacular views. Holmby Hills is obviously a great old money area but that lot will have no views to speak of like most of HH. I’d go for the Bel Air lot.

      1. Ghislanzaio says: Reply

        True.

  3. Critic says: Reply

    Looks like 78 Beverly Park just sold. That might have something to do with this recent acquisition?

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