Kiddies, we’ve known about this transaction for the past several months but got waylaid so many times while attempting to write about it that we thought the story might have to be permanently shelved. But our fears were unfounded, thankfully. Look! Here we are.
One thing all billionaires have in common — and Yolanda has been in this “game” for a long time and will gladly testify to this under oath — is their love of a good residential compound. Privacy and security are always issues paramount to folks with bank accounts big enough to buy a mid-sized Central American country. So when a small house located smack-dab in the middle of what is often considered to the best area of Beverly Hills sold for a fat $9,700,000, Yolanda was not at all surprised to discover that the buyer is the big bad billionaire next door.
Said billionaire is Oaktree Capital’s bespectacled Howard Marks. And while he might not be a celebrity of the tabloid variety, he is most assuredly a superstar in the more interesting (to Yolanda, at least) realm of international finance. If any of y’all have been following high-end real estate gossip for the past few years, you almost assuredly have heard of Mr. Marks and his luxury-lovin’ wife Nancy. The couple have been involved in some of the biggest real estate transactions in both LA and NYC, after all.
But we digress. A little over two years ago (May 2015), the Marks couple laid out $23,700,000 for a sumptuous — if admittedly dated — major-league estate in Beverly Hills. Formerly the home of Emmy-winning producer Nick Vanoff, the 1933 Mediterranean villa sports 9 bedrooms and a total of 10.25 baths in about 8,800-square-feet of rambling living space on a 1.23-acre lot.
Our Mr. and Mrs. Marks have since embarked on a major but friendly remodel of the estate — not a teardown or mutilation but a considerate nip/tuck and facelift, if you will. And at some point they realized (or maybe they knew it all along!) that 1.23 acres would never do for the home of a billionaire. So when the smaller house next door came up for sale, the couple saw their chance and acted accordingly.
Property records reveal that Mr. and Mrs. Marks used a mysteriously-named corporate entity, “RMB Hoyt LLC”, to pay $9,700,000 for the next door neighbor’s property. That’s a huge amount of money of course, but it’s way lower than the last asking price of $12.3 million and more than 25% under the original ask of $13,000,000. So either the home was wildly overpriced to start of the Markses are some damn good negotiators! Amen?
A forest-like canopy of trees completely shields the property from street-level view. Once past the iron gates, a long driveway leads past a rather enchanting pathway that meanders into the romantic woods (okay, Yolanda has been drinking) and ends at a sizable motorcourt. The single-story residence — a not particularly attractive mid-century modern — was originally built in 1952 and is in mostly original condition, as y’all can see. There are tile floors, hardwood floors, stone wall fireplaces, and beige carpeting. There are either 4 beds and 6 baths or 5 beds and 6 baths (depending on where you look) in 3,614-square-feet of living space.
Other features of the .59-acre spread include some weird ass crouching outdoor Buddha, a separate art studio, a pill-shaped pool and maid’s quarters. Given that the house appears to have been owned by the same non-celebrity family for the past 40+ years and the listing explicitly mentions that the house is “in original condition” — which is a nice way of saying it needs upgrades — Yolanda would not be the least bit surprised if Mr. and Mrs. Marks were to knock this thing down and combine the grounds with their big pad next door.
In fact, we would be shocked if they didn’t do just that.
Altogether, Yolanda’s calculations show that Mr. & Mrs. Marks have forked out $33,400,000 for their two-parcel Beverly Hills estate that comprises 1.82 acres of land, multiple structures, and two swimming pools. We also believe they have already spent (and will continue to spend) millions more to create a wow-worthy spread. And the interiors, y’all can be certain will be done up by White House decorator Michael S. Smith.
Some of Mr. & Mrs. Marks’ nearest neighbors in Beverly Hills include Amazon bajillionaire Jeff Bezos, Ellen DeGeneres & Portia de Rossi, media exec Casey Wasserman, Mexican billionaire Isaac Oberfeld, big-time producer Byron Allen, billionaire Leon Black, and Fatburger CEO Andy Wiederhorn, who has been leasing a mansion owned by Inspector Gadget creator Andy Heyward for the past several years.
As y’all should already know, Howard and Nancy Marks are bonafide real estate-lovin’ ballers who have long been active buyers and sellers of extraordinary properties from coast to coast and even overseas. In early 2013, they sold their 10-acre Malibu compound (with interiors by Michael Smith) to fellow billionaire Jim Jannard for a retina-shredding $74,500,000. That sale remained the biggest ever in Malibu until earlier this year, when Dodgers owner Mark Walter threw down $85 million for David Geffen’s Carbon Beach spread.
In December 2014, Mr. and Mrs. Marks quietly unloaded their extravagant Brentwood spread — interiors designed by Michael Smith — for $33,700,000. That sum remains the second-biggest sale ever in Brentwood (only behind Dr. Dre’s $40 million splurge) and the buyer was Mr. Marks’ business partner Bruce Karsh.
A few years earlier, in May 2012, Mr. and Mrs. Marks made all the Fifth Avenue gossip queens hiss with envy when they easily slammed down $52,500,000 for philanthropist Courtney Sale Ross’ epic 20-plus room duplex at 740 Park Avenue, arguably the most prestigious co-op building in all of New York. At that time, it was the most expensive co-op apartment ever sold in New York City. Chew on that, kiddies.
The Markses also owned a two bedroom condon in at the Ritz Carlton in NYC. They picked up the pad for $18,875,000 in 2007 and had it worked over by Michael Smith. In 2014, they attempted to sell it at a remarkably ballsy ask of $50 million. The apartment finally sold just last month (September 2017) for exactly $25,000,000 to a mysterious LLC that Yolanda is unable to crack at this time.
Mr. and Mrs. Marks recently completed construction on a colossal compound in uppity East Hampton, NY and they also are known to own an enormous pad somewhere in London, but Yolanda confesses that the exact coordinates of said London flat are currently unbeknownst to your gurl.
Lawd have mercy, the Markses also have an extravagant residence on the Spanish island of Mallorca in the gorgeous Mediterranean Sea. The interiors were designed by — you got it! — White House decorator Michael Smith. But that’s all we’ve got time for today so shut up and run along now, y’all.