Note: Yolanda has been contacted by someone allegedly involved with this transaction, who tells us that the information contained below is wrong, wrong, wrong. However, Yolanda’s sources stand by their word, saying that Mr. Rollins sometime very soon will seal the deal for the property in question. For what it’s worth, the property remains active on the MLS.
Update (1/18/18): Turns out Yolanda was right all along. The sale to Mr. Rollins has now closed.
Has your 2018 gotten off to a rocky start? Too bad. But it could be worse — you could’ve been busted with 52 pounds of pot in the backseat of your car and be facing a minimum of 8 years in the pokey. Oh dear, we digress.
Yolanda thought we’d get the year started off right with a record-breaking sale. Yes, we know sales records seem to get broken every single day. And they do. But this is a biggie! Not only is the transaction the only eight-figure sale in Encino history, it is nearly $2.5 million bucks more than the previous record-holder — Mauricio Umansky and Kyle Richards’ Smokey Robinson estate — sold for just a few months ago.
Clearly Encino, located in the San Fernando Valley and long the red-headed stepchild in LA’s family of luxury real estate neighborhoods, is coming into its own. We’ve seen a big spat of expensive sales of new spec-mansions bought by an increasing number of wealthy celebrities who are gladly forgoing the Westside, drawn in by this Valley area’s less pretentious atmosphere, the (dwindling) value its real estate still provides, and its easy access to many of LA’s suburban amenities.
A little birdie whispered to Yolanda that a wealthy married couple named Jimmy Rollins & Johari Smith have their eyes locked on a spec-built monster mansion located in a leafy pocket of Encino, just south of Ventura Boulevard. Little birdie swears that the couple will very soon fork over a porky (and unprecedented) $10,650,000 for the property.
Ignoramus that we are, Yolanda confesses that she had never heard of Mr. Rollins or Mrs. Smith-Rollins. But two minutes of Googling reveals that Mr. Rollins was a very big deal in the world of professional baseball. Per our pal Mr. Wiki Pedia, our boy spent 16 years in the major leagues before hanging up his hard had following the 2016 season.
Born and raised up north in Alameda, CA, the gap-toothed and smiley Mr. Rollins spent his first 14 MLB years with the Philadelphia Phillies before spending his final two seasons with the LA Dodgers and the Chicago White Sox, respectively. At least one website pegs his net worth at $40 million.
Now retired from pro baseball, Mr. Rollins will turn 40 this year and Yolanda believes he wants a big, fancy pad as a place to raise his kids — he and Mrs. Rollins have two young daughters — and as a luxurious way to enjoy the fruits of his ball-hitting labor. But we are only guessing, of course.
The new home’s developer purchased the .6-acre property for just $2,712,000 back in 2015, after which the existing residence was quickly torn down. In its place sprang up a nearly 15,000-square-foot elephantine abode. Let’s call the new home’s architectural style Neo-Palladian, shall we?
Clearly designed to impress guests and passers-by, the house looms large behind front driveway gates. The developer attempted to reduce the visual impact of the two front-facing garages by blacking out the doors, but Yolanda still finds this solution to be far from graceful.
Anyway, the front door opens to a tall-ceilinged foyer. Overhead is a contemporary brass chandelier and ahead is a rather cliche “bridal staircase”. Egads, didn’t those things go out of fashion in the early 2000s?
The main level features a living room with a gigantic fireplace. Check out that mantle — you’ll need a stepladder just to place anything atop it! The family room opens to the backyard and to the kitchen.
As you might expect for $10.65 million, the house is packed to the damn gills with gizmos and luxury features. There’s a full security and home automation system, an elevator, a bedroom-sized wine cellar, a wood-paneled library with cathedral-esque chandeliers, a home theater with captain’s chair seating for 8, and a mirror-walled gym with white oak hardwood floors, high celings, and multiple televisions. There is also a maid or nanny’s bedroom suite on the main level.
The second floor has 5 bedrooms suites including the master, which has a rather incongruous beige fireplace, a spacious private deck, and a spa-like master bathroom.
Although there isn’t much landscaping on the mini-estate — it’s only .6 acres, after all — it will require a great deal of water. There’s a pool-sized fountain out front, an indoor pool in the main house, and an outdoor pool. Also on the premises is a pool cabana, a putting green with faux grass, a half basketball court, and a two-story guest house with two more guest bedroom suites.
Back in 2012, Mr. Rollins paid $3,000,000 for a 6,500-square-foot waterfront mansion in Tampa, Florida. He also has a 5,292-square-foot home in New Jersey city of Swedesboro, currently available with a $799,000 asking price.