The world’s largest retailer AKA Walmart reported its quarterly earnings yesterday. Amid a time when most other retailers are faltering (a shaky economy and the upcoming doomsday of a Presidential election may be partially to blame) the massive corporation confuddled analysts and naysayers by posting remarkable earnings growth of 8.6% from the same quarter last fiscal year.
That’s certainly good news for what is perhaps the world’s richest family. You know who.
The Waltons, who were reportedly worth in excess of a combined $130 billion earlier this year and continue to be majority shareholders in the family business, are almost assuredly now worth even more than that unfathomable total thanks to a spike in Walmart’s share price on the heels of the good news.
What’s all this got to do with LA real estate? Well, it’s no big secret that there’s a whole Kimmy K-sized buttload of Walmart money up in these hills. Yolanda supposes she just wanted to give you an idea of how little a $15 million house is to folks as rich as this. It’s not even pocket change. It’s seat cushion change. (If seat cushion change is less than pocket change. Is it?)
Still sorta-young sports team President Josh Kroenke, now 36 years old and clearly positioned to eventually take the business reins from his famous and famously wealthy parents, is a member of the Walton’s third generation, about whom there is still relatively little information online.
Mr. Kroenke’s mama is Ann Walton Kroenke, the elder daughter of Bud Walton (Sam’s little brother and biz partner). Her personal fortune allegedly hovers right around $5 billion. And Mr. Kroenke’s papa is sports mega-mogul “Silent Stan” Kroenke, who’s got a net worth of somewhere close to $8 billion.
Mr. and/or Mrs. Walton Kroenke own so many professional sports teams, it’s a bit hard to keep them all straight. But Yolanda will give it a go anyways. The couple currently own more than 67% of the UK-based Arsenal Football Club. Then they outright own the NBA’s Denver Nuggets, the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, the MLS’s Colorado Rapids, and the National Lacrosse League’s Colorado Mammoth. And finally, let’s not forget the Los Angeles Rams, with their highly-publicized, recently-announced move back to LA from St. Louis. Josh Kroenke (himself a former college basketball player) manages several of these teams.
Now, let’s discuss our boy’s big new house just above the fabled Sunset Strip and just below the equally-fabled Bird Streets.
Like so many of the new homes in the area, Mr. Kroenke’s new kasa is a glassy modern extravaganza. The 7,500-square-foot spec house (originally marketed as a “playboy’s contemporary“) was completed in early 2015 and almost immediately hoisted onto the open market with a 2014-esque asking price of $23,950,000. Unfortunately for the developer, the house languished for a full year and suffered multiple price chops before along came our boy Josh Kroenke who picked it up this June (2016) for “just” $15,400,000 through an unimaginatively-named LLC (Saint Ives Place LLC).
$8.5 million discount or not, $15 million is still a lot of money for a house in the Sunset Strip area that’s not in the Bird Streets. So let’s see what all is included with that fat figure.
Oh come on, Mr. Developer! You initially slap a $24 million pricetag on this beotch, but you won’t pony up the cash for the big bull? Instead of a proper Lamborghini Aventador (MSRP: $399,500), we’re stuck with its baby bro, the Huracan (MSRP: $199,800). There’s also a black Bentley Continental GTC (MSRP: $221,125) and a couple scary-looking bikes, one of which Yolanda is guessing is a Harley. The other might be a Ducati.
The long and narrow house, unlike many in the Sunset Strip is very privately positioned at the end of a very long driveway off the end of a narrow, dead-end street. Naturally, the .58-acre property is walled and gated and has a full security system with cameras up the wazoo, lasers and probably a force field, too.
The centerpiece of the house, so claims the listing, is the double-height great room with all-but-unobstructed views out to Century City and beyond, to the Pacific and Catalina. Yolanda’s immature self gets a right giggle of how the iconic Sierra Towers apartment building looks like WeHo is giving short, chubby, permanent middle finger to the owner of this home.
The ultra-chic kitchen features luscious slats of burled oak for a warm feeling that successfully balances out the coolness of the enormous white marble center island. We shouldn’t have to tell you that all the appliances probably cost more than those cars out in the garage.
The step-down formal dining room is just around the corner and includes one of the home’s seven (7!) fire features.
We’re not sure if Mr. Kroenke is fond of imbibing, but if so he’s selected the correct residence. Not only does the structure sport a very serious wet bar adjacent to an intimate family room, it’s also got a bonkers walk-through wine cellar just off the kitchen.
Save your stenciled and embossed paper, Mr. Kroenke. You don’t even have to send us an invitation to your housewarming party. We’ve just got two questions for ya: when and when? Yes and yes.
The master suite isn’t oppressively huge and features the same westward views as the rest of the home. The bathroom, all wood and non-smoky mirrors, has a Honda Civic-sized marble slab countertop. Through double doors is the closet, which isn’t as big as one might expect but does have myriad cubbyholes for organized storage.
The infinity-edge pool is cantilevered outrageously close to a very steep ravine. Must’ve taken a ton of engineering expense to get that thing wedged up there. Anyway, there’s just enough terrace space to make a thin sunbathing/lounging shelf.
Although many families with extreme wealth seem to be torn apart, we have heard from folks acquainted with this or that member that the extended Walton clan remains very tight-knit. So it’s really not surprising that Mr. Kroenke would choose this location for his LA residence, as several of his family members are within a 5-minute drive.
Mr. Kroeke’s little sister Whitney owns what appears to be a smaller version of his new house near the top of the Bird Streets.
For what it’s worth, the house happens to be directly below a house owned by Friends star Matthew Perry. It’s also literally just a quick skip up the street from a house owned by the Kroenke kids’ first cousin: the cheatin’ and divorcin’ gal herself: Paige Laurie.
Ms. Laurie bought the house from actor Tobey Maguire back in 2007 and extensively renovated it. Her house is also quite literally right around the corner from yet another Walmart heiress mansion (actually, two mansions). The compound you see below was purchased by Sybil Robson Orr in two separate transactions for a brain-shredding $36,500,000.
Now, Mrs. Robson Orr is not actually related to the Mr. Kroenke by blood (she is the daughter of Helen Robson Walton’s brother, and her aunt married Sam Walton and became Mr. Kroenke’s grandfather Bud Walton’s sister-in-law. We think!) But we have been told by someone who knows her that she and her husband, British financier Matthew Orr, are very close to the entire Kroenke fam.
We’ve also heard repeatedly over the years that Mrs. Robson Orr wants to demolish both her houses up there in the Birds to build a mega-compound, but as of yet no construction has commenced and she remains living in the big Tuscan manor house you see up there on the left.
The house on the right is used to house her private chef and driver. No, seriously! We kid you not. But we digress.
When in LA, Mr. Kroenke’s parents reside on a 2.5-acre blufftop compound in the Paradise Cove area of Malibu, which they acquired way back in 1998 for $8,600,000 from the estate of Dodi Fayed, the Egyptian billionaire boyfriend of the late, great Princess Diana (he was killed with her in that tragic Paris collision). Another former owner of the estate was her highness Julie Andrews.
So there you have it. That “People of Walmart” meme really takes on a whole different meaning now, don’t it? Or does it?