Since she started this little site, Yolanda has received a handful of queries from curious folks who want to know more details about this or that property. Of course y’all know Yolanda is only too glad to be given an excuse to babble away about some outrageously-expensive houses, so when someone we’ll call Baby Blue asked us if we knew anything about a particularly imposing mega-mansion in the heart of Beverly Hills, we nearly tripped over ourselves in our rush to oblige.
Unfortunately, fact is we’re not able to provide any juicy photos of this particular estate – inside or out. We’ve never been shown any and there are none online (as far as we know). But if one of y’all knows of some lurking out there, be a dear and holla at your gurl.
So here’s what we do know. The property is actually two separate parcels that together total approximately 2.5 acres or so. And this is 2.5 acres of some of the most prime, prime real estate in all of LA, kids. The legendary Beverly Hills Hotel is so close to this house that you could probably walk from the Polo Lounge to this estate blindfolded and handcuffed after a few drinks without sustaining a single scratch.
We’re not exactly sure how big this mega-mansion really is, but we would guess at least 20,000 square feet, just by looking at aerial shots and comparing to neighboring properties. Although records state the house is 12,432 square feet with 8 bedrooms and bathrooms, it looks substantially larger to Yolanda’s eyes.
We’re also not quite sure who the architect was – it looks like something that Richard Landry or Marc Whipple might conjure up – but we do know the house was built by Mohamed Hadid and Finton Construction. Finton is the go-to LA mega-mansion builder (they’ve built about half the monsters in Beverly Park) and Mr. Hadid is, of course, the famous – or infamous, if you prefer – Mr. Hadid.
The owner of the property? Well, that person is technically shielded behind a trust, but everyone and their mama’s mama in Beverly Hills knows this house is owned and occupied by GUESS? co-founder Paul Marciano and his photographer wife Kymberly. In case you didn’t know, in addition to being the jeans king of the ’90s and rocketing the late Anna Nicole Smith to international fame, Mr. Marciano also enjoys a close friendship with our boy Mr. Hadid. The two have been so close for so long, in fact, that they refer to one another as “my brother”. Mr. Marciano’s kids call Mr. Hadid their uncle, and Mr. Hadid’s kids likewise with Marciano. And it was Mr. Marciano, after all, who first discovered and introduced current “it girl” Gigi Hadid to the world of modeling. So is it really a surprise that these two “brothers” do real estate business together? Of course not.
Anyway, we did a deep dive on the property records for this one to see what we could sort out. In 1989, which is as far back as we were able to locate documents, the property was owned by a Muriel Slatkin, who together with her estranged sister Seema Boesky inherited the Beverly Hills Hotel from their uber-wealthy late father Ben Silberstein in 1979.
In 1991, Ms. Slatkin sold the estate to a mysterious corporation calling itself “Bahagia Inc.” We found two names attached to Bahagia, and both happen to be high-ranking government officials in the teeny-tiny but tremendously oil-rich country of Brunei.
Think about that, kids. The Beverly Hills hotel has been owned by Hassanal Bolkiah (the Sultan of Brunei) since 1987. Now here we have a large, private estate practically next door that was acquired in 1991 by a mysterious entity with direct links to the Brunei government. So what Yolanda is saying is that although she can’t prove this property was owned by the Sultan of Brunei, she’d be absolutely flabbergasted if it was anyone else. Capiche?
The mysterious corporation with Brunei links held onto the property until 2007, when they unloaded it for a whopping $17,110,000 to Mr. Marciano and his builder, Mr. Hadid. Mr. Marciano immediately tore down the dated and rather ugly mansion on the property. We can’t find any pictures of that house, kids, but we remember seeing it a long time ago and it definitely wasn’t anything worth saving.
The rest of the story is obvious – Mr. Marciano got his new mega-mansion and Mr. Hadid got more money to get into more trouble around town.
Let’s digress for a moment here. A taste for flashy living apparently runs in the Marciano GUESS? family. All four of the brothers (Armand, Maurice, Georges, and Paul) have owned an extravagant mega-mansion in the Beverly Hills area, though all have since downsized to more modest digs. (Paul excepted).
In 2001, Paul’s brother Armand built himself a gigantic 24,260-square-foot Tuscan behemoth on a prominent promontory in Benedict Canyon. Though the house is sited on nearly 20 acres, only about 3 of those are flat and usable. There are spectacular views and a spectacular amount of water required to maintain that gigantic lawn.
Anyway, Armand originally put the estate on the market in 2011, asking a ludicrous $63,000,000. After several failed escrows – both Kimora Lee Simmons and Steve Wynn reportedly backed out of agreements to buy the property – the house finally sold in October 2015 for $32,670,000 to a mysterious LLC. Though rumors quickly spread that the property was purchased by His Highness Elton John, Your Mama and Yolanda later learned it was a different British crooner – Robbie Williams – who actually spilled out the big bucks for the estate. Yolanda just happens to know that Mr. Williams and his family recently moved into their new, mammoth mansion.
Mr. Armand has since downsized to a much-smaller house way out in Thousand Oaks (CA).
Also in Benedict Canyon was the nearly-20,000-squre-foot “international-style” mega-mansion of another brother, Maurice Marciano. Apparently Steve Wynn has quite a thing for the Marciano brothers’ houses because about a year after he nearly bought Armand’s house, he went through with paying Maurice $47,851,500 for his mansion in August 2015.
Maurice now resides in a much smaller in a much smaller Beverly Hills house that he purchased back in 2010 for an even-steven $10,000,000.
Of course, the most infamously-high-living Marciano of them all was Georges, who was internationally-renowned for the fleet of Ferraris he would leave parked out front of his historic Beverly Hills mansion. Built by architect Robert D. Farquhar in the 1920s, the nearly 20,000 square foot sprawler was most-famously owned by legendary Hollywood honcho Harry Cohn.
The house was put up for sale in 2012 as part of an involuntary bankruptcy proceeding (you can read more about that salaciousness here if you so desire) and sold in early 2013 to mega-producer Jerry Bruckheimer who has given the ol’ gurl a complete makeover. Not just a wee nip and tuck here and there, you know.
Anywho. Before we close, let’s revisit Paul Marciano. Property records show he didn’t even have to hire a U-haul to wheel all his crap over to his new property. That’s because his old house is right next door.
The 9,142 mock-med 1980s MacMansion was acquired by Mr. Marciano way back in 1999 for $5,125,000 and recently (and unsurprisingly) popped up for sale with a hefty $19,995,000 price tag. Rather an optimistic ask, in Yolanda’s worthless opinion.
Some of Mr. Marciano’s nearest new neighbors in this ultra-posh pocket of Beverly Hills include multi-billionaire Steve Cohen, who threw down $31 million for his own mansion across the street last year, and Kuwaiti mega-rich guy Anwar Bukhamseen, who recently paid $8.1 million for a much smaller house also across the street. Other neighbors just a quick skip away include Neil Diamond, Benjamin Nazarian, Doug Barnes, and Ming Hsieh.