Listen, y’all, we apologize in advance but this is gonna be an unusually brief post (we think). Typically we go way off the deep end with flowery phraseology, unnecessary details and rambling digressions, but we’re gonna keep it on the straight and narrow today. Yolanda’s got dinner plans and many other woefully exciting things to do than sit here yodeling to the world about a big ol’ Pacific Palisades mansion. It’s gonna be “Just the facts, ma’am” today. But quit whining. We’ll be back in top form soon.
So let’s cut right to the chase. Someone just paid a tear-jerking $22,375,000 for a brand-spankin’-new spec mansion on the Riviera. No, no, not that Riviera. This Riviera. The ritziest neighborhood in one of LA’s ritziest areas (Pacific Palisades). The buyer’s identity, of course, is exuberantly masked behind a shell company called “JANA Holdings 60 LLC”, but your gurl just happens to know that the new owner is celebrated concert violinist Anne Akiko Meyers, the California-bred daughter of a wealthy American university president and his Japanese artist wife.
Listing details rather facetiously proclaim the mansion is an “architectural masterpiece” and a “private transitional estate”. Hmmm. Architectural masterpiece, huh? And Transitional?! OK. Whatever you say.
Yolanda is perfectly aware that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but when she looks at this house, “architectural masterpiece” is not anywhere near the first 100 phrases that come to mind. Most of our thoughts run instead to synonyms of “glassy modernized Traditional” or something similar. We’re not saying the house is ugly, we’re just saying we don’t see what’s such a “masterpiece” about it, that’s all.
One thing that is indisputable, however, is that the beast lies in what is probably one of the best pockets of the Westside, up on the rim section of the Riviera with clear city and ocean and easy access to Santa Monica, the Palisades village, and one of Yolanda’s favorite LA haunts – the Brentwood Country Mart.
Anyway, the house includes 7 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms in about 10,400 square feet. There’s a long gated cobblestone driveway and motorcourt, an unspecified fruit tree orchard, and an outdoor kitchen and bar. The sleek (if stark) indoor kitchen has hoity-toity Boffi cabinetry, an 18-wheeler-sized center island, and all the high-end appliances money can buy. The master suite contains the expected his and hers bathrooms plus an attached outdoor living room/lounge with dazzling views out toward the Pacific.
This being Pacific Palisades, many of the neighbors are famous. Directly next door is a just-completed hulking pile that is owned by Gregory Milken (Michael Milken’s oldest son) and his wife EJ Lee. A few doors in the other direction is the sprawling Cliff May estate of maybe-getting-back-together actors Ben Affleck & Jennifer Garner. A few doors beyond that is the new home of Star Wars producer JJ Abrams. Also within sugar-borrowing distance are the homes of Tom Hanks, John Woo, Tommy Chong, and Brooke Shields.
Alrighty, so you’re probably wondering how a concert violinist can afford a $22 million house in Pacific Palisades. Well, normally Yolanda would say this more delicately, but since we’re in a rush we’re just gonna unload it on y’all. Ms. Meyers’ husband is a very, very rich guy named Jason Subotky. Mr. Subotky is a big hotshot financier. He once was a star asset manager at Goldman Sachs but now toils at Yacktman Asset Managment, which has in excess of $30 billion AUM. That’s a lot of cash.
A thorough search of property records reveals that their new LA mansion is not the only uber-expensive residential property in the couple’s portfolio. In fact, the very same LLC they used to acquire their new estate also owns two adjacent high-floor apartments in the (in)famous and seriously expensive Time Warner Center twin towers in New York City.
As it turns out, both of Mr. Subotky & Ms. Meyers’ apartments are currently available for sale on the open market. The larger unit, a duplex, has 1,987 square feet of living space with 3-beds/3-baths. Records show the couple acquired this unit for $11,250,000 in February 2014 but back up for sale in August 2015 for $12,500,000. However, with no takers so far, the ask has fallen to “just” $10,978,000.
There are head-on, (mostly) unobstructed Central Park views, Carrera white marble countertops, Russian oak herringbone-patterned wood floors with lustrous dark staining, and more marble slathering all three bathrooms.
The second and smaller unit has 1,595 square feet of living space with 2 beds and 2 baths. The couple also flipped this pad onto the market simultaneously with the larger one, asking $10,500,000. Also like the larger duplex, the pricetag has taken a beating, tumbling all the way down to its current $7,800,000.
Residents in the Time Warner Center (most of whom are foreign and/or absentee owners, as discovered by the New York Times, though Mr. Subotky & Ms. Meyers were not included in their exposé) have access to a variety of luxurious amenities that include, per the listing, “a swimming pool with Manhattan views, beautifully landscaped terrace with Hudson River views, top-notch meeting room with Central Park views, professional kitchen and dining area that can seat up to 40 people, massage room with shower, children’s playroom with kitchen, top of the line fitness center, private screening room, pet terrace, and the Mandarin Oriental’s five-star spa services. This landmark building also houses restaurants such as Per Se, Masa, Landmarc, and Stone Rose Lounge.”
Additionally, maintenance/common charges for both units currently run Mr. Subotky and Ms. Meyers a staggering $7,418 per month.
Our brainy second-grader nephew, who we hired to perform some difficult math calculations for us, insists that even if Mr. Subotky & Ms. Meyers manage to get the full asking price for both apartments (unlikely), the total of $18,778,000 will still be a mood-ruining $1,522,000 less than the $20,300,000 the couple paid just two years ago. Yikes.
One more thing: current listing details make a point to call out the fact that the two units are not combined, but they “could be”. We assume without any direct knowledge that Mr. Subotky and Ms. Meyers originally planned to combine them when they acquired the two back in 2014, but for some reason unbeknownst to Yolanda, their plans were soon scuttled.
Despite their tremendously-pricy homes in both LA and NYC, the richie-rich couple — for what it’s worth, they married in 2009 and have two young daughters — actually reside primarily in Austin (TX), where Mr. Subotky’s business is based and where they own a Lake Austin-fronting mansion they picked up, according to property records, in February 2013 through a blind trust.
We’re not quite sure how much they paid for the property — the Lone Star state is a bit secretive about sale prices — but it appears the lavishly decked-out house was last listed for a hefty $9,690,000. Think there ain’t a market for $10 million homes in Austin? Think again.
Listing details from the time the big-spending couple acquired the estate describe it as a “one-of-a-kind masterpiece” (wow, another one?) with 550 of lake frontage, a two-lift boathouse, an infinity pool and spa, and a generous 1.5 acres of land. The 5300+ square foot residence also sports 6-beds/6-baths, rift sawn white oak flooring, and garage parking for three luxury vehicles.
Now for a few more details on the lady of the hour. In October 2010, Ms. Meyers (who has performed with both the Los Angeles and New York Philharmonic) paid $3.6 million for a legendary 1697 Stradivarius violin known as Molitor. At the time, it was the highest price paid for a musical instrument. Ever.
Though there does not appear to be any conclusive proof, this particular violin has long been rumored to have once been owned by Napoleon Bonaparte himself. And believe it or not, kids, but this is not the only essentially-priceless Stradivarius Ms. Meyers owns. That’s right – she has another 1730 violin by the master in her possession known as the “Royal Spanish”. She uses that one as a backup. Yes, a backup.
But wait — think that’s crazy? Steel yourself before you read any further.
In 2013, a legendary 1741 violin sold for a whopping $16 million at auction, once again breaking the record. Though the buyer remains anonymous, that violin is on “permanent loan” for “the remainder of her life” to Ms. Meyers. Hmmm. Who on earth would pay $16 million for a violin just to permanently “loan” it to Ms. Meyers? And why? Hmmm. We wonder.
Someone else who wondered was The Economist, who questioned why the anonymous buyer would decide to permanently loan the $16 million violin to Ms. Meyers, rather than someone (arguably) more accomplished like Anne Sophie Mutter.
Well, kids, Yolanda thinks she knows why. And after reading this story, y’all should too. You don’t have to look very far from Ms. Meyers to find someone who has both the cash for a $16 million violin and the willingness to let her have it for the rest of her life. But oh dear — we promised no digressions today, didn’t we?
So there you have it, folks. There’s Ms. Meyers & Mr. Subotky’s $9 million Austin home, their $20 million NYC apartment, and their new $22 million Pacific Palisades mansion, and their 2 (or 3!) priceless violins. These people are loaded like you wouldn’t believe.
To 99.9% of folks, $22 million may seem like a staggering, ridiculous amount to pay for a house. And yes, it’s a ton of cash — the most ever paid for a house on the Westside this year (so far). But to those rare breed of people like Mr. Subotky & Ms. Meyers who (let’s be real here) paid $16 million for a violin? Well, it’s just another new violin.