SELLER: Bruce Makowsky and
LOCATION: Beverly Hills, CA
SIZE: 15,193 square feet, 7 bedrooms, 9.5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: It was jut five short months ago that ladies' accessories tycoons Bruce Makowsky and Kathy Van Zeeland—married designers and purveyors of boat loads of mid-priced ladies handbags and shoes—paid comedian Martin Lawrence $17,200,000 for his 7 bedroom and 9.5 bathroom mansion on 2.2 gated and landscaped acres in the unapologetically showy Bevelry Park enclave in Beverly Hills, CA.
Well, dontcha know booter beans, yesterday Mister M. and Miz V.Z. flipped the 15,000+ square foot pile—current listing information describes it as a "newly renovated...Neoclassical estate"—back on the (open) market with a far more voluptuous $26,500,000 price tag.*
We're not sure what all exactly the Makowsky-Van Zeelands did to justify the astonishing $9.3 million increase in value that their current asking price suggests. However, a quick comparison of current listing photos to those from June 2012, when the property briefly popped up on the the rental market at a sphincter-clenching rate of $200,000 per month, shows the couple did—at the very least—hire Staging Lady in a Pink Toyota to get her decorative claws up in there to re-dress the spacious house in a more streamlined and generically contemporary manner.
The recent renovations clearly included a minor face lift in the kitchen. The bull-nosed seal gray granite counter tops that look to our boozy eyes like the exact same material as the shiny stone floor were not replaced but the maple-colored cabinetry were painted a crisp, snow white and the hardware was switched to a chrome-colored material** Mister M. and Miz V.Z., to their decorative credit, also replaced the godawful, circa-1982 panel-style light fixture over the massive center island with a far more elegant, if slightly under-sized pendant with a silver-lined matte black shade.***
The double height foyer appears mostly unchanged with gray-veined white marble floors, a curved staircase, elaborate wrought iron railings and a vast stained glass ceiling. Also mostly unchanged, as far as we can tell, is the wood paneled formal dining room outfitted with a green marble topped table and glittery crystal chandelier that we have to admit is pretty terrific as far as Old School chandeliers go. We can only hope it's some priceless Austrian thing or, maybe, an impressively pedigreed stunner plucked at auction from a 18th century chateau in the Loire Valley. Anyhoo... The current dining room has an adjoining, temperature-controlled wine cellar that we're not sure was or was not there at the time the Makowsky-Van Zeelands acquired the estate.
Multiple living and entertaining rooms include a formal living room with fireplace and an adjoining pub-room with sunken bar and built-in fish tank. A kooky, completely tufted sectional sofa faces an imposing carved stone fireplace in the ballroom-sized family room that also has pale blond hardwood floors and numerous, heavily draped and prominently valanced windows and French doors that extend luxuriously all the way to the heavy-duty ceiling moldings. At the far end of the family room, a carpeted sunken t.v. viewing lounge is set into a curved wall of windows and equipped with a custom-milled media cabinet and a bespoke semi-circular sofa that wraps around a coffee table shaped a tad bit too much like a giant terlit seat for Your Mama's partickaler decorative tastes.
The home theater has disturbing, blood red carpeting, blood red fabric panels set into vaguely Art Deco style columned archways, eight or more chocolate brown leater recliner seats and a marble-floored concession center with a generous selection of candy, a commericial-style popcorn popper and—just as every self-respecting home theater in a grandiose Beverly Hills Macmansion should—a built-in soda dispenser.
The second floor master, entered—natch—through double doors, has beige wall-to-wall carpeting, curvaceous-looking beige walls, a fireplace, and (at least) four sets of arched French doors that open to a wrap around Juliet balcony. There's also his and her bathrooms—at least one of them is lined with not-particularly-private floor-to-ceiling arched windows and has white marble floors, marble-topped make up vanity and a small chandelier hung ominously above a chunky, sarcophagus-shaped free standing soaking tub.
There are additional guest suites and "ample staff quarters," according to current listing information, plus another 1,000 square feet guest house/gym and an outdoor kitchen. At the north end of the property there's a second, rear motor court, a four car garage and a sunken and lighted tennis court with a viewing platform. Down in the sunny south eastern corner of the estate, there's an octagonal pool house—that may or may not be the aforementioned 1,000 square foot guest house/gym, we're not sure—and a broad stone tile terraces for dining, lounging and sunbathing around the swimming pool and elevated spa. We can get pretty snarky about this house—its exactly the sort of house that gives Your Mama nightmares—but, let's be honest children, the view across the pool and beyond the dozen padded sun loungers that flank a vivid yellow and white striped cabana to the distant mountains and palm tree interrupted sky line looks like a too-pricey boo-teek hotel that Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter might like to stay in once or twice.
We're not quite sure where Mister Lawrence moved but a reasonably thorough perusal of public and property records available on the internets Your Mama tells Your Mama that Mister Makowsky and, by extension, his wife Kathy Van Zeeland are newly minted real estate ballers of the highest order and with a strong emphasis in Beverly Park.
According to the well-worn beads of Your Mama's trusty bejeweled abacus, in the last two or three years Mister Makowsky and/or Miz Van Zeeland have shelled out more than $80,000,000 on a heavy duty handful of humongous and hugely high priced residential properties in Beverly Hills and Malibu. That's right, eighty million clams. That means, through their various outlets that include scads brick and mortar retailers as well as at least one major home shopping network, Mister Makowsky must unload more than 300,000 metallic Goodwin Satchels that retail at $268 bucks apiece on at least one online retailer we consulted in order to recoup their combined investments. Looked at another way, Miz Van Zeeland needs to pawn off more than 1,145,000 imported, giraffe-printed synthetic leather zip over satchels**** now available sale on the same-as-above online retailer for $69.99. That is, to be sure, a lot of goddamn satchels.
*Current listing information shows the Lawrence/Makowsky-Van Zeeland mansion encompasses 15,193 square feet while marketing materials from June 2012, when the palatial—if decoratively outdated—property was put up for lease at $200,000 per month, show the bulky X-shaped structure measures 16,178 square feet. Even more perplexing, perhaps, is that at least one property record data base Your Mama accessed shows the "Neoclassical" manse measures 13,835 square feet as does the Los Angeles County Tax Man. Make of those spatial discrepancies whatever y'all will.
**We have no idea if the hardware is chrome, stainless steel, nickel or nickle-plated. We can only surmise from the listing photos the hardware is, as we described, "chrome colored."
***Your Mama has no idea when the pitiful panel-style light fixture was actually installed. It could have been 1982, 1992, 2002 or any other year before, after and in between.
****Although we highly doubt they come from Italy—Italians, as a general rule, don't do synthetic leather—Your Mama doesn't know from whence the satchels came. We also are not at all positive that actually is or was intended to be a giraffe print.
listing photos: Coldwell Banker