Thursday, November 14, 2013
Bertram van Munster Races into the B.H.P.O.
LOCATION: Beverly Hills (Post Office), CA
SIZE: 7,644 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Those of the children who tune in to the luxury-sector real estate hijinks on Million Dollar Listing may recall episode five of the most recent season when smiley, suit-clad broker Josh Altman and his business-partner brother Matthew signed up to sell an ersatz, mid-renovation Mediterranean mini-mansion in a celebrity-saturated street in the Beverly Hills Post Office (B.H.P.O.). The house was owned, it was revealed on the show, by old family friends of the brothers' Aspen-based parents.
The brothers bickered and disagreed about whether, as Josh wanted, they should market the multi-million dollar property mid-renovation or wait until construction was complete, as Matthew thought more prudent. Josh won out and they slapped a $9.9 million asking price on the under construction property and, as is the way of reality television, it wasn't long before the brothers received an $8.7 million offer that they seemed to think they could push to a sales price much closer to $9.5 million. Alas, property records and other online resources show the house actually sold in mid-September (2013) for $8.5 million.
Although property records shield the identity of the new owner behind a generically-named trust, good ol' Yolanda Yakketyyak called yesterday from her vintage Seville and tattled to Your Mama that she's 100% certain the buyers were magnificently-named, Dutch-born commercial director and reality television producer Bertram van Munster and his reality television producer lady-mate, Elise Doganieri.
In addition to a couple thousand television commercials under his professional belt, Mister van Bertram spent much of the 1990s as a successful producer and cinematographer on the still-running, four-time Emmy-nominated reality t.v. juggernaut Cops. His real claim to Tinseltown fame and fortune, however, came in the early 2000s when he (co-)created the addictive, high octane and now internationally formatted reality competition program Amazing Race, which he now executive produces. Miz Doganieri shares co-creator and executive producer credits for Amazing Race with Mister van Bertram (and others) and since 2003 the rabidly watched show has dominated the Outstanding Reality/Competition Program category at the Emmys with nine wins. The couple are also both listed as producer for several short-lived reality competition shows such as Take the Money & Run, The Great Escape, and Oprah Winfrey's philanthropic-oriented endeavor The Big Give.
Listing information, property records, and other digital resources show the property encompasses and up-sloping parcel of not quite an acre with a main house that was originally built in the mid-1950s. It was purchased by the sellers—an interior decorator (without a website that we could find) named Denise Cohen and her hubby, Warren, in December 2007 for $4,500,000.
Digital listing details show the gated, compound-like spread has a total of five bedrooms and seven bathrooms between the main house and detached guest house and that the recent re-do of the vaguely boomerang-shaped residence included the installation of luxurious, contemporary interior finishes and fixtures such as Turkish limestone terraces, wide plank white oak flooring, custom wrought ironwork, and a pair of Cleveland Art chandeliers in the voluminous foyer that each weigh several hundred pounds and easily retail at more than $12,000 apiece.
Decorative glass and wood pocket doors in the foyer/formal dining room slide open to reveal a spacious and decidedly modern kitchen fitted and kitted with clean-lined, flat-fronted cabinetry of walnut or teak or some other richly striated wood. There are cook-pleasing, top-grade appliances and and a thick slab marble or onyx that waterfalls over the edge of the chunky center island where casual eaters can belly up to a five-stool snack bar. Is it just Your Mama or do the vintage-looking lantern light fixtures over the island seem an incongruous choice? Anyhoodles, poodles...
The master suite also has a boutique-style dressing room and a sun-flooded, garage-sized bathroom with two sinks, two giant toiletry cabinets, a separate make-up vanity, and one of those free-standing egg-shaped soaking tubs that cost as much as a small car. A separate, party-sized steam-shower room is finished shiny, pebble-tile, a built-in bench, and a tremendous window.
We're not sure how many bedrooms and/or bathrooms there are in the guest house that sits next to the swimming pool but we can surmise from listing photos that the capacious, open-concept and contemporary main space has concrete floors, a double-height exposed wood ceiling, a rather monumental stacked stone fireplace, a precarious-looking corkscrew staircase, and a full kitchen with upper-end appliances and a vibrant tomato red tile back splash.
Some of the other high-profile peeps who own homes on the same snaking, B.H.P.O. road include but are not limited to Demi Moore, Jon Voight, Jon Lovitz, and Lisa Vanderpump.
listing photos (B.H.P.O. and Santa Monica): Hilton & Hyland