Word on the celebrity real estate street, via gossip juggernaut X17, is that Ben Affleck is in escrow and about to seal the deal on a brand spanking new, never lived in East Coast style mansion in Pacific Palisades, Calif., first listed at $20.5 million and last listed with a $19.25 million price tag. The stately, black-shuttered, white brick residence sits behind gates on not-quite one-third of an acre in the tony Riviera neighborhood where it desirably backs up to but doesn’t sit high enough to overlook the Riviera Country Club with seven bedrooms and six full and two half bathrooms in 12,853-square-feet plus an approximately 600-square-foot poolside guesthouse.
Elegantly proportioned public spaces include: a grand, double-height classic center hall entry with sweeping curved staircase; a living room anchored by stylishly unadorned black marble fireplace under a coffered ceiling; a dining room that easily seats a dozen; and a wood-paneled study/library with wet bar. Equally roomy family quarters stretch along the east-facing rear of the residence and include a family room with white marble fireplace. A bank of glass panels slip into the walls to merge the space with a deep, stone-paved loggia and steel-trimmed glass pocket doors divide the family room from a large kitchen fitted and kitted with chatoyant jet black countertops on dourly sophisticated dove grey cabinetry and every culinary bell and whistle money can buy. There’s a four-stool snack bar at the double wide island along with a breakfast bay and a cozily scaled neighboring den or potential staff bedroom has French doors to the yard.
An ample trio of family bedrooms and a children’s family room are joined on the second floor by a celebrity-style master suite replete with sitting area, two elaborately fitted walk-in closets and two marble-sheathed bathrooms while an extensive basement, finished to the same exacting standards as the upper floors, offers a private haven of recreational and leisure amenities including a lounge/games room with walk-in wet bar and a climate controlled wine cellar, a state-of-the-art 12-plus seat screening room, a mirror-walled fitness studio and a secluded staff suite.
A broad, partly covered terrace runs the full width of the back of the house with an outdoor kitchen at one end and an outdoor fireplace at the other. A verdant, soccer pitch sized sweep of newly sodded lawn stretches out to a privatizing row of freshly planted mature trees and a tile-floored poolside guesthouse includes a bathroom and separate kitchen.
Presumably Affleck’s estranged wife Jennifer Garner remains in residence at the by-all-appearances amicably split former couple’s sprawling compound perched on a high ridge overlooking Mandeville Canyon in Pacific Palisades they bought in March 2009 for $17.55 million from Hollywood power player Brian Grazer. The compound is conveniently just a mile from Affleck’s new digs. The two-time Oscar-winning screenwriter, producer and titular star of several “Batman” films, has long been rumored in the property gossip columns to be apartment hunting in New York City where, as of late last year, he shared a spendy rental in a fabled and famously expensive building on Central Park West with his girlfriend, “Saturday Night Live” producer Lindsay Shookus, and he continues to own a secluded, plantation style residence of nearly 7,000-square-feet along Blackbeard Creek near Riceboro, Ga., he picked up in 2003, while dating Jennifer Lopez, for $7.11 million.