Inman interviews Gary Gold about his sale of 9601 Oak Pass Road in Beverly Hills for $20 million dollars.
Sold by Gold
Inman interviews Gary Gold about his sale of 9601 Oak Pass Road in Beverly Hills for $20 million dollars.
The wealthiest billionaires in China, the US, the Middle East and elsewhere are splashing out on one-of-a-kind homes, with US$100 million the new base price for developers catering to this tiny global elite.
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 14 February, 2017, 12:32pm
When the world’s ultra-rich go shopping for new homes these days, they’re no longer looking for the traditional “palaces”. While decades ago, the ultimate in luxury might have been studies in ornate excess – Trump-esque golden toilets, an aesthetic straight from Versailles – today’s buyer is more likely to go bespoke.
“Very often these properties are expected to be … ultra customised and one-of-a-kind, complete with furnishings, art and vehicles,” says Marc Carver, principal of the Carver Property Group, a luxury real estate company with offices in New York and Atlanta. “As the number of global high-net-worth individuals continues to grow, so will their appetite for more and more exclusive products, particularly real estate.”
That means properties such as the US$125 million Rancho San Carlos in Montecito, Santa Barbara County, Calfornia – one for those with a refined sensibility: there is a linen and sewing room, a children’s wing and, of course, a Scotch whisky pub. Or the La Dune estate in the Hamptons, priced at US$100 million, with sunken all-weather tennis courts and 122-metre stretch of beachfront. Or a sprawling 38,000 sq ft spread in Bel Air, California, with 150 art installations, 12 luxury cars in the garage, a cinema with seats layered with Hermes throws and pillows – and a price tag of US$250 million; it’s a home that the man who developed it, former Hong Kong handbag magnate Bruce Makowsky, says only about 3,000 people in the world could afford.
That, no doubt, includes Shenzhen real estate tycoon Chen Hongtian, who last year reportedly paid about HK$2.1 billion (US$270 million) for a home on The Peak, setting a new record for Hong Kong.
The entrance to the most expensive house in the US, listed at US$250 million, in Bel Air, California. Photo: Berlyn Photography
These 3,000 people are the same ones being courted for other uber-pricey properties, such as The Manor in Holmby Hills, in Los Angeles, on the market for US$200 million, and the US$195 million Gemini house in Manalapan, Florida. A few years ago, the idea of a US$100 million single family house in the US was incomprehensible. Today, it’s the starting point for a thriving category of homes specifically for billionaires.
“The sky is the limit,” says Rick Hilton, chairman of Beverly Hills luxury residential brokerage firm Hilton & Hyland. “Once we hit the US$100 million mark, we broke the glass ceiling – and we’re seeing people comfortable with spending more than that.”
Hilton and other operators in that super-prestige realm are buoyed by the growing ranks of the billionaire set; according to Forbes, 2016 welcomed in another 198 people worth in excess of US$1 billion. These are the people, Makowsky said recently, “who spend US$200 million on a boat and US$100 million on a plane, and yet they’re still living in US$40 million homes. Why wouldn’t your house be as valuable as your plane?”
The former Playboy mansion in Los Angeles recently sold for US$100 million. Photo: Hilton & Hyland
Makowsky and other developers are seeking to redress that imbalance with a new crop of homes that indulge every conceivable fantasy and aesthetic. The Manor has its own nightclub and spa; Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion, recently sold for US$100 million, includes a swimming grotto and a room with a built-in pipe organ; a US$100 million house in Holmby Hills comes with a bar/lounge and hiking trails. And there’s the aforementioned Rancho San Carlos and the Hamptons estate.
Even though there are 3,000 people in the world who could buy [one of these homes], there’s a much smaller list who would buy one.
Makowsky has made his US$250 million home not just move-in ready, but set up so a buyer can arrive and throw a house-warming bash on the same night: a staff of seven comes with the house for two years from the move-in date, the wine cellar is stocked with 2,500 bottles, and there are three kitchens – one of which has a revamped vintage meat grinder worth six figures.
The bowling alley is equipped with enough shoes for your entire party, and guests can treat themselves to a massage overlooking the pool, browse artworks (such as a US$1 million piece from Chinese sculptor Liao Yibai) or borrow one of the US$30 million worth of cars and motorcycles that are house accessories and bear marques including Bugatti and Lamborghini.
The 38,000 sq ft Bel-Air property includes a classic car collection. Photo: Bruce Makowsky/BAM Luxury Development
Makowsky says he didn’t initially set out to build the most expensive house in America. A few years ago he sold a home he’d built for US$70 million to Markus Persson, who was flush with cash from the sale of his company (which makes the Minecraft game) to Microsoft for US$2.5 billion.
At the time, US$70 million was the most ever paid for a home in Beverly Hills. In the past two years, prices for “trophy” homes in places such as Los Angeles, Miami and the Hamptons have slid up past the US$100 million mark, landing at the historic quarter of a billion dollars that Makowsky is seeking for the Bel Air property, which he built on spec to await a buyer.
Brokers working in the highest echelons of the market are aware of the inherent challenges of selling those properties: even if someone has a couple of hundred million dollars lying around to invest in a new pad, they may not want to. Warren Buffett, worth a reported US$74 billion, has famously lived in the same house since 1958.
The view from beside the swimming pool at the house Makowsky is selling for US$250 million. Photo: Bruce Makowsky/BAM Luxury Development
“Even though there are 3,000 people in the world who could buy [one of these homes], there’s a much smaller list who would buy one,” says Gary Gold, the Beverly Hills realtor who sold the Playboy Mansion last August. The house first went on the market in early 2016 for US$200 million, but sold eight months later for half that price. The global publicity the listing received was helpful, but ultimately, Gold says, he needed to reach out to only a “handful of likely candidates”.
“This was a very specific targeted effort, tweaking the messaging to people so they would understand what we were selling,” he says. The estate was ultimately sold to the head of a private-equity company who happened to already live in the neighbourhood.
Given the pretty finite number of potential buyers, houses in this price range are rarely snapped up in an instant, says Makowsky, adding that developers and sellers have to be patient and that negotiation is part of the deal.
Rancho San Carlos in Montecito, California has its own pub. Photo: Sotheby’s International Realty
Hilton says the Los Angeles market remains undervalued when compared with cities such as London, New York and Shanghai; ultimately, he says, on a per-square-foot basis, there is more value for money in US west coast properties than in other places. He says he’s seeing traction from the Middle East and China, and that the people looking at these US$100 million-plus properties tend to skew younger – typically in their 30s – and want to spend some of their newly acquired wealth.
Makowsky agrees, saying that on a per-square-foot basis, Los Angeles offers far greater value for money than other parts of the world.
“In Hong Kong, this house would cost considerably more than this,” he says. (Indeed, the HK$2.1 billion house on The Peak is just over 9,000 sq ft, less than a quarter of the size of Makowsky’s Bel Air home.)
Still, as far as straightforward investments go, there are probably smarter places to park your money, says Paul Habibi, a professor at the UCLA Ziman Centre for Real Estate. “At that end of the spectrum, when you’re dealing with the uber-wealthy, I don’t know if they’re making decisions with their best economic interests in mind,” he says. “There is such a thing as overconsumption, which this falls into.”
Habibi also says the typical buyers for these homes are new-money rather than old, and fall into two categories: those seeking a repository for funds, and others for whom such a purchase is a “look-at-me” move.
“There are people who have never had this kind of money before, and who are looking to experience it fully for the first time, whether it’s ridiculous or not. When you’re paying a few million just in property taxes every year on a single home, that is not a smart investment,” he says.
Gold says even at that level, pricing is everything. “Sellers are under the impression that whoever the hot buyers are at the moment – the Russians, Middle Easterners, Chinese – are just going to throw their money around and not care about it,” he says. “But nothing could be further from the truth. These are the places in the world where negotiating is a sport. If you price a home too high, you’re not going to get offers.”
Russians turn attention to South Florida real estate, Canadian foreign buyers’ tax gets a caveat, and more news from around the world
BY ANNE MACHALINSKI ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON FEBRUARY 03, 2017 | MANSION GLOBAL |
The buyer of this 12,385-square-foot mansion will receive a Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph.
DOUGLAS ELLIMAN REAL ESTATE
Buy a condo, get a sports car.
While this sort of two-for-one arrangement has become common in markets where there are a lot of luxury property listings, add-ons like this aren’t always what makes the sale—and in some cases, can actually harm a negotiation, experts say.
In some cases, luxury extras— like six-figure classic cars, yachts, helicopters and fine art—can add value, especially when they’re relevant to the lifestyle of the would-be buyer. Other times, they don’t impact the end deal, but are a way to attract attention and get media coverage. And then there are the cases in which including luxury extras with a listing are seen as a sign of desperation, and a cue for brokers to negotiate hard on price.
“When it comes to these houses that come with a boat or a Porsche, in general, it’s a gimmick,” said Gary Gold, executive vice president of Los Angeles agency Hilton & Hyland. “But if we’re talking about a $25 million house on Kauai that’s fully furnished and comes with cars, or a property on a golf course that includes a bonus golf cart, that makes sense. Those aren’t coming out of left field.”
When Mr. Gold considers where this practice of throwing in an extra car came from, he sees a direct link to how resort homes are generally sold fully furnished with everything you need already there.
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When Los Angeles developers saw how many buyers of homes in the $10 million to $30 million range were using properties as the equivalent of a vacation home, and only staying there for two or three weeks of the year, they adapted that practice to this market.
It was about five years ago that Mr. Gold noticed that many luxury spec homes in neighborhoods like Beverly Hills and Bel Air were coming fully furnished. Today, he estimates that more than 50% of these properties priced above $20 million come with high-end, modern furniture.
In Manhattan, the developer of a new West Chelsea townhouse, listed for $36.8 million, is applying the same logic, and including a 2016 Bentley, valued at $368,000, as well as modern furnishings, which the client can purchase with the property.
“We wanted this mansion to be the complete, turnkey package,” said Compass broker Alyssa Soto Brody in an email. “The home is already breathtaking, but we wanted this home’s buyer to be able to just walk in and start enjoying.”
A much more extreme example of this same practice is Bruce Makowsky’s 924 Bel Air Road. Listed for $250 million, this 38,000-square foot spec mansion comes with 100 curated art installations, millions of dollars’ worth of classic cars and motorcycles, a deactivated helicopter and a $1 million outdoor TV.
“He did something in an extraordinary way,” Mr. Gold said, “and he’s shooting for a certain type of person that’s going to be completely enamored with the whole thing. I think it’s cool.”
If these are cases where the luxury add-ons make sense from a utility or lifestyle perspective, there are also times when extras are included in an organic way, leading to increased exposure and a sale.
Brad Robson, a listing agent for Place in Brisbane, sold a property that fits that criteria in late-November. The Chelmer house has four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and came with a 1993 Porsche Carrera 911, valued at $100,000. It sold a week before it was meant to go to auction for $2.31 million—an amount that Mr. Robson said the seller was “thrilled” with.
“I don’t believe the car was the reason that we sold it for a premium price,” said Mr. Robson, noting that the seller was looking to unload the car at the same time as the house, so they decided to make it a package deal. “What it did was generate a huge amount of interest over and above what we would have gotten without it.”
Because it’s incredibly uncommon to include an extra like this with a sale in Brisbane, Mr. Robson said the curiosity from would-be buyers was genuine. “If everybody was doing things like this, I certainly wouldn’t,” he said.
In the end, the buyer “loves the car, but isn’t sure what he’ll do with it just yet.”
But when the extras are thrown in as an afterthought—neither part of a lifestyle package or included in an organic way—there’s a chance the whole thing will backfire, said Dolly Lenz, the founder of Manhattan-based Dolly Lenz Real Estate.
“As a buyer’s representative, if I see a developer or seller offering a car, trips or other incentives, I see that as a major sign of weakness, and a cue to negotiate hard on behalf of our buyers for those units,” she said. “It’s just so silly. Anyone buying these properties could afford those things on their own.”
Mr. Gold agreed, noting that he recently told a client selling a $3 million West Hollywood house to forget about throwing in a $60,000 car, as he was inclined to do.
“That would have been a mistake on so many levels,” Mr. Gold said. “It makes it look like you’re desperate, adds an unnecessary cost, and now, you need to find someone that loves your home and also loves Porsches.”
Not to mention that this type of maneuver can be frustrating when it comes to paperwork tied to the sale. “In general, people don’t want to pay property tax on an extra like a car or artwork,” Mr. Gold said, so they separate the home from the add-on. “You’re basically adding an unnecessary cost that could impact how people look at your house.”
Wall Street titans and foreign billionaires are vying for famous properties
January 16, 2017 08:30AM
By Laurie L. Dove
The Playboy Mansion was listed at $200 million and sold for a record-breaking $100 million. Hugh Hefner, inset, has the right to remain for life.
From the January issue: Blockbuster deals are inspiring some homeowners to go for the gold. After the Playboy Mansion broke the nine-figure barrier in August 2016, homes that sold for mere millions in recent memory hit the market with asking prices in the tens of millions.
Market pros contend that price discovery is an even more delicate art these days, with seemingly more global billionaires than ever freely roaming the market, leading to mega-dollar signs in the eyes of sellers.
“The property starts at a price the seller wants, that’s not supported by real world conditions, and there doesn’t seem to be concern or shame that it’s significantly overpriced,” said Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of real estate appraiser Miller Samuel.
To further complicate matters, when a Los Angeles home has the whiff of Hollywood lore, the question of the right price gets dicier. Sellers and their brokers often find it tough to settle on an asking price for an incomparable home. The Playboy Mansion, for example, originally listed at $200 million in January 2016, before selling for a more than respectable $100 million.
“We had zero comps. I mean, it was the Playboy Mansion. It’s one of a kind on multiple levels,” said Gary Gold of Hilton & Hyland, the co-listing agent on the property with Drew Fenton of Hilton & Hyland and Mauricio Umansky of the Agency. “But when you have a seller with an asset and a buyer with money, and they go through the catharsis of coming together, more times than not they arrive at what the property really is worth.”
Many aspects of the deal were unusual, not least among them, Hugh Hefner. The founder of Playboy Enterprises will be allowed to continue living out his days on the property that his company purchased for $1.05 million in 1971.
Daren Metropoulos, who lived next door, bought the 1927 Arthur Rolland Kelly-designed Holmby Hills mansion, located on five acres at 10236 Charing Cross Road. A principal at the private-equity firm Metropoulos & Co., which owns Twinkie-maker Hostess Brands, he eventually plans to join the two estates, according to a statement on his website.
Hefner may be the poster boy for testing the limits of aspirational pricing on an incomparable home, but he is far from the only seller with the moxie to do so — and to have something to show for it.
Shortly after the Playboy Mansion deal closed, two more Holmby Hills trophy properties sold at or near the $100 million mark.
One of them, a spec house built on Barbra Streisand’s former estate at 301 North Carolwood Drive, listed in April 2016 for $150 million. It closed at$100 million in October, tying for first place with the Playboy Mansion in The Real Deal’s ranking of top residential sales. Along with the usual perks one expects at $2,631 per square foot, the listing mentioned a nail salon, massage rooms and an indoor water wall. The neighborhood is steeped in Hollywood history. The 38,000-square-foot mansion is situated directly across from Frank Sinatra’s former property and down the street from Walt Disney’s former home, the Carolwood Estate.
The property’s new owner, Tom Gores, is the chairman and CEO of Platinum Equity, a private equity firm that oversees more than two dozen companies with $6 billion in assets. He also owns the Detroit Pistons NBA team, among other interests, and currently ranks 194 on the Forbes 400 list. His niece Tiffany Martin of the Agency represented him in the part-cash, part land-trade deal.
A house built on spec on the site of Barbra Streisand’s former Carolwood Drive abode sold for $100 million after being listed for $150 million.
Meanwhile, the legendary Owlwood estate, a 22-room mansion located at 141 South Carolwood Drive, flirted with the record books when it sold for $90 million in September — $60 million under the original asking price of $150 million, which seems to be the new normal for one-of-a-kind homes. At various times, the properties that were combined to create the 10-acre estate were home to such Hollywood legends as Jayne Mansfield, Tony Curtis and Esther Williams.
“Very wealthy international buyers from China, Singapore, India and Dubai were coming in, looking for a trophy property,” said listing agent Ann Dashiell of Douglas Elliman.
The Owlwood estate’s most famous former occupant — Cher — even stopped by for a tour. She and former husband Sonny Bono purchased the estate for $750,000 in 1974. Cher gained ownership of the house when the couple divorced and sold it to carpet business owner Ralph Mishkin for $950,000 in 1976. He named Owlwood after the birds on the property, and sold it for $4.2 million two years later to a businessman from Monaco, who later expanded the compound by 8.5 acres and sold it for $35 million in 2003.
Now Dawn Arnall, who purchased the property in 2003 with her late husband, the founder of the AmeriQuest Mortgage Company, has sold it to Bob Shapiro, the CEO of Woodbridge Luxury Homes. Real estate professionals believe that Shapiro plans to divide the estate into housing lots and sell them off one by one.
American fashion designer Tom Ford is yet another bold-faced name to purchase one of the year’s priciest homes. Brokers have known for some time that Ford, the director of “Nocturnal Animals,” was hunting for a new luxury property.
As TRD reported in September 2016, Ford made a $53 million off-market bid on a Beverly Hills estate owned by hotel developer Brad Korzen and interior designer Kelly Wearstler. The 3.2-acre, seven-bedroom house at 809 Hillcrest Road had been purchased by Korzen and Wearstler in 2005. The couple unsuccessfully listed the property in 2010 for $46 million, and again in 2012, by which time the asking price had dropped to $39 million.
(Click to enlarge)
Yet when Ford closed on a home a short while later, it was at a different deluxe address. He picked up the home once owned by Bloomingdale’s department store heiress and socialite Betsy Bloomingdale at 131 Delfern Drive in an off-market deal with her children, who had inherited the estate.
The 10,000-square-foot, nine-bedroom house was being shopped around at $55 million, but according to TheMLS, Ford picked it up for just shy of $39 million, putting it at number five in TRD’s ranking. It includes a distinctive red-walled library and a number of outdoor perks, including a pool house, swimming pool, outdoor living area and a tennis court. The house was built in the 1920s in the Spanish Colonial style, then remodeled in the 1950s by silent film actor and designer Billy Haines. Josh Flagg of Rodeo Realty Beverly Hills was the listing broker.
Another global business titan, Elon Musk, has been on a buying spree. In September, the SpaceX and Tesla CEO snapped up a $24 million off-market property in Bel Air that was in an unfinished state of remodeling. The 14,290-square-foot property, which is located at 954 Somera Road, is the fifth house Musk now owns overlooking the Bel Air Country Club, and his sixth in L.A. In December 2012, he began a string of purchases with a $17 million deal for a 20,000-square-foot house on Chalon Road in Bel Air, which has become his main residence.
Brokers say that even more properties are being shopped around at eye-popping prices. Take the Spelling mansion, for example. The property at 594 South Mapleton Drive — now owned by British heiress Petra Ecclestone Stunt — is currently listed at $200 million, which is $115 million more than its purchase price in July 2011. However, unlike many mansion listings in which pricing seems plucked out of thin air, the house, which was originally built by the late American film and TV producer Aaron Spelling in 1988, has at least undergone a substantial renovation.
Another residence raising eyebrows with its current asking price is 455 Lorraine Boulevard in L.A.’s Windsor Square neighborhood. The home was built in 1913 and afforded historic status not only for its Beaux-Arts style, but also for the slate of presidents — Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon among them — who were guests of longtime owners Norman and Dorothy Chandler.
The 9,329-square-foot, six-bedroom, eight-bathroom house was sold by the Chandlers in July 1997 for about $2 million. Nigerian furniture magnate Robert Oshodin bought it for $9.5 million in June 2014. Pros doubt his improvements justify the current $50 million asking price.
“A lot of these asking prices are made-up numbers rather than being based on any comps,” Miller said. “It’s probably more common than we realize, because everybody is fixated on the top line number and not how the sausage is made.”
The Playboy Mansion, which sold last year for $100 million, was among the $19.8 billion in L.A.-area properties sold between November 2015 and November 2016.
Jan. 6, 2017 6:00 AM
Storied estates and speculative development in Los Angeles County’s toniest neighborhoods pushed the high-end market to new heights in 2016.
Of the dozen single-family home sales of $30 million or more, two changed hands at $100 million — a record-setting mark once thought of as unattainable.
Here’s a larger look at the most expensive homes sold this year in Greater L.A.
$100 million — Holmby Hills
Daren Metropoulos, the son of billionaire investor C. Dean Metropoulos and principal at the investment firm Metropoulos & Co., made real estate history in August with the purchase of the Playboy Mansion.
The $100-million deal for Hugh Hefner’s longtime home and workspace was the biggest sale of a single-family residence ever recorded in Los Angeles County, eclipsing the previous county record set two years ago when the Westside manor known as Fleur de Lys sold for $88.3 million.
The Gothic Tudor-style home was designed by Arthur R. Kelly for department store scion Arthur Letts Jr. in 1927. The 29-room house includes chefs and catering kitchens, a game room and a screening room with a built-in pipe organ. Twelve bedrooms are within 20,000 square feet of living space; the master suite spans two floors.
As part of the sale, Hefner will remain at the estate for the remainder of his life. Metropoulos, who owns a property adjacent to the Playboy Mansion, plans to eventually connect the two estates.
Gary Gold and Drew Fenton of Hilton & Hyland, an affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate, and Mauricio Umansky of the Agency held the listing for the mansion. Jade Mills of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage represented Metropoulos.
$100 million — Holmby Hills
The complex deal saw Gores trade a number of his own holdings as opposed to financing or making an all-cash purchase. He will retain a stake in the other properties in the event that they are developed or sold.
Developed by Gala Asher and Ed Berman, the more than 30,000-square-foot house is on a site where an estate once owned by Barbra Streisand once stood. Including several guesthouses, the property has 10 bedrooms and 20 bathrooms including a master suite of more than 5,000 square feet.
Ginger Glass of Coldwell Banker Previews International was the listing agent. Tiffany Martin and Christine Martin of the Agency represented Gores.
$90 million — Holmby Hills
Owlwood, the Carolwood Drive estate once home to actor Tony Curtis and later singing duo Sonny and Cher, sold to a development group headed by Woodridge Luxury Homes chief Robert Shapiro. Dawn Arnall, the widow of late billionaire and Ameriquest Capital Corp. founder Roland Arnall, was the seller.
Sitting on 10 acres of grounds, the residence includes a 12,200-square-foot Italian Revival-style mansion, two guesthouses, a swimming pool and a tennis court. The development group intends to retain the main house and subdivide the property to build four additional homes, according to sources not authorized to comment on the deal.
The Arnalls bought the home in 2002 along with two adjacent properties — the former homes of actress Jayne Mansfield and actress-swimmer Esther Williams — that were combined into one estate. Both residences were later razed, though the pool house and 70-foot-long swimming pool from Williams’ former home were retained.
Ann H. Dashiell of Douglas Elliman held the listing. Adam Rosenfeld and Kyle Giese of Mercer Vine represented the buyer.
$40 million — Beverly Hills
Tom Gores, as part of his $100-million purchase, sold a mansion on Beverly Park Lane to a California limited liability company.
Although details are scant, tax records show that the sprawling Mediterranean has 20,013 square feet of living space with seven bedrooms and 15 bathrooms. A large motor court, a swimming pool and spa, lawns and formal landscaping fill more than two acres of grounds.
Gores, through a limited liability company, bought the property six years ago for slightly more than $21 million, records show.
$39 million — Bel-Air
Developers Jonathan Adler and Joe Englanoff, through a Nevada-based LLC, sold a contemporary-style mansion built on speculation for $9 million less than the original list price of $48 million.
Designed by Paul McClean, the 14,230-square-foot home includes such amenities as a media room, a billiards room and a gym with a steam room. A wine cellar is accessed by way of a thumbprint security system.
Motorized glass doors open to an outdoor lounge and expansive decking. A 90-foot infinity-edge swimming pool also lies within the grounds.
Brandon and Rayni Williams of Hilton & Hyland Ben Bacal of Rodeo Realty, Mauricio Umansky of the Agency and Jade Mills of Coldwell Banker were the co-listing agents. Fred Bernstein of Westside Estate Agency repped the buyer.
$38.75 million — Beverly Crest
Designer and filmmaker Tom Ford finally found his trophy estate in December, buying the home of late socialite Betsy Bloomingdale for about two-thirds of the rumored asking price of $55 million.
The Roland Coate-designed home, built in 1929, sits on more than three acres in the 100 block of Delfern Drive and has a formal rose garden, a tennis court, a swimming pool and a pool house.
Architectural firm Marmol Radziner has been commissioned to update the home, which includes a wood-paneled library, a billiards room, formal and informal dining rooms and a pair of kitchens. There are a total of nine bedrooms and seven bedrooms in 9,680 square feet of living space.
Josh Flagg of Rodeo Realty was the listing agent. Kurt Rappaport of Westside Estate Agency represented Ford.
The new tenant, owner of Hostess Brands, will acquire the zoo, the grotto, and a silk-pajama-wearing resident
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JIM BARTSCH
Posted August 16, 2016
The Playboy Mansion has a new owner. The storied property sold for $100 million—just half of the $200 million listing price, which made it the most expensive estate in Los Angeles at the time. The new owner is Daren Metropoulos of the private equity firm Metropoulos & Co., which owns dessertmaker Hostess Brands. Metropoulos also owns the house next door, having bought the adjacent property for $18 million in 2009, according to The Wall Street Journal. One of the world’s most famous (or infamous) properties, the Playboy Mansion occupies five acres in L.A.’s prestigious Holmby Hills enclave bordering the Los Angeles Country Club. It’s also the home of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, who will have a life estate according to the terms of the sale, meaning that he can stay there until he dies. (Considering he’s the man who made the mansion and its parties the stuff of legend after Playboy Enterprises purchased the home for $1.05 million in 1971, that doesn’t seem entirely unreasonable.)
“Aside from it being the Playboy Mansion, it’s also one of the finest estate properties in the country,” says Gary Gold, executive vice president of real-estate firm Hilton & Hyland, who is one of the listing agents, along with Drew Fenton of Hilton & Hyland and Mauricio Umansky of the Agency. “It’s literally the best of the best of the best. Properties like this don’t come up for sale.”
Construction of the Tudor Revival mansion began in 1927, and the main house has six bedrooms, six baths, and two powder rooms. The estate also includes a four-bedroom guesthouse and a two-bedroom games house.
“To me, quite honestly, the biggest highlight is the architecture itself—the house is absolutely stunning,” says Umansky, CEO of the Agency. “We don’t have a lot of 1920s architecture here in L.A.” He adds that the interior will need some refurbishing, “but you’re starting off with a piece of art.” And the new owner agrees. Metropoulos said in a statement that he is less interested in the home’s wild past and more interested in preserving its architectural significance.
The grotto might be the most talked-about feature of the grounds, but other highlights include the zoo (the home is one of the few private residences in L.A. with such a license), the lagoon-style pool, the tennis court, and the rolling lawns.
“The grounds are absolutely breathtaking,” Gold says. There’s also a koi pond, a small citrus orchard, and two well-established forests of tree ferns and redwoods. After Hefner’s reign comes to an end, Metropoulos plans to combine his two properties into one that will span 7.3 acres.
Completion Date: January 2015
Oak Pass House, Beverly Hills, United States
The Oak Pass Main House sits atop a 3.5-acre ridge site with panoramic canyon views. The property’s topography and landscape, which most notably include over 130 protected Coast Live Oak Trees, were the primary drivers for the house’s design. In order to showcase and amplify the site’s inherent beauty, the house’s mass is buried into the hillside, with only a one-story pavilion above grade as it unfolds along the ridge.
The house’s upper level is composed of an array of masses that contains the kitchen, living, and dining areas. Each of these components rotates slightly to frame a unique perspective, together creating a panoramic impression of the canyon from the inside. Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors pocket into the walls, dissolving the structure into a series of planes that facilitates a gentle continuity between the interior and exterior spaces.
On the lower level, a hallway to the east grants access to the bedrooms, which open to sweeping views of the canyon below. A sunken courtyard flanks the hallway, bringing in light and air from above, and creating a more intimately-scaled outdoor space that serves the house’s private programmatic functions.
On its exterior, the house meets the site delicately by absorbing, reflecting, and merging with its features. Much of the lower level sits beneath a vegetated roof, which folds the structure into the hillside and pulls the landscape to the base of the living spaces above. Bisecting the house, a seventy-five foot infinity lap pool creates continuity between the trees and their reflection in the water, accentuating the vastness of the landscape and extending its most striking characteristics across the property.
The material palette, both on the interior and exterior of the house, is reminiscent of the earth, and enhances without overpowering the landscape. The use of a primarily concrete structure enables longer spans and cantilevers throughout the house, creating a weightlessness of form that at critical points anchors firmly into the earth. This method of construction generates a simultaneous impression of lightness and heft, a juxtaposition that is characteristic of the tree-lined hills of which the house becomes an integrated component.
Hugh Hefner’s multimillion dollar listing is on the market — it’s being sold by Gary Gold
Published on Jan 12, 2016
BY AMBER TAUFEN STAFF WRITER
Marketing is everything when it comes to sales. The listing agents behind the Playboy Mansion — Gary Gold and Mauricio Umansky — have the benefit of a very well-known brand and name behind the property, which recently went up for sale with a $200 million asking price.
But recent press about the condition of the mansion has been less-than-glowing. A 2013 Vice article describing the property as “kinda depressing” has been on the front page of Google results for the “Playboy Mansion” search term for months, and with Playboy’s announcement that it would no longer be publishing nude women in magazines, the question of whether the company is still relevant in the digital age is being widely debated in the publishing community.
Add that to a contingency that the mansion’s current owner, the illustrious Hugh Hefner, be allowed to continue to occupy the property until his death, and the sale could get even tougher. Hef might be in his late 80s, but it’s also safe to assume he’s received top-notch medical care for most of his life. He could be kicking around for another five to ten years, or possibly even longer than that.
Well, the infamous “they” say that a picture is worth a thousand words. If that’s the case, then these press-ready photos that Gold and Umansky shared with Inman should be getting Hef a lot closer to that coveted $200 million price tag. The mansion looks just as stately as it did when it was first built in 1927.
The last remodel on this seven-bedroom, 14,000-plus-square-foot dwelling was completed in 1947, according to public records.
The most likely buyer? My guess is either a history buff, especially someone interested in the history of publishing — or a startup tech wizard who’s got fond memories of the magazine.
Chris Michaud, Reuters
Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Playboy
The cocktail hour during an advance screening of “Entourage” at the Playboy Mansion on May 20 in Los Angeles.
The iconic Los Angeles mansion of Hugh Hefner, the founder of the Playboy empire, is being put up for sale for $200 million, Playboy Enterprises said, one of the highest asking prices for a private residence in the United States.
The Gothic Tudor-style mansion, which has an area of nearly 20,000 square feet (1,858 square meters) and boasts 29 rooms, sits amid 5 acres in Holmby Hills west of the city.
In addition to amenities such as a tennis court and a free-form swimming pool, the estate is home to the infamous Playboy grotto, which over the years served as the setting for some of Hefner’s most lavish, hedonistic parties.
The mansion, in which Hefner still lives, also has a zoo license, the company said in a statement announcing the sale.
“The Playboy Mansion has been a creative center for Hef as his residence and workplace for the past 40 years, as it will continue to be if the property is sold,” the statement added.
The City of Beverly Hills will turn 100 on January 28, 2014! It is the 31st oldest of Los Angeles County’s 88 cities. The entire community is invited to an exciting year-long celebration comprised of tourism initiatives, regional events and community activities that will pay tribute to Beverly Hills’ past, present and future and promote the city’s brand on a global scale. As Beverly Hills preps to celebrate its 100th birthday, there are some unique promotions in store to kick off the countdown to the city’s centennial. One special event is call Suite 100, the city is working a hospitality promotion with five of its luxury hotel partners to offer specialty themed suites, each of which hearkens to a different era of the city, from the 1940s to the present day. The theme at the Montage Beverly Hills is “Film Noir” from the 1940s. At the Beverly Hills Hotel & Bungalows it’s “The Golden Age Inspired by Marilyn Monroe.” Monroe was a frequent hotel guest in the 1950s. The Beverly Hilton will put on a “Stylish, Sophisticated Sixties: A Re-Imagined Revolution” in its suite. L’Ermitage Beverly Hills is going for “The Era of Studio 54 – Fashion & Art Collide,” a mid-1970s disco, Warhol and Halston look. The Peninsula Beverly Hills’ theme is “The Birth of Modern Glamour,” designed with the looks of recent decades. Guests who stay or groups that reserve the specialty suites will be treated to a comprehensive experience that may include accompanying vintage automobiles for use around the city; vintage periodicals and other special touches in each suite; and personal concierge service that parallels each respective decade. Check out more with pictures: http://goo.gl/bTRkGD
As the economic recovery continues, Americans are again able to invest. Although there are many investment options available, real estate offers several advantages over most of them. First. is the ability to finance a portion of the purchase and leverage the initial investment. The benefit is that you now control an asset valued much higher – unlike stocks, bonds and CDs. Especially now with the historically low interest rates available, a small increase in the value of a leveraged property investment delivers a greater return than an unleveraged investment — approximately 12 percent gross. Investing in real estate also offers very valuable tax benefits, not so with earnings from investments in CDs, bonds and stocks are taxed. The numerous deductions from the profit on mortgage interest, property repairs and depreciation are very advantageous. In addition real estate investors are writing off depreciation of an asset that is typically appreciating providing yearly benefits to a long-term investment. Most importantly, ownership of rental property is an asset generates consistent cash flow. Subsidizing the investment with consistent rental income puts money in the investor’s pocket, covering the mortgage, repairs and additional expenses.
Beverly Hills offers so many distinctive homes designed by noted architects, many tied to Hollywood’s Golden Age. But architectural and cultural heritage has proven no match for the nouveaux riches of Beverly Hills. Some of the older homes lack the style and amenities today’s luxury buyers want — great rooms, entertainment centers, restaurant-quality kitchens and vast bedroom suites. Rooms in even the most opulent older Beverly Hills homes can feel cramped by modern high-end standards. For today’s luxury buyer, remodeling is unappealing. They want to maximize home size, often reducing outdoor space in favor of more bedrooms and more expansive living areas. The tear-down phenomenon is hardly new. Beverly Hills residents have for decades razed houses that earlier generations considered grand to make way for more lavish residences. Many structures associated with celebrities or designed by noted architects were among those toppled by bulldozers, including John Lautner’s Shusett House. The recent demolition of a North Roxbury Drive residence where Gershwin lived, wrote and entertained Hollywood royalty. And aftern the near miss of a modernist Richard Neutra, Beverly Hills finally got serious about preserving its architectural legacy, the city enacted an ordinance early last year, and quickly enacted tax breaks to foster neighborhood preservation. The city is also conducting a citywide survey to identify potentially significant houses.
There is an emerging trend in the luxury real estate market place, it is a kind of coming of age, as in the age is coming down. A new survey by the Luxury Institute finds that wealthy younger buyers are driving the luxury real estate market, and are paving the way in a changing market place. And the bonus for luxury home sellers, they are willing to pay more than similar wealthy buyers age 55 and older. According to the survey of Americans age 21 or older with a minimum gross annual household income of $250,000, 43 percent of younger wealthy consumers are considering the purchase of residential property in the next 12 months, compared to 21 percent of those age 55 and older. On average these younger wealthy consumers spent more than $2.1 million on their most recent purchase of residential property, approximately twice the average amount spent by older and similarly wealthy luxury buyers, which was $1.1 million. These younger luxury buyers are leading a change in desired home amenities, whether they have young families or are single without children, they are looking for homes that fit their active and unique lifestyle. Younger buyers are significantly more likely to want homes with amenities such as a pool, outdoor kitchen, home gym, home theater, wine cellar and four or more garages. Less importance is placed on staff quarters, tennis/sports courts and separate catering kitchens. For majority of luxury buyers, location is the most important factor when considering the purchase of residential property. However, nearly one in four have the freedom to choose a property anywhere. The younger luxury buyer have more freedom to choose a residence that truly fits their lifestyle and will not limit their search based on location.
Existing-home sales increased in August, reaching their highest level in 6 1/2 years. What’s more, the median price shows nine consecutive months of double-digit year-over-year increases, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Sales are at the highest pace since February 2007, when they hit 5.79 million, and have remained above year-ago levels for the past 26 months. The median time on market for all homes was 43 days in August, little changed from 42 days in July, but is much faster than the 70 days on market in August 2012. Total housing inventory at the end of August increased 0.4 percent to 2.25 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 4.9-month supply at the current sales pace, down from a 5.0-month supply in July. Unsold inventory is 6.3 percent below a year ago, when there was a 6-month supply. Limited inventory in some areas means multiple bidding remains a factor; 17 percent of all homes sold above the asking price in August. As the equity position of most homeowners continues to improve, some who have been on the sidelines will list their home for sale. Current home owners—whether move-up, move-down, or move-over buyers—accounted for nearly 45 percent of the market share in home sales. Meanwhile, first-time home buyers are still being held back, with a slight drop in their market share from 36 percent to 35.7 percent month over month. The investor share in home purchases dropped to 19.7 percent from 23.1 percent.
Today the famed Beverly Hills landmark, is in the midst of a renaissance. For the first time since the recession, there are almost no vacancies among the roughly 100 storefronts along the three-block retail row. From Dayton Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard to the 400 block, Rodeo Drive today boasts more than 100 world-renowned hotels and boutiques. The Los Angeles Times profiles highlights of Rodeo Drive, widely considered one of the most famous streets in the world. It’s been immortalized in movies, books, song lyrics and on reality TV. Luxury retail real estate brokers say that brands have started to invest in new infrastructure, because luxury stores always have to update their look and keep it fresh. Recent newcomers to the street include Patek Philippe. In October, Dior reopened its 5,000-square-foot store with a design concept borrowed from the brand’s worldwide flagship in Paris. In November, Van Cleef & Arpels reopened its historic boutique. And this spring, Prada redesigned its concept store. Louis Vuitton and Saint Laurent are both embarking on multimillion-dollar renovations of their stores. Coming soon will be Vera Wang and Burberry. Another indicator of the value of a Rodeo Drive address is that luxury brands are starting to buy their stores instead of just leasing them. In May, Chanel bought 408 N. Rodeo in one of the highest per-square-foot sales in Los Angeles County, reportedly paying $117 million for the 13,317-square-foot property. LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton bought 319 Rodeo for $85 million, and Hermes bought its building for a reported $75 million.
The proportion of investors involved in the housing market has fallen in the last few months. As their numbers dwindle, it may allow other buyers to step in, according to housing experts.In recent years, many buyers—particularly first-time home buyers—may have lost out to investors’ all-cash offers on homes. Banks and sellers may have been lured by the idea of a quick deal that cash offers typically provide over offers from buyers who require financing. But with less competition from investors, some housing experts say this may allow an opportunity for other potential buyers to get into the market. Investors have gone from accounting for 23 percent of home purchases in February to about 20 percent in June—the lowest level since September 2012, according to data from Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance survey. With mortgage rates rising in anticipation of the Federal Reserve scaling back the generous stimulus to the economy it introduced during the financial crisis of 2007-2009, investors are pulling back. Their numbers will likely decrease even more in the coming year. About 48 percent of investors recently surveyed say they plan to lessen their home purchases over the next year, according to a recent survey by ORC International. Only 20 percent of the investors surveyed say they plan to buy more homes in the next year, a drop from 39 percent 10 months earlier. The softening of investor demand has also coincided with a drop in sales of so-called distressed properties, whether foreclosures or short sales. These homes usually sell for less than others and had been the focus of investor interest. In July, distressed homes made up only 15 percent of sales, according to the National Association of Realtors. That matched June’s reading, which was the lowest since the group started monitoring distressed sales in October 2008.
Mr Gold and his office are a great team and simply know how to close deals and deliver the goods. In our case we had the added challenge of being based in Europe but that didnt effect anything and we closed well before the anticipated date. No problem recommending his services.
Gary representation in the sale of my house was very personable and professional. His frequent updates, advice, and aggressive attitude were refreshing. I will recommend Gary for any and all real estate needs. A pleasure working with him. Five star all the way.
Gary has been very knowledgable and thorough from the get-go. He knows his area extremely well. He is also very diligent – he worked with a difficult listing and managed to find several very qualified buyers. He is also on the cutting edge of real estate technology which makes the process very easy.