Capital Assets

From spec mansions to legendary Hollywood estates, L.A. properties continue to net top dollar

Written by Wendy Bowman

lavish estate has re-entered the L.A. market with a hefty new price tag, thanks largely to the landmark sales of a duo of $100 million single-family homes in the area in 2016. Two of the city’s highest-ever recorded deals, the transactions were handled by The Agency and included the Playboy Mansion in the Holmby Hills section of Bel-Air—purchased by Hugh Hefner’s next door neighbor, Daren Metropoulos, principal at the private-equity firm Metropoulos & Co.—and 301 N. Carolwood Drive—a 38,000-square-foot spec mansion on the grounds of Barbra Streisand’s former Mon Rêve estate in Holmby Hills procured by Detroit Pistons owner, Tom Gores.

Now hitting the market for $129 million after a yearlong hiatus is billionaire real estate investor Jeff Greene’s Palazzo di Amore—a palatial Mediterranean-style estate perched on a 25-acre promontory overlooking the historic Beverly Hills Hotel. Also listed by The Agency, the residence, at 9505 Lania Lane, was crafted by a team that included developer Mohamed Hadid, architect Bob Ray Offenhauser and designer Alberto Pinto.

“We feel now is the perfect time for a house of this grandeur to enter the market,” says Stacy Gottula, who is co-listing the residence with Mauricio Umansky, both of The Agency. “Mr. Greene is motivated to sell because he is spending most of his time now in Palm Beach with his family, and he feels the price of $129 million reflects the current status of the luxury real estate market.”

According to The Agency’s 2016 Annual Report, L.A. saw an increase in average sale prices of single-family residences by about 1.5 percent, along with an increase in demand. Fourth quarter 2016 was a particularly strong period for home sales of more than $5 million, with transactions up 15 percent year-over-year and 4.3 percent quarter-over-quarter. Expect the momentum to continue into 2017, with many new homes just competed in the $100 million range.

“Los Angeles is one of the best places in the world to call home, and each year we welcome more affluent individuals who recognize the appeal of living in this exquisite locale,” says Gottula. “For the most discerning buyers, the warm weather, fine dining and unparalleled entertainment options the city offers are priceless. Unwilling to compromise on the lifestyle, they also seek the finest residences. To meet the demand, we are seeing more developers building spec homes and movement in the resale market.”

Location plays a large factor in determining a price point, with areas such as Beverly Hills, Bel-Air and Malibu commanding high dollar given their reputation and services. The $100 million properties also are situated on larger lots and the majority are new construction, complete with the latest technology and amenities. For the $129 million price tag on Greene’s 12-bedroom, 23-bath Palazzo di Amore, the new owner will get a grand chef’s kitchen with a commercial walk-in refrigerator; a 10,000-bottle wine cellar boasting temperature-controlled rooms for wine storage 

and a large tasting room with stone flooring and vaulted brick-barrel ceilings; and an unrivaled master suite featuring a fireplace with hand-carved wood mantel, sitting area with Juliet balconies, and beautifully finished dual baths with massive showroom-quality walk-in dressing rooms.

Yet other standout features include a Moroccan room sporting custom hand-painted wood panels and a Turkish-style spa featuring floor-to-ceiling iridescent Moroccan tiles. Meanwhile, outdoors, one will find lushly landscaped grounds with terraced vineyards; a tennis court and pavilion; a 128-foot reflecting pool and fountain; and a new two-level, 15,000-square-foot entertainment complex with a DJ booth, revolving dance floor and laser-light system, two-lane bowling alley and game room, theater that seats 50 for live stage shows and movie screenings, and a sun room that opens to a relaxing pool and spa.

For those with deep pockets, Palazzo di Amore is not alone when it comes to expensive homes. Other pricey digs now available include the most expensive home in the U.S.—an extravagant Bel-Air masterpiece at 924 Bel-Air Road built by high-end developer Bruce Makowsky, complete with amenities and bespoke items culled from around the globe and an asking price of $250 million (represented by Williams & Williams Estates and Rodeo Realty)—and The Manor, the former Holmby Hills home of Aaron and Candy Spelling, listed at $200 million by Hilton & Hyland.

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