For Your Pleasure: a $23 Million Monday Quickie

You guys are gonna be super excited because the high-end LA market which kinda maybe sorta went dormant after last year is finally heating back up. Took it long enough, right? It’s already almost May. We hope this continues, because your gurl’s got a ton of great stories in the pipeline for y’all this week.

Take a gander at this giddily unique palace in a very good part of Beverly Hills. It’s supremely sited – private and quiet yet just off Benedict Canyon and only a quick jog to the legendary Beverly Hills Hotel.

When this property first came to the market (asking an optimistic $29 million!), your gurl was sure it would be snatched up by a foreigner from Russia, China, or the Arab world. And maybe that could’ve happened. The house appears to have fallen out of escrow at least twice before finally selling for a discounted $23,000,000 a few days ago.

Anyway, we have a good gurlfriend who knows these things and she swears up and down to Yolanda that the buyers are not fresh off the boat foreigners but rather the Akhtarzad family from Beverly Hills, who have lived here for a very long time. Note: Yolanda is not able to confirm the Akhtarzads are the buyers since the house just sold a couple days ago and the property records have not yet been updated. But we’re pretty damn sure our gurl wouldn’t lie to us. She’s long been one of our best hoes. And she’s definitely in a position to know.

Now let’s digress for just a wee moment. We’re gonna tell y’all a true little story that may (or may not) shock y’all. Ready? Yolanda did not grow up with a silver spoon stuck in her perfectly-sculpted mouth! Shocking, we know. Her family always had more than enough, but it was not mega-millions and they’ve always been conservative spenders. Thus, your gurl’s early years were spent in a modest house in a not-glamorous zip code of LA, and we distinctly remember shopping with Mrs. Yakketyyak at the neighborhood Pic-‘N-Save. Quit laughing!

It wasn’t until Yolanda entered her teenage years that her parents came into some serious funds and quickly moved to a much larger house in a much better zip code. That’s why, even though Yolanda graduated from a too-expensive private university and now drives a rather silly high-end German automobile, we still know how to keep it real up in here. Got it? Okay.

The roundabout point Yolanda’s trying to make is that growing up, we imagined houses like this one were what all houses in Beverly Hills were like. Unrestrained yet exquisitely manicured. Reeking of money yet somehow simultaneously tasteful. It wasn’t until we got older and were actually exposed to real big money in our neighborhood that we realized things just ain’t like that. Lots of folks in the the 90210, 90077, and 90049 actually live in tacky dumps. But this, baby – this is the Beverly Hills Yolanda imagined as a child.

See what we mean? Fabulous and over-the-top in all the right ways. You know it is. Just look at that driveway. That’s a serious statement entrance.

The property has a commodious 1+ acre of land. Marketing materials describe the house as a “Florentine Villa” and reveal it was extensively worked over by interior designer Juan Pablo Molyneux. Mr. Molyneux, in case you didn’t know, is a legendary, internationally-renowned Maximalist. This guy is no joke. And as those few who can afford him would tell you, his fees for doing a house like this might well run into the millions.

The front foyer looks like money with its intricate and elaborate marble and gold-leafed wrought iron work. The luxurious detailing continues into the dining room, where a Chinoiserie mural from Paris contrasts the dark walnut dining set with its shimmering, glorious gold.

Though originally built in 1934, the house was “re-imagined” (and rebuilt) in the 2000s by an uber-rich healthcare entrepreneur named Leonardo Berezevsky. The new version of the house now encompasses 11,000 square feet with 5 beds and 9 baths. It also includes niceties such as a fully-mirrored hardwood floor gym, and a full-size professional screening room, shown above.

Incidentally, Mr. Berezevsky went to meet his maker fairly recently and his heirs are the ones who (allegedly) just sold this place to the Ahktarzad family.

“Let there be light.” The living room and drawing rooms continue the theme of sumptuous, classy opulence.

The master bedroom is bold but not unpleasant with its glossy parquet wood floors, french windows, sienna Venetian plaster walls and other elegantly refined yet deliciously decadent furnishings. The master bathroom’s got a multi-jet stream gold-knobbed shower and a snazzy marble floor.

Listing materials also indicate the house has a completely marble outside kitchen. Other luxurious features include a bullet-resistant (!!!) Kevlar-lined safe room, staff quarters, a customized patio and fountain made of handmade Portuguese tiles, lighted tennis court, temperature and a humidity controlled wine cave.

As for the Akhtarzad fam, we heard it’s one of the adult sons who bought this house. Yolanda’s not sure which one. But what we do know is that Joseph & Ellie Akhtarzad, the longtime patriarch and matriarch of the clan (they’ve made mountains of money in real estate and some sort of video production or something) have long owned and resided in a big ol’ mansion in a very good part of the western Beverly Hills flats.

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The family picked up the property way back in 2000. At the time of their acquisition, the lot contained a much smaller house that was reportedly once occupied by Nancy Sinatra. The Akhtarzads quickly razed Ms. Sinatra’s old house and built the tank you see above. Records show the new abode weighs in at more than 12,000 square feet of living space, with 6 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms.

Before we dash off, kiddies, Yolanda’s just gotta say one more thing. This house, the Molyneux-designed one we just discussed, is the way opulence should be done. One good look at the place and there’s absolutely no question that whoever lives there is rich as f*ck. But it’s never trashy about it, like so many other of those turgid Tuscans and counterfeit chateaus we see in LA are. It’s refined, exquisite, beautiful, and we happen to believe it’s well worth the huge pricetag. Why can’t more of them new behemoths look like this? We’re not seriously asking. Your gurl is just preaching to the choir. But we digress…

2 Comment

  1. Dutch says: Reply

    Can you do a story about the house Suzanne Saperstein purchased this month? And an update about Fleur de Lys? 🙂 love this blog

  2. Self-described “maximalist” interior designer
    Juan Pablo Molyneux and his wife, Pilar, first put
    their opulent Lenox Hill limestone on the market in 2012,
    asking a staggering $48 million that seems to have been received with more shock than awe, and they subsequently took
    it off the market.

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