Back in 2012, investment banking guru Michael J. Richter paid now-deceased organ transplant tech scientist and mega-rich philanthropist Paul Terasaki (he and his wife once donated $50 million to UCLA) an impressive $9,300,000 for his big ol’ Brentwood Park mansion.
In case any of y’all are not from LA or familiar with the Brentwood Park area, we’ll provide a quick geography lesson. Brentwood is located just west of the 405 and (kinda) centered around Sunset Boulevard. Brentwood Park is a neighborhood within Brentwood, which is itself a neighborhood within the city of Los Angeles. Brentwood Park generally tends to be the most expensive section of Brentwood, which is itself a very expensive area. But don’t confuse Brentwood Park with the similarly-named and star-studded Beverly Park neighborhood. Brentwood Park, though it has plenty of celeb residents, is neither a gated community nor a mega-mansion haven like that other place. But it does have many large mansions. And it’s deliciously close to one of Yolanda’s favorite LA haunts, the Brentwood Country Mart.
Confused yet? Good.
Though Brentwood Park is not — at the moment — considered quite as hot and sexy a location as trendier neighborhoods like Trousdale Estates and the Bird Streets, it’s highly-prized by the richie-rich sorts who are in the child-rearing phase of their lives. Folks who don’t care for all the noise and drama that comes with owning a house near the Sunset Strip and WeHo.
And don’t get it twisted — Brentwood Park, for all its low-key, family friendly nature, can get just as pricey as the Birds, Trousdale, or even Beverly Park herself. Just ask LeBron James, who set jaws a-slack and panties a-fluttering in the breeze last year when he slammed down $20,970,000 for a big-but-not-huge Brentwood Park mansion. That price was — and still is — the most ever paid for a house in the neighborhood.
But Mon Dieu! We majorly digress, don’t we? Anyway, Mr. Richter acquired his Brentwood Park mansion in 2012 for $9.3 million and almost immediately attempted to unload it. For $16 million.
That’s right, kiddies. Mr. Richter threw the very same house on the market for about $16 million just months after purchasing it for $9 million. No major renovations or nothin’. Crazy, right? You just can’t make this stuff up. Yolanda is ashamed to say that she laughed and laughed at Mr. Richter. And with no takers (duh!) the pricetag eventually tumbled slightly to just below $15 million. Still no takers (double duh!). We laughed some more. Eventually, poor Mr. Richter delisted the property in December 2014. We cackled so very loud.
Sometime in 2015, Mr. Richter commissioned Brentwood/Pacific Palisades mansion specialist Ken Ungar to give the un-flippable ol’ gurl a facelift. Mr. Unger did just that and turned the Mediterranean-themed house into a modern traditional sort of confection. Judging from the pics, it seems he had a surplus of black, white, and grey paint lying about, or something. Mr. Richter lickety-split flipped the newly-renovated thang back on the market in March 2016. But this time, the pricetag ballooned ridiculously — all the way up to $19,995,000!
Whaaaaaaat?!?! Yep. $20 million bucks for the same 12,752 square foot house on a sizable (but definitely not huge) .58-acre lot. At this point, your gurl was wondering if Mr. Richter had the biggest cojones in the whole damn city or if he was just a professional comedian in disguise. “We’ll have whatever he’s smokin'”, we ordered our long-suffering housekeeper (okay, she actually works for Mr. & Mrs. Yakketyyak).
But then, barely a month later, the house sold. Sold. S.O.L.D.!
That’s right. Mr. Richter got the last laugh and your gurl would up with egg all over her face. It took years, but property records reveal Mr. Richter finally and inexplicably managed to unload his house this April (2016) for nearly 20 million bucks. Actually, it was $19,715,787 (to be exact).
So who is the moneybags buyer? Property records reveal the new owner is carefully cloaked behind a tedious thing called “The Stellamarc Trust”. But, of course, Yolanda just had to know who the real buyer was, and now we know. It’s Spencer Rascoff, the formerly Seattle-based CEO of the Zillow Group, which owns some of the most ubiquitous real estate websites like HotPads, Trulia and (of course) Zillow.com.
We’re not sure why Mr. Rascoff paid $20 million for a house in Brentwood Park, but we can only assume that Zillow must be planning to relocate its HQ down here or something, or maybe he’s gonna take a new job (?). Sorry, we really don’t know.
Anyway, Yolanda thought it would be fun to use the Zillow page for Mr. Rascoff’s house to discuss the property. We planned to just link y’all there and let you browse through the pics. So imagine our surprise when we discovered that Mr. Rascoff has removed all photos of his new home from his company’s own website! We kid you not. His house’s Zillow page is confoundingly fun-free. And so is Trulia page, everything. Seriously?! What the heck!
Mr. Rascoff, baby, let’s get real for a hot minute. We’re an investor in your publicly traded Zillow Group, so we feel no shame in telling you what’s good. So how the hell are you gonna remove all photos of your house from your site, a site that depends on clicks (and picture views!) for revenue. You’re a high-profile person. People are gonna to be Googlin’ your house. You’d rather Yolanda’s hot mess of a blog gets the clicks than your own website?
This all sounds a bit hypocritical, if you ask us. Don’t make your gurl come up in your new Brentwood baller pad and give you a big slappin’. Anyway, even though Mr. Rascoff is trying to be a party pooper, we’ve still got some photos of his big new house for you to peruse and enjoy.
A wrought-iron electronic gate leads through high privet hedges to a ebonized stone motorcourt. There is a three car garage with attached service wing directly above it. The whitewashed walls of the house dramatically set off the glassy black front door, which leads into a proper entrance foyer with dark-stained wood floors and a delicately curved staircase.
Straight ahead is the dining room and a row of French doors leading out to the surprisingly-compact backyard. But hold yer horses, we’re not ready to play out back just yet.
The kitchen has one of those super sexy glass refrigerators and all the high-end appliances money can buy. There are also not one but two center islands and an attached eat-in breakfast table that seats four and is fashioned from a couple giant slabs of Calacutta marble.
The restrained but expensive-looking living and family rooms continue the white-and-grey-and-flourescent-lights theme of the interior.
The master bedroom err decidedly on the feminine side, at least from Yolanda’s perspective. We’d guess that Mr. Rascoff’s wife — Dr. Nanci Rascoff — may have picked this house out. But we’re sure Mr. Rascoff can also appreciate the soft luxury, the space, and the row of French doors that lead to his private balcony overlooking the lush backyard.
The master suite oozes luxury elsewhere as well — there are not one but two master bathrooms. And each bathroom is attached to its own smallish mirror-walled gym, or “fitness room” as it’s termed in the listing. At right, a shot of the master bathroom. In addition to the master suite, there are 5 more bedrooms and 6.25 more baths.
Elsewhere in the house there’s a state-of-the-art movie theater with three rows of stadium seating. The chairs are upholstered in a comfy looking pink fabric (velour?). And Yolanda loves it more than she probably should. There’s also a moody library-slash-office with real bookshelves capable of holding real books! Who’da thunk it?
The backyard has a simple rectangular shaped pool and attached spa. The remainder of the property is swathed in emerald-green grass that must cost a small fortune for Mr. Rascoff to maintain.
Also included in the property (but not in pictures) is a small, two-bedroom guest house/mother-in-law suite.
Earlier this year (March 2016), Mr. Rascoff dumped his 4-bedroom house in Seattle’s “Madison Park” area (above) for $1,050,000 — $245,000 less than the original asking price of nearly $1.3 million and a mind-boggling 40% less than the home’s Zestimate of $1.75 million.
For what it’s worth, Zillow currently lists the value of Mr. Rascoff’s new house in Brentwood Park at $18,251,859 — or nearly $1.7 million less than he just paid. Too bad, so sad, but we doubt Mr. Rascoff really cares much. He’s a rich beotch, and we’re sure he’ll be glad that some of his new neighbors include fellow ballers like Trey Parker and Steve Levitan. The former OJ Simpson property — the house was long ago demolished — also is right around the corner.
As for Mr. Richter, a Managing Director at Lazard, property records reveal he’s already selected his next residence. The finally-lucky fella paid $7,650,000 in June (2016) for an 8,686 square foot Traditional-style house (below) that’s less than 5 minutes’ drive away from his old residence and is located in the bucolic, equestrian-friendly, and celebrity-packed lower Mandeville Canyon area of Brentwood. The seller of the property, records reveal, was former Yahoo! CEO Ross Levinsohn.
That’s all, folks. Oh, and Mr. Rascoff, put your damn house pictures back on Zillow or we’re selling our itty-bitty bit of stock. Yolanda is not playing. Do it!