Like many of LA’s toniest neighborhoods, historic and historically WASP-y Hancock Park has seen a significant price surge over the past few years. But Yolanda believes the appreciation here — particularly at the highest-end — has been even more dramatic than most other areas. And if you want a great illustration of that, just have a peek at the real estate history of a very rich yet still young(ish) couple named Eric Eisner & Stacey Bendet.
Chances are, if you orbit high-nosed LA snob society (is there such a thing?) or have any interest in fashion whatsoever, you probably already know who these two are. But for all you hermits and/or ruffians out there, Ms. Bendet is a bonafide social media star with nearly 600,000 followers on her Instagram account. More importantly (at least to her, hopefully), she’s also a mother of three tots and a powerful and successful businesswoman. As the CEO of Alice + Olivia, which she founded with a college friend in 2002, Ms. Bendet has built a veritable fashion empire, a billion-dollar brand that today encompasses 32 retail stores spread across three continents, 400 employees, and more than $200 million in annual revenue.
Oh, and lest we forget: Ms. Bendet is also a member of Vanity Fair‘s International Best-Dressed List Hall of Fame.
As for Mr. Eisner, he’s a part-time film producer who has a lot of money. For those of you slow on the uptake, yes, we’re talking Eisner as in that Eisner. Eric is the middle son of billionaire Tinseltown stalwart Michael Eisner, the once all-powerful and long-reigning (but finally ousted) former CEO of Disney.
Back in 2012, Mr. Eisner & Ms. Bendet shoveled out a bit less than eight figures ($8,865,000 through a blind trust) for the historic Rindge estate, an 11,336-square-foot Mediterranean behemoth on a solid acre of land in the proverbial (and literal) heart of the neighborhood.
At the time, it was not the most ever paid for a house in Hancock Park, but it was up there. We think it was definitely in the top three biggest sales ever. The property was sold by Friends star David Schwimmer, who has since relocated to NYC (for what it’s worth).
Only two years later, the extraordinarily wealthy couple unexpectedly sold their recently-acquired house for $11,000,000. And this time the sale price was, in fact, the most ever paid for a house in Hancock Park. The buyer? Not a celebrity at all but rather a clearly very wealthy banker from San Diego named Lenny Feder.
We’re not sure why Mr. Eisner & Ms. Bendet opted to sell their home only about two years after moving in. Maybe they just saw an opportunity to make a quick buck, or maybe they found the giant place a bit too large for their young family. But you wouldn’t think folks at their level of wealth would care about petty things like that, right? Hmmm.
Whatever the case, the couple’s fondness for the centrally-located neighborhood (it’s a super-easy commute to Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, or Downtown LA) obviously has not waned. Yolanda happens to know that the pair just dropped $10,350,000 through a blind trust on another home there that’s just a short stroll away from their old pad.
The deal happened totally off-market, so unfortunately Yolanda has no pictures to provide or many details. However, public records say the red brick Tudor-style ol’ gurl was built in 1927 and includes 7 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms in a mansion-sized 8,377-square-feet of living space. The corner lot spans a generous .77-acre.
Just think for a moment about that, kiddies. Mr. Eisner & Ms. Bendet paid well over 10 million smackers for a house that’s smaller and (in Yolanda’s worthless opinion) not as attractive as their old house, on a lot that’s smaller and less private than their old lot. Yet it cost them $1.5 million more. That’s a lot of dough!
The sale price is also more than double what their new house last sold for back in 2005 — a mere $5,100,000.
Here’s what we can tell you. The estate encompasses a long and rambling two story main house, a pitched-roof single-story guest house/pool house, and a three car detached garage with a gated driveway. Well-maintained landscaping and leafy foliage shield much of the house from the public street, and out back there are extravagant formal gardens with a large centerpiece fountain, and a concrete terrace-surrounded dark-bottomed swimming pool with an old-school diving board.
An interesting tidbit is that the sellers, a pair named Luke & Elizabeth Thornton (they own LA-based Believe Media), appear to have removed most or all of the original Tudor-style timber siding from the structure during their ownership. Perhaps it was termite-ridden or something. Either way, it’s not a huge deal since the landscaping shields most of the home from public view, blah blah blah.
It is Yolanda’s understanding from folks acquainted with them that Mr. Eisner & Ms. Bendet also retain their own full-time private security team. Thus, the estate’s sizable guest/pool house will probably be put to use as sleeping quarters for their bodyguards or perhaps just as a “security hub” with computers to monitor the estate’s many cameras and alarm systems. You know, just your typical billionaire family stuff.
Before settling in Hancock Park, Mr. & Mrs. Eisner for several years lived just above the Sunset Strip and West Hollywood in a high-priced area of the Hollywood Hills that’s known as the “Bird Streets”. The couple sold their wildly-decorated single-story “starter house” (actually it was originally Mr. Eisner’s bachelor pad before he married Ms. Bendet) in 2013 for $3,414,000 to a well-off but not famous person.
The home’s modest exterior belies the funkiness within. Take a look at the home’s official website to see what we mean.
Get it now?
Listen, we know the somewhat psychedelic interior decor is not to everyone’s taste, but we applaud real estate risk takers and the quirkiness works for Yolanda. Other folks might find it nauseating. That’s okay too. We just wonder if Ms. Bendet will attempt the same dizzying aesthetic in her historic Tudor house in Hancock Park. Now that would be somethin’, but not necessarily a good somethin’. Eh?
Oh, and speaking of Hancock Park, some of Mr. Eisner and Ms. Bendet’s new and nearest neighbors include Matt Bomer, George Takei, and Dodgers pitcher Adrian Gonzalez (who lives directly across the street). And just down the block is the two-parcel estate compound that Melanie Griffin and Antonio Banderas sold for a record-smashing $15,900,000 last year to Netflix exec Ted Sarandos and his Beverly Hills-bred wife Nicole Avant, the former US ambassador to the Bahamas.