A recent report by CoreLogic highlighted the fact that even as sky-high home prices in Los Angeles continue to increase, overall sales volume has dropped in the past two consecutive months. Optimistic (some might say greedy) sellers have flooded the market with subpar homes saddled with distressingly outrageous pricetags. And most buyers just aren’t biting. Could prices finally have crested the peak, or is this just a minor pothole on the road to multi-million-dollar shanties?
Who knows. Yolanda certainly does not. But what we do know is that despite the strength of the dollar and the resulting loss of many foreign investors, the ultra-high-end market still seems to be lit (to borrow a phrase from the kiddies). By our personal tabulations, LA County has seen no fewer than 17 sales of over $20 million this year, and we’re still within the third quarter.
Everyone already knows about the record-smashing $100 million sale of the Playboy Mansion and the bonkers $90 million transfer of Owlwood. But right about the same time as those two deals went down, there was another much less pricey but still record-breaking transaction quietly closing on the opposite side of the 405 freeway.
In the latter days of August (2016), a brand-new spec-mansion on a prominent promontory in the high-priced but low-key “Riviera” section of Pacific Palisades sold for a breathtaking $32,500,000. Okay, that’s not anywhere near as ludicrous as a $100 million sale, but it’s still massive for the Palisades. Yolanda is pretty damn sure this is easily the biggest sale ever for that particular neighborhood. The only other one that comes close, we think, is the $26 million that Tom Hanks forked out for his Gwathemy Siegel-designed modern that’s just up the hill from the house we are discussing today.
According to our real estate insider pal Don Juan/Won/Wan, the $32.5 million residence was built by mega-mansion contractor Tyler Development and designed by prolific modern mansion architect Paul McClean of McClean Design. Have a wee look-see.
Details are slim, but Mr. Juan/Won/Wan told us the house measures roughly 15,000 square feet, although Yolanda is uncertain if that number includes the underground garage or not.
There’s a large motor court above the garage and a negative-edge swimming pool and spa that both sport views out to the Pacific and beyond. Looks like there’s a covered patio with outdoor kitchen, too.
Honestly, y’all, though we know this sort of home is the kind that many ultra-rich buyers in Los Angeles are looking for — it’s big and new and glassy and chic and no-doubt loaded with gizmo-tech — we don’t think the design here is one of Mr. McClean’s more inspired creations. Looks like a big square glass box to Yolanda. But that’s just our useless opinion.
Of course, Mr. McClean and his firm have designed some of the most expensive homes in Los Angeles, including the ground-up rebuild and expansion of the old Montalban residence on Oriole Drive in the Bird Streets, which sold for nearly $39 million back in 2012 to legally-embattled fellow Jho Low, an amount that still remains the most ever paid for a house in the Hollywood Hills. Mr. Mcclean also designed a single-story home in the Trousdale Estates neighborhood that sold earlier this year for $38,270,000 to financier Brian Sheth and remains the biggest 2016 home sale in Beverly Hills (as far as we know).
Oh, the big-money buyers? Well, get ready to be shocked because unlike 90% of their peers, they did not purchase the property through an annoying blind trust or tedious LLC. They put their real damn names on the deed! Lord have mercy. Let’s give them a round of applause.
The new owners are Richard S. Hollander and his wife Jackie. Our Mr. Hollander is currently Chairman of Aristotle Capital Management, a Southern California-based investment advisor/hedge fund, and was previously employed at Drexel Burnham Lambert, the now-shuttered investment bank where one of his co-workers — billionaire Michael Milken — did some illegal stuff and eventually got himself sent to the pokey.
Here’s what else we know about the Hollanders: they have three grown children and they are art collectors who in 2013 donated 142 photographs by world-famous snapper Edward Steichen to three different museums in New York City and Los Angeles.
Now brace yourselves because Yolanda thoroughly trawled the depths of property records and we’ve discovered that this is not the only $30 million house Mr. & Mrs. Hollander have owned. Back in 2010, near the height of the economic recession, they sold an oceanfront property on Malibu Road for $30,000,000 to New York developer Edward Minskoff. The house is located just a bit outside the exclusive “Malibu Colony” community and located on what is widely believed to be one of the best strips of sand in the city.
Some of their nearest former neighbors in Malibu included Tom Gores, Alec Gores, Erika Glazer, Sting, Donald Sterling, and Leonardo DiCaprio (who back in 2013 sold his own compound a couple doors away for $17,400,000 to fashion designer turned hedge fund manager Christian Leone and his interior designer husband Malcolm Kutner. But we digress…)
Lo and behold, Yolanda also discovered that Mr. & Mrs. Hollander once (back in 2004 and 2005) bought and flipped a vacant parcel in the cartoonishly opulent Beverly Park guard-gated community in the mountains above Beverly Hills. That vacant parcel is now the site of a Tuscan-ized mega-mansion owned by construction tycoon Ron Tutor (below).
The property-mad Hollanders also lay claim to a large home out in the resort town of Palm Desert (CA). The multi-million-dollar structure — it clocks in at 10,883-square-feet per property records — is located within the guard-gated gates of the prestigious Bighorn Golf Club.
Back in LA, the Hollanders’ current primary residence appears to be a roomy but dated mansion located on a guard-gated road called “Moraga Estates” in a area that’s technically Bel Air but is so far west and so close to the 405 freeway that it actually carries a 90049 (Brentwood) zip code.
The 1979 structure was acquired by Mr. & Mrs. Hollander way, way back in 1985 for just $1,800,000.
And as it turns out, Mr. & Mrs. Hollander’s Bel Air tennis court mini-estate is currently available for sale as a whisper listing with an asking price of $11,950,000. It’s listed with Drew Fenton of Hilton & Hyland.