Tom Gores officially checks out of Beverly Park… for a record-breaking price

When multi-billionaire Platinum Equity mogul and Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores bought a $100,000,000 Holmby Hills mega-mansion last month, it caught Yolanda (and everyone else) completely off-guard. We were flabbergasted that even a billionaire like himself had the financial wherewithal to throw down $100 million in cash. Jaded as we are, that’s still a terrifyingly massive amount of moolah.

As it turns out — and as you should already know from our 58 previous stories on this — Mr. Gores did not actually pay $100 million in cash. The real deal is he shelled out something in cash and traded some of his (many, many, many) land holdings for the remainder.

One of his trades was a 3.2-acre vacant spread in Bel Air. Mr. Gores originally acquired the then-uncombined two mansion compound in late 2008 in two separate transactions for a stupendous total of $56,000,000. He then spent years renovating and enlarging the existing structures before losing interest and — shockingly — demolishing the whole damn half-finished mega-shopping mall.

tom_gores_bel_air_teardown_mansion
Mr. Gores’ half-finished Bel Air dream house… before the demolition

All told, Yolanda’s educated guess says that Mr. Gores dumped a conservative total of $65,000,000 (and possibly far more) into the supremely-located Bel Air spread. And yet it was all for naught.

Property records now reveal that Mr. Gores accepted a valuation of just $30,000,000 for the property when he traded/sold it to Gala Asher and Ed Berman, the developers behind Dream Projects LA, who built the $100 million Holmby Hills spec-manse. That means that Mr. Gores had to write down about $35 million of the money he poured into it. We’re sure there are tax shelters and benefits that a clever accountant can access for that sort of loss, but still. $35 million is 35 million damn dollars. A whole assload of cash. And quite possibly the most ever lost on a single residential property in Los Angeles.

Incidentally, Mr. Berman & Mr. Asher have this patch of dirt for sale with an asking price of $37,900,000.

tom_gores_bel_air
The unlucky Bel Air spread today

But wait, kiddies. That’s not all.

It was our bff Your Mama from Variety who first snitched to us — and Yolanda’s Little Black Book commenter Critic also whispered — that Mr. Gores quietly unloaded his huge Beverly Park mansion for an eyeball-exploding $40,000,000. Indeed, property records now confirm that Mr. Gores did not give up just the Bel Air spread for his new Holmby Hills mega-mansion, he also traded in this, his main residence.

Now kiddies, pause to mull it over. The $40,000,000 sale price is not only nearly double the $21,000,000 that Mr. Gores paid for the essentially-unchanged Gothic-inspired Intalian Renaissance spread back in 2010, it’s also the highest price ever paid for a property in Beverly Park. And the new owners are — naturally — Gala Asher & Ed Berman.

For what it’s worth, the previous Beverly Park record was held by a two-parcel compound that hardware mogul Eric Smidt sold to Kazakh oligarch Eduard Ogay for $39,900,000 back in December 2014.

tom_gores_beverly_park
The record-busting Beverly Park crib

This house was never on the market, so unfortunately we don’t have any juicy photos to share. About all we know is that the property located at 78 Beverly Park Lane clocks in at a mammoth 20,013-square-feet with 7 beds and 15 baths on 2.27 acres. There’s a large plunge pool with spa, huge-ass motorcourt, and a soccer-field-sized backyard lawn. The spec-mansion was built in 2000 by Mexican investor Mauricio Oberfeld, who sold it in 2001 to nutritional tycoon Bill Phillips, who held onto it until 2010, when Mr. Gores took it off his powerful hands.

Is everything beginning to make sense to y’all now? If not, let Yolanda give it to you straight: Mr. Gores gives up his Beverly Park pad for $40 million, his Bel Air land for $30 million, and then pays just $30 million in cash for the shopping-mall-sized Holmby Hills house. In addition to their new Beverly Park and Bel Air properties, Mr. Asher & Mr. Berman take most of that $30 million in cash and reinvest it in a notorious Beverly Hills Post Office mega-mansion.

tom_gores_holmby
Mr. Gores’ new main residence in Holmby Hills

Whew. This seems like the story that just won’t die! But why? Why doesn’t Ms. Ginger Glass (she is Mr. Asher’s wife and realtor) just do Yolanda a favor and return our 58 phone calls? All we want is the lowdown on these properties, Ms. Glass. You could’ve spared us all this trouble from the beginning instead of making us write 385 stories about the same damn transaction. Instead of getting a rejuvenating massage at the Spa Montage, we’re stuck on our backside picking up the puzzle pieces and writing about all this nonsense. Goodness!

And it’s still far from over! To whom will Mr. Asher sell the Bel Air spread? And what could they possibly plan to do with that Beverly Park mess, all 20,000 square feet of it? Will they attempt to renovate and flip it for $50 million? That sounds like a very tall order to Yolanda! For one, no house has ever sold for more than $40 million in Beverly Park. For two, there are about six or seven lower-priced houses in the same community that are sagging on the market without offers. Thirdly, this isn’t even one of the best (or biggest) houses up in there.

But we shall see.

Tom Gores’ realtors: Tiffany Martin, Christy Martin, & Samira Gores, The Agency
Gala Asher & Ed Berman’s realtor: Ginger Glass, Coldwell Banker

7 Comment

  1. CeCe says: Reply

    This story just gets more entertaining. This is certainly now a complicated transaction in which we realize the purchase price was much lower than $100m. Not just in the sense of that he offloaded 2 properties and just paid the difference… but I cannot fathom how 78 Beverly Park is worth any where near $40mm… so that overstated value just brings the actual purchase price of his new Holmby Hills mansion lower. The mathematics of this type of transaction are very much car-salesman-ey.

    1. Don Won/Wan/Juan says: Reply

      I agree…. this clearly illustrates that the $100m sale price on the new house was very staged.

      We have 72 Beverly Park – 20k sq.ft. on 6.79 acres on the market for $35,995,000
      27 Beverly Park – 20,612 sq.ft. on 5.37 acres on the market for $30,000,000
      and 25 Beverly Park – 20k sq.ft. on almost 4 acres for $29,950,000

      All of these homes are similar size and on much larger plots of land. 2 of them obviously will sell for sub $30m and I expect 72 to as well. Gores Beverly Park manse would trade for $25-$30m on the open market.

      Ed & Gala are more than happy to manipulate the numbers on the transactions balance sheet to keep the Holmby Hill’s house at $100m. It’s bragging rights for a developer to say, we built and sold the most expensive spec house ever in LA and in fact it tied for the largest sale ever overall. Conversely for different reasons it’s also bragging rights for Mr. Gores to have bought a new estate that ties for the most expense sale ever.

      Ed & Gala reasonably sold the Holmby Hills house to Goes for $85-90m… still an astronomically high price but in the complex transaction overstated both the sale price of the Holmby Hills house and the Beverly Park house. They’ll renovate the Beverly Park house, sell it at a loss on paper, be able to write off the debt and because of the creative mathematics and over profits on the balance sheet on Holmby Hills come out ahead.

      1. James says: Reply

        So what is the actual price per square foot of the Beverly Hills properties? I.e. how does one include the area of the lot in that calculation? How do you compare prices?

        1. CeCe says: Reply

          Unfortunately, pricing isn’t an exact science. It sounds like Don from being a common tispter to Yolanda is pretty familiar with the LA market and probably has a reasonable handle on values. A lot of pricing is looking at similar comps and interpreting a value based off of opinion. You can have 3 different brokers comp your house and all 3 will give you different values. You can also have 3 different appraisals and all 3 will give you different values. It’s a very subjective art.

  2. CeCe says: Reply

    Price per square foot is also an pretty worthless way to measure value.

    1. Again, there are multiple ways to calculate square footage and if you have 3 different appraisals all 3 will come in with a different number.
    2. When you are talking custom homes – finishes & qualify vary drastically so the price per sq.ft. can be all over the place in neighborhoods like Beverly Hills depending upon age of property and finishes.
    3. You cannot interpret from square footage how much is usable. A 3 story townhouse is going to have less usable square footage, meaning smaller and or less room versus a one story bc a staircase isn’t eating up lots of square footage. Bad layouts with odd nooks, lots of hallways and wasted space can make a house much less valuable than a similar sized house with better layout and less wasted space.

    Price per square foot really only means anything in suburban locations full of spec houses built all around the same time, similar developers and similar finishes. Think tract house subdivisions or big condo buildings. Most urban settings price per square footage doesn’t mean a whole lot.

  3. James says: Reply

    Great, Cece, thank you so much for that. You’ve explained it perfectly. Makes total sense.

  4. Critic says: Reply

    Jeez what a complicated transaction.
    I honestly though the sale price of 78 Beverly Park was a typo at first. I agree with Don Won, on the open market it would have been worth $25-30 tops. The numbers seem a bit odd at best.

    What I really don’t get is why Mr. Gores did not just build his own massive mansion on his empty lot in Holmby Hills or his former lot in Bel Air. They both seem to be much better in terms of acreage…he could have spent a fortune on constructing a mega manse on either lot and probably still been below $100 million. The Carolwood place did not seem that architecturally unique or hard to replicate. It just seemed huge. I’m willing to bet he will remodel it, as is the billionaire proclivity.

Leave a Reply