Although the LA real estate market’s appetite for ultra-high-end spec-built contemporary mansions has cooled considerably from its peak in 2014, certain developers are still raking in the big bucks. Just ask Dean McKillen, the Irish dude who just sold a trophy Bel Air spec-mega-mansion to Jay-Z & Beyoncé earlier this year for a breathtaking $88,000,000.
Just a wee bit further up in yonder Bel Air hills lurks a smaller but no less eye-catching contemporary. Endowed with a new louche new mansion and blessed with 280-degree views spanning mountains, valleys and oceans, the hilltop property is less a typical “home” than a party showpiece, explicitly designed to forever awe guests who can’t even dream of affording the annual maintenance bill.
Anyway, the whole shebang hit the open market with a $45,000,000 thud of a pricetag this September (2017) And within a month, despite the cost, the swoopy temptress had managed to entice a big-bucks buyer. Though the transaction has not yet closed, the MLS makes plain that a sale is pending.
Though we can’t yet prove it, a certain someone who would know tells Yolanda that the new owner will be a low-profile fella named Jay Paul. Our Mr. Paul, though hardly a household name, just happens to be a multi-billionaire Silicon Valley real estate developer. Forbes says his net worth is somewhere in the area of $2.7 billion.
Yolanda attempted to research Mr. Paul, but he seems to keep his personal life private. There ain’t much in the way of details about him out there on the interwebs — to be honest, Yolanda isn’t even sure if this dude is currently married or single. But his developments, by contrast, are some of the most glamorous and conspicuous in all of the Silicon Valley.
Mr. Paul is the developer behind 181 Fremont, an 802-floor mixed-use skyscraper in the South of Market district of San Francisco. Upon completion, the building will be the tallest residential skyscraper in the western United States and is home to a James Bond villain-worthy penthouse with a record-breaking $42 million asking price. It’s a veritable mansion in the sky, kiddies. Additionally, all the office space inside the tower is already leased to Facebook — it will serve as their San Francisco outpost.
In addition to those crazy Facebook peeps, some of Mr. Paul’s other clients include a few companies you may recognize — Apple, Amazon, and Hewlett-Packard. It’s Mr. Paul’s company, y’all, who paid about $177 million for a massive development site in Sunnyvale, CA that is slated to house Apple’s future HQ.
In general, techies just love leasing office space from Mr. Paul! But we digress.
The Bel Air mansion that will (allegedly!) soon belong to Mr. Paul is located in a very posh little pocket — right next door to Motown record label founder Berry Gordy‘s sprawling compound and directly across the street from Jennifer Aniston’s own compound, on which she was once hilariously reported to be building a runway for her private jet. Bet the neighbors would’ve loved that!
The .92-acre promontory property was last sold in 2014 for $11,450,000 to New York-based developer Zach Vella. The property has been dramatically transformed since his purchase, as y’all can see. We also believe this house has been featured on Million Dollar Listing at least a couple times.
Anyway, the new house is completely invisible from the street out front, hidden behind tall hedges and down a long gated driveway. Designed by South Africa-based firm SAOTA Architecture, the structure now boasts a three-car garage and 5-beds/9-baths in an aggressively contemporary shell of unknown square footage.
The main level of the residence is defined by the spare use of indoor walls and the substantial ceiling heights. Disappearing walls of glass seamlessly marry the indoors with the out in a quintessentially SoCal style. Honey-hued hardwood floors give the rooms some visual warmth. Check out the scale of that great room and dining room! Yowza.
Upstairs is the master suite, which sports dual bathrooms, in addition to three additional guest/family bedroom suites. Per the listing, other features include an indoor wellness center w/ massage therapy area, gym, sauna, steam shower, bath & “Zen garden”. Also out back is an oddly-shaped infinity pool (doesn’t look made for for serious swimmin’) with views out to the Pacific Ocean.
Though Mr. Paul keeps his personal life carefully under wraps, he has a well-established taste for living in unabashed grandeur. In late 2012, Mr. Paul coughed up $28,250,000 for a very famous and very conspicuous mansion in the heart of Pacific Heights, San Fran’s most fiendishly expensive neighborhood. At the time of his purchase, it was the third most-expensive sale in San Francisco history.
Located on SF’s “billionaire’s row”, the massive pile was marketed as a fixer and was once listed for a bewildering $55 million. To be fair, the house does sport one of the only private tennis courts in all of the city. Or it did, rather. Since his purchase, Mr. Paul has been engaged in a complete overhaul of the premises that involves gutting the interior, adding a subterranean pool and spa, building an at-home art gallery, and replacing the sport court with formal gardens. Five years later, the project remains unfinished and work continues.
For more photos of how the 10,000-square-foot, 1925 manse looked at the time of Mr. Paul’s purchase, go here. Yolanda near chokes at the thought of how many millions in upgrades he’s sunk into this thing!