According to the Wall Street Journal, the hulking Bel Air beast known as Le Belvedere has sold for a hefty $56,000,000. The buyer, also according to the Journal (and records), is an entity managed by one Max Fowles-Pazdro, an LA resident and property investor.
The 35,000-square-foot mega-mega-mansion was built in 2007 by controversial developer Mohamed Hadid, a very wealthy and social fellow who can frequently be spotted wandering the mean streets of Beverly Hills. He is also, of course, the father of current It-Girls Gigi and Bella Hadid.
Before discussing the appearance of this house/hotel, a wee note. Although the estate allegedly “sold” in 2010 for $50 million — and indeed, public records do show an ownership transfer — Yolanda and most of the real estate people we know believe that transaction was somehow shady. And while we do not have any proof of this, kiddies, our womanly intuition tells us that Mr. Hadid either sold the house to himself or to a business associate and/or company he controls.
But whatever the actual story, Mr. Hadid has continued living in the home in the eight years since 2010. During that time, he has hosted lavish soirees at the property, and has even had it filmed multiple times on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, the reality TV show where he occasionally pops up as a guest.
Located in prime East Gate Bel Air, the palatial spread is meant to invoke a French Provincial castle or some such thing. In actuality, Yolanda thinks it looks rather gauche and far too much like a swollen suburban McMansion on steroids. Pardon our insolence, y’all, but were it one-third its actual size, this place would look right at home in Arcadia or Calabasas. (No shade at either of those fine cities).
Unfortunately, Yolanda also has another bone to pick with this poor house. In addition to the questionable architecture, the sheer size is a bit off-putting to your gurl. Yes, we realize it was intended to be humongous — and to wow onlookers. And Yolanda has nothing against huge houses, in principle. But we feel that a mega-mansion — particularly a mega-mansion built in a quasi-retro style like this one — should have at least a few acres of grounds for proper landscaping. This one does not, and Yolanda feels that the residence itself rather overwhelms the 2.2-acre property.
Yolanda realizes that we are not the target demographic for this estate, of course, and as such our opinion matters very little. This place was designed to impress guests and to serve as an everlasting reminder to the world of how very rich its owner is. In that regard, it succeeds admirably.
Le Belvedere‘s interior is every bit as deliciously overwrought as you might expect, and surely will be the source of endless nightmares for any minimalist-minded individual. Some of the wilder home features include a screening room with a handpainted mural on the ceiling and more gold leaf than Marie Antoinette could ever afford, a ballroom, 14 fireplaces, an elevator, a “Moroccan inspired room”, and a Turkish bath.
Predictably, there are two luridly opulent master suites, each with a fireplace, sitting area, and built-in bathtub fit for royalty. (But what is with the damn fruit bowls everywhere? Are rich folks really looking to eat a meal while soakin’ in the tub? Yuck!)
Speaking of royalty, there are two epic mega-mansions directly next door to Le Belvedere, both of which appear to be even larger than our gurl. Both are owned by Saudi Prince Muhammed bin Fahd (one he custom-built himself, the other was inherited from his daddy, the late King Fahd).
Other nearby neighbors include obscenely rich folks like Liongate estate owners Jim & Eleanor Randall, prominent society fixtures David & Angella Nazarian, British businessman Fereydoon “Freddy” Mossanen, and Asia-based hedge fund manager Carl Huttenlocher.
Anyway, a quick skim through records reveals that this is not the only LA property owned by Le Belvedere‘s new owner, our Mr. Fowles-Pazdro. Almost exactly one year ago — in May 2017 — he paid $27,000,000 for a 2.18-acre spread in the proverbial heart of the nearby Holmby Hills neighborhood.
Although that abode currently contains a 6,500-square-foot home with a tennis court, it was understandably marketed as a teardown.
We profess to know very little about our Mr. Fowles-Pazdro’s background, other than he was raised in Europe and has a wife named Parisa. But we would like to know more. Like, say, where does a guy in his 30s gets $83 million for two high-maintenance luxury estates?! That is a very large sum of money!
Unfortunately, there are very few clues about Mr. Fowles-Pazdro on the interwebs. A 2012 report identified him as a Vice President of Evoq Properties, a downtown LA real estate developer. (Hmm. Maybe he is investing on behalf of someone else?) We also do not know whether Mr. Fowles-Pazdro plans to actually live in Le Belvedere, or whether he plans to alter it in some fashion and flip it to another buyer. But time will tell.
Yet another unknown at this point is where Mr. Hadid plans to relocate. However, we highly doubt he will be moving into his other Bel Air home — the unfinished “Starship Enterprise on the hill“, as his neighbors have not-so-fondly christened it.