A record-breaking $6 million lease goes down on Malibu Road

Oh dear, Yolanda has been on a Malibu kick for over a week now. And for those of you a bit tired of the beach, we apologize. This is the last Malibu story we will post for some time — after this it is back to our regularly scheduled programming from other fun neighborhoods. Promise!

But anyway, we obviously could not depart the ‘Bu without mentioning the utterly sanity-defying lease that was just signed on famously pricey Malibu Road. This city is known for its extravagantly luxurious rentals, y’all, but the price point here is in a different stratosphere than anything we have ever witnessed.

According to old details we dug up on the internet, listing agent Victoria Risko of Sotheby’s recently plopped a big Malibu mansion on the market. It has since been leased out, and the lessee is paying — are y’all ready for this? — upwards of $6 million. True story. We swear.

The $6 million rental on exclusive Malibu Road

That is bonkers! Just think about that price, everyone. This is a rental priced higher than the purchase cost of a mansion in many luxury LA neighborhoods. Yolanda is also pretty damn sure this is the biggest lease ever signed in Malibu, and very likely all of Los Angeles. Of course, we cannot be completely certain — leases are not facts of public record, after all.

If anyone knows of a more expensive rental, do let us know via the tip line. For now, suffice to say that this is quite easily the biggest deal Yolanda has ever stumbled across.

Of course, the big-bucks tenant is getting a long stay to go with the seven-figure pricetag. Yolanda’s intel indicates he has the place for four years — all the way into 2022. Do the math, and y’all can tell that the renter will be cutting a $120,000 (or so) check in every single month. For the next four years! Yowza.

So who is the tenant? Well, he is a single fella named Ed Freedman.

Ed Freedman, longtime Malibu local

The genial and fun-sized Mr. Freedman — he stands about 5’5″ — is a longtime Malibu aficionado and society staple who lives the ultimate bachelor lifestyle: shuffling between luxury oceanfront homes in both Malibu and Maui.

Mr. Freedman is also a very successful businessman who founded the “credit card merchant account acquirer” Total Merchant Services way back in 1996. Originally a salesman by trade, our boy built the business from the ground up, helped by the strength of his personality. A good work ethic never hurt, either. The company now has more than 150 employees and posts $7 billion in annual transactions.

The $6 million rental

First, before we discuss the house itself, a wee little background on the property. The house was last sold for $21,475,000 in 2010 to a hedge fund manager named Mitch Julis and his wife Joleen. The couple are based in Beverly Hills — they own a large estate out there — so they used the Malibu property sporadically, on summertime weekends and such.

The .5-acre double lot is located on the sandiest part of the beach and features a compound made up of three separate boxy structures: two small boxes (the guest house and the garage) out by the driveway, and a large box (the main house) out back by the sea.

The guest house out front has two bedroom suites, and the garage structure holds a two-car bay and a gym on the second floor.

Once inside the front gate and past the two accessory structures, a broad concrete walkway leads past a swimming pool/spa combo and a wee strip of grass to the glassy main residence.

The main house, which weighs in at just under 4,000-square-feet, includes three bedrooms — all of which face the ocean and have balcony access. The kitchen comes equipped with stainless appliances, functional butcher block countertops, and views out over the courtyard. A large living room/family room combo spans much of the first floor and provides picture-perfect views out over the grassy backyard and down to the sandy beach. That view is what Malibu real estate dreams were made of, kiddies.

Oh, Mr. Freedman, won’t you invite Yolanda over this summer? Pretty please?

We digress. Mr. Freedman is known to own an oceanfront pad in Maui, Hawaii. But doggone it, Yolanda is unable to dig up the address, and not for lack of trying. We apologize (again).

And prior to his new $6 million Malibu rental, Mr. Freedman was paying an enormous sum of money to lease an even fancier beach house just a short distance away — over in the exclusive Malibu Colony community. His landlord at the time was heiress Wallis Annenberg, and Mr. Freedman brought in celebrity decorator Martyn Lawrence Bullard to spiff the place up. That house has since been sold for $36 million to hedge fund manager Stanley Druckenmiller.

Listing agent: Victoria Risko, Sotheby’s International Realty
Ed Freedman’s agent: Bruce Mibach, Compass

9 Replies to “A record-breaking $6 million lease goes down on Malibu Road”

  1. $6m?? For a rental?? My goodness

  2. What on earth is the supposed ‘benefit’ to leasing vs owning?! Why not just buy it and sell in four years, and get all your money back in the process?

    1. It could be cheaper over time, but that depends on loads of different variables — market trends, mortgage rates, investment returns, upkeep costs, etc — and only time could tell. Buying vs. renting is not as clear cut as people make it out to be.

  3. While at first, it’s jaw dropping. Once the full facts of the duration of the lease come together its a ridiculous lease but nothing insane, insane. HA. Yeah, that statement just came out.

    This actually isn’t a bad way to go TBH. The values in markets like Malibu and Miami Beach have sky rocketed to that they are on par / more expensive than a lot of the urban areas feeding them. They also are the first areas to take financial hits as real estate cools off. We are going to see a market correction in the luxury market in the next few years. Which means, if, like most of the buyers of these high high price properties are, are cash buyer, you can invest the money, and pay the lease off the returns and still probably come out ahead of buying.

  4. Don’t apologize! All your postings are great – fun to read and live vicariously thru. Keep it up…great blog!

  5. Well at least in parts of Malibu even the homeowners are apparently still paying millions to “rent” the sand on the beach anyway. I don’t know what all of Malibu’s risk factors are like, but in many eroding or storm-vulnerable beach areas you could easily argue that renting makes more sense, even if the market wasn’t high. And renters can keep their real money in more liquid or higher return investments

  6. But is that a power line right smack in front of the house? Lol I couldn’t pay millions to look at a power line

  7. $6 million on rent? The apocalypse is truly upon us.

  8. […] and a two-car garage with a second-story gym. The house last sold in 2010 for $21.5 million. [Yolanda’s Little Black Book] – Dennis […]

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