We’re barely six weeks into 2017 and already there have been nigh on 10 Los Angeles residential deals of $20 million or more, which has gotta be a record of some sort. All signs point to this being a banner year for high-end real estate agents. Well, good for y’all!
As everyone from coast to coast and sea to sea should already know, the record for biggest sale ever in Los Angeles County was broken last year by 32-year-old Daren Metropoulos, the younger son of billionaire Dean Metropoulos, who built his fortune through acquiring and revitalizing struggling consumer brands like Twinkies and Pabst beer. Young Mr. Metropoulos paid $100 million for the Playboy Mansion, that STD-infested (probably!) dump in Holmby Hills. Oh, and the crypt keeper came with the house! What a deal.
Anyway, Mr. Metropoulos’s older brother Evan must’ve felt a little left out by all the high-flyin’ real estate action. Maybe he shouted”Well, I never!” and spun on his Ferragamo-clad heel as he strode out of his Sierra Towers penthouse while his Ecuadorian maid Guadalupe rolled her eyes in disgust. Okay, maybe that’s just what Yolanda would’ve done.
According to the Wall Street Journal, our Mr. Metropoulos has fired his opening shot in the real estate brotherly battle royale by inking a deal to pay a silly $65,000,000 for a very, very well-known house at the end of what is often considered to be the best street/cul-de-sac in the swanky Trousdale Estates area of Beverly Hills.
The house in question has some of the best views of any property in LA. We’re just gonna throw that out there. And it sits on 2.09 acres of land, nearly all of which is usable – that’s a rarity up in these hills. It’s also a massive mansion, 18,000-square-feet with 7 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms.
And if all that wasn’t glam enough for y’all, it’s also got a real damn celebrity pedigree. The house, you see, was constructed way back in 1970 for none other than Make Room for Daddy‘s Danny Thomas, who lived in the structure for decades. In 1980, Mr. Thomas’s daughter — That Girl‘s Marlo Thomas — was married to Phil Donahue on the estate. Then Mr. Thomas died in 1991, and his heirs eventually sold the property in October 2000 for $15,000,000 to Lebanese-Nigerian multi-billionaire Gilbert Chagoury. (Mr. Thomas was also of Lebanese descent, for whatever that’s worth).
Mr. Chagoury is perhaps best-known here in the states for his longtime association/friendship with the Clintons and their controversial charitable foundation. There’s also some sort of suspicion — or maybe it’s a conspiracy — that Mr. Chagoury is a shady fellow. In 2015, he was even denied entry to the US on account of his relationship to a Lebanese group/organization with alleged terror ties. But we digress, per usual.
So, a huge mansion on a sensationally stunning promontory with views overlooking the entire LA basin and the Pacific Ocean. And it’s smack-dab in one of LA’s best neighborhoods. What could be better, right?
Well, every rose has its thorn. For starters, the house is ugly. Straight up ugly. Fugly, even.
Listen, kiddies, we know beauty is always in the eye of the beholder, but this place is just nonredeemable. And we’re just talking about the exterior. Don’t even get us started on the inside. Even Liberace would’ve given it a thumbs down. Seriously, it’s hideous. Yolanda knows it and y’all do, too. And so does Mr. Metropoulos, who we are quite certain will be knocking this place down to the ground and building anew.
While it may not exactly fit our definition of pretty, it is certainly somethin’. Ain’t it?
$65 million just for two acres of land may seem like an outrageous sum — and it is — but that reported sale price is actually less than half of the ludicrous $135 million that Mr. Chagoury was publicly requesting for the property’s deed just a few months ago. But in case anyone was wondering, Yolanda still thinks the property is way overpriced. Even though Trousdale Estates is hotter than ever, that number is just ridiculous. It’s the second-biggest transaction in Beverly Hills ever, coming just behind the highly-publicized $70 million sale of the home next door a couple years ago.
More on that transaction in a moment.
Mr. Metropoulos currently resides just down the street from his new Trousdale Estates mega-mansion. In the legendary Sierra Towers building, he owns no fewer than (get this!) five unique units. And naturally, Mr. Metropoulos owns both penthouse units, one of which was acquired in 2012 for $10,000,000. The second was snapped up for an astonishing $17,500,000 in 2014, a building record. Our research shows Mr. Metropoulos also owns three small guest/staff units on the sixth floor.
From his penthouse, Mr. Metropoulos has a bird’s eye view onto his big estate, so he can survey all the forthcoming construction from the comfort of his own living room. Baller!
As for his new Trousdale neighbors, Mr. Metropoulos will be having tea with hedge funder David Kabiller, Egyptian businessman Hamed El Chiaty (who owns the old Elvis Presley house next door), and Swedish video game billionaire Markus Persson, who bought that $70 million spec mansion we were just gossiping about.
Just FYI, we’ve heard through the gossip grapevine that Mr. Persson is fit to be tied over his shiny new house up in Trousdale Estates, which apparently isn’t so shiny anymore. Our Mama has whispered that the build quality ain’t up to his standards and that he has already filed or is considering a lawsuit against Bruce Makowsky (the developer) and/or the real estate agents involved in the transaction. Allegedly, there was some sort of collusion going on that drove the price up to an unnaturally-high $70 million. In reality, Mr. Persson now realizes (allegedly) that his big house is worth no more than $50 million on an excellent day. And that’s the damn truth.
Just a bit of rumor and gossip…
Listing agent: Aaron Kirman, John Aaroe Group