Francesco Aquilini wants $58 million for Bird Streets mega-mansion

For the last few years, construction in LA’s so-called Bird Streets neighborhood — where all the streets are named after species of bird, naturally — has been running at a rampage level. And no street bears witness to that better than Robin Drive. Located near the hillside community’s peak, four of the five properties at this cul-de-sac’s end are owned by four different developers — all of whom are currently constructing mega-mansions to sell on speculation.

That’s right, four different mansion contractor crews crowded onto one dead-end road, each and every day for years. Pity for the occupants of the fifth house (the only one not under construction).

Development hell, Robin Drive

Well, kids, the first compound of the four is officially finished. Although not on the MLS, the Paul McClean-designed stunner is pocket listed off-market with a screamtastic $58,000,000 pricetag. 58 million smackers — good gracious! That’s a lot of cheddar.

Should the home sell for anywhere remotely close to that amount, it will very easily rank as the biggest sale in the Hollywood Hills, ever. The current record is held by Malaysian fugitive Jho Low, who — way back in 2012 — paid nearly $39 million for a Bird Streets compound originally designed in the 1980s by Ricardo Legorreta and radically redone by Paul McClean. But we digress.

The just-completed Robin Drive mansion was built by Canadian billionaire Francesco Aquilini, owner of the Vancouver Canucks professional ice hockey team. He bought the .64-acre property way back in 2012 for $8,525,000 and has been working hard on it ever since.

Francesco Aquilini

But point is, the place is now done and well worth the wait. It’s pretty darn crazy, if you ask Yolanda. Just check out that pool, for starters.

The 16,000-square-foot structure is T-shaped — it’s basically two rectangular boxes set at 90 degree angles from one another — and is mostly hidden from the street out front behind a security gate, hedges and canary palm trees. A basalt rotunda visually separated the property from the street out front, and exterior and interior walls are clad in Bardiglio marble.

That boomerang-shaped infinity pool reigns as the property’s focal point and is daringly cantilevered over the steep hillside below. Views take in the entire LA basin, from the Downtown LA and Century City skylines to — on a clear day — the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island.

The dramatic entryway is sure to explode the head (and baseball cap) of the local Domino’s pizza delivery boy (or gurl). A bridge leads past a two-story water wall that cascades into the “water garden” below. The all-glass front door and living room blur the line between the indoors and out.

Yolanda ain’t sure how many bedrooms and bathrooms are tucked within the structure’s confines, but the master suite is on the upper level — seemingly suspended over the expansive rooftop garden/deck — and features walls of glass.

Down in the subterranean lower level are a host of additional amenities: a garage/car display space, full wet bar, golf simulation room, and a cigar patio. There’s also a media room, lounge, gym, staff quarters, and a second kitchen, plus a “wellness area with a float tank and hydro-tub,” per the architect. Wouldn’t it be fun to give that a whirl?

For a more detailed look at Mr. Aquilini’s residential showstopper, check out the slick promotional video.

Time will tell whether a billionaire is willing to pony up Mr. Aquilini’s requested $58 million, but there are currently 19 LA-area properties listed with pricetags in excess of $50 million. And that, kids, doesn’t include the many homes available off-market — homes like this one.

Who’s gonna buy all those estates? Yolanda is not sure. But Ken Griffin always needs a few more homes.

$58 million, anyone?

Well, anyway. In addition to his Robin Drive mega-manse, Mr. Aquilini owns several other LA development projects, most of them acquired in the 2012-2013 timeframe and still under construction. He’s got a half-finished house in the Sunset Strip area just below the Birds, for one.

Mr. Aquilini’s Trousdale renovation, currently available for $18 million

Also clogging up Mr. Aquilini’s portfolio are a $9 million home in nearby Trousdale Estates — recently renovated and now up for sale with an $18 million ask — and a two-parcel vacant lot on a Beverly Hills promontory, where he’s long struggled to gain city approval for another spec-mansion.

Back in 2015, Mr. Aquilini sold an unfinished contemporary Bel Air mega-mansion to fellow Canadian billionaire Daryl Katz. The price? An extravagant $34,500,000 — and that house, supposedly, is still not finished — nigh on four years later.

Yolanda has previously been told that Mr. Katz is actually one of Mr. Aquilini’s longtime best friends, so maybe his buddy was just doing him a solid by takin’ the Bel Air white elephant off his hands? Who knows!

Francesco Aquilini’s former home on Malibu’s Carbon Beach

Back in 2012, Mr. Aquilini paid $11.1 million for a contemporary casa on Malibu’s billionaire-stocked Carbon Beach. That house was quietly sold just last month (Dec 2018) for $11,750,000 to a low-profile European businessman.

Mr. Aquilini’s $58 million Bird Streets mansion is represented by his longtime agents, Branden and Rayni Williams of Hilton & Hyland Real Estate with photography by Simon Berlyn.

12 Replies to “Francesco Aquilini wants $58 million for Bird Streets mega-mansion”

  1. Conspicuous consumption is alive and well.

  2. CalCulver says: Reply

    Wow, that pool is wild. An engineering wonder. Chillin out at sunset in that circular seating area, a bottle of Vanderpump Rose (gratuitous plug) and the smell of money lingering in the warm LA air. What’s not to like? Sure beats the sink of dirty dishes I’m lookin at in my double wide.

  3. NeNe_Catini says: Reply

    Yolanda: There is actually sixth project house just completed prolly by a 5th developer if you want to update.

    https://www.redfin.com/CA/Los-Angeles/9240-Robin-Dr-90069/home/7121849

    House doesn’t fit the neighborhood and really doesn’t have good views— way overpriced.

  4. AMC Gremlin says: Reply

    Gorgeous , divine masterpiece.

  5. Shoulda put a trampoline in that circle pool island, not that boring bench seating. Get your drunk friends bouncing on that, watch ’em sail over the cliff edge. Way more entertaining.

  6. As long as the seller and buyer recognize that the “market value” is nowhere near what his “market price” is. It will be up to him to convince someone that all “similar” Bird Street properties are nowhere near this price. I say similar because other than “his” personal preference, and perfectionism, the general amenities, design, appeal, and utility of the home are basically the same as the other Bird Street homes. Maybe he has to sell it for that much to make a profit because of his perfectionism (hissy fits)? Does owning a hockey team make him an expert on creating true value in real estate???? On this price level, its all about risk and reward. But $58,0000 for “two shoe boxes and a curve”? http://www.TheRealEstateSalesAdvocate.com #Not JustASalesJobButAllTheFacts #BirdStreets

    1. NeNe_CaTiNi says: Reply

      Rant is semi-weird.

      Like all developers right now he’s just asking a sky high price. This prolly will set the record as the highest sale ever in the Birds / Hollywood Hills, But it will prolly close for closer to $40m

  7. Sandy Santa Monica says: Reply

    At first glance it looks like your paying an extra 20m for that pool (amazing as it is). Then I saw the video. Yondy. I wanted you to be the first to know. I’m in love. No, REALLY this time. Not 58m in love, but high 30’s. In the end, bet some Billionaire comes in at fifty on principle 😊 And to claim the cul-de-sac crown.

  8. Steve Nelson says: Reply

    Easily the best house I’ve seen here in a long time. Fabulous pool and roof garden! Like others have said, it won’t sell for 58 or anything close but someone will buy it.

  9. Garish.

  10. Does he dye his hair black or is that a wig? Looks weird.

  11. It doesn’t match the facial hair, really weird look either way.

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