Perhaps you noticed construction at the Brody House recently came to a close and you were wondering when the architectural gem located at 360 South Mapleton Drive in the Holmby Hills would hit the open market.
The Brody House, commissioned by philanthropist art lovers Sidney and Francis Brody and designed by architect A. Quincy Jones, interior designer Billy Haines, and landscape architect Garrett Eckbo, was built in 1949. The Holmby Hills house first went up for sale in 2010, when it sold at the end of 2010 for $14.888 million to an investor with the intent of flipping the home.
When it sold in 2010, the house was 11,500 square feet situated on about 2.3 acres, with nine bedrooms (including 4 staff bedrooms) and seven and a half bathrooms, a pool, a tennis court, and a guest house.
The original owner kept a large staff to run the house, but the house had not been updated or changed much in the decades since it was first constructed. The buyer hired designer Stephen Stone to update the entire property and ready it to be flipped. Stone said his team restored as much as possible, but much of the house had to be dismantled before being put back together. What was the first project the designer undertook? He planted a row of hedges to block the view into the Playboy Mansion, which is located next door to the Brody House.
After two years, the work was completed and the layout of the home remained almost exactly as it was originally built. A few changes were made:
- The master bedroom (including a study) now occupies the entire top floor after a second top-floor bedroom was converted into a second mater bathroom and dressing room
- The staff area on the ground floor with a tiny original kitchen was modernized into what is now an over-sized kitchen, breakfast room, and family room
- Original cork floors were replaced with walnut in many areas
- All of the bathroom fixtures and finishes have been updated
- A new pool was laid in the footprint of the original pool
- A koi pond was added outside an office situated on the ground floor
- A retaining wall to level the backyard was installed
- Most of the shrubbery was replaced, but most of the trees were healthy enough to remain
- After becoming too overbearing, the large ficus in the atrium was replaced with rare palms
- A new fence now surrounds the tennis court
Stone and the buyer negotiated with the heirs of the Brodys to buy many of the original pieces of furniture designed by Haines for the house, so those piece could be offered in the sale. Even prior to completing the renovation, the designer indicated interest was high from potential buyers. At the time, Stone predicted price paid for the Brody House "will be the highest price per square foot the city's ever seen."
In fact, the Brody House never made it to the open market as Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi purchased the estate for a reported $39.888 million. So, if you had your dreams set on this amazing piece of architecture, it looks like you will need to wait and keep saving for the next time it is available.
And as for Stone's prediction, the $3468 per square foot the Brody House commanded was among the highest price per square foot sales seen in Los Angeles, but not quite the highest.
UPDATE: Tech billionaire Sean Parker has purchased the Brody House from Ellen and Portia after offering them $55 million and an eight-day closing. Apparently, the founder of Napster and first President of Facebook, portrayed by Justin Timberlake in The Social Network, saw the house and had to have it. And a $15 million profit was enough for Ellen and Portia to part ways with the home after a few months. With a selling price of $4782 per square, it is time to give some Stone credit for his bold prediction; other than oceanfront bungalows slated for teardown in Malibu, the Brody House has sold for one of the highest price per square foot numbers Los Angeles has seen. An celebrity-owned architectural home by John Lautner on the beach in Malibu broke the $6000/square foot mark, but the Brody price is in rarified company.
UPDATE: Public record shows the purchase price of the Brody House as $49.5 million. The revised purchase price equates to $3,963.81 per square foot. The adjusted price paid for the home is still among the handful of homes close to or above $4000/square foot in Los Angeles.