A home in France recently broke the record for the highest price ever paid for a house. The sale of Chateau Louis XIV, located outside of Paris, is rumored to have sold for $301M. The previous record holder was a $221M penthouse at the One Hyde Park building in London that was developed by Candy & Candy and Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, the Prime Minister of Qatar. With those record prices in mind, let's take a look at the most expensive homes for sale in Los Angeles and see how the price points compare.
There is, of course, last year's most expensive home for sale in Los Angeles at 9505 Lania Lane that started at $195M and was reduced to $149M. While no longer publicly listed, is still available to a willing buyer.
The new kid on the block is the infamous Playboy Mansion located at 10236 Charing Cross Road in the exclusive Holmby Hills neighborhood. Recently listed at $200M the estate is 21,987 square feet on five acres in arguably the most prestigious locations of Los Angeles. The Gothic Revival home was designed by Arthur Kelly for Arthur Letts, Jr of the family who developed Westwood and Holmby Hills. When Playboy bought the home in 1971, they set a Los Angeles record with a purchase price of $1.1M. The acreage, pedigree, rare zoo license, and location should again command a premium price for a home actor Peter O'Toole once described as "What God would have done if He'd had the money." The home does come with a catch; the current resident, 89 year old Hugh Hefner, will remain in the estate until he dies.
Another massive estate for sale is the former Danny Thomas home on Hillcrest at the top of Trousdale Estates. This 18,000 sq ft home is sited on 2.5 acre promontory overlooking the city. With the city of Beverly Hills address, 1187 N Hillcrest Road. is priced at $135M, which is quite the profit for the current owner who paid $15M in 2000. If the $7500 a sq ft. price didn't deter buyers, the home has a very distinct opulent style. I joke because the buyer of this home, at least at the current price, is paying for land value and will look to develop, especially after the home next door broke all Beverly Hills records a year ago with a $70M sale. Of course, for a developer to expect a profit, the finished project would have to be on a similar scale to the next home on our list. Between you and me, the numbers do not make any sense. Based on Trousdale Estates rules, you can build square footage equal to 40% of the lot size (or 36,415 on this lot of 91,039). For the risk to make any sense the developer would have to sell for double the $3000/sf ceiling for the ultra-prime homes and lots in this area.
However I think the one that will sell and break records is the house nobody asked for, a home that is a marvel of both engineering and sheer audacity. Located on top of knoll at 944 Airole Way in Bel Air, with some of the best views Los Angeles has to offer and with Jennifer Aniston as a neighbor, Nile Niami is building a 100,000 square foot home on speculation (and an immense gamble) someone will want it and will have the very deep pockets to afford it. The asking price is currently $500,000,000.00 - 1/2 a billion USD, 457,770,665 euros, 1,836,450,000 United Arab Emirates Dirham, 3,231,100,000 Chinese Yuan, 332,402,615 British Pound, 33,420,725,000 Indian Rupee. No matter the currency, only a small amount of people in the world has this type of money to spend on a home; Nile Niami is betting big that one of them will. The home's architect is Paul McClean whose work has been changing Los Angeles high-end homes by creating incredible homes with seamless indoor/outdoor living and managing to create underground levels that feel light and open. 944 Airole Way is designed to have anything and everything the most discerning of billionaire buyers could want including a nightclub, 4 swimming pools, and a jellyfish aquarium.
Of course Mohamed Hadid's project at 901 Strada Vecchia is threatening a $200M price tag. However with all the litigation going on between him and the neighbors of the project, who can tell if or when it will ever be finished to put a price tag on it.
While only 1187 N Hillcrest is officially on the market, the others are being actively shopped hoping to find the one buyer that will close. What do you think will be the next record breaking sale in Los Angeles?
UPDATE: Los Angeles officially has its first 9-figure residential sale as the iconic Playboy Mansion at 10236 Charing Cross Road in Holmby Hills sold on August 12, 2016 for $105,000,000 to the next door neighbor. Although public property records report the sale to be an even $100,000,000.
Photos courtesy of Hilton & Hyland, Coldwell Banker, John Aaroe, and Bloomberg.com