1181 Hillcrest Road, a Trousdale Estates spec home, was one of the most ambitious spec houses built and listed in the neighborhood, the City of Beverly Hills, and all of Los Angeles. At approximately 22,300 square feet of living space on a 41,608 square foot lot, this home was originally listed for $85,000,000 and sold this past week for $70,000,000 ($3,139/square foot) to Swedish tech billionaire Markus "Notch" Persson, creator of the video game Minecraft. Persson outbid multiple buyers including power couple Sean Carter, aka Jay-Z, and Beyonce Knowles. The $70 million sale sets a Beverly Hills record for the price paid for a singe-family home.
The question is what makes this property worth $70M? The answer is a combination of location, views, architecture, amenities, sex appeal, and an exclusive product.
The new-construction home is sited on a promontory with city views not commonly found in the City of Beverly Hills: from the skyscrapers of Downtown LA to the ocean in Malibu. Most Beverly Hills homes with this elevation and vantage point are actually in Beverly Hills Post Office rather than Beverly Hills proper, so they do not enjoy the Beverly Hills city services. The location within the Beverly Hills neighborhood of Trousdale Estates makes the home more valuable than it would be in another nearby neighborhood.
The home was offered completely move-in ready and has everything a single billionaire under 40 could want or need: a candy wall reportedly worth $200K, a human-size blue glass grenade sculpture, a replica James Dean's motorcycle, fully stocked vodka and tequila bars, a chrome-plated machine gun, Chanel and Yves St. Laurent fire extinguishers, glass billiard and foosball tables, cases of Dom Perignon, etc., etc. The architecture of the home combined with the over-the-top decor created one sexy and highly-stylized home.
The home was built on spec by developer Bruce Makowsky, who made his fortune designing women's handbags and accessories. It may have seemed like a risky gamble and an insane asking price when it first hit the market at $85 million, but the combination of what was being offered is not available in any other home on the market. According to MLS, only 9 properties are publicly listed at or over $50 million and only one is a contemporary style similar to 1181 Hillcrest and none of the others are in the City of Beverly Hills. Since few other properties compare to 1181 Hillcrest, it may not have been a total gamble to fill a need that was otherwise unavailable on the market. When dealing with positional goods, such as new build mansions built on a promontory in Beverly Hills, the risk is not as great as it would otherwise appear, as was proven by a bidding war for a $70 million home.
The ramifications of the sale were seen almost immediately as the lot at 420 Trousdale Place hit the market for $35 million before the sale of 1181 Hillcrest was finalized; the teardown is on a lot nearly twice the size of the property that sold for $70 million. Expect every home sited on a view promontory in Trousdale Estates to be considered a teardown by developers and Realtors with only homes protected by the Beverly Hills Master Architect list safe from development.
Contact our Trousdale Estates Realtors to discuss how the recent blockbuster sale affects the value of your home or to search for a home in the Trousdale Estates neighborhood. Subscribe to our blog to stay up-to-date on the Los Angeles real estate market.
Photos and video courtesy of Hilton & Hyland and Rodeo Realty