The price of one of my favorite Bel-Air estates just nose-dived and I’m checking under my sofa cushions to see if I can swing it. OK, I’m not really doing that, but reportedly some seriously high-end-of-the-market buyers are.
Mohamed Hadid, who developed more than 15 Ritz-Carlton hotels and is known for building high-end luxury homes with Old World styling, has lowered the price of his personal residence from $85 million to $72 million. Joyce Rey, Coldwell Banker Beverly Hills South co-listing agent, predicted the strategic move would generate much interest, and it has. Rey shares the listing with Stacy Gottula of the same office.
As for the home itself, it’s hard to beat a main house with 50,000 square feet that sits on 2.2 prime acres. The all-steel construction has an imported Jerusalem stone exterior, and includes a reception hall where the larger parties take place; a 5,000-bottle wine cellar and tasting room; a grand ballroom that seats up to 250 for dinner; a commercial kitchen; and an authentic Turkish bath, known as a hammam.
There is an open motor court that can accommodate more than 20 cars and a garage with room for two limos. The grounds include a swan pool, lots of fountains, a 70-foot-long infinity pool and a 12-person spa. The outdoor living area has a fully equipped kitchen with a pizza oven and courtyard dining space for 100. Fireplaces: 19 in all. Hadid designed, built and decorated the estate himself, after apparently practicing on hotels in New York; Washington, D.C.; and Aspen, Colo.; and on custom homes in Beverly Hills, Aspen and Mexico. Let’s just say he kept the best for himself.
The Hadid home, called Le Belvedere, is still one of the most expensive listings in Los Angeles. But for comps, there’s Candy Spelling’s home, still on the market at a breathtaking $150 million, and the Fleur de Lys estate, listed at $125 million.
No conversation about the stratosphere of the L.A. real estate market would be complete without a mention of the legendary Pickfair estate, which has been listed at $60 million for a year. But listing agent Felix Pena of Hilton & Hyland tells us that it was recently shown to Saudi royalty. In addition to the possibility of a new crown in town, the sellers are negotiating to trade Pickfair for a hotel with a well-known hospitality group, Pena said.
The home is owned by Unicom Systems, founded by CEO Corry Hong in 1981. Unicom provides training and IT services for banking and financial companies, manufacturers, educational and government systems. Unicom’s real estate holdings, including two castles in England, are corporate owned and used for business.
Pickfair, whose name is an amalgamation of the names of the two silent-film actors who lived there – Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford – is in Beverly Hills. The Hollywood pair transformed what was an old hunting lodge into a 22-room mansion and installed what is said to be the first private swimming pool in Los Angeles. Back in the 1920s, lavish parties and dinners were thrown here.
Decades later, actress Pia Zadora and her husband, Meshulam Riklis, did extensive renovations to the property – or as some would less charitably say, they pretty much tore it down to rid it of termites and built the present structure on the site. The elaborate gates are original.
The MLS has the property at 17 bedrooms, 30 bathrooms and a nightclub complete with dance floor. The listing also says the property “awaits your updating.”
Collectors’ L.A. Base
One of the world’s top art-collecting couples has bought a home in the Hollywood Hills for $9.1 million.
Chara Schreyer and Gordon Freund recently purchased a five-bedroom, seven-bathroom home north of Sunset Boulevard. The 5,650-square-foot property is walled and gated. It has white terrazzo floors and walls of glass with an open floor plan. The property has professionally landscaped gardens designed by award winner John Goldstein. There is a saline infinity pool with a spa and cabana. The kitchen has professional-style appliances.
Schreyer and Freund are expected to remain based in San Francisco and use this home frequently for their L.A. stays.
The home was listed by H. Blair Chang and Billy Rose of Prudential California Realty, Beverly Hills. Rebecca Penrose Soto of Sotheby’s International Realty, Beverly Hills, represented the buyer.
Ann Brenoff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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