The biggest residential sale in California this year! A Record-Breaking $52 Million Bel Air Mansion

The resort-like home boasts an infinity pool, tennis courts, and plenty of outdoor space.
Courtesy of Williams & Williams Group

There are plenty of mega-mansions sitting on the market in California, but in the past year, none of them had sold for more than $35 million—until now. It was just revealed that a Saudi Arabian prince is suspected to have dropped $52.2 million on a Bel Air compound with two homes, marking California’s biggest residential deal of 2019.

So, why does this place command such a high price? Well, for starters, the fact that there are two adjoining properties on the 1.7-acre estate. The first, an ultramodern home which took four years to build, cost $45 million.

The seemingly endless stream of spec-built Los Angeles mega-mansions — several pop up for sale nearly every week — has sparked fears of a market oversupply, particularly since billionaires’ enthusiasm for residential splurges has tempered. L.A. has not seen a brand new manse sell for above $35 million in nearly a full year.

But, there are still serious buyers lurking around, ready to pounce. Only on the right property, of course.

It was the Wall Street Journal who first reported the $52.2 million sale of an eye-popping Bel Air compound. Two contiguous properties — one substantially larger than the other, but each thrilling in their own right — were purchased in two separate transactions by the same buyer, who plans to combine the 1.7-acre spread into a single cohesive estate. The acquisition ranks as California’s biggest residential deal of 2019 thus far.

The buyer has not been identified, but Variety reported that the property was sold to an entity formed by a Pasadena tax attorney known for managing the finances of some of the wealthiest members of the Al Said royal family.

Whichever Saudi prince holds the keys to the Bel Air kingdom, he now presides over an dynamically epic palace.

The larger $45 million property, the recipient of all the press glitz and glory, was built by local diamond dealer Rafael Zakaria over a four-year period. Publicly marketed as a “modern utopia,” the 20,000 sq. ft. showstopper features design by Tag Front Architects and dynamite westward views over the Century City skyline and beyond, to the ocean and Catalina Island on the horizon.

A striking blend of steel, glass, and stacked concrete blocks grace the front façade. The museum-quality interior boasts seven bedroom suites and a wine room, plus other requisite amenities: a gym, spa facilities, 12-car garage, and 20-seat movie theater.

As expected, the terraced backyard has an assortment of gardens, sprawling lawns and patios, and a full-size tennis court. But the estate’s most outrageous feature, however, is unquestionably the scythe-shaped swimming pool. That watery monster visually dwarfs the actual home and stretches a whopping 250 infinity-edged feet, meaning our prince will likely require his own full-time pool boy (or pool girl, for that matter.)

Unusually, this $45 million house is not located in swanky East Gate Bel Air, the perennially priciest part of town, but rather on a low-key cul-de-sac much further west. It’s so close to the 405 freeway, in fact, that the property technically sports a Brentwood zip code. The estate is easily the largest in the immediate vicinity and is situated atop a knoll.

As for the far smaller $7.2 million structure, it lies directly below the larger contemporary estate. Built by legendary architect Richard Neutra, the 1954 mid-century modern was originally christened the Hammerman House and remains intact, though it has been significantly “updated and expanded,” per the listing. The Neutra home was sold by Kathy Mendoza, the ex-wife of tech-focused businessman Tom Mendoza, and will reportedly be used as accommodations for the prince’s household staff.

Source: Variety, Business Insider

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