More stories

  • in

    Serena Williams’s Former L.A. Estate Can Be Yours for $13.5 Million

    A little more than five years after Serena Williams finally managed to offload her longtime home in the Los Angeles enclave of Bel Air for almost $4 million off the original $12 million ask, the retired tennis superstar’s onetime estate has popped up for sale yet again, this time with a $13.5 million price tag. The listing is held by Louis DeLaura and Ernie Stone of Sotheby’s International Realty.

    Famously owned by the 23-time Grand Slam singles winner for 13 years from 2006 to spring 2019, when the place traded hands for $8.1 million, records show the property in the Stone Canyon neighborhood was last sold to L.A.-based interior designer Rodrigo Vargas and his partner Frederick Storey for a speck under $8 million in late 2020.

    A lengthy vine-covered colonnade leads from the front door to a motorcourt and three-car garage.

    Gavin Cater for Sotheby’s International Realty

    RELATED: A Tech Magnate Is Asking $12.5 Million for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Former L.A. Home

    Originally built in the 1930s but remodeled and expanded in the years since, the Colonial Mediterranean structure is tucked away on a fenced and gated double parcel spanning nearly 3 acres, just minutes from Hotel Bel-Air. Inside, six bedrooms and seven baths are filtered across a little more than 6,100 square feet of two-level living space that is adorned throughout with walls of glass spilling out to grounds laced with mature trees and water features.

    Upon entering the double front doors via a lengthy vine-covered colonnade connected to a motorcourt and three-car garage, an entry foyer flows to a semi-circular living room boasting marble floors and built-in bookshelves. Other highlights include a wood-paneled study with a bar and a formal dining room topped by a snazzy chandelier, while the all-white kitchen is decked out with limestone countertops, high-end stainless appliances, and an accompanying breakfast nook lined with windows.

    An inviting black-bottom pool is flanked by a sundeck and an open-air cabana.

    Gavin Cater for Sotheby’s International Realty

    RELATED: Dodgers Star Shohei Ohtani Scores a SoCal Estate for $7.8 Million

    Secluded upstairs is the elegant primary suite, which features a Juliet balcony, a walk-in closet, and a luxe bath equipped with dual vanities, a clawfoot soaking tub, and a steam shower. And though there’s surprisingly no tennis court outside, the private backyard does host a pool and spa surrounded by a flagstone terrace, as well as an open-air cabana warmed by a fireplace and a brick-clad terrace ideal for al fresco entertaining.

    Williams, who married Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian in 2017, went on to buy a $6.7 million home in a gated Beverly Hills pocket and a sleek, 7,000-square-foot waterfront home in Jupiter, Fla., that was featured in Architectural Digest in 2021.

    Click here for more photos of Serena Williams’s former L.A. estate.

    Gavin Cater for Sotheby’s International Realty More

  • in

    Hollywood Producer Ryan Murphy Puts Sleekly Redone Neutra House on the Market for $34 Million

    Back in winter 2022, shortly before Ryan Murphy put a Cliff May-designed horse ranch in the bucolic Sullivan Canyon pocket of L.A.’s Brentwood neighborhood up for sale at nearly double the $7.15 million he paid for the place less than two years before, the prolific TV show creator and real estate investor doled out $29 million for a landmark midcentury-modern home in the affluent Bel Air enclave of Los Angeles. Now that revamped property has popped up for sale, dressed to the nines and asking an eye-popping $34 million. The listing, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, is shared by Aaron Kirman of Christie’s International Real Estate and Riley Schmidt and Timothy Wollaston of Riley Real Estate.

    Originally designed in the mid-1950s by pioneering modernist architect Richard Neutra—and previously occupied by fashion mogul Tom Ford for around two decades—the “Brown House” has been extensively restored and modernized during Murphy’s ownership in collaboration with a team that included designer Trevor Cheney of Seventh House Gallery. The result? A total of five bedrooms and eight baths in almost 3,800 square feet over two levels boasting restored terrazzo floors and numerous built-ins, plus vast walls of glass providing seamless indoor/outdoor environs.

    For the right price, Murphy is willing to sell the home’s avant-garde furnishings as featured in Architectural Digest—an antique silver collection, a 19th-century Biedermeier table, contemporary artwork, and a built-in settee left behind by Ford, just for starters.

    A spacious fireside living room has floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors that open to a terrace overlooking city lights and ocean views.

    Matthew Momberger

    Perched atop a hill overlooking the Bel-Air Country Club, amid a gated parcel of land spanning just over three-quarters of an acre, the glass, wood, and concrete structure is accessed via a ramp that leads to an entryway bolstered by soaring cantilevered bars. Once inside, a walnut-paneled hallway leads to a double-wide living room holding an eye-catching brick fireplace and floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors spilling out to an expansive terrace. Nearby, a dining room is spotlighted by a gray alabaster table that seats eight and a rectangular window resembling a still-life painting.

    The dining room’s picture window gazes out to a garden holding a 19th-century Italian sculpture of Cupid.

    Matthew Momberger

    Other highlights include an office, a media room, a main kitchen connected to a secondary catering kitchen below, and a sumptuous primary bedroom sporting aubergine lacquered walls and a stylish sitting area. Outdoors, you’ll find Scott Shrader-landscaped grounds hosting a Romanesque-style garden that’s been reoriented around a 17th-century urn fountain and a lengthy black-bottom pool flanked by a one-bedroom, one-bath guesthouse, all of it offering up picturesque city lights and ocean vistas.

    A 17th-century stone fountain serves as the centerpiece of a gravel patio amid sculpted plantings.

    Matthew Momberger

    The 58-year-old Indiana native first rose to prominence in the early 2000s after creating Nip/Tuck, which ran for 100 episodes. Subsequent mega-hits like Glee and American Horror Story cemented his status as one of the modern era’s most successful producers and led to the inking of his 2018 Netflix contract, the biggest development deal in TV history. On the real estate front, the six-time Emmy winner has bought and sold numerous multimillion-dollar properties from coast to coast during the past few decades, including a Beverly Hills mansion he transferred to fellow producer David Zander for $16.3 million in 2020 and a Laguna Beach compound that traded hands the following year for $10.6 million.

    In addition to his primary residence, a $15.5 million spread in L.A.’s Brentwood neighborhood where he lives with his photographer husband David Miller and their three sons, Murphy’s hefty property portfolio also includes a $24.5 million Axel Vervoordt-designed townhouse in Manhattan’s West Village and a waterfront hideaway in Provincetown, R.I. He also lays claim to a sprawling country estate in New York’s Westchester County that he picked up from actor Richard Gere for $24.1 million in 2023 and is now renovating.

    Click here for more photos of Ryan Murphy’s Bel Air house.

    Matthew Momberger More

  • in

    Judy Garland’s Former Bel Air Estate Can Be Yours for $11.5 Million

    Judy Garland passed away from an accidental drug overdose over five decades ago at age 47. But the legendary actress and singer’s star still shines on at this charming Bel Air home she had custom-built by master architect Wallace Neff in 1938—the same year the 16-year-old was cast as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. Occupied by Garland and her mother for several years, the East Coast traditional residence just popped up for sale; and if you wish upon a star—and have an extra $11.5 million burning a hole in your proverbial pocket, most importantly—your real estate dreams could come true.

    Reportedly once rented to both Quincy Jones and the late Marvin Gaye, the celeb-pedigreed pad also was occupied by Los Angeles Times heiress Stephanie Booth Murray, who purchased the house in early 2011 for $5.2 million. The great-great granddaughter of Harrison Gray Otis, founder of the Times Mirror Company in the 1800s, then updated the place and flipped it roughly a year later for $6.7 million to current owners Allen and Jill Chozen, who subsequently undertook their own extensive remodel of the premises in collaboration with The Wiseman Group.

    The charming East Coast traditional residence is introduced via a covered front porch.

    Paul Barnaby

    Tucked away behind a circular gated driveway that passes over a creek, on 2.6 acres of picturesque land off Stone Canyon Road, the white two-story structure features five bedrooms and seven baths in a little more than 5,500 square feet of living space boasting dark hardwood floors, wainscoted walls, bay windows and French doors throughout. A separate “writer’s cabin” on the property is warmed by a fireplace, and could easily serve as an office or a studio.

    As for the primary dwelling, an entry foyer displaying a curving iron-railed staircase flows to a formal dining room topped by a vintage chandelier on one side, and spacious living room sporting a fireplace with a black marble surround and an adjacent bookshelf-lined sitting area on the other. An attractive kitchen is outfitted with pale green cabinetry, an eat-in island, high-end stainless appliances, and an accompanying breakfast nook that opens to an expansive brick-lined patio ideal for al fresco lounging and entertaining.

    A restored “writer’s cabin” rests alongside the kidney-shaped swimming pool.

    Paul Barnaby

    Elsewhere is an office, a library, sunroom and wet bar, as well as a plush master retreat spotlighted by a fireplace, two walk-in closets, and a luxe bath hosting dual vanities, a dressing area and soaking tub; and outdoors, the terraced grounds are spotlighted by a vine-adorned staircase that winds its way up to a kidney-shaped pool with a diving board, along with a pool house and the aforementioned writer’s cabin. There’s also an attached two-car garage and carport out front.

    The listing is held by Josh Flagg of Compass.

    Click here for more photos of Judy Garland’s former Bel Air house.

    Paul Barnaby More

  • in

    The Once High-Flying Founder of Bird Scooters Sold His L.A. Mansion at an $11 Million Loss

    Travis VanderZanden has finally flown the very fancy coop—but he may also have flown a bit too close to the sun. Records show that after three years on and off the market, the controversial and once high-flying tech entrepreneur’s residential albatross in Bel Air has finally sold to a non-famous buyer for just $10.8 million—nearly $11 million less than the $21.7 million he paid comedian Trevor Noah for the contemporary house about 3.5 years ago.

    It’s probably not surprising that VanderZanden would be very motivated to unload his snazzy mansion. A former Lyft COO and Uber vice president, VanderZanden is the founder and former CEO of Bird, the once-popular and nationwide electric scooter-rental service that was valued at $2.5 billion during its 2019 heyday. By 2020, Bird had been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic; in December 2023, the company declared bankruptcy.

    But despite the huge amount of money it cost him, it remains unclear if VanderZanden ever actually lived in the Bel Air house. He bought the hilltop mansion in August 2020, paying $21.7 million. For much of the next six months, the place was undergoing renovations. But in April 2021, VanderZanden somewhat abruptly moved to Miami and his L.A. house was back up for grabs, listed at an optimistic $25 million. By early 2023, the property’s asking price had sunk to $18.9 million.

    Previously owned by Trevor Noah, the glassy house was vacant for much of VanderZanden’s 3.5 years of ownership.

    Sited atop a 1-acre promontory overlooking the Bel-Air Country Club golf greens, the spec-built house was completed in 2019 and first sold for $20.5 million to Noah that same year. Inside, the two levels of sun-drenched interiors span a total of about 10,000 square feet, with six bedrooms and 7.5 bathrooms. Highlights include a stone wet bar showcasing a 500-gallon saltwater aquarium, a cigar room, a den with a marble fireplace, a movie theater and separate quarters for a live-in housekeeper or other staff member.

    A stylish catering kitchen is outfitted with a pair of marble islands, plus high-end Miele appliances, custom cabinetry and climate-controlled wine storage for up to 250 bottles. Upstairs, a 2,200-square-foot master retreat flaunts a bar, sitting room, dual showroom closets and marble baths, and an 800-square-foot balcony with dazzling views of the ocean and city lights.

    The family room sports walls of pocketing Fleetwood glass doors that disappear, allowing for easy access to an al fresco dining patio. Beyond, the mostly flat backyard hosts a sprawling lawn and 62-foot infinity pool with a transparent edge that seemingly hovers over the city far below. Topping it all off are a state-of-the-art Control4 home automation system, and fully automated Lutron shades for playing it cool. More

  • in

    After Two Years, an Heiress’s Bel Air Mansion Finally Sells to a Fashion Entrepreneur

    After a little more than two years and a couple of substantial price chops, media heiress and former actress Taylor Thomson has finally managed to unload her longtime Bel Air home for $27 million in an off-market deal. And though that’s far less than the member of one of Canada’s wealthiest families originally wanted, it’s still a whopping $19.6 million more than she paid for the place some 23 years ago.

    Records indicate the discount-minded buyers who bought the English Tudor-style estate are digital entrepreneur Katherine Power and her husband, celebrity photographer Justin Coit. A cofounder of the Los Angeles-based fashion and shopping website Who What Wear—which was acquired by the British media company Future for an undisclosed sum in 2022—Power served as CEO of parent company Clique Brands for several years. She now operates the beauty brands Merit and Versed, and also owns the organic wine brand Avaline with actress Cameron Diaz. 

    As for the pair’s new digs, they were constructed and designed way back in 1926 by noted Hoover Dam architect Gordon Kaufmann. One of the first homes ever built in Bel Air, the premises underwent an expensive renovation and restoration by Thomson during her lengthy tenure.

    An aerial view of the Bel Air property.

    Google Images

    Resting on a prime street, amid an acre-plus parcel dotted by mature sycamore and redwood trees, the property features a six-bedroom main house boasting nearly 9,000 square feet of living space punctuated throughout with colorful tile, vintage light fixtures, metal window frames, arched doorways and soaring wood-beam ceilings. There’s also a two-story guest house with a duo of bedrooms and an attached three-car garage.

    Among the highlights: a formal living room displaying a stone-clad fireplace, an adjacent wood-paneled library and a fireside dining room that opens to a terrace. There’s also a gourmet kitchen decked out with marble countertops, top-tier stainless appliances, a spacious center island and floor-to-ceiling tile, as well as a plush master retreat flaunting a fireplace, walk-in closets and a spa-like bath.

    Elsewhere in the house are five additional bedrooms, including a Moroccan/Turkish-inspired guest suite spotlighted by a French copper cheese vat that’s been converted into a tub; and outdoors, the lush A.E. Hanson-designed grounds host a large pool and spa enveloped by a grassy lawn, along with hidden meadows and pocket gardens.

    With an estimated net worth of around $3 billion, Thomson is currently ranked as Canada’s second-richest woman. She’s a member of the Thomson family, which has amassed a collective fortune of about $44 billion as stewards of a media empire founded by her grandfather Roy Thomson; their biggest asset is Woodbridge, a holding company with a controlling stake in Thomson Reuters.

    In addition to her just-sold Bel Air property, Thomson still maintains a multimillion-dollar real estate portfolio that includes a Santa Monica compound that had a starring role in Beverly Hills Cop and an 1880s mansion once owned by Gordon Lightfoot in Toronto’s pricey Bridle Path neighborhood, where one of her nearest neighbors is Drake. Power and Coit still lay claim to a 1920s Spanish-Colonial residence in the Little Holmby neighborhood of L.A. they picked up for $4.2 million in 2015 that has since been revamped and showcased in Architectural Digest.

    .. More

  • in

    Rick and Kathy Hilton’s $25 Million Bel Air Mansion Sells to a Chinese Billionaire

    Way back in 2015, Rick and Kathy Hilton spent $9.3 million to buy a heavily modified 1930s house in L.A.’s prime lower Bel Air neighborhood, one located just a quick jog away from their own main residence. The long-married socialites—he a grandson of Hilton Hotels founder Conrad Hilton and the co-founder of the Hilton & Hyland real estate brokerage, she the quirky mother of Paris Hilton and former star of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”—subsequently tore down the existing structure and spent years building an all-new trophy mansion to be sold on speculation.

    That new mansion, a gleaming and all-white affair, merges Old World architecture with modern-day style and state-of-the-art technology. Completed circa 2021 and prominently showcased on “RHOBH,” the house sports glamorous architecture by Hollywood-based firm Harrison Design and sophisticated interior design courtesy of a collaboration between Nicole Gordon Studio and Kathy Hilton herself.

    The former Hilton spec-manor in early 2021, while it was still in the final stages of construction. The exteriors are a white-brick traditional throwback, but the interiors are far more contemporary.

    Google Earth

    The newly-complete estate first hit the market in September 2021, asking a whopping $55 million. Unfortunately, however, things didn’t quite go as planned. The house ended up languishing on the market for more than two years, suffering several big price chops during that time. By early 2023, the asking price had been slashed all the way down to $39.5 million. But by then, L.A.’s controversial new mansion tax and high interest rates had already put a big damper on the market.

    Though it was removed from the market last fall, records now reveal the house quietly sold this week—for just $25 million, a staggering 55% discount off the original list price. The all-cash, bargain-shopping buyer is an entity tied to the family of Song Qinghou, a billionaire Mainland Chinese tycoon who made his $6.1 billion fortune in the beverage industry; in 2012, he was ranked by Forbes as China’s richest man.

    Zong and his family will enjoy bespoke craftsmanship and premium finishes throughout the stately three-story home, which features a white-brick Georgian look outside, plus a total of eight bedrooms and no fewer than 16 bathrooms inside, including 12 full baths and four powder rooms.

    Though it sits quite close to the public street, the house is privately sequestered behind driveway gates and extraordinarily tall hedges.

    Google Earth

    Highlights include an extraordinarily long foyer with grey-and-white checkerboard stone floors, formal living and dining rooms with chevron-pattern hardwood floors, a walnut-paneled library with a black marble fireplace, and a huge kitchen dressed monochromatically in denim blue paint. Upstairs, the primary bedroom is ensconced in its own private wing, complete with dual showroom closets and dual marble-sheathed bathrooms. There’s also a basement-level entertainment space with a wet bar, a wine room and a full catering kitchen.

    While the home’s grounds are actually somewhat compact compared to those of many neighboring estates, they do include grassy lawns, a motorcourt with ample space for 10+ cars, and tall hedges for privacy. Out back, the simple rectangular swimming pool and spa are flanked by a rectangular poolside pavilion generously equipped with a lounge, a guest bedroom suite, and yet another full kitchen.

    While Zong, his wife, and the couple’s adult daughter Kelly appear to be new to Bel Air, they are very familiar with California. From 1997 until 2008, records show the family owned a spacious but relatively modest hacienda-style residence in the wealthy L.A. suburb of San Marino. As for the Hiltons, they continue to own and reside in a 1920s stone manor house elsewhere in Bel Air, complete with approximately 15,000 square feet of luxurious interior space. More

  • in

    A Late Billionaire’s Historic Mansion Gets Drastic $55 Million Price Cut

    Almost five months after it officially hit the market with an eye-popping $250 million price tag—and just a few short weeks after its longtime owner, billionaire telecom pioneer Gary Winnick, passed away at age 76—the Bel Air trophy estate widely known as “Casa Encantada” (loosely translated to “Enchanted House”) has popped up for sale again, this time with a substantially reduced $195 million ask. Back in 2019, it also was quietly floated as an off-market pocket listing, asking $225 million.

    Originally designed and built way back in the 1930s by architect James Dolena, to the reported tune of around $2 million, for Hilda Boldt Weber—a former New York City hospital nurse who married multimillionaire Cincinnati glass manufacturer Charles Boldt, and then inherited a considerable fortune upon his death in the late 1920s—the dwelling was later sold to hotel magnate Conrad Hilton for a mere $225,000 in 1950.

    The home is fronted by a fountain and neoclassical portico entrance.

    Simon Berlyn

    After Hilton passed away in 1979, retired Dole Food Products chairman David Murdock bought the place for $12.4 million in 1980. He subsequently transferred the estate for $94 million in 2000 to Winnick and his wife, artist and author Karen Winnick, who spent more than two years and tens of millions of dollars extensively restoring the premises in collaboration with noted architect Peter Marino. The $94 million deal, it should be noted, was long a residential record for California but also was a non-standard sale, involving both cash and two large pieces of land.

    Tucked away behind walls and gates, amid an 8.4-acre hilltop parcel that juts out over the Bel Air Country Club golf course, the H-shaped mansion is fronted by a motorcourt bolstered by a bubbling fountain and an opulent neoclassical portico entrance, and features seven bedrooms and 20 baths filtered across 40,000 square feet. There also are plenty of glitzy amenities, including a pool pavilion with a bar and movie theater.

    A wood-clad lounge area is warmed by a fireplace.

    Simon Berlyn

    Inside the primary 60-room residence, a grand double-height entry foyer displaying a sweeping staircase greets and flows to a reception hall resting beneath an 18-foot ceiling. From there, the living space is highlighted by dual living and dining rooms, along with a wet bar-equipped den/card room and handsome walnut-paneled study/office lined with floor-to-ceiling bookcases. There’s also a 3,500-square-foot master retreat boasting double sitting rooms and baths.

    The property, which has no neighbors on either side, sits atop a subterranean tunnel that connects two holes of the exclusive golf course, and overlooks picturesque city, mountain and ocean views; and the resort-like grounds also host rose, herb and tropical gardens, as well as an 80-foot pool, a desirable north/south tennis court with a viewing pavilion, an additional sport court, and numerous spots ideal for al fresco lounging and entertaining.

    A poolside pavilion comes complete with a movie theater.

    Simon Berlyn

    In addition to the Bel Air estate, which is co-listed by Kurt Rappaport of Westside Estate Agency and Drew Fenton of Carolwood Estates, Winnick’s widow still maintains a Charles Gwathmey-designed apartment on the 20th floor of New York City’s iconic Sherry Netherland Hotel that’s currently on the market for just under $4.5 million.

    Click here for more photos of Casa Encantada.

    Simon Berlyn More

  • in

    Jennifer Lopez’s Lavish Bel Air Retreat Sells to the Neighbors for $34 Million

    A little more than eight months after it first popped up for sale with an impressive $42.5 million ask, a sprawling Bel Air estate owned by multi-hyphenate entertainer Jennifer Lopez has officially traded hands for the heavily slashed yet still pricey sum of $34 million. But that’s still $6 million more than she paid actress Sela Ward for the place back in spring 2016.

    Property records reveal the buyers are Taiwanese businessman Walter Wang, president and CEO of JM Eagle, the world’s largest manufacturer of plastic and PVC pipe, and his wife Shirley, founder and CEO of Plastpro, a top fiberglass door manufacturer. The couple, who regularly fund various philanthropic projects through their family foundation and Los Angeles-based companies, happen to have long owned two Bel Air homes just a few doors away from their big new spread.

    When combined with their additional $2.1 million and $3.9 million estates on the same street, this purchase gives the Wangs over 9 acres of land just minutes from the Bel Air Hotel, plus three homes—for a total of 18 bedrooms, 23 baths and more than 23,000 square feet of living space between them.

    Originally designed by architect Samuel Marx, and built in 1940, the Wang’s recently acquired residence was transformed during Lopez’s tenure into what the listing describes as a “one-of-a-kind multi-structure French Country refuge.”

    A double-height living room is decked out with a fireplace and curving wrought-iron staircase.

    Jeremy Spann

    Tucked away behind a gated driveway, on a nearly 8-acre parcel, the creamy stucco and wood-accented dwelling features nine bedrooms and 13 baths in a little more than 12,800 square feet of living space that opens throughout to expansive terraces. There also are plenty of snazzy amenities—a guest cottage, gym, 100-seat amphitheater, pagoda with fire-pit, putting green, an infinity-edge pool and spa, and a private lake with its own sandy beach, just for starters.

    Other standout features include a soaring wet bar-equipped living room boasting a fireplace and curving wrought-iron staircase, along with a formal dining room, wood-paneled library, and gourmet kitchen outfitted with a stone fireplace and cozy breakfast nook. A spacious family/game room has yet another wet bar, while the lower-level holds a plush movie theater, and an upstairs master bedroom wing comes complete with a fireplace, library/sitting room, and dual dressing rooms and baths.

    The amenity-packed grounds are spotlighted by a striking infinity-edge pool and spa.

    Jeremy Spann

    Lopez and her actor husband Ben Affleck—who sold his Palisades bachelor pad in October 2022 for $28.5 million—had planned to renovate and live in her Bel Air mansion after they were married a little over a year ago, per TMZ. But they went on to reside in a rental, before ultimately doling out $61 million in cash this past May for a massive compound in the Benedict Canyon neighborhood of Beverly Hills.

    Between them, the pair also owns an 87-acre Georgia estate that’s currently on the market for $8.9 million, as well as a New York City penthouse, mansion in the Hamptons and petite cottage in L.A.’s Encino neighborhood.

    The listing was held by Brett Lawyer of Carolwood Estates; Lea Porter of The Beverly Hills Estates repped the buyers.

    Click here for more photos of Jennifer Lopez’s Bel Air house.

    Jeremy Spann More