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This Is What a $250 Million House Looks Like

The new mansion that developer Bruce Makowsky is selling for $250 million comes with 150 pieces of original artwork, $30 million worth of classic cars (his estimate), a dozen high-performance motorcycles, and a deactivated helicopter.

Understatement clearly isn't on the agenda. But in a saturated spec-home market that gives the super-rich some super-sized options, even the appearance of getting bang for one's many bucks is a selling point.

The Bel Air mansion offers 38,000 feet of interior space, including 12 bedrooms, 21 baths, a 40-seat home theater, and a four-lane bowling alley. That works out to more than $6,500 per square foot. By comparison, one lavish Los Angeles spec house changed hands last year for $100 million, or about $3,300 per square foot.

Makowsky maintains that the house is worth it.

"It just reeks of quality and looks absolutely spectacular," he said. "It gives you the feeling you can only get if you go to heaven."

Makowsky came to this business via fashion and cable television. He spent three decades designing women’s shoes and handbags along with his wife, Kathy Van Zeeland, hawking them on TV infomercials. In 2008, the couple sold the business to Hong Kong-based Li & Fung for a reported $330 million, and Makowsky started plowing his money into Los Angeles spec homes. His biggest hit so far: a 22,300-square-foot Beverly Hills mansion he sold for $70 million to Markus Persson, creator of the video game Minecraft. He isn’t the only one playing the spec-house game.

 

In 2014, developer Jeff Greene listed a 25-acre Beverly Hills estate with 53,000 square feet of living space for $195 million. In 2015, movie producer Nile Niami said he had broken ground on a 74,000-square-foot mansion, equipped with “almost every amenity available in the world,” with a plan to sell it for $500 million. And last year, houses were listed for more than $100 million in California, Florida, New York, and Nevada—part of a super-luxury market defined by sellers boldly asking for sums that would have seemed outrageous a few years earlier.

At such levels, a listing price doesn’t always give an accurate estimate of the price a property will actually command. Hugh Hefner sold his infamous Playboy mansion in Holmby Hills. Calif., last year for $100 million—half what he'd originally listed it for. And the house Makowsky sold to Persson was originally listed for $85 million.

“I just believe that if you build the very best, there will be a buyer,” Makowsky said, adding that his spec homes are filling a void in the Los Angeles market.

The super-wealthy, he argued, are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on yachts and aircraft, which they might use for only a few weeks a year. “And yet these super-wealthy people are living in $20 or $30 million homes,” he added. “It’s because no one has built homes for billionaires.”

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Insanely extravagant apartment building will have a robot butler

It's name is CHARLEY...

In August, we heard about a new Santa Monic Boulevard luxury apartment building where tenants will have access to  butlers, dog walkers, and Botox injections , but now it seems that the extensive amenities list at the high-rise keeps growing.  Called Ten Thousand, the building will also be staffed by at least one robot, according to a press release from developer Crescent Heights. Its name is CHARLEY, and its programmers have taught the machine to navigate the halls and elevators of the 40-story tower, delivering “packages, meals, beverages, birthday cake, and flowers” to waiting residents.  The delivery robot, designed by futuristic tech company Savioke, can be summoned by iPad Minis given to each resident when they move in. The iPads can also be used to order drinks, reserve personal training sessions, and pay the building’s very hefty rent (units are now leasing and start at $9,000)

In August, we heard about a new Santa Monic Boulevard luxury apartment building where tenants will have access to butlers, dog walkers, and Botox injections, but now it seems that the extensive amenities list at the high-rise keeps growing.

Called Ten Thousand, the building will also be staffed by at least one robot, according to a press release from developer Crescent Heights. Its name is CHARLEY, and its programmers have taught the machine to navigate the halls and elevators of the 40-story tower, delivering “packages, meals, beverages, birthday cake, and flowers” to waiting residents.

The delivery robot, designed by futuristic tech company Savioke, can be summoned by iPad Minis given to each resident when they move in. The iPads can also be used to order drinks, reserve personal training sessions, and pay the building’s very hefty rent (units are now leasing and start at $9,000)

With no shortage of luxury apartments in the LA area, developers are increasingly under pressure to provide tenants with the most extravagant amenities possible. So far, Ten Thousand looks like it will be hard to beat on that front.   Ten Thousand’s 75,000 square feet of amenity space includes a one-acre park, multiple pools and movie theaters, bar and restaurant, fitness center, tennis court, and a kids’ studio “inspired by the California workspace of Charles and Ray Eames.”  Moreover, the robot delivery service is just one part of the building’s new focus on technological sophistication. Residents will also have access to an ultra-fast Wi-Fi network, hands-free thermostat control, and in-house tech support for any old computer problem.

With no shortage of luxury apartments in the LA area, developers are increasingly under pressure to provide tenants with the most extravagant amenities possible. So far, Ten Thousand looks like it will be hard to beat on that front. 

Ten Thousand’s 75,000 square feet of amenity space includes a one-acre park, multiple pools and movie theaters, bar and restaurant, fitness center, tennis court, and a kids’ studio “inspired by the California workspace of Charles and Ray Eames.”

Moreover, the robot delivery service is just one part of the building’s new focus on technological sophistication. Residents will also have access to an ultra-fast Wi-Fi network, hands-free thermostat control, and in-house tech support for any old computer problem.

With no shortage of luxury apartments in the LA area, developers are increasingly under pressure to provide tenants with the most extravagant amenities possible. So far, Ten Thousand looks like it will be hard to beat on that front.   Ten Thousand’s 75,000 square feet of amenity space includes a one-acre park, multiple pools and movie theaters, bar and restaurant, fitness center, tennis court, and a kids’ studio “inspired by the California workspace of Charles and Ray Eames.”  Moreover, the robot delivery service is just one part of the building’s new focus on technological sophistication. Residents will also have access to an ultra-fast Wi-Fi network, hands-free thermostat control, and in-house tech support for any old computer problem.

With no shortage of luxury apartments in the LA area, developers are increasingly under pressure to provide tenants with the most extravagant amenities possible. So far, Ten Thousand looks like it will be hard to beat on that front. 

Ten Thousand’s 75,000 square feet of amenity space includes a one-acre park, multiple pools and movie theaters, bar and restaurant, fitness center, tennis court, and a kids’ studio “inspired by the California workspace of Charles and Ray Eames.”

Moreover, the robot delivery service is just one part of the building’s new focus on technological sophistication. Residents will also have access to an ultra-fast Wi-Fi network, hands-free thermostat control, and in-house tech support for any old computer problem.

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Pacific Palisades Neighborhoods

Pacific View Estates, the homes are a bit larger and start around $1.8 and up.After you decide that you would like to move to Pacific Palisades, the choices continue. Within the lovely little "Village" of Pacific Palisades are several different and distinct neighborhoods, each with their own style, feel and price range. There are three different public elementary schools servicing the Palisades and your address determines which of the three Pacific Palisades elementary school district you are in. The main neighborhoods in the Palisades include: Alphabet StreetsThe Bluffs (Via and El Medio)CastellammareThe HighlandsThe HuntingtonMarquez (and Marquez Knolls)The RivieraRustic Canyon and Sunset Mesa (Pacific View Estates). Some of the smaller neighborhoods include: Bel Air Bay Club, Las Casas Loop, Palisair HOA, Ridgeview Country Estates, Santa Monica Canyon, Upper Alphabet Streets, Upper Bienvenida, and Will Rodgers.

 

Alphabet Streets

One of the most popular areas in the Palisades is the Alphabet Streets. It is a mostly flat residential area and is walking distance to shopping district of the Village. Popular with young families, there are "starter" homes around $1,000,000 for a 900sf bungalow. (note: the value is in the land, not the structure.) There are also several new homes as well, in the $3.0 million range. Many of the homes are in the Palisades Elementary School district.

 

The Bluffs

This popular area is South (or West) of Sunset toward the beach. There are the Via de la Paz Bluff homes and the El Medio Bluff homes. This mainly flat area enjoys terrific ocean breezes, and is both walking distance to the Bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean and convenient to town for shopping. This upscale area is a combination of remaining small bungalows, starting in the $1.4 million range, to newer customs homes in the $3.0 to $4.5 million price range. Many of the Via de la Paz Bluff homes are in the Palisades Elementary district. Many of the El Medio Bluff homes are in the Marquez Elementary district.

 

Castellammare

This charming, seaside neighborhood is reminiscent to the Amalfi coast in Italy. With stunning ocean views, tiny winding streets, and beautiful Italian street names, you will think you are on vacation. Homes in this area range from tiny villas, to a handful of brand new European-style estates. Prices start around $1.1 for a tiny villa, with limited yard space, and can to up to $5.0 for one of the newer architectural homes. In 2007 the unique, "Castellammare Castle" sold for around $12 million.

 

The Highlands

The Highlands is one of the newest neighborhoods in the Palisades. It began as a series of tract homes, built in the hills above Sunset. It is also one of the few areas in the Palisades with condominiums and townhouses. Then in the 1990's, beautiful 2-story homes and estates were built on the northern side. This area is especially popular with families and celebrities, due to the many gated streets. Many of the homes here are large in square footage (about 3000-6000sf) and are affiliated with the exclusive Summit Club. Condos start around $700,000-$1,500,000. Homes start around $1,200,000 to $6,000,000. Homes are mainly in the Marquez Elementary district.

 

The Huntington

This exclusive area lies just west of Chautauqua and below Sunset. These are mostly traditional-style homes on flat, wide lots. This area is popular with upscale families, due to the nice wide, flat streets and sidewalks. It is walking distance to the park, recreation center and the library. Original, 1-story homes start around $ 1.8 and new homes go up to $6.0 million or more.

 

Marquez and Marquez Knolls

This wonderful area near Marquez Elementary school is another popular area with young families. It can be one of the most affordable areas, with homes starting around $1.0 million. Up the hill, on the knoll, homes have fantastic ocean views. This area was mostly built in the 50's and the mainly 1-story homes have a unique, "mid-century" feel. Most homes are in the Marquez Elementary school district.

 

The Riviera

Like its name, this area is one of the most exclusive and expensive areas of the Palisades. It is located between San Remo to the East and Amalfi Drive to the West, on both sides of Sunset. For the most part, the homes here are much larger and on bigger lots. It is conveniently located on the East end of the Palisades, close to Brentwood. With its wide streets and deep setbacks, this is an area perfect for someone that appreciates their privacy. In the upper Riviera, many of the homes have stunning city and mountain views. The exclusive Riviera Country Club, home to the annual golf classic, is located in this area. This private club offers both golf and tennis. Many homes in the area are in the Canyon Elementary school district.

 

Rustic Canyon

This is one of the most unique neighborhoods in the Palisades. Nestled under the beautiful trees and alongside the babbling brook, these are mostly architectural and rustic-style homes. The area was built around the original Up-Lifters Ranch. Probably one of the most expensive areas in the city, this area is for someone that likes privacy, serenity and shade. There is a combination of smaller homes and lots, along with a select few 2 and 3-acres sites. It is tucked away south of Sunset and convenient to Santa Monica. Most homes are in the Canyon Elementary school district.

 

Sunset Mesa and Pacific View Estates.

Located next to the newly re-done Getty Villa, this neighborhood is all about the beach and ocean views. Technically in Malibu, Sunset Mesa is a popular area for families. Set up in a low hill, the wide streets with sidewalks are perfect for walking to the beach. Almost all of the homes are 1-story. They range in size from around 1700sf to 3000sf. In general they start around $1.4 million up to about $2.2 million. On the Palisades side, in the area known as Pacific View Estates, the homes are a bit larger and start around $1.8 and up.

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LOS ANGELES DINING: jANEt's TOP TWO OF THE WEEK

|OTIUM|

Perched high above on Downtown's Bunker Hill from chef Timothy Hollingsworth, who was once the chef de cuisine at The French Laundry. Since landing in LA, this has been the celebrated place Hollingsworth has tried to open with prolific restaurateur Bill Chait for the last few years. And Otium might be the most gorgeous free-standing restaurant to debut in Los Angeles this year.

Take a whirl around and see handcrafted materials abound. With most of the plates, furniture, and interior appointments built by local artisans, Otium is as much an ode to Los Angeles as a design and creative capital as it is a culinary one. From the kitchen, Hollingsworth is plating familiar, yet thoughtful dishes that reflect an organic, wholesome ethos. Try a lobster roll with celery salt chips, pork belly with caramelized garlic, or grilled fish with cauliflower, grapes, and almonds.

For now, it's just lunch service from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., though dinner hours will commence in December. Brunch service quietly launched last week, and is served Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., while a friendly daytime kiosk sits out front for museum goers and office workers. Reservations available online via Resy.

Otium
222 S. Hope Street
Los Angeles, CA

 

|CARBON BEACH CLUB AT THE MALIBU BEACH INN|

The sun-dappled dining room inside the Malibu Beach Inn features dark wood, massive mirrors and intoxicating views of the shimmering Pacific. The menu offers quintessential Californian dishes like tuna tartar and a host of other options made with seasonal ingredients. Enjoy (at least) one of the restaurant’s boutique California wines, then stroll along the beach.

22878 Pacific Coast Hwy
Malibu, CA 90265
1 (310) 456-6444

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Huge Makeover at Historic Century Plaza Hotel Begins in March

A major update and expansion for Century City's storied Century Plaza Hotel was approved back in early 2013, but work will only finally get started on March 1, 2016, developers announced yesterday. The project will remodel the 1966 hotel, designed by Minoru Yamasaki, pare its rooms down to 394 from 726 and add 63 new residences. But that's just the start: developer Next Century associates will also add two 46-story residential towers behind the hotel, an open-air lobby, public plazas and fountains, and a massive outdoor garden that extends more than two acres. The garden will be flanked by 100,000 square feet of restaurants and retail.

The two towers behind the hotel were a "late-in-the-game addition" to the project that spared the crescent-shaped hotel from demolition (it was one of Reagan's Western White Houses while he was in office and Nixon celebrated the moon landing there). The Pei Cobb Freed-designed towers will have a total of 290 luxury units between them. A press release maintains that saving the hotel by adding the towers was a compromise so successful that the project "was unanimously approved without any public opposition."

The project's public space component, which will have plazas and fountains and stretch out to Avenue of the Stars, is an attempt to make pedestrian-unfriendly Century City a little more appealing to people on foot. The property is set to get a Purple Line subway stop on its edge.

The $2.5-billion Century Plaza renovation will officially begin on March 1, when the hotel will close. Hyatt, which operates the Century Plaza, will be leaving, though it's not been announced who will take their place. (When the hotel renovations are complete, the Century Plaza will be a five-star joint.) Next Century expects the whole thing to be complete in early 2018.

CenturyPlaza_AOS_Entry_Night_ViewA01_HR03.0.jpeg

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Questionably Legal Bev Hills Megamansion Flipping For $42M

The Los Angeles housing market is full of flips—a person can make a nice profit putting a formerly distressed property up for sale, or, in this case, an 11,200-square-foot monster of a spec house in Beverly Hills. Just over a year and a half after being sold for $31 million, a megamansion at 1201 Laurel Way is back on the market, listed for $42 million. It's a bit of an infamous house too, with a history chock full of borderline illegal permitting and neighborhood lawsuits.

Back in 2006, then-owner Papcap Laurel Way LLC (Richard Papalian) wanted to tear down a 4,318-square-foot, one-story house that had been on this lot since 1957, in order to build an elaborate spec house. Papalian informally queried the neighbors' on the project and found they were quite against it. Fearing that the city wouldn't grant him a demolition permit if angry neighbors showed up at the public hearing, Papalian instead applied for a much less strict remodel permit. The city allowed Papalian to tear down 50 percent of the original house for a "remodel," but he just went ahead and tore down 90 percent instead.

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Are you an....Implementer, Innovator, Inventor or Visionary?

An implementer

• You are a specialist in cause and effect.
• You are integral to the team’s success.
• You execute processes.

An innovator

• You take the ordinary and make it extraordinary
• You improve processes and work on efficiencies
• You build and develop teams, products and services

An inventor

• You can take an idea and make it a reality
• You are a passionate and driven to make a difference
• You are a risk taker

A visionary

• You are a lateral thinker
• You are creative and a big picture person
• You are able to project outcomes based on ideas and concepts

Don’t fit in any one category? You are not alone. Each of us usually is a mix of 1,2,3 or all of the categories. The key to your success is to understand where your strengths lie and tap into roles that make the most of what you have to offer. Other skills in other areas can complement your dominant strengths.

Get the mix right and you will be invincible!

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Outpost Estates – A Jewel in the Hollywood Hills

A pristine enclave of about 450 homes once known as “the jewel in the hills”, Outpost Estates is bordered by Franklin Avenue to the south and Mullholland Drive to the north. Runyon Canyon borders it to the west and Cahuenga Boulevard to the east. The neighborhood roughly covers 1.5 square miles.

Charles E. Toberman acquired the land in the 1920s and envisioned the development as “one of the most exclusive and beautiful residential parks in the world”. He only permitted grand Spanish-style homes in the neighborhood and allotted ample space for each estate.

To advertise the luxurious development, Toberman built a towering neon sign with glowing, red letters that spelled Outpost, hoping to steal the spotlight from the neighboring Hollywoodland sign.

You’ll Love Living in Outpost Estates if:

  • You want to be able to spread out – Many estates remain undivided and homes sit on spacious lots exceeding 10,000 square feet.
  • You want Fido to run free – Runyon Canyon, with its popular off-leash hiking trail, is practically an extension of Outpost Estates and the residents have done much to protect it and shield it from development. In 1984, the Outpost Estates Homeowner’s Association was a key player in halting a housing development and urging the city of L.A. And Santa Monica Mountain Conservancy to purchase the 130-acre green-space and declare it a park.
  • You want easily accessible seclusion – In the original advertisements, Outpost Estates was billed as being “as accessible as a downtown hotel; as restful and charming as a mountain lodge”. Not much has changed since the 1920’s as you can find shops, restaurants, theaters and plenty of tourist attractions a mere two and a half block walk away.
  • You like mature landscaping and sheltered environments – There are a good eight varieties of mature trees that have been cultivated for nearly 100 years in the area, mainly Eucalyptus, Sycamore, Carob and Live Oak. When initially developed, roads were built to curve around existing trees. This lends a very mature, established charm to the area.

Neighborhood Highlights:

The Hollywood Bowl, which borders the northern edge of Outpost Estates

Hollywood Bowl (2301 N Highland Ave) – Officially opened in 1922, a trip to The Hollywood Bowl is still the quintessential summertime event in Southern California. With musical performances ranging from classical to electronic to folk legends, a night at the Bowl (usually preceded by a picnic on the grounds) is something everyone in the family will love.

Runyon Canyon (2001 N Fuller Ave) – This off-leash dog hiking mecca offers several different loop routes for walking on two legs or four. With views that stretch from the San Bernardino Mountains all the way to the Pacific Ocean on a clear day, this is a perennial favorite for active Angelenos. Daily yoga and boot camp are also offered near the Fuller Street entrance.

The Magic Castle (7001 Franklin Avenue) – This members-only club with a strict dress code serves up food, cocktails and a nightly menu of professional magicians doing everything from turning flowers into rabbits on the main stage to sleight of hand card tricks on the smaller stages. There is even a piano-playing ghost named Irma who takes requests from visitors.

Outpost Estates Real Estate Tip

While it is possible to find 1 bedroom condos for sale along Franklin and Cahuenga Avenue for under $500,000, if you want to live in the heart of Outpost Estates, be prepared to spend at least $1 million on a home purchase.  Just give me a call  at 213-215-4758 and I’ll get right to work looking for the home you’re dreaming of.

Outpost Estates Super Hidden Secret

The thirty-foot high neon Outpost sign had vanished from sight by World War II and no one really knew what became of it. Turns out it remains exactly where it always was, although weather and neglect have certainly taken their toll. Runyon Canyon hikers who simply keep an eye to the east as they ascend the right hand side of its main loop can see the gnarled remains of the steel signs and their girders. Once discovered, local residents tried to get the sign recognized as an historical-cultural monument, but it did not qualify because it was no longer upright.

Runyon Canyon, where passers by can still find the remains of the OUTPOST sign from the 1920s.

#1 Most Interesting Fact About Outpost Estates

The site of the first home in Hollywood, an adobe built by Thomas Urquidez in 1853, was a large sycamore grove. One of the sycamore trees in particular found its way into history books as the hanging site of at least 13 alleged bandits and horse thieves. Somewhere around 1930, actress Dolores Del Rio, while building a home at the corner of Hillside Avenue and Outpost Drive, had the hanging tree chopped down during construction.

For information on buying property in Outpost Estates or elsewhere in the Hollywood Hills, give me a call at 310-855-2049

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The Latest and Greatest Eco-Friendly Homes

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The Latest and Greatest Eco-Friendly Homes

Going green at home is easier than ever these days (think organic cleaning supplies, reusable shopping bags, electric cars), but many homeowners haven’t considered the impact of architecture and design. In New Eco Homes (Harper Design, $40), author Manel Gutiérrez visits 22 residences that are leading the way with innovative, sustainable materials and smart strategies for conserving energy, water, and other resources. Full-color photos and detailed floor plans reveal the biggest takeaway of all: “New eco homes can be as beautiful, warm, comfortable, and functional as any other kind of home,” says Gutiérrez. Not surprisingly, the book is just as eco-friendly—and eye-catching—as the homes within. Matte, wood-free paper pages are handsomely bound in recycled cardboard.



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Sunset is getting a Facelift!

Anyone that lives in the 90069 area knows that there’s something’s up with Sunset Blvd.  There are now a number of major empty lots that stretch on for blocks that are immersed in development…which also means city crews holding up traffic no matter what time of day. Sunset is in for a major face-lift… the landscape up here is definitely going to change as the focal tourist hot spot with a variety of plush hotels that are scheduled in the pipe line. Kinda like Vegas, but way classier. Get ready!

Doheny and Sunset:

Marriott Edition Boutique Hotel designed by Ian Schrager: 13 stories, 148 room, 20 condos, a restaurant and a spa. (Specs courtesy of Wehoville)

La Cienega and Sunset:


James Hotel: Two 10-story towers, 286 rooms, two restaurants, bars in the lobby and the roof. Its sister hotel is in New York. Love that place…I hope they serve warm cookies on rainy days here too! Oh wait…it’s always 72 degrees here.

Right across the street is a proposed two eight story residential tower with 190 units and get this…40,000 sq’ of retail space.

Next to Cabo Cantina, across from the Standard Hotel:

11,691 square foot commercial building, a restaurant on Sunset Blvd and 177 parking spaces (source: loopnet.com).

This may take a couple of years, but the demolition is underway!
With all this retail space and restaurants coming in we may be well on our way to be a walking community for all of us residents who live only blocks away.

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