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The Real Deal Los Angeles

Former 99 Cents store CEO lists $14M Beverly Hills
home with a twist

Stephane Gonthier's estate can be viewed via virtual reality goggles
By Subrina Hudson | February 16, 2017 04:25PM

Bedford Drive home, Stephane Gonthier (Berlyn Photography/Colabor)

It seems you can build a fortune 99 cents at a time — especially if you funnel it into 90210 real estate.

Stephane Gonthier, the former CEO of 99 Cents Only Stores chain, is planning to list his 6,400-square-foot Beverly Hills estate with an asking price of $13.9 million, The Real Deal has learned. He purchased the home in 2014 for only $8.1 million, according to property records.

The listing for the six-bedroom, nine-bathroom home — which is scheduled to hit the MLS on Monday — will get a virtual upgrade. Interested buyers can tour it without even stepping on the property by wearing a pair of custom virtual reality goggles, which listing agent Rochelle Maize of Nourmand & Associates has sent around to her clients. Through the goggles, viewers can see the grounds of the Bedford Drive estate, which includes fountains, courtyards and a koi pond.

Marketing properties by way of virtual reality is a trend that’s gaining traction. Developer Brookfield Residential started offering virtual tours of its model homes in San Marcos this month, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“When you’re in cities like L.A. or New York, where people are busy, you can have someone in your office and show them 10 properties (on VR goggles),” Maize told TRD. “And they can figure out which ones to see in real life.”

Gonthier completed extensive renovations on the 1929-built property lat year, but kept its Spanish-style architecture, Maize said.

Like many L.A. properties, the estate has a history that involves entertainment industry bigwig. Gonthier purchased it from the late Hollywood talent manger and agent Freddie Fields, who cofounded Creative Management Associates, the precursor to ICM Partners. Fields’ home was known to be the center of the city’s social scene and his firm represented stars such as Judy Garland, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Neil Young.

Maize represented Fields in his 2001 acquisition of the property, and then in its 2014 sale.