Cash castle: Spec manse on former Castle Kashan site now asking $80M

Los Angeles /
Mar.March 23, 2017 01:26 PM

“Castles made of sand,” Jimi Hendrix sang, “fall in the sea, eventually.”

In the case of Malibu’s Castle Kashan, it was made of stone, and it burned down in a 2007 fire, but the sentiment holds: We cannot stop the tides of change.

Case in point: Scott Gillen’s nearly complete 15,200-square foot spec mansion on the site of the former castle, at 23800 Malibu Crest Drive, which is the most expensive estate in Malibu’s history. The property, dubbed “the New Castle” relisted on the MLS Thursday for $80 million, or $5,263 a square foot.

  • Rendering of The New Castle (Coldwell Banker)

If it gets its ask, it will exceed Malibu’s priciest trade to date: the $74.5 million sale of Howard Marks’ home at 33064 Pacific Coast Highway in 2013, records show.

The New Castle hit the market for presale for $60 million in 2015, and was relisted in January 2016 for $75 million. Gillen increased the price by $5 million after spending more on construction and the final details that make the home “turn-key,” such as furniture and an art collection, according to listing agent Alessandro Dazzan of Coldwell Banker Previews International.

The 11,000-square-foot main house has five bedrooms and five bathrooms on 2.5 acres of land. The 4,200-square-foot guest house has two bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. A 400-foot-long private driveway with double gates and a motor court lead up to the property. Its infinity pool cascades down two stories to the basement level of the home. The main house has an entryway that leads into a teak library-like wine room and a teak, humidified cigar room.

“Just the teak room alone cost $1 million,” Dazzan said. “It took six months to complete.”

On a square-foot basis, the listing price is not a record. An estate at 27724 Pacific Coast Highway once listed for $11,667 a square foot, though it did not sell at that price, according to MLS data. The record holder for an on-market sale is 33634 Pacific Coast Highway, which sold for $11,567 a square foot.

The landmark was first known as Hodge’s Castle, after Dr. Thomas Hodges, who built its turrets, parapets, fountains and arched gates. It became known as Castle Kashan under the ownership of Lilly Lawrence, a philanthropist and international socialite whose father, Reza Fallah, was once the oil minister for the Shah of Iran.

After the 2007 fire, Lawrence told the press she would consider rebuilding, and according to Dazzan, secured the entitlements. But she ultimately sold the land to an entity connected to Gillen for $9.7 million in 2015, records show.

The landmark status of the castle allowed Gillen to build a much bigger mansion than he would have been able to otherwise, since the square footage was grandfathered in.

“You would need about five acres to build 10,000 square feet today,” Dazzan said.

Correction: A previous version of this story misidentified the priciest home sale in Malibu history. 


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