The Real Deal Los Angeles

When building a megamansion goes wayyy over budget

Contractor Lendlease wrapped up in legal dispute over LA home
April 01, 2018 08:47AM

(Credit from back: Pixabay, Images Money/Flickr)

Be careful what you wish for — and who you hire to build a dream house.

Ziad Ghandour hired Lendlease, a commercial builder inexperienced in building luxury homes, because, he says, convinced him that the 35,500-square-foot home he was building would be more like a commercial project. But then his house was completed three years late, ran $7 million over-budget and problems from leaks to air filtration to the installation of stucco remain, according to the New York Times.

Ghandour described the construction process as “devastating” for his family and himself, and, according to construction litigation lawyer Jason Kellogg, he’s not an outlier. As megamansion construction is booming, new builders without luxury-homebuilding experience are trying to enter the market with disastrous results.

Ghandour said Lendlease told him that his Los Angeles mansion would be their first luxury home and, as a result, would get special attention. Some of the builder’s most recognizable previous projects include the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at World Trade Center and Australia’s Sydney Opera House.

“What I was hoping for them from the beginning was that they’d just do a good job. And if they didn’t do that, then they’d fix whatever wasn’t done right,” Ghandour told the Times. But, instead, “the meter is still running.” The total bill to date for the mansion is $20 million.

Ghandour initiated a legal claim against Lendlease in 2016 and the case is now in binding arbitration. [NYT]Erin Hudson