The Real Deal Los Angeles

‘Whiteboxing’ is picking up lots of steam in the luxury market

More sellers are gutting their properties to make it easier for buyers to customize spaces
May 04, 2018 10:16AM

Evan Metropoulos and the whiteboxed penthouse at Sierra Towers

What’s better than a luxury piece of real estate you can buy one day and move into the next? Apparently, one completely stripped down to the sheetrock.

More and more luxury sellers are “whiteboxing” units — gutting everything possible — to ready them for a custom build-out, according to CNBC. The practice caters to buyers who want to build a unique space, and who probably would have gutted everything to start anew anyway.

Billionaire heir Evan Metropoulos is one of the more recent high-profile sellers to do so. He listed his white-boxed 7,000-square-foot penthouse atop the famous Sierra Tower in West Hollywood in March for $58 million.

“There’s no appetite for ‘off-the-rack’ with this demographic; it’s all about uber-customization,” Josh Greer of Hilton & Hyland told CNBC. “As recently as a few years ago, it would be relatively rare for a seller to go to market with unfinished luxury space, but now there’s increasing recognition that ‘designer-ready’ is exceedingly more attractive than ‘move-in ready’ to the ultra-wealthy.”

Greer and Jade Mills of Coldwell Banker are marketing Metropoulos’ bare penthouse.

Buyers don’t have to go through the trouble of doing the gutting themselves and they don’t have to watch a demolition team rip out luxury kitchen cabinets and finishes.

“A property is definitely more valuable stripped out,” said DOMVS Creative Director Gavin Brodin, adding that buyers clear out spaces in “nine out of 10 projects,” anyway. [CNBC] – Dennis Lynch