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The Real Deal Los Angeles

Here’s a look at LA’s pricier land sales — and none of them comes close to $1B

The most expensive recorded trade was for $50M, according to an analysis by The Real Deal
By Natalie Hoberman |
Research by Harunobu Coryne
August 02, 2018 03:15PM

(Credit: traveljunction via Flickr, iStock, Max Pixel)

It’s the listing that’s ricocheting around the country.

A swath of land spanning 157 acres, in a prime location in the city, is being marketed for sale at $1 billion, making it the priciest piece of land ever offered in Los Angeles history.

Dubbed “The Mountain of Beverly Hills,” the sprawling property could either be subdivided and developed into several mansions, or become one monstrous compound. Either way, listing agent Aaron Kirman, from Pacific Union International, is targeting a single buyer — likely a billionaire.

The land is currently owned by Secured Capital Property, an LLC managed by Victor Franco Noval, the son of Victorino Noval, a convicted fraudster-turned-philanthropist.

As it stands, it’s entitled for nearly 1.5 million square feet of living space, according to the New York Times.

L.A. isn’t exactly a stranger to seemingly irrational asking prices. Near the Mountain, Paul Allen, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft, put his 120-acre site in Beverly Hills on the market last month for $150 million. That’s over seven times the amount he paid for the land back in the 1990s.

And developer Nile Niami plans to ask $500 million for the Bel-Air mega-estate he is building, which he calls “The One.” Niami’s speculative venture will already come equipped with a 100,000-square-foot palace.

Still, at ten figures, the Mountain of Beverly Hills enters uncharted territory.

To give a sense of how The Mountain compares to previous land trades, The Real Deal compiled a list of land-only transactions that have taken place in L.A. County since 2011. Only sales of unimproved land where the intended use was a single-family home were considered.

1. 24108 Pacific Coast Highway | $50 million

Scott Gillen, a luxury spec home developer who has 18 classic cars, broke Malibu records when he paid $50 million for 24 acres of undeveloped land on the Pacific Coast Highway. A joint venture between Big Rock Partners and Oaktree Capital sold the roughly 1 million-square-foot parcel in June 2017, nearly a year after it first hit the market at $60 million. Gillen, the founder of Unvarnished, a development firm, has said he plans to build five homes on the land. The community, named Case, will feature one-story homes ranging from 9,500 – 11,500 square feet, priced between $40 – $60 million each.

2. 800 Stradella Road | $36 million

Months before its fall from grace, Woodbridge Group of Companies paid $36 million to acquire a 1.89-acre plot of land at 800 Stradella Road in Bel-Air. James Bowen, acting through an LLC named Tintarella, sold the parcel on February 2017. As it did with many of its other properties, Woodbridge released stylish new renderings for the vacant site after it purchased the land. Ultimately, the company ended up in bankruptcy court amid an SEC investigation, and nothing was ever built on the property. Most recently, an LLC named Elite Investment Management Group is attempting to purchase the land for $44 million in bankruptcy court.

3. 805 Nimes Place | $35 million

Woodbridge also claimed the third spot on the list, paying $35 million for a 1.19-acre spread on Nimes Place. Keat Bollenbach sold the Bel-Air property through his LLC, Bishop White Investments. The sale, which closed in May 2017, was also followed by a series of fancy renderings designed by BULLI Architecture. The proposed 41,000-square-foot estate, however, was never built.

4. 1169 Hillcrest Road | $32 million

Private equity mogul Alex Soltani did a quick flip in the Trousdale Estates cul-de-sac on Hillcrest Road. The Skyview Capital founder acquired a 1-acre lot from Hakkasan CEO Neil Moffitt, who was later entangled in the 1MDB scandal, for $22 million in November 2016. One month later, Soltani sold the vacant plot to a Chinese buyer for $32 million. It was purchased through an LLC named Aegis International Management.

5. 2929 Amethyst Way | $18.5 million

Further east and a world away from the sky-high land values of Beverly Hills and Malibu, an empty plot of land in East L.A. traded for $18.5 million in August 2016. An LLC named Jinzheng Group, controlled by Jianqing Yang, purchased the 31-acre spread at 2929 Amethyst Street. The seller was Mee Yin Corp., a Pasadena-based real estate investment firm.