Billionaire Jaime Gilinski Bacal pays $36M for two Woodbridge properties

The bankrupt real estate investment firm once had grand plans to build new homes at the Bel Air and Bird Streets locations

TRD LOS ANGELES /
Nov.November 29, 2018 08:00 AM
Jaime Gilinski and 805 Nimes Place in Bel Air

Nearly a year after filing for bankruptcy, residential real estate investment firm Woodbridge Group of Companies continues to shed properties from its once massive portfolio.

Billionaire Jaime Gilinski Bacal, a banker and real estate developer, is in escrow to pay $36 million for two properties — a land parcel and a home — held in the Woodbridge portfolio. That’s about $12 million less than what the company paid for them.

The Colombian businessman is spending $25.1 million for a vacant 1.2-acre parcel in Bel Air, plus another $11 million for a home in the exclusive Bird Streets, Yolanda’s Little Black Book reported.

Like other Woodbridge-owned properties, the Bel Air land comes with elaborate plans for a 41,000-square-foot mansion that was never built. Marketing documents claim the home has all the necessary permits for construction.

The modest home in the Bird Streets, meanwhile, sits on a half-acre of property. But Woodbridge had bigger plans for that, too. Architect Paul McClean conceived a 15,000-square-foot residence with a swimming pool on the upper floor.

Gilinski’s purchase still requires approval from the bankruptcy court to proceed.

Gilinski is best known for building a banking empire in Latin America alongside his father. He is building the mixed-use Panama Pacifico in Panama, a massive project said to be valued at $10 billion when completed.

The government accused Woodbridge founder and former CEO Robert Shapiro of orchestrating a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme, in which he duped investors by promising high returns on their investments that never materialized. Meanwhile, much of their money went into a web of different companies Shapiro controlled.

Earlier this month, Shapiro agreed to pay $120 million to the Securities and Exchange Commission as part of his settlement. He and other defendants named in the SEC lawsuit are paying a combined $892 million, which will be used to compensate victims. [Yolanda]Natalie Hoberman


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