Mountain of Beverly Hills sells for a molehill

The 157-acre spread of land that hit the market for $1B last year has sold to its lender after no other bidders showed up

Aug.August 20, 2019 01:00 PM
The Mountain, whose owner owes the estate of the late Mark Hughes $200 million, photo above (Credit: Realtor, Wikipedia)
The Mountain’s sale, to a lender linked to the Mark Hughes Trust, was a tiny fraction of the massive property’s asking price. (Credit: Realtor, Wikipedia, iStock)

The Mountain of Beverly Hills, which hit the market last year with a bang for a record $1 billion, has fizzled out, selling for just $100,000 at a foreclosure auction.

The buyer and only bidder was the lender, an entity linked to the Mark Hughes Trust. The Wall Street Journal first reported the story.

The sale marks a monumental disappointment for the Mountain’s now former owner, Secured Capital Partners. In July 2018, the company got maximum exposure for its splashy listing on the 157-acre parcel above the Beverly Hills Post Office. It enlisted star broker Aaron Kirman to market the property, and received a mountain of publicity. But the dream soon faded and eight months later in February, the price was slashed to $650 million.

At the auction in Pomona on Tuesday, the gavel banged down at a tiny fraction of the original listing.

Any interested buyers would have had to bid at least $200 million to cover the lender’s debt on the property. But no other bidders showed. The Hughes Estate had owned the property previously.

On Monday, a judge overseeing a bankruptcy case that centered on massive property ruled that the lenders could move ahead with the foreclosure.

Secured Capital had filed paperwork for bankruptcy protection in May, and temporarily delayed the auction — originally scheduled for last week — by transferring ownership to Tower Park Properties. Both entities are tied to convicted felon Victorino Noval.

The judge ultimately ruled that Tower Park’s bankruptcy case “does not prevent the lenders from proceeding with the foreclosure sale,” paving the way for Tuesday’s auction. It also struck down Secured Capital’s request for bankruptcy protection last month, siding with the lenders in both cases. [WSJ] — Natalie Hoberman

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