At $225M, Bel Air’s Casa Encantada becomes America’s priciest listing

60-room estate was revamped by Peter Marino

Gary Winnick and Casa Encantada. Inset photo dates from 1939 (credit: Winnick & Company, The Huntington Library)
Gary Winnick and Casa Encantada. Inset photo dates from 1939 (credit: Winnick & Company, The Huntington Library)

UPDATED, 2:55 p.m., Oct. 17: The last two times that Bel Air’s massive Casa Encantada sold — in 1979 and 2000 — it broke the record for highest residential sale in the nation. Now, the storied estate is on the market again at $225 million, instantly becoming the country’s priciest residential listing.

The 40,000-square-foot Georgian-style mansion, owned by financier Gary Winnick, is officially up for sale, according to the Los Angeles Times. If it sold at ask, the price would be $105 million more than the Los Angeles County record set when the 56,500-square-foot Spelling Manor sold this summer.

The listing comes amid a slowdown in sales at the high end of L.A.’s residential market. Interest seems especially low for the crop of sleek and modern spec homes that have hit the market over the last several years.

Hilton & Hyland founder Jeff Hyland, who has the listing with his partner Rick Hilton and Nest Seekers International’s Shawn Elliott, told the Times that Casa Encantada’s history and unique attributes “allow for premium pricing.” Reports surfaced in early 2013 that the estate — whose name means enchanted house in Spanish — was being quietly shopped for the same amount.

“It’s not affected by market gyrations, world issues in the economy and other comparable estates,” Hyland said.

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That may be optimistic. The Spelling Manor was on the market for three years and sold for 40 percent below its original $200 million asking price. The equally grand Chartwell Estate, also in Bel Air, was asking $350 million before the price was eventually dropped to $195 million in June.

The 60-room Casa Encantada was built in the 1930s at the direction of the widow of a wealthy glass manufacturer who commissioned some of the most prominent designers of the time to work on the estate.

Architect James Dolena incorporated Art Deco and Moderne styles into the ornate interiors. The eight-acre grounds have a tennis court, basketball court, a rose garden and greenhouses, among other facilities.

Winnick hired architect Peter Marino to lead a comprehensive restoration of the property after purchasing it for $94 million from Dole Food Company CEO David Murdock in 2000. Murdock purchased it from Conrad Hilton for $12.4 million in 1979.

The record for the most expensive home sale in the U.S. belongs to New York’s 220 Central Park South, where hedge funder Ken Griffin paid $238 million for a penthouse in a deal that closed in January. [LAT] — Dennis Lynch

Correction: A previous version of this story misstated the  brokerage Shawn Elliott is affiliated with. He is with Nest Seekers International.