L.A. businessperson Charles Cohen bought Makowsky’s “Billionaire” house

Fawaz Alhokair is renting out the lavish Bel Air estate

Los Angeles /
Feb.February 28, 2020 03:34 PM
Charles Cohen and the mansion (Credit: Berlyn Photography via Dirt.com)

The mystery of who bought Bruce Makowsky’s “Billionaire” spec mansion for $94 million — a question complicated by the typical use of limited liability companies and atypical issue of mistaken identity — has been solved.

Charles Cohen, a Los Angeles businessperson, is listed as the landlord at the mansion’s address, 924 Bel Air Road in Los Angeles, in a lease agreement obtained by The Real Deal.

The listed tenant is Carsten Arns, chief human resources officer at the Saudi Arabia-headquartered Fawaz Alhokair Group. Fawaz Alhokair himself is actually paying the lease and inhabiting the property, according to a source close to the mansion sale. However, contrary to previous reports, Alhokair was not a buyer of the 38,000-square foot abode

Instead, Cohen — armed with a $58 million, 10-year loan from HSBC Bank — purchased the mansion under an entity called WinterSun Properties LLC with the intention of leasing it out to Alhokair, a retail and hospitality entrepreneur who three years earlier paid $88 million for a New York City penthouse.

Per the source, it “made sense economically” for Cohen to buy the mansion since he had a deal in place with Alhokair, and took out a loan at a low-interest rate.

Alhokair began his year-long lease Nov. 1, and the lease copy provided redacted how much he pays in rent.

Messages left with Cohen, Alhokair, and Makowsky were not returned. Makowsky has not spoken to TRD since the sale was completed. Agents on the deal — including Branden and Rayni Williams of Hilton & Hyland, Shawn Elliott of Nestseekers, and Ben Bacal of Side — have declined comment, citing confidentiality agreements.

Buyer Charles Cohen, the Angeleno, is not to be confused with Charles S. Cohen, the chief executive of New York City’s Cohen Brothers Realty Corporation. That Charles Cohen has a net worth of $3.5 billion, per Forbes, and owns several high-profile properties including the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood.

Charles Cohen, the Makowsky buyer, has less well-known business ventures.

He is listed as chief commercial officer at Sky Power Global, a Toronto-headquartered solar energy company with an office in Los Angeles’s Century City neighborhood.

Cohen is also founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of TransCash, a Century City-headquartered prepaid debit card company. According to TransCash’s website, the prepaid card is only sold in France and Italy.

Additionally, Cohen is president of BCBG MaxAzria, a women’s fashion wear company, and founder of The Seck Group LLC, which has a stated mission of investing in L.A. condos and townhouses.

The “Billionaire” mansion has been an object of fascination and occasional ridicule by the L.A. real estate community for its initial $250 million asking price, and features that include a room filled with candy, a $30 million car collection, and Louis Vuitton designed bowling alley.

The lease agreement accompanying the mansion, meanwhile, hews to the California Association of Realtors paperwork for any renter. The tenant is informed that onsite parking is available, he must pay utilities, and that he can have pets so long as they are “common household pets.”


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Sam Nazarian with 385 Copa de Oro Rd (Westside Estate Agency, Kevin Scanlon, iStock, Illustration by Shea Monahan for The Real Deal)
Sam Nazarian puts Bel-Air manse on market
Sam Nazarian puts Bel-Air manse on market
Engelbert Humperdinck in Jayne Mansfield’s famous “Pink Palace” in Holmby Hills back in the day. (Getty)
Engelbert Humperdinck seeks $6.2M for Bel Air mansion — but it needs work
Engelbert Humperdinck seeks $6.2M for Bel Air mansion — but it needs work
Alex Khadavi and 777 Sarbonne Avenue in Bel-Air (Getty Images, Concierge Auctions)
Auction for Khadavi’s 777 Sarbonne goes overtime, falls short of minimum at $45.7M
Auction for Khadavi’s 777 Sarbonne goes overtime, falls short of minimum at $45.7M
Lee Iacocca and 10614 Chalon Road in Bel Air (Getty, Compass)
Former Lee Iacocca estate in Bel-Air hits market
Former Lee Iacocca estate in Bel-Air hits market
Opendoor co-founder Eric Wu with Orum Residence at 11490 Orum Road in Bel-Air (SPF Architects, LinkedIn)
Opendoor CEO pays $32M for Bel-Air “propeller home”
Opendoor CEO pays $32M for Bel-Air “propeller home”
Josh & Heather Altman; 10535 Vestone Way (Getty Images, Zillow, iStock)
“Million Dollar Listing” stars Josh, Heather Altman buy in Bel-Air
“Million Dollar Listing” stars Josh, Heather Altman buy in Bel-Air
(Aaron Kirman, Getty Images)
Next on luxe auction block: Alex Khadavi’s spec mansion
Next on luxe auction block: Alex Khadavi’s spec mansion
Real estate developer Mohamed Hadid in front of Franklin Canyon (Getty Images, Tranzon 360, iStock/Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal)
Bankruptcy auction produces $34M offer on Hadid’s Franklin Canyon parcels
Bankruptcy auction produces $34M offer on Hadid’s Franklin Canyon parcels
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...