Tesla designer picks up Richard Neutra-designed house in Montecito

Tremaine house is the late architect’s only work in the area

Franz von Holzhausen and the home (Credit: Jonathan Leibson/FilmMagic via Getty Images, and Google Maps)
Franz von Holzhausen and the home (Credit: Jonathan Leibson/FilmMagic via Getty Images, and Google Maps)

Tesla’s chief designer has picked up a Montecito home with quite a design pedigree of its own.

Franz von Holzhausen, who designs electric cars at the Elon Musk-led firm, paid $12 million for a 5,410-square-foot home designed by famed architect Richard Neutra, according to Variety.

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The Tremaine House, completed in 1948, is considered one of Neutra’s best works. The five-bedroom home sits on 2.7 acres, and unlike many of the architect’s wood-heavy homes, the structure is primarily made of concrete to protect against forest fires.

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The property hasn’t been listed for sale in decades, and the deal was done off market. The National Association of Realtors instituted a ban on so-called pocket listings earlier this year, but so far off-market deals continue to close in Los Angeles, where parties value them for their privacy.

Top Agent Network, a paid platform for agents to exchange information about sales and properties, sued the NAR over the ban earlier this year. The industry organization scored a victory in court that upheld the ban in July, although opponents are revising their lawsuit.

Von Holzhausen’s new mid-century classic has reportedly been kept in somewhat original condition.

Not all of Neutra’s works have been as carefully preserved. In January, four siblings who inherited his Lovell Health House in Los Feliz opened up the home for tours and events with the goal of selling it to a new steward who can complete needed structural and cosmetic fixes. [Variety]Dennis Lynch