Famed Hearst estate relists for $90M as owner battles mounting debt

Lender Fortress Investment claims Leonard Ross owes over $50M at Beverly Hills mansion

The Hearst estate (Redfin)
The Hearst estate (Redfin)

One bankruptcy, multiple lawsuits and a scrapped auction later, the storied Hearst estate in Beverly Hills is getting another price cut.

Leonard Ross is relisting his 5-acre estate once owned by William Randolph Hearst for $90 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. That’s less than half its $195 million ask in 2016 and nearly 30 percent off its $125 million listing from a year ago.

A sale at that price would allow Ross to clear his more than $51 million debt to lender Fortress Investment Group, which has been trying for several years to seize the massive estate. Ross bought the property at 1011 N. Beverly Drive in 1976.

In late 2019, Ross’ company TBH 19 — which owns the estate — filed for bankruptcy to avoid a foreclosure auction. At the time, he was asking $135 million for the property.

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He claimed he had a buyer lined up for $125 million, but that deal fell through and the property relisted in early 2020.

By July, Fortress asked a federal bankruptcy judge to authorize an auction of the property in the fall of 2020 and hired an appraiser to value the property. The appraiser pegged it at $90 million.

The estate is anchored by a 29,000-square-foot main house designed by architect Gordon Kaufmann. The property has quite a bit of history beyond the legendary publishing magnate. John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy spent part of their honeymoon there and the property was featured in “The Godfather.” Most recently, it was pictured in Beyoncé’s visual album, “Black is King.”

[WSJ] — Dennis Lynch