Billionaire tech entrepreneur Tianqiao Chen was the buyer in the record-breaking sale of the University of Southern California’s presidential mansion.
The $25 million deal for the Seeley Mudd Estate in San Marino closed earlier this month. The Los Angeles Times first reported the sale without a buyer. Dirt.com has now identified Chen, who made his fortune in online gaming and investments. It was the priciest sale ever recorded in the area.
The 13,000-square-foot mansion was built in 1934, and served as the school president’s residence since 1979. USC listed the 7-acre property in February as it faced a cash crunch from the pandemic and $1 billion in sexual abuse settlement payments. Last week, the school also listed a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed property it owns in the Hollywood Hills.
Chen grew up near Shanghai and founded Shanda Interactive Entertainment in 1999. The company grew into a behemoth — in 2004 it became the first Chinese gaming company to list on the Nasdaq — and Chen relocated to California.
[Dirt] — Trevor Bach