Ekkehart Hassels-Weiler had already purchased a bevy of high-priced homes in Los Angeles and New York when he paid $43 million for an enormous Beverly Hills Post Office mansion in September 2019.
The media shy German investor and his representatives visited the 24,000-square-foot modern-style spec home at 1155 Angelo Drive half a dozen times before he closed the deal through an LLC. He also had the assurance of global luxury development firm London & Regional Properties — led by billionaire brothers Ian and Richard Livingstone — backing the project. The somewhat more mysterious Max Fowles-Pazdro, a developer and fashion designer, was also behind the construction.
But despite Hassels-Weiler’s real estate experience and due diligence, the Angelo Drive home’s numerous construction flaws remained hidden until after the closing, according to a lawsuit filed last week.
The suit alleges the developers concealed serious structural defects that led to extensive water damage, rendering the home “uninhabitable.” Filed in L.A. County Superior Court, the complaint names London & Regional Properties, Ian Livingstone and Fowles-Pazdro as defendants. Westlake Investments XXXV LLC is identified as the plaintiff in the suit.
Hassels-Weiler is no stranger to ultra-expensive real estate deals. He has spent over $130 million on four Manhattan penthouses alone. He also owns a sprawling estate in the Hollywood Hills and bought at least two other homes in the Bird Streets, according to reports.
Hassels-Weiler appears to have identified issues with the Beverly Hills Post Office mansion in July 2019, two months after the property hit the market for $46.5 million. He or a representative met with Livingstone because of concerns over the windows and HVAC system, according to the suit. Livingstone was enthusiastic, promising to resolve the concerns before Hassels-Weiler travelled to Europe, the complaint noted.
“I look forward to closing the deal quickly and delivering a perfect residence which you can enjoy for a long time to come!” Livingstone wrote in an email, according to the filing. Marketing for the home included a sleek video that called the property — completed over nearly three years and dubbed Eleven 55 — a “Meticulous Beverly Hills Modern.”
But at that point the developers were aware of a major waterproofing problem that hadn’t shown up in routine inspections because of the season, the complaint alleges. During the wet winter of 2018 to 2019, Fowles-Pazdro was on site and would have noticed leaks after rainfall, according to the suit. The following summer, however — when the sale was closing — was exceptionally dry.
After Hassels-Weiler moved in, rain caused leaks “on almost all installed door and window units,” as well as “excessive roof ponding” and defects in the wall cladding, the complaint states. The water damaged the mansion’s “underlying structure” and interior finishes. The HVAC problems persist, as do issues with a badly installed plumbing system, the complaint notes. There are also electrical hazards and other issues that were only discovered in extensive post-closing inspections.
“The result is a catastrophic failure of the building systems and components,” the suit alleges. The lawsuit — which is seeking $36 million in damages — is a far cry from the days leading up to the mansion purchase, when Hassels-Weiler married Omar Romero in a ceremony that featured a performance by Boy George, according to Dirt. The couple were likely drawn to some of the eight-bedroom, 11-bathroom property’s key features, which include white marble walls, a 30-foot entryway, seven powder rooms, separate staff kitchen and a bocce court.
A representative for the plaintiff’s lawyers declined to comment on the suit or confirm Hassels-Weiler’s role.
Fowles-Pazdro, Ian Livingstone and London & Regional Properties — which had also teamed up on the $56 million purchase of an even larger Bel Air mansion from developer Mohamed Hadid in 2018 — did not comment.