Two weeks ahead of a court-ordered auction deadline, Mohamed Hadid’s long-troubled Bel Air spec mansion is getting a price chop, this time 30 percent.
A Los Angeles County judge on Friday approved the move, which cuts the listing on the 30,000-square-foot Strada Vecchia Road to $5.5 million from $8 million, a source with knowledge of the proceedings told The Real Deal.
In a recent court declaration, Todd Wohl of Premiere Estates — the brokerage handling the auction and working with the court-appointed receiver — recommended the price reduction. He characterized the listing as “stale.”
Premiere Estates had just four showings, Wohl said, “and inquiries regarding the property are now scant.” Based on the lack of activity, Wohl said the $8 million listing was “deterring otherwise interested buyers from considering a bid.”
The price cut would draw attention to the property and “lead to a higher potential of competing offers” before the auction’s Sept. 27, noon deadline.
In July, developer Bruce Lifton walked away from his in-contract deal to pay $8.5 million for the mansion. The property’s court receiver, Douglas Wilson, did not respond to a request for comment. Hadid also did not respond to a request for comment. As of early 2020, the developer said he had spent about $50 million on Strada Vecchia.
Hadid’s controversial construction plan for the maximalist, saucer-shaped mansion on the hillside has been a years-long battle. Disgruntled neighbors derisively dubbed it “Starship Enterprise” because of its resemblance to a spaceship.
The spec developer bought the property for $2 million in 2011 and began work, which was ordered halted by the L.A. Department of Building because construction far exceeded approved plans. The city prosecutor pressed criminal charges, alleging Hadid was ignoring the mandate. In 2017, Hadid pleaded no contest and was sentenced to community service.
The next year, four neighbors who alleged that construction was unsafe and made their lives a nightmare, filed an additional civil suit. This month, after years of litigation and a weeks-long trial, a jury determined Hadid must pay $3 million in damages to the neighbors. It was substantial but only a fraction of what the plaintiffs had been seeking.
As part of that civil case, a county judge in November 2019 ordered the half-built mansion demolished, citing safety concerns. The judge appointed a receiver to take control of the property.
Yet nearly two years later the structure still stands, partly because of the high cost of a teardown. The property is now under court control, with proceeds from any sale going toward its demolition. That work was said to cost around $5 million.