Strada Vecchia, developer Mohamed Hadid’s long-troubled, never-finished Bel Air spec home, remains in limbo after a court-ordered auction failed to produce bids close enough to the asking price.
Four potential buyers bid to buy the property from Los Angeles County at an auction that had been set to conclude last week. The highest, $5.1 million from J.K. Properties, an L.A.-based multifamily real estate investor, was $400,000 below the latest listing price.
The second-highest offer, Sahara Construction Company, was $5 million, a person familiar with the matter said. Two others, Mark Moshayedi and Jonathan Fine, also placed bids, the person said.
Judge Craig Karlan asked the court receiver to discuss alternative plans with the two highest bidders, the person said, speaking anonymously for privacy concerns. The receiver will also meet with the county tax assessor in a bid to reduce taxes owed on the property. Total costs for past taxes, restoration of a damaged hillside and its pending demolition are likely to top $6 million.
Another hearing is set for Oct. 15 and Todd Wohl, cofounder of Premier Estates, which handled the auction, said he’s confident it will be successful. “The court has to do what they have to do to finalize the sale, which they will do,” he said. “The sale will be confirmed.”
The stalled sale is yet another landmark for a project that dates back a decade and whose history has been cluttered with criminal charges and legal problems Hadid paid $2 million for the property in 2011 and began building, although he was stopped by the Los Angeles building department just three years later after his project had far exceeded approved plans.
Then, in 2017, Hadid pleaded no contest to criminal charges related to the construction. The following year, four neighbors, led by high-powered entertainment lawyer Joe Horacek, filed a civil suit. A jury determined that Hadid must pay $3 million of damages, a fraction of the $26 million sought by plaintiffs. As part of that civil case, Judge Karlan in November 2019 ordered the structure torn down. That demolition has been stalled because of funding issues.
The property has been under court control since then as the court tries to sell it to raise funds for the teardown. Developer Bruce Lifton signed a contract in May to buy the property for $8.5 million. That deal fell through in July. Last month, Wohl also asked the court to reduce the property’s MLS listing price from $8 million to $5.5 million, citing a lack of inquiries.
Douglas Wilson, the property’s court receiver, didn’t respond to a request for comment.