Hadid wins $900,000 break on Strada Vecchia tab
Court trims remaining liability for spec developer to $2M, appeal ongoing
Mohamed Hadid scored a clear–if incremental–courtroom victory this week when a judge trimmed nearly $1 million from liabilities related to the spec developer-cum-reality TV star’s ill-fated Strada Vecchia spec mansion in Bel Air.
It’s been quite a year for Hadid, who has spent recent months immersed in two separate, high-profile property battles.
But the latest legal development means that Hadid is personally liable for some $900,000 less than under a previous court order on the unfinished project, which is due to be torn down.
“It’s a big win,” said Jeff Reeves, Hadid’s attorney for the case.
This week’s ruling was not the resolution Hadid ultimately aims to reach.
The developer and his legal team contend “he never should have been sued for this in the first place, and he doesn’t owe any money now,” Reeves said. “And that’s where we hope to get by the end of the appellate process.”
A lawyer for the plaintiffs in the case did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Hadid also declined to comment.
Last week’s revised order came months after a jury decided a civil case brought by four neighbors of the property against Hadid. In September, after a lengthy trial, the jury determined the developer and an affiliated entity were liable for damages stemming from the notorious property’s construction. The finding led to a $2.9 million verdict.
But that figure was itself something of a victory for Hadid, because the plaintiffs had been seeking $26 million.
“We are very disappointed,” Judith Bedrosian, one of the four plaintiffs, said immediately after the verdict.
At the time Bedrosian also expressed frustration that Strada Vecchia — despite a court-mandated teardown — remained standing. “We would like to sell our homes,” she said. “Who’s going to buy our house with that thing up there?”
Last week’s revised court order came after challenges by Hadid’s legal team. The initial court order, Hadid’s lawyers successfully argued, had wrongly apportioned to Hadid all of the roughly $2.3 million in emotional distress damages the jury had settled on; in fact, the jury had allocated 70 percent of those damages to Hadid and the remaining 30 percent to an LLC that was involved with the property.
That amendment resulted in a reduction of about $690,000 on the amount Hadid is personally liable for–although he is also tied, along with others, to the LLC. An additional $200,000 reduction in Hadid’s exposure came from a recalculation of interest rates in the revised order, Reeves said.
It could still be months before the developer is forced to fork over anything, because his legal team plans to appeal the entire judgment.
“Zero dollars,” added Reeves, “is the correct number.”
The larger battle over Strada Vecchia, which also included a criminal case that resulted in community service for Hadid, has been raging for years. But the saga reached one major milestone in November, when the property — which was placed under court control in 2019, after a judge ruled it was unsafe — finally sold.
The buyer was Sahara Construction Company, a Ventura County-based firm that agreed to pay $5 million for the property and also conduct its long-awaited demolition.
“We feel quite relieved to finally have come to a conclusion,” Joe Horacek, a neighbor who, along with his wife, Bibi, led the civil case and has advocated for a teardown because of safety fears, said after the sale closure. “It feels like it’s behind us and it’s going to be done.”