Forbidden City in Malibu?

Unbulit, six-acre vision of Imperial China hits market for $25

27535 Pacific Coast Highway (Redfin)
27535 Pacific Coast Highway (Redfin)

This might be a first: A property in Malibu with architectural plans modeled after Beijing’s Forbidden City has hit the market. The nearly six-acre property showed up on listing sites on Tuesday, with a price of $25 million.

“Once in a great while, a unique real estate opportunity presents itself — one that’s just too good to pass up,” the listing says.

“For your convenience,” it continues, “plans have already been filed with the City and Coastal Commission to replace the existing ranch-style home with an impressive compound of Asian-inspired … private garden. This unique building is styled after The Forbidden City in Beijing, guarding the glory of your family.”

The offering is for adjacent parcels located at 27523 and 27535 Pacific Coast Highway. The parcel that abuts the PCH is currently undeveloped; the other, which lies behind it, farther back from the road, currently has a house on it. That house, a 1,730 square-foot, three-bedroom, was built in 1958 and modified in 2011, according to records.

But it likely won’t stick around long, whether or not a potential buyer follows through with the current owner’s ambitious design plans. The two parcels together have already been approved for 18,240 square feet of development, according to the listing, which explicitly promotes the property as a development opportunity.

The Forbidden City, one of China’s most popular tourist attractions, is a 178-acre palace complex in central Beijing that was built in the early 15th-century by a Ming emperor and served for centuries as the exclusive home of dozens of successive Chinese emperors and their families and servants.

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It’s unclear exactly whose dream it may be to live in a miniature version of the compound, but sketched renderings for the Malibu property show a plan that appears heavily influenced by the the design, with one main, rectangular compound enclosing a courtyard and four additional structures built in the same Chinese architectural style. The renderings also depict landscaping that features large waterfalls and lush gardens.

The listing also conjures a kind of architectural whiplash, with a mention of plans for a “contemporary European-style” estate that would include at least one six-bedroom residence with “pools, spas and guest houses.”

The property is currently owned by a family trust, according to records, that includes a woman named Shiyu Yan. In 2017 Yan bought the undeveloped parcel from an LLC for $1.65 million, according to records, and the parcel that includes the house for $3.35 million.

For a development property, the $25 million asking price ranks among the richest in Malibu: Other current land listings in the highly desirable area, according to a listing site, include a 19-acre site for $7 million, a one-acre site for $3.9 million, and a 25-acre site for $10 million.

Yubo “Sam” Mu of Pinnacle Real Estate & Partners Inc. in Irvine, listing agent for the property, did not immediately respond to an interview request.

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