Aussie spec developer asks $75M in Malibu

Kris Halliday says Ukraine conflict spurred him to list at lower price

Kris Halliday 11870 Ellice Street (LinkedIn, Westside Estate Agency Inc)
Kris Halliday 11870 Ellice Street (LinkedIn, Westside Estate Agency Inc)

Talk about a splashy debut.

An Australian spec home developer has listed his first California project, a Malibu megamansion, for just under $75 million — the latest eye-popping price tag in the wealthy coastal enclave.

“I think it’s priced fairly,” said the developer, Kris Halliday of MKH Developments, noting he had priced it lower than he initially intended, given the difficult economic circumstances wrought by the war in Ukraine. “We don’t want to be hanging on to it for a long time.”

The two-story property is located at 11870 Ellice St, just off the Pacific Coast Highway in western Malibu, across the Ventura County line. It spans 20,000 square feet, which makes it Malibu’s largest home, according to Halliday, and is built entirely of reinforced concrete.

“It’s designed to last 400 to 500 years,” Halliday said, “so it’s a legacy.”

Halliday bought the Ellice Street property, which sits on one acre, for $5.4 million in late 2018, according to property records. The seller was an LLC tied to Christine and Dr. Gabriel Chiu, a Taiwanese-American couple known for appearing on the reality show “Bling Empire.”

Kurt Rappaport of Westside Estate Agency has the listing, which hit sites early last week for $74.8 million, or just over $3,700 a foot. It’s among Malibu’s most expensive recent listings. Last month, a 6.6-acre estate on Sea Lane Drive, about 11 miles east, in Central Malibu, listed for $125 million. Another Malibu estate, a property once owned by supermodel Cindy Crawford, also just hit the market for $100 million, and another mansion in the area — a 10,000-square-foot home that was previously listed for $110 million — re-listed in January for $85 million.

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The area’s sales activity certainly justifies the pricey listings. Venture capitalist Marc Andreessen set a California record in October with the $177 million purchase of a mansion in Paradise Cove, and in June, the late Eli Broad’s beachfront home sold for $52 million. 

In the fourth quarter of 2021, Malibu’s average sales price was just shy of $5 million, with an average price square foot of $1,350 — both double digit increases compared to a year earlier, according to data from Miller Samuel.

Halliday’s spec home has six bedrooms and amenities that include a home theater, outdoor kitchen, fire pit and infinity pool; it’s also built around a courtyard with waterfalls and incorporates the “extensive use of rare & semiprecious stones,” according to the listing.

“It’s modern,” said the developer, “and it’s got a nod to ancient civilizations. It’s designed to invoke feeling and a sense of theater.”

Halliday spent a decade as a luxury builder in Vancouver, where his projects included a 50,000-square-foot megamansion along the Fraser River that ranks among Canada’s largest homes. He had long dreamed of moving to L.A., he said, and has plans to build a series of high-end spec homes in Malibu, Beverly Hills, Bel Air and other choice submarkets.

“This is the first of the 10 houses that I’ve spent my life building up to,” he said. “I’m basically looking to build the best houses ever built,” he added.

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