Malibu home sells for $20M, then goes up for rent

In beach town with few hotels, house lists at $35K per month

Former owner Luanne Wells and the property at 31284 Broad Beach Road in Malibu (Obituary.com, Compass, Getty)
Former owner Luanne Wells and the property at 31284 Broad Beach Road in Malibu (Obituary.com, Compass, Getty)

A house in Malibu’s Broad Beach enclave that belonged to philanthropist Luanne Wells sold for $19.65 million on July 26. A week later, it was listed for rent.

The house, located at 31284 Broad Beach Road, went for close to its asking price of $19.95 million, according to the Redfin listing site. With 3,695 square feet, the home’s final sale price works out to $5,314 per square foot.

The buyer’s identity was unclear. The buyer was represented by Gayle Pritchett of Pritchett-Rapf & Associates and Chris Cortazzo of Compass. The seller, a Newport Beach entity named Palm Trust linked to Wells, was represented by Tony Mark and Russell Grether, both affiliated with Compass. Pritchett did not respond to an email and a call requesting comment by press time.

According to Zillow, the six-bedroom, six-bathroom house will be available for rent for $35,000 per month. A few other homes in the neighborhood are listed for rent on the website of seller’s agency The Mark & Grether Group. One house at 31280 Broad Beach Road is listed for $185,000 per month. The house at 0 Broad Beach Road is available for $125,000 a month, with the price rising to $250,000 per month during the summer.

Long-time Malibu resident and real estate investor Lawrence Taylor said renting out the house makes great business sense, because there are only a few small hotels in the popular tourist city.

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“If you want to visit Malibu, you have to stay in a house,” he said.

Taylor owned a small Malibu inn called The Surfrider Hotel more than 20 years ago. He is the founder of Christina, a Malibu-based real estate investment firm.

The house at 31284 Broad Beach Road was built in 1958 and was a residence for Wells, a philanthropist and wife to late Walt Disney Company president Frank Wells. She supported the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills and served on the board of trustees for the California Institute of the Arts in Santa Clarita, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Luanne Wells died July 15 at age 87 at her primary residence in Beverly Hills, according to the publication.

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