Buzz abounded in LA real estate during 2022

Top talk-worthy stories for year range from the mayoral race to a celebrity yak rancher

From left: Kim Kardashin, Arte Moreno, Jeffree Star, and Rick Caruso
From left: Kim Kardashian, Arte Moreno, Jeffree Star, and Rick Caruso (Getty)

Southern California has an abundance of celebrities who intersect with the region’s real estate markets. Top “buzzworthy” stories in 2022, as reflected in TRD’s coverage, include a political campaign, a Malibu mansion, a sports scandal, a residential brokerage startup and a Hollywood personality who relocated to a yak ranch.

Rick Caruso’s loss

Billionaire shopping mall developer Rick Caruso declared himself a candidate to replace termed-out Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti. Caruso stepped down as CEO of his company, also called Caruso, and appointed Corinne Verdery as his successor.

The construction of affordable housing emerged as a major campaign issue, with Caruso leveraging his experience as a developer and opponent Karen Bass promising to declare a homelessness emergency.

Although Caruso spent $100 million on his campaign, Bass prevailed and so far has fulfilled her promise to announce a state of emergency.

Carolwood founding

This story was set in motion in February, when Jeff Hyland, co-founder of upscale residential brokerage Hilton & Hyland, died of cancer. That proved the first domino in a series of events that ended with the creation of a new luxe agency.

Hyland’s death left Rick Hilton, scion of the hotel family and father of pop personality Paris Hilton, as the remaining leader. But his star agent, Drew Fenton, formed a new agency called Carolwood that launched in November. The startup recruited numerous agents from Hilton & Hyland, as well as other upscale agencies in the market.

Later, Lori Hyland, Jeff’s widow, bought out Rick Hilton to become sole owner of the agency. She immediately hired back Billy Jack Carter, the former general manager who left during the disarray, and now assumed the title of CEO.

Angel Stadium scandal

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On the development side of the business, the biggest buzz of the year came from Orange County. In May, a federal probe of the $150 million sale of Angel Stadium to baseball team owner Arte Moreno – with allegations of bribery and influence peddling – triggered the resignation of Anaheim’s mayor and cancellation of the deal.

While Moreno considered selling the team, the city tried to sort out what to do with 150 prime acres surrounding the stadium, which Moreno originally planned to develop. The year ended with the election of a new mayor in Anaheim who wants to “hit the reset button” on the stadium situation.

Kim’s beach house

This Malibu home sale featured several celebrities, starting with buyer Kim Kardashin.

She paid $70 million for 33218 Pacific Coast Highway. The residence was previously owned by model Cindy Crawford and her husband Rande Gerber. The seller in the Kardashian deal was retired hedge fund manager Adam Weiss.

The Encinal Bluffs property features four bedrooms and six baths, plus a wooden walkway down to a secluded beach.

Cosmetic yak rancher

Thousands of people are leaving California, but few exodus stories can beat Jeffree Star selling his Hidden Hills mansion to move to Casper, Wyoming.

The androgynous owner of Jeffree Star Cosmetics sold a seven-bedroom, 13-bathroom mansion at 25220 Walker Road for $16.7 million. Star planned to relocate to Wyoming, where he would live part-time, raise a herd of 150 yak and produce yak jerky.

As TRD noted in its coverage, “Star’s former home is situated on 2.8 acres and features two guest houses, a garage which can house more than 10 cars, and in a nod to Star’s new vocation, a barn.”

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