263-acre Bel-Air canyon up for auction with $39M starting bid

Minimum for Senderos Canyon is 70% less than $125M ask in 2013

Compass' Scott Tamkin with Senderos Canyon (USC Annenberg, Senderos Canyon, Getty)
Compass' Scott Tamkin with Senderos Canyon (USC Annenberg, Senderos Canyon, Getty)

A 263-acre undeveloped canyon in Bel-Air has listed for a minimum bid of $39 million, or 70 percent off its original asking price.

An unidentified seller has put Senderos Canyon up for auction as a potential site for homes, a vineyard, an equestrian center or an 18-hole golf course, Bloomberg reported. Its initial ask was $125 million in 2013.

After receiving no offers, the land was relisted in 2017 for $75 million, then $70 million in November 2021 and last March for $60 million.

“The seller wants to move on,” Scott Tamkin, the Compass agent who holds the listing, told Bloomberg.

One factor adding urgency: Deals must close before April 1 to avoid paying a new city transfer tax of 5.5 percent on transactions of $10 million or more.

The property and its steep hillsides, amounting to 6 percent of the Bel-Air neighborhood, lacks utilities, roads and other infrastructure. Its well-heeled neighbors have a history of tying up projects in litigation and environmental reviews.

“It’s obvious a lot of folks will have concerns,” said Shawn Bayliss, executive director of the Bel-Air Association. “Anyone who buys it is rolling the dice.”

That Senderos Canyon is on the market at auction may be a sign of desperation, according to Stephen Shapiro, co-founder of Westside Estate Agency, a luxe brokerage with offices in Beverly Hills and Malibu.

“An auction is like your last shot,” Shapiro said. “Good luck with that.”

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Around L.A., the development of such “trophy” land parcels has sometimes proved controversial. A few miles east, just outside Beverly Hills, the spec builder Mohamed Hadid was embroiled for years in a bitter fight over a 65-acre site that abuts a popular hiking trail.

The ideal Senderos Canyon buyer can pay cash and has the patience to wade through L.A.’s cumbersome entitlement and approval process to develop the property, Tamkin said.

During high inflation and falling real estate values, there are worse places for a rich person to park money than land in the 90077 zip code, according to Misha Haghani, founder of Paramount Realty USA, the auction house conducting the sale.

“It’s a safe haven,” Haghani said. “Bel-Air’s not going anywhere.”

The Senderos Canyon auction requires sealed bids by March 15. The winner will be chosen based on the size of the offer and the likelihood of consummating the deal, said Haghani, who conducted auctions last year for a castle reportedly belonging to retired New York Yankee Derek Jeter and a Manhattan building once owned by artist Andy Warhol.

While Tamkin declined to name the owner of Senderos Canyon, a records search by The Real Deal shows the site is owned by Giro Properties, an entity linked to Todd Grayson, an attorney based in Beverly Hills. Records also show that Giro bought the land in 2006 for $26 million.

— Dana Bartholomew

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