Monaco billionaire Patrice Pastor has quietly bought up a $100M US portfolio

Holdings include more than 18 properties and Frank Lloyd Wright’s famed Cabin on the Rocks

Look at Patrice Pastor’s $100M Carmel Portfolio
Patrice Pastor with Cabin on the Rocks (Getty, Bob Aronson, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

He’s hardly the only billionaire property owner in Carmel, but Patrice Pastor is raising eyebrows following a years-long buying spree in the California coastal enclave.

The scion of Monaco real estate dynasty, Pastor has acquired at least 18 properties along the Monterey Peninsula and in Big Sur, and has spent more than $100 million to amass his portfolio, the Los Angeles Times reported. 

His purchases include the famous oceanfront Frank Lloyd Wright home known as Cabin on the Rocks for $22 million, the L’Auberge Carmel hotel, and an incomplete project site dubbed “the Pit” by locals, among other properties. 

Pastor’s significant investments in the area have drawn the ire and suspicion of the locals, with many residents \questioning the motives of a well-heeled outsider.

“When someone comes in with so much money and can use that money for influence on so many things, that’s … scary in any community,” local business owner Dee Borsella told the outlet. “Every person has the right to do this. But why is he picking Carmel?”

Carmel-by-the-Sea is a tony oceanside enclave on the Monterey Peninsula of just 3,200 residents. The town is a major draw for tourists, thanks to its picturesque beach, storybook architecture and 17 Mile Drive and legendary golf courses in nearby Pebble Beach. It’s the kind of place where homes have whimsical names like Wit’s End and Three Gables. 

Reports first emerged of the town’s apprehension of Pastor in February, when an anonymous resident told SFGate that “people are terrified” of the billionaire, who’s earned the nickname the “Octopus of Monaco,” for his tentacle-like reach.

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Development moves slowly in Carmel, where priority is given to preserving its historic buildings and character. The town has rejected several of Pastor’s redevelopment proposals, according to the LA Times. 

“He’s had a hard time with the city. It’s one thing after another after another,” Carmel Preservation Association Co-Chair Karyl Hall told the publication. “They’ve just beaten him down incredibly.”

After two unsuccessful attempts, the Planning Commission approved Pastor’s designs for redeveloping the Pit in August. The planned project will include apartments, retail space and underground parking. 

But he’s still trying to win over his neighbors. Borsella said he stopped by her shop earlier this summer.

“I’m a bit of a lion. I knew he was kind of trying to come over and pet me. I felt like he was trying to win me over,” she told the outlet.

Pastor’s real estate agent, Tim Allen, insists Pastor’s acquisitions aren’t sinister, just good business.

–– Kate Hinsche

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