Ever since David Geffen’s major-league Carbon Beach estate sold for a sanity-defying $85 million, rumors have run rampant about who the buyer could be. Turns out it’s a man named Mark Walter.
Walter is the cofounder of global financial services juggernaut Guggenheim Partners. Today Guggenheim has more than $260 billion in assets under management. Guggenheim’s massive success gave Mr. Walter (and his consortium of partners) the ability to purchase the Los Angeles Dodgers for a record $2.15 billion back in 2012.
But for all his vast wealth and his prominent role as controlling owner of one of the most storied franchises in all of major-league baseball, Mr. Walter continues to maintain a decidedly low profile — stepping out of the shadows only to donate $40 million to Northwestern or to purchase the Los Angeles Sparks and then disappear into the background again.
Walter maintains a small but impressive stable of luxury residences including a recently-completed 26,000-square-foot mega-mansion in Chicago’s swanky Lincoln Park neighborhood that is built atop what were once seven different parcels of land.
Perhaps the most impressive property in Walter’s portfolio, however, is his “White Oak Plantation” in Florida. The 7,400-acre spread in Yulee is a haven for various species of plant and animal life — some of which are endangered. The Walters paid at least $17 million or so for the privilege of owning and conserving that land in 2013.
Now, time to discuss Walter’s latest purchase. The house — in reality a compound with at least three different structures — was assembled by David Geffen. What were originally five adjacent parcels of land were acquired by Geffen in two different transactions (one in the 1970s, one in the 1990s) and combined into one supersized spread. Although the property has several hundred feet of frontage on PCH, about all that’s visible from the highway are nine deceptively modest-looking garage bays (at least four of which are reportedly fakes) and a towering hedge. And though the house was never officially on the open market, the estate is believed to include a movie theater, a large pond, an outdoor living room, and an outdoor pool with a spa.
Some of Walter’s new big-name neighbors include Larry Ellison (who owns no fewer than thirteen oceanfront homes on Carbon Beach), Simon Nixon, Bill Simmons, Leo DiCaprio, Joel Silver, Eli Broad, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Michael Milken, Gerald Schwartz, Herbert Simon, Francesco Aquilini, Kevin Washington, Geoff Palmer, Haim Saban, Peter Morton, Arnon Milchan, Dr. Dre and Jamie McCourt, who coincidentally owned the Dodgers with her husband Frank before their bitter divorce forced its sell-off to Mr. Walter and Guggenheim.
Listing & Selling agent: Kurt Rappaport, Westside Estate Agency