Although Yolanda recently heard a whisper or two about this impending transaction, we were skeptical at first. Don’t blame us, we just thought ol’ Leo would want to lay low in the real estate department after some unfavorable money-related gossip about him made the rounds earlier this year.
But nope. The deal is done. And it really did happen. Mr. DiCaprio — who certainly needs no introduction and has long been one of the biggest box office draws and highest-paid Hollywood actors of his generation — has paid a whopping (and very A-list) $23,000,000 through a mysterious LLC for an all-but-vacant property on Malibu’s coveted Paradise Cove. Mama at Variety has the juicy deets.
42-year-old Mr. DiCaprio may be commercially-successful and a critically-acclaimed performer, but he’s also more than a tad controversial. Certain folks often tongue-wag about his allegedly hypocritical eco-warrior preaching. More alarming, however, (at least to silly little Yolanda) is Mr. DiCaprio’s involvement with the 1MDB money-laundering scandal that has rocked the entire world. Though the explanation was the trusty ol’ “scheduling conflict“, it is widely believed that this controversy caused Hillary Clinton to abruptly cancel a recent fundraising event at Mr. DiCaprio’s Hollywood Hills home in favor of Justin Timberlake’s. Ouch!
But let’s get down to business. This sale was totally off-market, so — unfortunately — no pictures are readily available. Then again, there really ain’t much to see anyway. The 1.76-acre lot (with 88 feet of beach frontage) is all but vacant with only a 610-square-foot cottage clinging to the edge of the bluff. We don’t know anything for certain, of course, but Yolanda would wager that Mr. DiCaprio plans to raze the teeny-weeny cottage and built an eco-friendly compound to enjoy with his many saucy lady friends. But we could be wrong.
The property in question has a bit of celebrity history — it was purchased back in 2004 by famed director Sir Ridley Scott. Property records show Sir Scott paid $7,200,000 but only held onto the cottage for two years before flipping it for $11,000,000 to New York-based billionaire Vinnie Viola.
In 2012, Mr. Viola briefly attempted (with no luck) to sell the spread with an asking price of $15 million. And good thing he didn’t sell. Soaring Paradise Cove property values means that only four years later, Mr. DiCaprio paid him $23 million — $8 million more than Mr. Viola originally wanted and more than double than what he paid for an essentially unchanged property. Not a bad return on investment, eh?
Oh, and in case you think Mr. DiCaprio massively overpaid, Yolanda would advise you to think again. Like we say, home values on Paradise Cove have gone absolutely bonkers over the past few years.
It all seems to have started with The Lego Movie producer Jon Burton and his wife Helen. In late 2012, the Burtons slammed down $36,500,000 for the rather gorgeous Malibu compound of the late inventor Max Palevsky (may he RIP).
The following year, apparel mogul and real estate baller Serge Azria paid $41,000,000 for the nearby multi-acre estate of film producer Jerry Weintraub (may he also RIP). Our Mr. Azria is currently engaged in a full-scale remodel of the entire property.
Then, only last year, the dam really broke. There was Steve Jobs’ widow Laurene who paid a mind-bending $44,000,000 in cash for the multi-acre unfinished compound directly above Paradise Point.
At the very beginning of 2015, seriously-loaded music producer/headphones entrepreneur Jimmy Iovine laid out an unprecedented $60,000,000 for the multi-residence spread of TV producer Marcy Carsey.
Meanwhile, soap opeara scions Bill & Maria Bell recently completed a modern mega-mega-mansion located on what is probably the highest point above Paradise Cove. We suspect this house might be one of the most valuable in the entire city. Could it be worth $100 million? Yolanda thinks it is possible.
As for Mr. DiCaprio, he can take comfort in knowing that all his new neighbors are just as sick-rich as he. Right next door to his new lot is a large mansion owned by billionaire TV producer Mark Burnett. Two doors down is the home of residuals-rich Friends actress Courteney Cox, two doors in the other direction is the home of alleged Hollywood madam Diana Jenkins, whose BFFs include Cindy Crawford, Elton John, Neil Patrick Harris, and Kid Rock.
Other close new neighbors include Dick Clark’s widow Kari, billionaire Don Hankey, billionaire Tamara Gustavson, billionaire Stan Kroenke (and his wife, the also-a-billionaire Ann Walton), and former studio head Ron Meyer (who happens to be the father of Jennifer Meyer, the soon-to-be ex-wife of Leo’s BFF Tobey Maguire. But we digress).
But the best part of Mr. DiCaprio’s new lot is that it is walking distance from Yolanda’s favorite restaurant in Malibu: Geoffrey’s. Sorry, kiddies, we had to give them a shameless shoutout. We don’t even care. Here’s another tip: if you’re a Malibu first-timer, avoid this tourist trap restaurant.
Once upon a time — not so very long ago, actually — Carbon Beach and Broad Beach were the Malibu choices for billionaire investors. The quest for more privacy and more land (and the disappearing beach!), however, has driven deep-pocketed folks to Paradise Cove, once sort of a scruffy wilderness area full of smallish beach shacks and dirt roads. But it’s got the trifecta — land, views, and a spectacular sandy beach.
Now then. Just in case anyone was wondering, Yolanda is not currently in the market for n 8-figure house in Malibu. But if we were, rest assured that we would choose to park our cash in Paradise Cove. No question. Real talk.
As they say:
“A book of verses underneath the bough
A flask of wine, a loaf of bread and thou
Beside me singing in the wilderness
And wilderness is paradise now…”