Update: The $20 million buyer of Flea’s red hot oceanfront digs has been publicly revealed to be hedge fund manager Ross Laser.
Less than two months after he downsized to a $7.5 million cottage in the exclusive Malibu Colony gated community, the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ iconic Michael “Flea” Balzary has sold his other Malibu property, this one a much larger compound in the Encinal Bluffs region of the city, set on 2.1 clifftop acres. The sublimely-situated spread went for exactly $20 million in an all-cash, off-market deal, per records.
Flea bought the estate in 2006 for about $9.9 million, and subsequently attempted to unload the property from 2009 until 2011 at a variety of asking prices that began at $13.7 million and dropped all the way to below $9.5 million. Lucky for him, the place failed to sell and he was forced to hang onto it for another decade. In that time, the values of blufftop Malibu estates have skyrocketed — and Flea was finally able to fly away from the place with a $10 million profit, minus any realtor fees and nearly 15 years of carrying costs. While the spendy buyer hasn’t yet been positively identified, the evidence points to Alec Litowitz, the CEO of Illinois-based hedge fund Magnetar Capital.
Since the property hasn’t been on the market in 10 years, its current specs and details are mostly unknown, and photos are scant. But aerial imagery shows there’s still a 1980s main house with about 2,700 square feet of single-story living space. Also still there are two detached guesthouses, plus a half-court basketball court and off-street parking for at least dozen cars. Meandering pathways criss-cross the entire estate, which leads down the treacherously craggy cliff to the sandy beach. Views take in stunning sunsets and whitewater waves.
Besides its sublime location, the former Flea funhouse also has the benefit of big-name neighbors. Immediately next door is a two-house compound long owned by Michael Milken, and just a few doors away is an even larger estate owned by Patrick Soon-Shiong, both of them two of L.A.’s wealthiest men. And lying immediately below the old Flea house, on a rocky knoll just above the sand, there’s a Tuscan-style house known as Il Pelicano, which recently sold for $26.5 million to Paycom billionaire Chad Richison.
In addition to his new Malibu Colony tropics-themed digs, Flea continues to maintain an idiosyncratic architectural compound La Crescenta, Calif.