UPDATE (12/9/21): Whoops, looks like the buyer’s fortune wasn’t from crypto after all.
A hilltop Pacific Palisades mansion with a retractable roof and two panic rooms has sold for $83 million, shattering residential sales records on the Westside of Los Angeles. It’s also the second-priciest California home sale of 2021, so far, behind only an $87 million Malibu transaction that recorded in February.
While the house was never formally offered for sale, it had once been marketed as an $88 million pocket listing, and was also briefly offered for rent at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, asking $350,000 per month. Real estate sources say the new owner’s fortune comes from their cryptocurrency holdings, though the name of the billionaire buyer — and whether they’ve already moved into the wildly extravagant mansion — publicly remains a mystery, for now.
Crypto tycoons are a relatively new phenomenon, but they’ve already begun making big inroads into the flashiest sector of the high-end real estate market, particularly in Los Angeles. In May, a $28.5 million Hollywood Hills mansion sold to Olaf Carlson-Wee, the first employee at Coinbase. Last year, well-known bitcoin billionaire Josh Jones, founder of what was briefly the world’s largest bitcoin exchange, dropped $25.8 million on an all-new Brentwood estate. And in May, hedge fund manager and top crypto investor Jeffrey Feinberg bought a different Brentwood property for $44 million, $1 million over the asking price. For now, Forbes estimates there are at least 12 official cryptocurrency billionaires worldwide.
Built over several years at an undisclosed but surely exorbitant cost, the Palisades house is the largest and grandest product to date of L.A. megamansion developer Ardie Tavangarian. But it’s certainly not his first brush with billionaires — back in 2019, he sold a similarly extravagant Bel Air house for $75 million to Liang “Johnson” Zhang, a Mainland Chinese heir to a mining and real estate fortune. And last year, Tavangarian paid a combined $61.9 million for four Bel Air homes owned by Elon Musk.
Speaking of Musk, he was reported to have toured the Pacific Palisades project in early 2020, back when it was put up for rental grabs at the aforementioned $350,000 per month, though it’s not clear if he — or anyone else, for that matter — actually took the real estate plunge.
On L.A.’s Westside, an area generally considered to include the Palisades, Brentwood and Santa Monica, the $83 million deal blows every other recorded sale out of the water. In fact, the next-priciest transaction was only inked earlier this year, when a historic Santa Monica estate transferred for just under $49 million — more than 40% less than the unprecedented Palisades price.