It’s been a long time coming, but local Los Angeles businessman Frank Zarabi has finally completed the acquisition of a $35.2 million estate in Beverly Hills. The deal is the priciest to record in all of L.A. County so far this year, records reveal. The residential saga first began in the summer of 2020, when it’s widely believed Zarabi first initiated escrow on the lavish property. For unknown reasons, the deal fell apart but was later revived last fall, eventually closing in February.
Despite the eye-popping sales price, the seller — English financier Lyndon Lea — might not be celebrating. Records show he bought the estate in 2015 for $36 million, meaning he faced a not-inconsiderable $800,000 loss, not counting taxes and six years of exorbitant carrying costs.
Set on a grand double lot just north of Sunset Boulevard, the nearly 15,000-square-foot Tuscan-inspired manor was completed around the turn of the millennium and custom-built for the founder of a discount stock brokerage. Since then, the conspicuously conspicuous house has been owned by all sorts of rich folk — a Platinum Equity exec, a Mainland Chinese businessman, and more recently by Lea and then Zarabi. The 1.3-acres of prime land was once the site of Jimmy Stewart’s longtime Beverly Hills home, which was demolished in the ’90s to make way for this far larger and more modern structure.
Inside are massively scaled public rooms trimmed in marble and walnut. Accents include elaborate crown moldings, silk carpets, and coffered ceilings. Many of the spaces open to various terraces and patios via French doors, while the double-height foyer would put many airplane hangars to shame and gives voluminous several new names.
Outside, the completely flat corner lot is walled and gated for security, while the park-like gardens include vast lawns, stone pathways, and several fountains. Also there are the expected pool/spa combo, a double-gated motorcourt, and a three-car attached garage. Tucked into the property’s far corner is a single-story guesthouse that’s essentially a mini-me version of the main mansion.
Zarabi is perhaps best-known as CEO of FAM Brands, the L.A.-based apparel juggernaut that rakes in hundreds of millions per year by manufacturing and distributing clothes, and has licensing agreements with some of retail’s hottest brands. Founded in 1985, the company’s success has allowed its Iran-born businessman founder to expand into new markets, and Zarabi now owns or co-owns several car dealerships, hotels, and other lucrative real estate investments.
Zarabi’s current main residence is another Tuscan-style mansion elsewhere in Beverly Hills that, while significantly smaller than his new digs, bears a striking resemblance to that mega-mansion. The 58-year-old bought the house in 2011 from Dr. Phil, paying $12.4 million.