Although tales of fierce bidding wars and an increasingly fraught U.S. housing crunch are now commonplace in today’s real estate market, it hasn’t been all smiles and lottery winnings for every seller. The ultra-high-end market — think homes worth $10 million and above — is a finicky beast and even in prime Beverly Hills, long one of the country’s most desirable luxury neighborhoods, brutal losses do happen.
One type of home that’s become notoriously hard to unload are secondhand contemporary mega-mansions, the boxy kind built on speculation by developers and loaded with every glitzy amenity. Frequently purchased by foreign and out-of-state buyers, these trophy homes are rarely used as primary residences and thus tend to pop back up for sale more often than more traditional houses.
But with time, once the sheen wears off these slick white boxes, the homes can be a tough resell. Having to compete against new construction — slicker, newer contemporary mansions with better gadgets — can be challenging, and thus their exorbitant maintenance costs become a bit more glaring. And without historic character or pedigree from a legendary architect, buyers often struggle to see value in these homes once the newness is gone.
In March, “X-Men” director Simon Kinberg lost millions when flipping his Sunset Strip mansion, despite its massive scale and unobstructed jetliner views of the L.A. basin. And in April, another glitzy contemporary in L.A.’s Doheny Estates neighborhood sold for $12.5 million after first trading for $19.8 million in 2016, back when it was all-new.
This particular Beverly Hills box was built on speculation in 2013, despite outcry from the neighbors. The 11,200-square-foot structure sold the following year for $31 million to Khadem Al Qubaisi — a U.A.E. citizen who’s currently sitting in an Abu Dhabi prison, jailed on international corruption charges. In 2016, the place was resold for $33 million to prominent English restaurateur Richard Caring.
Caring soon attempted to unload the house, first with a $38 million pricetag that was soon slashed to $26 million, but found no takers. He did, however, succeed in renting the place out on multiple occasions. Once was to David Beckham, who used the house as a short-term L.A. family pad in fall 2019. That same year, the house was also briefly leased to hip-hop music superstar Post Malone.
Now records reveal the house has sold once again, this time in an off-market deal — but for only $23 million, exactly $10 million less than what the place fetched five years ago. The discount buyer, L.A.-based real estate investor Joe Fryzer, is probably best known for his ownership of Casa Fryzer, an $18 million hilltop villa in Mexico’s Los Cabos resort community with spectacular ocean views and a 2,000-square-foot infinity pool.
As for the Beverly Hills villa, the walled and gated beast boasts six bedrooms and eight bathrooms. Uniformly black-and-white interiors lie behind endless walls of glass — even the garage itself has glass walls, a thrilling feature that’s likely a maintenance headache. Open-plan living spaces include a combo living/dining room connected to the sleek kitchen, which has a Euro-like austereness to it and flaunts all the expected luxe appliances.
From its perch above the L.A. basin, the infinity pool has views that dance across the Century City skyline and the Pacific Ocean. A narrow moat-like water feature travels from the pool, partially encircling the entire house — another impressive engineering feat that’s no maintenance joke. Upstairs, the penthouse-like master suite opens to a rooftop deck with wraparound seating options and even more impressive views.