Looks like the list of biggest 2021 real estate deals needs updating. On December 22nd, a big Bel Air property quietly transferred for a whopping $133 million, tax records now reveal. The place was never officially on the market, though it had been privately shopped around to qualified parties. At this point, the buyer remains unidentified, though there aren’t very many people in the world who can afford to pay $133 million — in cash, no less — for a house, so we’ll see how long that lasts.
Actually, this place isn’t just a “house,” it’s a bonafide estate compound that spans four contiguous parcels of land totaling roughly 4.6 acres. There are two large homes on the property, which sits behind tall gates and taller hedges for maximum privacy. The larger main house, spanning roughly 19,000 square feet, is a rare structure designed by internationally acclaimed English architect John Pawson — in fact, it’s the only Pawson-designed house in Los Angeles. The smaller guesthouse was built in the 1930s by Paul R. Williams and has its own swimming pool, poolhouse, and 6,600 square feet of space.
The seller was Japanese businessman Hideki Tomita, CEO of job-search agency Dip Corp. While his $133 million score isn’t as blockbuster as that recent $177 million Malibu deal, it’s still the fourth-highest price ever paid for a California home. The price is also an eye-popping $48 million more than Tomita paid for the place less than four years ago, in March 2018. Back then, the 55-year-old entrepreneur forked over $85 million to buy the entire caboodle from its original owners — booze heiress Ellen Bronfman Hauptman, a daughter of billionaire Seagram scion Charles Bronfman, and her investor husband Andrew Hauptman.
The Hauptmans acquired the land in 2002 and built the main house in 2009. In 2017, the Pawson-designed structure was photographed for Architectural Digest. The pair originally wanted $125 million for the custom estate, but Tomita talked them into a big discount — a move that appears to have paid off handsomely for him.