Back in summer 2020, less than two months after his death, the hulking Los Angeles estate of Sheikh Saleh Abdullah Kamel hit the market, amid much fanfare, with a $32.5 million thud. Nearly two years later and a change of realtors later, the nearly seven-acre spread has finally sold, albeit for a significantly discounted $24.5 million. Records reveal the new owner is John Simonian, the Lebanon-born property investor and founder of high-end watch retailer Westime. In addition to the newly-acquired Kamel compound, Simonian already owns two other Beverly Park estates: a $32 million mansion and a $15 million vacant lot.
Born in Mecca in the early 1940s, Kamel rose from humble beginnings to become one of the Arab world’s wealthiest businessmen. He was primarily a banker and financier, though through various holding companies he controlled a diverse array of companies operating in the real estate, healthcare, logistics and manufacturing sectors. By the time of his death, the 79-year-old was reportedly a billionaire several times over.
One of Kamel’s most noteworthy U.S. assets was his 90210 mansion, which is located in Beverly Park, arguably the Los Angeles area’s most prestigious gated community. Custom built in 2000 for mathematician Norman Zadeh, the palatial residence was designed by Richard Landry and is one of only a handful of contemporary homes in Beverly Park, where most estates are either steroidal versions of Tuscan-style mansions or French chateau-inspired compounds.
Kamel acquired the property in 2010 for $16.5 million; the place has occasionally been leased out over the past dozen years, sometimes for as much as $100,000 per month.