Though the COVID-19 pandemic undoubtedly hurt bottom lines at his many major shopping centers (The Grove, Palisades Village, Glendale’s The Americana at Brand, etc) it looks as though Rick Caruso is no longer sweating the bygone woes of 2020. In Orange County’s posh Newport Beach community, the high-flying real estate developer has paid $18.6 million for the house right next door to a two-property compound he already owns.
Located on Balboa Peninsula, on the shore directly overlooking the billionaire playground of Newport Harbor, the property boasts one of the largest and deepest lots on the Harbor — spanning more than a third of an acre. Behind gates and tall palm trees, the grand estate also offers a substantial motorcourt and a four-car attached garage, a rarity in tightly-packed Newport Beach.
Beyond the garage, a long colonnade is flanked by a grassy lawn and large swimming pool, respectively, on its way to the front door. The 8,500-square-foot mansion itself was built in 1972 but appears to have undergone a renovation within the last 15 years, courtesy of the non-famous previous owners — inside, things are awash in Old World-influenced luxury, with limestone floors, ornate fireplaces, and faux-exposed rustic ceiling beams.
More modern is the eat-in kitchen, which offers an eye-catching marble backsplash and a glass-fronted SubZero refrigerator. Other spaces include a sumptuous billiards room, a subterranean movie theater, wine cellar with space for hundreds of bottles, a detached guest/staff apartment, and 7 bedrooms and 8.5 baths in the main house.
But the estate’s real value is only seen once you step onto one of the many balconies or out the sets of matching French doors. The grassy backyard additionally includes heated loggias and a BBQ — ideal for al fresco entertaining — and big views of Newport Harbor. Unfortunately, the home’s 75-foot boat dock is not big enough to accommodate Caruso’s $100 million floating mansion — his 216-foot superyacht Invictus — but it will do for the mother-in-law boat.
Caruso also owns the property next door, a $15.3 million estate he purchased in 2017. At the time of his acquisition, that property held a 6,000-square-foot, ’70s-era mansion, but that house was subsequently razed and today the place is little more than a vacant lot. Caruso also owns a third adjacent property, this one with an East Coast-style traditional house, and his other real estate holdings include an oceanfront mansion on Malibu’s La Costa Beach and his main residence, a multi-acre compound in L.A.’s Brentwood Park enclave that is now famous for its extravagant holiday light display.