Apart from The One, that monstrous Los Angeles mega-mansion recently sold at auction for $126 million, one of the most widely publicized homes of the past year was the so-called Palazzo di Vista, a hilltop mansion in Bel Air that also sold at auction, albeit for “just” $45.8 million. Dr. Alex Khadavi, the property’s colorful and outspoken developer, called the auction result “Horrible, horrible, horrible,” as it represented barely half of his original ask.
The sale closed over the summer, and the winning bidder was known to be British. But until now, it wasn’t entirely clear that the anonymous Brits were Jeremy “Jez” San and his longtime wife Natasha, he a pioneering tech entrepreneur and video game programmer who is a “computer genius” and helped “establish the U.K. as one of the world’s best game developers,” per reports. San became a self-made millionaire in the 1980s, while still a teenager, and is now an angel investor and crypto player.
As for Dr. Khadavi, he paid $16 million for the 1.16-acre estate in 2013; at the time, the property had a rather ungainly Spanish-style mansion on it. Scarcely two months after he closed on the place, just as L.A.’s spec-mansion market became frenzied, Khadavi reportedly received an unsolicited $24 million offer from a developer who planned to raze the current home and build something much larger.
Rather than accept that lucrative offer, Khadavi decided to do the renovating himself. The London-born celebrity dermatologist initially planned to give the home a “light” $10 million overhaul, but eventually demolished all but one wall of the original structure and replaced it with a new, far larger contemporary mansion. Seven years and $30 million later — Khadavi admits he really “blew his budget” on the outlandish property — the 21,000-square-foot, seven-bedroom ode to hedonism was finally complete.
Highlights are almost too numerous to count, but some of the more unusual features include a “retractable hydraulic DJ table” for large gatherings and galas, a glass-walled elevator, a master suite with a private deck forged almost entirely from Calacatta gold marble, an NFT art gallery, a nine-car “auto museum,’ a champagne tasting room and a notably oversized infinity pool with 360-degree views that encompass the San Gabriel Mountains, Downtown L.A. skyline, Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island.
The boxy house is ultra-contemporary in style, with gleaming surfaces everywhere and seemingly endless expanses of glass that will likely cost a fortune to keep clean. Naturally, the entire property is walled and gated, and dozens of palm trees surround the estate.
Khadavi, 50, spent so much money on his home-rebuild project that he ultimately filed for bankruptcy earlier this year. Despite the still-lofty Bel Air sale price, it’s unclear if he’ll actually receive any funds from that $45 million deal. The famously hot-headed physician reportedly still owes tens of millions to creditors, including the bulk of a $27 million construction loan from Axos Bank.
San, 56, rose to fame as the developer behind the 1980s Atari hit game Superglider. He then built British video game developer Argonaut Software into a global behemoth, eventually taking the company public and cashing out during the Dot-com bubble; subsequent ventures included building and running one of the world’s first online poker casinos. These days, San runs FunFair, a crypto firm that provides Ethereum blockchain-powered solutions to problems within the online gaming industry.