It wasn’t too long ago that when a property came to market with a $48 million asking price it would predictably cause howls of disbelief and potentially dangerous heart palpitations in even the most seasoned (and jaded) of real estate insiders. Those days are gone. While still a fantastical and attention getting number realistic only to the richest of the rich, it’s no longer a particularly rare or shocking amount, at least not in the more exclusive and famously expensive financial hot spots around the country such as Palm Beach, Aspen, New York City and, of course, Los Angeles.
Indeed, across the greater L.A. area there are currently about two dozen single-family homes priced at or above $48 million, including that of entertainment industry executive and powerhouse film and television producer Joe Roth who has just this week joined the club and hung a $48 million price tag around the nearly 14,000-square-foot neck of his pedigreed spread in the prestigious Holmby Hills neighborhood.
Roth, a former chairman of both 20th Century Fox (1989-1993) and Walt Disney Studio (1994-2000), and the founder of Revolution Studios, which he sold in 2014 for a reported quarter billion dollars, stands to earn an enviable mid-sized fortune on the lavish estate he picked up about a decade ago from mortgage mogul Mark Cohen for $21.5 million.
According to the always-informative Movieland Directory, the stately multi-winged white brick mansion has an illustrious history. Designed by acclaimed architect Paul Revere Williams, and built in the mid-1930s, the house was once owned by filmmaker Joseph Mankiewicz, subject of this year’s 10-time Oscar-nominated film “Mank.” And, in the 1980s it was home to Aaron and Candy Spelling. Cohen, who bills himself as “the number one mortgage broker in the U.S.”, acquired the then down-on-its-heels house in 2002 for $6.85 million and, in what was unquestionably a wildly costly endeavor, had it returned to its glamorous Golden Age glory by architect Richard Manion and interior designer Craig Wright.
Not long after it’s restoration and update, the house was featured in the February 2010 issue of Architectural Digest. And, it wasn’t long after that it popped up for sale with a too aggressive asking price of $28.5 million. The price plummeted to just under $24 million before Roth drove a hard bargain and got his hands on the place for $21.5 million.
Now listed with Branden Williams and Rayni Williams of The Beverly Hills Estates, the 1.3-plus-acre trophy estate is surrounded by some of L.A.’s most illustrious and expensive homes: The longtime residence of late radio legend Casey Kasem is directly across the street — it was recently sold in a $34 million off-market deal to deep-pocketed members of the billionaire Nazarian family; Twenty-three-year-old near billionaire Kylie Jenner’s $36.5 million ultra-moderen mansion is right next door; the epic Singleton Estate, which was acquired in 2015 for almost $60 million by a little-known European property developer, is just around the corner; and fashion icon Tom Ford’s baronial spread, which he bought from the estate of Betsy Bloomingdale in 2016 for almost $39 million, is but a sweeping curve down Sunset Boulevard.