Turns out that fashion icon Tom Ford is also quite the real estate savant. Earlier this month, in an off-market transaction first written up by the Hollywood Reporter, Ford sold his Bel Air home of more than two decades to his across-the-street neighbor. The Texas-born aspiring filmmaker originally purchased the sophisticated midcentury modern residence way back in 1997 — for about $2 million — and unloaded it for a profit-assuring $20 million.
The buyer — who purchased the property through an entity called Neutra Brown House LLC — is Adam Levinson, a high-profile hedge fund trader currently based in Manhattan. As founder, CEO and managing partner of Graticule Asset Management Asia, Levinson oversees a portfolio of assets valued at well over $8 billion through his network of offices in Singapore, New York, London and San Francisco. Prior to spinning Graticule off from Fortress Investment Group — one of the world’s largest hedge funds — the Detroit-born hedgie ranked as one of Fortress’s star traders.
Levinson made international headlines in 2008 when Fortress paid him $300 million — an amount believed to be the world’s biggest bonus of all time — as a sweetener to prevent him from leaving the firm. For his part, the Goldman Sachs alum defended the giant gift, claiming that he works 24 hours a day and pointing to his success in generating satisfactory returns for shareholders.
Designed by masterful modernist architect Richard Neutra, the glassy Ford-cum-Levinson Bel Air pavilion was built in 1955, is christened the Brown-Sidney House, and lies totally surrounded by a towering wall of manicured hedges and a dense canopy of mature trees. These features imbue the street-to-street property with a forest-like vibe, the treehouse-like main house itself set on a high knoll amidst the treetops, with views of the Century City skyline. Below the house, a separate terrace contains a dark-bottomed swimming pool and poolside cabana.
In the early aughts, Ford recruited the acclaimed architectural firm Marmol Radziner to spearhead a sensitive restoration of the Bel Air property. According to records, the structure now spans approximately 3,800 square feet of living space — large but hardly mansion-sized — with three bedrooms and a total of six baths. Unfortunately, since the property was never publicly marketed for sale, other details and public photographs are slim to nonexistent.
Back in 2016, Ford substantially upgraded his L.A. residential circumstances by tossing down nearly $40 million for the longtime Holmby Hills estate of Betsy Bloomingdale; that property has since undergone a multi-year remodel. He also continues to own an epic Santa Fe, New Mexico ranch that was custom built for him by Japanese architect Tadao Ando.
As for Levinson, this is not his first big-ticket L.A. property purchase. Earlier this year, he shelled out a whopping $37.5 million for a vacant two-acre Bel Air promontory that happens to lie across the street from the Neutra-designed home he just acquired from Ford. He and wife Brittany also own luxury homes in Manhattan and the Hamptons.
Kurt Rappaport of Westside Estate Agency handled the transaction.