Although the property has never popped up on the open market — except for a short period back in 2012 — it’s long been an open secret that the lavish Beverly Hills estate of high-nosed society royals Kelly Wearstler and Brad Korzen is available for purchase. If you know the right Platinum Triangle real estate agents to call, of course.
The house — which has a history nearly as vivid as its interiors — was first listed off-market way back in early 2010 with a $50 million ask. Over the last decade, the (rumored) asking price has fluctuated anywhere from mid-$30s to nearly $60 million. Now, however, the couple have finally decided to give the high-priced rental route a whirl. And we’re talking very high-priced — $350,000 per month. (!!!)
Ms. Wearstler is, of course, the iconic LA designer famed (and occasionally defamed) for her ultra-maximalist sense of style. A former Playboy Playmate of the Month who married well, Ms. Wearstler and her fledgling interior design business first achieved recognition in the 1990s. Since then, her fame has only grown, and she’s now parlayed her design success into an eponymous lifestyle brand.
As for Mr. Korzen, he is a hotel developer who comes from a very wealthy family — his father owned one of the nation’s largest chain of bowling alleys. Mr. Korzen’s Kor development group has built hotels around the globe — nearly all them done with interior design by Ms. Wearstler. (Nothing like a wee bit of professional nepotism, right?) The Avalon Beverly Hills and the Viceroy chain of hotels/resorts are a couple of his more notable projects.
The 3.2-acre Wearstler-Korzen family estate is massive (for LA, at least) and sits in what is arguably the best neighborhood pocket of Beverly Hills: north of Sunset, south of Trousdale Estates, and just a few short blocks from WeHo and the Sunset Strip.
Records show Mr. Korzen and Ms. Wearstler purchased the 11,371-square-foot mansion way back in 2005 for $25 million, reportedly after a bidding war against a developer who plotted to raze the ol’ gurl. Rather than demolishing the premises, the Wearstler-Korzens — now in their early 50s with two teenage sons — painstakingly restored the property, transforming it into a grand family home.
Anywho, the property has already been featured in just about every shelter magazine known to mankind (and in Vogue, too) — so there are scores of photos and descriptions available online. While y’all feast on the MLS images we have selected, allow Yolanda to give a brief synopsis of the estate’s history.
Though detailed accounts vary widely, most everyone agrees that the property was designed by acclaimed architect James Dolena for actor William Powell. Completed in 1934 (or thereabouts), the original interiors were done up by Billy Haines.
Mr. Powell reportedly built the lavish compound as a lovenest for himself and Carole Lombard. However — as is often the case — the couple’s affection soon swirled down the sad toilet of love. They divorced prior to the estate’s completion and Mr. Powell began shackin’ up with Jean Harlow. Upon Harlow’s unexpected 1937 death, however, we gather the property was quickly sold off.
By the 1950s, the property had passed to Albert “Cubby” Broccoli, best-known for producing scores of James Bond flicks — including Dr. No, Goldfinger, Your Only Live Twice, Live and Let Die, Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, and Octopussy.
Mr. Broccoli remained ensconced in the fortified compound until his 1996 passing, after which the property was leased out longterm to property-obsessed actress Diane Keaton. Eventually the fabled estate entered a state of “faded glory”. Neglect, as some uncouth folks might say.
That brings us to the mid-aughts — which is when Ms. Wearstler and Mr. Korzen acquired the beast, of course. They fixed up the fixer-upper and slapped a variety of heavy-duty asking prices on the decadent digs. As of yet, however, their efforts to secure a buyer have failed.
Back in 2016, it was widely rumored that fellow designer Tom Ford had initiated a $53 million acquisition of the property. At that price, it would’ve been among the most expensive homes ever sold in Beverly Hills. However, the escrow was eventually cancelled — for reasons unbeknownst to Yolanda.
We do know, however, that this place has cost Wearstler-Korzens a veritable fortune to maintain over the past 14 years. In addition to the millions spent on renovations, their current annual property tax bill is approximately $360,000. And they also carry an enormous mortgage on the estate, per records. Ever wondered why Ms. Wearstler’s products are so very expensive? Now you know!
Anyway, the home’s architecture has previously been described as “Georgian meets Hollywood Regency”. The multi-structure estate includes the main house, a large pool house and a detached garage with guest/staff quarters. Naturally the entire property is walled and camera-watched for privacy and security. A long gated drive gently ascends to the knoll-sited residence.
The lavishly landscaped grounds feature boxwood gardens, rolling lawns, a mature trees, fountains, a full-size tennis court, and an epically long rectangular swimming pool.
Current listing photos do not show any of the estate’s seven bedrooms and ten Art Moderne-style bathrooms, but they do display the ten-sided entrance foyer, with its starburst-pattern marble floor. Most of the public rooms feature mocha-colored hardwoods and a veritable treasure trove of gold and bronze accents.
For the low, low price of $350,000 per month, all this can be yours. Temporarily, of course. As we’ve said before when profiling other obscenely expensive rentals, Yolanda cannot imagine who is in the market for a lease this pricey. But by certain measures — just think of the $53 million asking price and $360k+ tax bill, for crying out loud! — it almost seems like a bargain.