Color Yolanda shocked in regards to this next story. Thanks to our real estate insider pal Don Won/Wan/Juan, we have learned that a somewhat notorious vacant lot located up on what is probably the best cul-de-sac in trendy Trousdale Estates has sold in an off-market deal for a fat figure.
Before we digress any further, a bit of background information.
Back in 2007, there was an old and rather unattractive mid-century residence on the property. The house was sold that year for $7,470,000 to British entrepreneur Peter Jones. After a long slog, Mr. Jones dumped the house in March 2013 for $12,500,000 to New York-based hedge fund couple Ed & Victoria Parisi. The Parisis quickly razed the house and flipped the vacant lot for $15,000,000 to a shady character named Khadem Al Qubaisi, an Emirati man with close ties to the 1MDB multi-billion dollar worldwide corruption scandal that has ensnared everyone from the Prime Minister of Malaysia to Oscar-winner Leo DiCaprio.
Mr. Qubaisi is not a very nice man. Well, we don’t know him, but that’s what we infer from everything we’ve heard and read. It is widely believed that he purchased this lot with stolen Malaysian cash. In August (2016), a cloud was placed on the property’s title, as the Department of Justice attempted to seize it. In her prior report, Yolanda assumed that the property would be seized and tied up in court for years.
But not so fast.
Apparently a certain someone pulled some satin strings or something. Just days after filing the Lis Pendens against the property, it was quietly withdrawn by the United States government.
What that means is that the property title was cleared, giving Mr. Qubaisi free reign to sell the land — if he chose to do so. And he did choose to do so just two months later, for a hefty $22,400,000.
Wait a minute! Did this fraudster really receive $22.4 million into his bank account?! It sure looks that way, although it’s worth noting that Mr. Qubaisi was recently arrested and may be currently locked up in a U.A.E. clink. So he may not be enjoying the money at the moment. Still, the claim release seems odd.
What’s even more intriguing is that Mr. Qubaisi also owns a $31 million mansion in Beverly Hills that also had a Lis Pendens placed against it. As far as Yolanda can tell, the title to that property has not been cleared. See what we mean? It’s all very strange.
Although we do not really expect to receive a response, Yolanda has emailed the DoJ and requested information regarding why the claim against this property was dropped in less than two weeks. This deserves an explanation, thankyouverymuch.
For now, let’s move on. Property records reveal the new owner is a local private equity guru named Alex Soltani, a former Tom Gores associate and the founder of Skyview Capital. He’s not on the Forbes billionaires list, folks, but Yolanda rather suspects he may be a bonafide billionaire, just judging by the elephantine amounts of cash he throws around.
It was only last year, you may recall, that the Rolls Royce-driving Mr. Soltani threw down a staggering $32,000,000 for Dr. Dre’s viewgasmic spread in the sexy “Bird Streets” neighborhood of the Hollywood Hills. Astute real estate lovers may recall that (at the time) Mr. Soltani blabbed to the LA Times that he planned to raze the good Doctor’s house and construct a $100 million compound to properly befit his billionaire self. But since Mr. Soltani, his wife Sandra and their kids are currently living in that house, we figure he must’ve changed his mind.
Could Mr. Soltani have decided to build his dream house somewhere else? Like, say, a super-prime lot in the trendy Trousdale Estates neighborhood? Yes! We think he may have done just that.
Although we have no idea is Mr. Soltani is inclined to use them, the sale included plans and renderings for a 24,500-square-foot uber-modern mega-mansion by LA-based architects Shubin + Donaldson and designer Michael Palumbo. The proposed 7 bedroom and 14 bathroom residence sports many cool features: “a 2-lane bowling alley, lounge, nightclub, bar, theater room, salon, gym and wellness center and a 140-foot long vanishing edge pool that runs the entire length of the palatial estate”. Just the necessary stuff, obviously. You’d never need to leave home again!
Oh, and in case you think $22,400,000 is an absolutely obscene price to pay for a 1-acre lot, you are kinda correct. But let Yolanda remind you that this is Trousdale Estates, y’all. Take a look at the neighborhood and the money seems almost rational. Right next door is a soon-to-be-completed spec-mansion being built by spec-mansion master Nile Niami and his architect cohort Paul McLean. Mr. Niami plans to ask $90,000,000 for the house. And no, we didn’t drunkenly add an extra zero to that pricetag.
Two doors down is another spec-mansion that Minecraft billionaire (and Trump supporter) Markus Persson paid a record-breaking $70,000,000 for back in 2014. At the end of the street is a massive mansion that multi-billionaire Clinton pal Gilbert Chagoury is trying to sell for $135,000,000 — as a teardown. Next to that is the old Elvis house that Egyptian tycoon Hamed El Chiaty is selling for $30,000,000 (probably as a teardown). And on the other side of Mr. Soltani’s property is a double-lot for which hedge fund honcho David Kabiller recently paid more than $50,000,000.
Keeping up with the Joneses has never been more stressful than on this cul-de-sac. Yikes.
Speaking of Mr. Kabiller — in an odd coincidence, he and Mr. Soltani are currently next-door neighbors on high-priced Oriole Drive in the Bird Streets.
Bizarrely, as we’ve already told you, they will also be next-door neighbors in Trousdale Estates once their new $100 million compounds are complete (and provided one or both does not decide to flip out).
It’s a small world after all in the ultra-high-end real estate bubble. Even in Los Angeles.
Listing agents: Ben Bacal, Rodeo Realty & Mauricio Umansky, The Agency