Following the May death of Sheikh Saleh Abdullah Kamel, the prominent Saudi banker who rose from humble beginnings to become one of the Arab world’s wealthiest men, his massive Los Angeles estate has unsurprisingly hit the market with a $32.5 million thud, reports Mansion Global. The nearly 7-acre compound is located inside Beverly Park — perhaps L.A.’s most exclusive gated community — and was designed by celebrity architect Richard Landry.
Completed in 2000, the flamboyant villa remains one of Beverly Park’s most eye-catching estates, for the simple fact that it’s one of the only contemporary mansions in the neighborhood. Most Beverly Park homes are supersized versions of Tuscan McMansions or French-inspired chateaus, but the Kamel estate unapologetically flouts area conventions with its blocky, Lego-like architecture.
The house also has an offbeat history. It was built by Norm Zada, the former hedge fund manager turned adult entertainment entrepreneur who founded the now-defunct Perfect 10, an adult website and magazine that specialized in topless and fully nude pictorials of women without breast enhancements or noticeable cosmetic surgery.
During the early aughts, Zada used the property primarily for business purposes, turning the lavish grounds into a sort of scaled-back version of the Playboy mansion. His Perfect 10 models frequently congregated in the home, and he became infamous for hosting scantily-clad boxing matches on the estate’s vast lawns.
In 2007, Perfect 10 folded and Zada subsequently spent years attempting to unload his residential white elephant. At some point in the late 2000s, Heidi Klum and Seal made a lowball offer on 20,000 sq. ft. beast, though Zada ultimately declined their terms and the property didn’t sell until 2010, deep into the recession, when Sheikh Saleh acquired it for $16.5 million — a true bargain by neighborhood standards.
Gated and surrounded by manicured gardens, the house offers two separate motorcourts with room for dozens of automobiles. Inside the main house, a grand foyer flaunts a crystal chandelier and soaring ceiling. The well-scaled public rooms are all flooded with light, thanks to countless windows, and a commodious — if decoratively dated — kitchen offers granite countertops and stainless appliances.
A steel-columned breezeway connects the main house to the 6,100 sq. ft. guesthouse, where there are visitor quarters and an entertainment pavilion, plus a floating spiral staircase. The entire estate looks more akin to a boutique five-star hotel than a private home; indeed, the listing for the property even describes it as a “private resort.”
The acres of grounds include sweeping lawns with endless space for alfresco entertaining, a full-size paddle tennis court, a “security pavilion,” gazebo and full outdoor kitchen. There’s also not one but two outdoor pools, one a rectangular lap-lane affair and the other a lagoon-style plunge pool with grotto.