Less than a year after being ravaged by 2018’s Woolsey Fire, Malibu’s star-studded Point Dume neighborhood has seemingly made a full real estate market comeback. Witness this inconspicuous ranch-style home on one of the area’s best streets, tucked discreetly away behind gates and hedges. Despite any feigned or perceived modesty, the low-key property has traded hands for a whopping $13 million not once but twice in the last two years.
Back in summer 2017, married Argent Pictures producers Ryan and Jill Ahrens paid Equinox gym founder Danny Errico the aforementioned $13 million for the landlocked but well-located spread. While it’s unclear if the couple made any significant changes to the 1.23-acre estate during their two short years of ownership, the property was sold again last week for the same amount — this time, to Belgium-born hedge fund manager Thomas Laffont.
The two-structure compound includes a main house and a substantial guesthouse, both of which come equipped with their own two-car garage. The main house, a low-slung ranch-style abode with approximately 1,600 square feet of living space, was originally built in 1949 and has since been totally renovated with new wide-plank hardwood floors, soaring walls of glass, an outdoor fireplace and covered lanai with ample space for al fresco dining. Other interior amenities include a stacked-stone fireplace, a dining area, and a European-style country kitchen with custom cabinetry and high-end appliances. There are four bedrooms, including a luxurious “owner’s suite” with a custom closet and oversized bath.
In contrast to the main residence, the new-ish guesthouse is decidedly contemporary in architectural style, featuring soaring ceilings and rows of glassy sliders. The structure — which sports an unknown amount of square footage — is fully kitted out with a bedroom suite, living room, kitchen and den/media room.
Completely gated and high-hedged for ultimate privacy, the estate features broad expanses of well-watered grass and several mature olive trees. Perhaps surprisingly, the property does not currently include a pool — or an ocean view, for that matter — but the house is a short three-minute walk to Little Dume, the all-but-private beach that possesses one of L.A.’s most scenic coastlines.
Some of Laffont’s nearest new Malibu neighbors include Julia Roberts, Chris Martin, Kenny G, the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Chad Smith, and Walmart billionaire Steuart Walton and his new wife — “Baywatch” actress Kelly Rohrbach — who live immediately next door in a “cottage” Walton bought for over $14 million last year.
Back in 1999, Laffont and his billionaire brother Philippe founded Coatue Management, a $17 billion hedge fund known for its heavy investments in technology stocks — the Laffonts have made names for themselves by making substantial bets on the likes of Uber, Lyft, and Snapchat. Earlier this month, Coatue announced its biggest wager yet: a $700 million venture fund exclusively dedicated to backing startups during their earliest rounds of funding.
Unsurprisingly for a tech-focused businessman, Laffont maintains a swanky estate up in Northern California’s Silicon Valley — specifically, in the enormously wealthy town of Atherton, where some of his nearest neighbors include billionaires like Twitter’s Omid Kordestani, KKR’s George Roberts and WhatsApp’s Jan Koum.
The one-acre Laffont Atherton estate was acquired in 2012 for about $13.8 million and is anchored by a Traditional-style mansion of nearly 10,000 square feet. Though substantial, the estate is completely dwarfed by a massive $80+ million ranch compound directly across the street, a property widely believed to be owned by Google co-founder Sergey Brin.
Laffont also keeps at least one apartment in Manhattan, and his brother continues to maintain a large blufftop home in Massachusetts, on endlessly scenic Nantucket Island. Purchased in 2009 for just under $15 million, the 4.6-acre estate includes a tennis court and lies just across Nantucket harbor from Coatue Beach, for which the Laffonts’ hedge fund is named.