As 2018 quickly grinds to a close, Yolanda has been busy tallying up the biggest real estate deals of the year. Down behind the Orange Curtain, the fourth-biggest transaction was a $30,500,000 splurge on a humongous Newport Coast spread. (For anyone curious, our boy Bill Gross had both the #1 biggest deal and the #3 deal for the OC’s year. Yeah, he’s crazy rich.)
Anyway, the buyer of the $30.5 million house — much to Yolanda’s surprise — is not some billionaire business tycoon or preposterously pampered heiress. Nope, he’s actually a dude we ain’t never heard of before — a guy from Tampa, Florida named Alan Brynjolfsson.
The son of renowned Icelandic nuclear physicist Ari Brynjolfsson, our Mr. Brynjolfsson comes from a very successful family. He’s got three older brothers, each of whom has forged a notable career in their own right: Olaf Brynjolfsson is chief of surgery at a major hospital, Erik Brynjolfsson is a famous MIT professor, and John Brynjolfsson spent many years as a Managing Director at Bill Gross’s PIMCO outfit. He’s now a millionaire many, many times over.
But the youngest Mr. Brynjolfsson likely has the highest net worth out of all his family members. In 2007, he founded VOLT Lighting, a manufacturer of lighting products (both indoor and outdoor) that has grown to become a major industry disruptor. According to one online post Yolanda found, VOLT’s annual sales are in the tens of millions and still surging. And Mr. Brynjolfsson appears to be the sole owner, which means ka-ching for his plump pocketbook.
When he’s not in the office (or spending tens of millions on massive mansions) Mr. Brynjolfsson enjoys auto racing and even owns a well-known racing team of his own — it’s called VOLT racing. Naturally.
Now in his early 50s, our boy is married to his longtime wife Trish. The soon-to-be empty nesters have four children — two boys and two girls — ranging in age from 16 to 20.
Whether Mr. Brynjolfsson intends to make the Newport Coast manse his primary residence or if it will remain a family vacation home is a mystery to Yolanda. But we do know that a couple of his kids attend USC, so it seems likely he and the missus will be spending loads of time out yonder. And Mr. Brynjolfsson is clearly enjoying his new digs — he’s already posted a bunch of photos on the Instagram contraption, where he currently sports more than 10,000 followers.
But anywho, we digress. Point is, Mr. Brynjolfsson has done got himself a lavish new house. So shut up and take a peek.
The gargantuan Tuscan-style pile is located within exclusive Crystal Cove — one of the OC’s swankiest guard-gated communities — and weighs in with 15,000-square-feet of living space. While that ain’t quite mega-mansion status, it’s pretty darn close.
Records reveal that the .72-acre property was last sold back in 2007, and it appears the then-buyer — bigshot businessman Nabeel Gareeb — paid a staggering $15,200,000 for the vacant land. He then spent God-only-knows how many more millions to construct the 2009-built beast y’all see in photos here.
Inside, the estate is very beige and slightly ostentatious — we’re talking rococo curtains, numerous columns and gilt-trimmed chandeliers/other assorted doodads. It’s not really Yolanda’s personal taste in decor, but we know lots of rich folks who enjoy living this way and would absolutely adore this place.
The entrance foyer is bound to impress the pizza delivery boy (or girl) with its marble floors, double-height ceiling, and hand-painted frescos above the chandelier. Beyond that, the (also double-height) great room features ocean views and one of the largest indoor aquariums Yolanda has ever seen. We know a little something about aquariums and wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if maintenance on that thing runs six figures annually, or something nearly that insane.
Things get more serious in the formal living and dining rooms. Both spaces have fireplaces, burgundy-hued curtains and lovely area rugs. Also within the home is a mahogany-clad study, a massive kitchen with every fancy appliance known to mankind, and an outdoor living room with fireplace.
The estate features six bedrooms — all of them en-suite — plus two downstairs powder rooms and a full outdoor bath by the pool. The upstairs master includes a frilly bedroom — all done up in pink, it is — a private (covered) balcony plus a bathroom with sauna and built-in soaking tub.
Other resort-like amenities on the plush property include a game room with “golf simulator and racing seats” (perfect for Mr. Brynjolfsson!), a luridly opulent home theater with Vegas-like pink lighting strips in the ceiling, a mirror-walled gym, firepit and outdoor rock waterfall confection. And then, of course, there’s the centerpiece of the estate — that infinity-edged swimming pool with inset spa.
All jokes aside, the views here are spectacular and we’d wager that the pool and those vistas alone are worth a sizable chunk of the $30.5 million sale price.
Lest we forget, there’s also a 3,300-square-foot underground garage with space for 15+ luxury automobiles. It appears that our Mr. Gareeb has eclectic taste in (black) cars — he’s got a special-edition black Mustang, an OG black Viper with the T-top, a black Porsche Panamera, and a black Maserati.
Yolanda is not sure what that black-and-red number is. It’s definitely an exotic, but it ain’t no Ferrari or Lambo. Could it be a Koenigsegg? Hmmm. Maybe one of our resident car experts will let us know.
Anywho, Yolanda did some sniffin’ around the Crystal Cove neighborhood, where we’ve previously discussed a $28 million sale. While we didn’t find any “celebrity” residents — at least none of the Hollywood variety — we did discover that many of the several dozen homes in there (nearly all of which are worth $10 million or more) are owned by Chinese people. And that’s kinda funny, kids. See, it wasn’t so long ago that Newport Beach was essentially a totally lily-white community. Some folks would look atcha sideways if you were a person of color passin’ through.
But in recent years, wealthy Asians — particularly folks from Mainland China — have fallen in love with the area, flocking there in droves. We’re not sure why they love Newport in particular, but your gurl must admit the beaches down there are beautiful — arguably more so than anything we have in Malibu. (Don’t tell any LA people we said that!)
But we digress yet again. Back in Tampa, the Brynjolfsson family resides in the exclusive Avila Golf & Country Club community. Records show that our boy paid $1,900,000 for his home there almost exactly five years ago — toward the end of 2013.
Old listing materials (very) generously describe the mansion as an “architecturally magnificent Mediterranean masterpiece”. The 2008-built structure bulges in with a portly 9,068-square-feet of living space and features 6 beds and a total of 8 baths, exactly the same figures as his Newport Coast sprawler.
Listing agents: Rex McKown & Marcy Weinstein, Surterre Properties
Alan Brynjolfsson’s agent: Rob Smith, Surterre Properties