There are hundreds, if not thousands, of gated communities in Southern California. But the wealthiest — and likely the most famous — is undoubtedly Beverly Park, the guard-gated megamansion enclave tucked into the mountains high above Beverly Hills. According to previous reports, the 73-estate community is the richest neighborhood in all of Los Angeles.
It’s certainly no secret that a high percentage of Beverly Park homeowners are foreign businesspeople, and the neighborhood’s newest listing — a $30 million Tuscan-style compound — just happens to be owned by an oligarch from Kazakhstan named Eduard Ogai. As CEO of copper giant Kazakhmys, formerly a corporation registered on the London Stock Exchange with over $3 billion in annual revenue, Ogai oversees the mining of more precious minerals than almost anyone else in Eastern Europe. He’s also known as the right-hand man of Kazakhmys majority owner Vladimir Kim, the multibillionaire oligarch who has long ranked as Kazakhstan’s richest man.
Like Kim, Ogai is ethnically Korean; his family immigrated to eastern Russia to escape the Japan-Korea conflict of the late 19th century and were later forcefully deported to Kazakhstan and surrounding regions — along with about 170,000 other Russia-based Koreans — during Joseph Stalin’s so-called ethnic cleansing.
Ogai’s Beverly Park digs have a rather interesting and unusual history, as 90210 megamansions go. The 2.2-acre property was once owned — back in the 1990s — by professional hockey legend Wayne Gretzky, who flipped the then-vacant lot to Harbor Freight Tools billionaire Eric Smidt in 1995. Smidt custom-built the current sprawling compound, which records show was completed in 1998. The following year, he paid just over $3 million for the 3-acre parcel of vacant land next door, which was cohesively integrated into the existing estate and developed with a mansion-sized guesthouse, gardens and plentiful guest parking.
In early 2014, the Smidts famously put their village-like, 5+ acre Beverly Park complex up for sale with a $45 million asking price. Late that same year, the property sold for about $40 million, an amount that remains the most ever paid for a Beverly Park estate in a standard sale.
The 2014 buyers were, of course, Ogai and his wife. In a rather unexpected move, the couple opted to immediately disassemble the enormous estate — they split the sprawling compound back up into two separate properties, the way it was originally configured. The 2.2-acre main estate was kept unchanged, while the guesthouse, gardens and all other additions on the 3-acre property next door were razed in preparation for a new mansion build.
Now both estates are up for sale as two separate lots — the developed one available at the aforementioned $30 million, the larger vacant lot asking $28 million and including plans for a 39,000 sq. ft. contemporary megamansion.
The existing estate features an Italianate-style main house with just over 11,200 square feet of living space. A short driveway and massive gates swing open to a cobblestone motorcourt and adjacent garage parking for four luxury vehicles. According to listing information, there are 10 bedrooms and a whopping total of 16 bathrooms throughout the estate, including a hedonistic master suite with dual baths and walk-in closets.
A double-height foyer with a glamorous groin-vaulted ceiling leads to an enormous step-down formal living room with ebonized hardwood floors, another groin-vaulted ceiling, an almost comically massive fireplace and a row of French doors that conveniently lead to the gardens. Beyond the living room is the formal dining room, which connects via hallway to the spacious eat-in kitchen with top-of-the-line appliances, a marble-slathered center island and dark-stained custom cabinetry.
Other interior features of the estate include a subterranean wine cellar and an exceptionally plush home theater done up in a blood-red motif. There’s also an upstairs lounge, at least five ensuite bedrooms in the main house, a pool house currently outfitted as a gym, and a two-story guest house that’s likely bigger than the average American home and includes a cobalt-blue kitchen and several more bedrooms.
The Ogai compound sports park-like grounds with seemingly unending loggias, perfect for al fresco dining, expansive lawns, a courtyard-style pool, mature trees, formal gardens, built-in children’s playsets and a full-size lighted tennis court.
Whoever buys the Beverly Park estate(s) will enjoy a bevy of high-profile new neighbors — Eddie Murphy, Sylvester Stallone, Kimora Lee Simmons, Magic Johnson, Rod Stewart and Sumner Redstone among them. As for the Ogais, it’s not publicly known where they will be moving; perhaps they’ve hightailed it back to London, where they also reportedly maintain a lavish residence.