L.A.’s high-end real estate market may be in the doldrums overall, but the super-sized deals keep recording. This time, billionaire British property developers Ian and Richard Livingstone have sold their latest megamansion project, built on speculation with L.A.-based developer Max Fowles-Pazdro, for somewhere north of $40 million — not far below the $46.5 million they originally asked.
Somewhat surprisingly, the buyer is not a Forbes-listed billionaire but rather mysterious German national — and longtime real estate baller — Ekkehart Hassels-Weiler and his new husband Omar Romero. The May-December couple, who were married last Saturday at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills in an elaborate ceremony featuring a Boy George performance, apparently plan to move into their new marital abode within short order. And in fact, Romero has already posted several story snaps of the conspicuously extravagant house to his 16,000 Instagram followers.
Though Hassels-Weiler’s $40+ million splurge is already common knowledge around town, nobody seems quite certain about where he gets his money. The former attorney is routinely described as an “investor,” or as being “in private equity,” though precious little information about his business interests is available online.
As for Hassels-Weiler and Romero’s swanky new digs, the one-acre property is a true flag lot — meaning it sits behind a row of other homes, all of them far more modestly-sized — and is invisible from the streetfront, shielded behind a forbiddingly tall gate. Beyond that, a long driveway leads dramatically down a formal allee to the impressive motorcourt, where there’s an olive tree surrounded by a water feature. As for the decadent and transitional-style house itself, its exact size is not called out in listing materials, but a solid bet is that the structure easily tops 10,000 square feet.
The blacked-out front doors silently glide inward, revealing 30-foot ceilings and marble walls in the foyer, and there’s a sweeping staircase soaring above parquet-style hardwood floors. Other lavish interior moments include a sophisticated formal dining room with marble fireplace, courtyards with calming water features for quiet reflection and quite possibly one of L.A.’s most sumptuous home libraries. There’s a bocce ball court, a steam room with sauna, sprawling lawns and a negative-edge swimming pool with inset spa, among gobs of other amenities.
A glamorous, highly-produced video of the property was previously posted online — naturally, the house and its endless photogenicity have been viewed more than a million times.
Alhough the property carries the 90210 zip code, it is technically located in the Benedict Canyon area just north of Beverly Hills, in an neighborhood known as Beverly Hills Post Office (BHPO) and on a particularly star-studded street, where some of Hassels-Weiler and Romero’s new neighbors include Ricky Martin, David Geffen, Sandra Bullock and Tony Pritzker.
But even before his new $40+ million splurge, Hassels-Weiler has been long famed in high-end real estate circles as a man with a voracious mansion appetite. In fact, records reveal he already owns another $50+ million worth of luxury properties, most of them quietly acquired within the last few years through generically-named LLCs.
Hassels-Weiler and Romero’s current primary residence is a multi-acre estate set high above the Sunset Strip, in the Hollywood Hills just below the Bird Streets. The two-house compound was purchased in 2005 for exactly $22 million, an amount that shocked real estate watchers — it was reportedly the biggest-ever splurge in the Bird Streets and surrounding area at that time. (Hassels-Weiler has since paid another $6 million to purchase three much smaller adjacent properties.)
Back in 2011, Hassels-Weiler bought a $5.65 million Bird Streets mansion for a young man named Francisco Perez. While it’s unclear if Perez still lives in the house, the property was briefly put up for sale in 2016 with an $11 million pricetag before being removed from the market.
Last year, Hassels-Weiler paid $8.95 million for another architectural Bird Streets house that is now back up for sale with a $10.9 million pricetag. And in 2013, he paid $8.85 mil for a contemporary mansion above L.A.’s Sunset Plaza — earlier this year, after being sued by his next-door neighbor, he quietly dumped that place at a $650,000 dollar loss to a Miami-based businessman.
Over in New York, online information indicates that Hassels-Weiler also owns a multimillion-dollar, high-floor condo in a particularly coveted Lower Manhattan skyscraper, as well as an eye-popping contemporary mansion in the tony Hamptons neighborhood of Southampton.