For the last few years, construction in LA’s so-called Bird Streets neighborhood — where all the streets are named after species of bird, naturally — has been running at a rampage level. And no street bears witness to that better than Robin Drive. Located near the hillside community’s peak, four of the five properties at this cul-de-sac’s end are owned by four different developers — all of whom are currently constructing mega-mansions to sell on speculation.
That’s right, four different mansion contractor crews crowded onto one dead-end road, each and every day for years. Pity for the occupants of the fifth house (the only one not under construction).
Well, kids, the first compound of the four is officially finished. Although not on the MLS, the Paul McClean-designed stunner is pocket listed off-market with a screamtastic $58,000,000 pricetag. 58 million smackers — good gracious! That’s a lot of cheddar.
Should the home sell for anywhere remotely close to that amount, it will very easily rank as the biggest sale in the Hollywood Hills, ever. The current record is held by Malaysian fugitive Jho Low, who — way back in 2012 — paid nearly $39 million for a Bird Streets compound originally designed in the 1980s by Ricardo Legorreta and radically redone by Paul McClean. But we digress.
The just-completed Robin Drive mansion was built by Canadian billionaire Francesco Aquilini, owner of the Vancouver Canucks professional ice hockey team. He bought the .64-acre property way back in 2012 for $8,525,000 and has been working hard on it ever since.
But point is, the place is now done and well worth the wait. It’s pretty darn crazy, if you ask Yolanda. Just check out that pool, for starters.
The 16,000-square-foot structure is T-shaped — it’s basically two rectangular boxes set at 90 degree angles from one another — and is mostly hidden from the street out front behind a security gate, hedges and canary palm trees. A basalt rotunda visually separated the property from the street out front, and exterior and interior walls are clad in Bardiglio marble.
That boomerang-shaped infinity pool reigns as the property’s focal point and is daringly cantilevered over the steep hillside below. Views take in the entire LA basin, from the Downtown LA and Century City skylines to — on a clear day — the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island.
The dramatic entryway is sure to explode the head (and baseball cap) of the local Domino’s pizza delivery boy (or gurl). A bridge leads past a two-story water wall that cascades into the “water garden” below. The all-glass front door and living room blur the line between the indoors and out.
Yolanda ain’t sure how many bedrooms and bathrooms are tucked within the structure’s confines, but the master suite is on the upper level — seemingly suspended over the expansive rooftop garden/deck — and features walls of glass.
Down in the subterranean lower level are a host of additional amenities: a garage/car display space, full wet bar, golf simulation room, and a cigar patio. There’s also a media room, lounge, gym, staff quarters, and a second kitchen, plus a “wellness area with a float tank and hydro-tub,” per the architect. Wouldn’t it be fun to give that a whirl?
For a more detailed look at Mr. Aquilini’s residential showstopper, check out the slick promotional video.
Time will tell whether a billionaire is willing to pony up Mr. Aquilini’s requested $58 million, but there are currently 19 LA-area properties listed with pricetags in excess of $50 million. And that, kids, doesn’t include the many homes available off-market — homes like this one.
Who’s gonna buy all those estates? Yolanda is not sure. But Ken Griffin always needs a few more homes.
Well, anyway. In addition to his Robin Drive mega-manse, Mr. Aquilini owns several other LA development projects, most of them acquired in the 2012-2013 timeframe and still under construction. He’s got a half-finished house in the Sunset Strip area just below the Birds, for one.
Also clogging up Mr. Aquilini’s portfolio are a $9 million home in nearby Trousdale Estates — recently renovated and now up for sale with an $18 million ask — and a two-parcel vacant lot on a Beverly Hills promontory, where he’s long struggled to gain city approval for another spec-mansion.
Back in 2015, Mr. Aquilini sold an unfinished contemporary Bel Air mega-mansion to fellow Canadian billionaire Daryl Katz. The price? An extravagant $34,500,000 — and that house, supposedly, is still not finished — nigh on four years later.
Yolanda has previously been told that Mr. Katz is actually one of Mr. Aquilini’s longtime best friends, so maybe his buddy was just doing him a solid by takin’ the Bel Air white elephant off his hands? Who knows!
Back in 2012, Mr. Aquilini paid $11.1 million for a contemporary casa on Malibu’s billionaire-stocked Carbon Beach. That house was quietly sold just last month (Dec 2018) for $11,750,000 to a low-profile European businessman.