Famously audacious RH CEO Gary Friedman is known for his big, brash bets on retail, to the tune of his $50 million, eye-popping showpiece of a RH Gallery in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District. Even as competitors shutter their physical store operations en masse, his strategy has paid off — the stock price for Restoration Hardware Holdings has jumped by a wild 850% over the past three years.
Now Friedman has taken his lofty wagers down a different road, to residential L.A. real estate. Earlier this month, amid much publicity, he shelled out $37 million for a brand-new Beverly Hills-adjacent estate. But as it turns out, he’s not stopping there — records reveal he’s quietly forked out another $15 million for a second property elsewhere in the same general area.
Like his new $37 million mansion, the $15 million estate is not located in Beverly Hills proper; rather, it’s tucked up into the hills above the city, in a neighborhood of Los Angeles known as Beverly Hills Post Office. The 2.8-acre lot, which sprawls across three contiguous parcels, is wondrously secluded — tucked away at the end of a nearly invisible cul-de-sac that’s shared with only three other homes, none of which are owned by celebrities.
The property’s existing structure, a dilapidated and partially-built shell of a mansion, is far from inhabitable but ripe for a gut renovation or a total teardown. The estate flaunts majestic jetliner views that overlook Benedict Canyon and sweep out towards the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island — when complete, the addition of a sleek new mansion could easily make this one of the most coveted properties in all the BHPO.
The property was sold to Friedman by Dennis J. Wong, a college roommate of billionaire former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and minority owner of the L.A. Clippers NBA team. Besides his basketball endeavors, Wong is also a high-profile Bay Area real estate developer who — back in 2018 — sold his custom estate in Atherton, Calif. for a whopping $29.2 million to businessman James Scapa and his wife Sally.
Unfortunately for him, Wong didn’t fare so well on this 90210 venture. He bought the property back in 2016 — in much the same state it is now — for $18.4 million and first attempted to flip it at a very optimistic $23.8 million. Eventually, he gave in to Friedman’s lowball offer, a brutal $3.4 million loss before hefty realtor fees, taxes and carrying costs.
Friedman’s plans for the property are not yet publicly known — although the place did transfer with conceptual renderings of a slick new contemporary manse designed by the acclaimed South African architectural firm SAOTA, it seems more likely that the perma-tanned business guru will opt to raze the entire site and start from scratch with a mansion of his own custom creation.
Of course, that entire process — design, permits, construction, landscaping, interior furnishings — could easily take years, so it’s good he has that $37 million crash pad in which to wait.