Long considered a residential destination exclusively for the grey-haired, Palm Desert now attracts a younger, hipper crowd. Perhaps it’s the still-growing popularity of arts/music festivals like Coachella and Stagecoach, or maybe thanks are due to the area’s endless outdoor activities. Whatever the case, the Coachella Valley is hot — in every sense of the word. And home prices continue to soar.
One of the valley’s most exclusive enclaves is La Quinta’s guard-gated Madison Club, a decadent golf community known for its lavish estates and celebrity residents. Last week, in one of Palm Desert’s three biggest real estate transactions in recent years, a brand-new mansion sold for $12 million — tying Kris Jenner’s recent Madison Club splurge and just behind the $13 million spent by billionaire Ron Burkle for the famed Bob Hope estate in nearby Palm Springs.
The Beverly Hills-based buyers are beverage mogul/serial entrepreneur Lance Collins and his wife, Linda Taylor (nee Croitoru), a Romania-born model and actress. In 2000, Collins founded Fuze Beverage in the basement of his New Jersey home; the company was acquired by Coca-Cola in 2007, reportedly for $250 million.
Collins then founded Core Nutrition, a beverage company that attracted investments from his famous friends — Katy Perry, Juicy J, Diplo and music super-producers Dr. Luke and Max Martin among them. Last year, after reaching nearly $200 million in annual retail sales, Core was sold to Keurig Dr. Pepper for a whopping $525 million. Collins, never one to sit idle, has already moved on to his next big project: disrupting the snack foods industry. Perhaps the new brand will draw inspiration from his arid desert hideaway?
Built by real estate mogul Bob Safai and designed by Bill Hayer Architecture, the striking contemporary has more than 11,300 sq. ft. of living space (totaled over three separate structures) and backs directly up to the Madison Club’s Tom Fazio-designed golf course.
The home’s windowless, vaguely forbidding facade guards a vast courtyard that includes one of the estate’s two swimming pools. There’s a detached guesthouse with two beds across from a private “casita” with a lavish bedroom suite and walls of glass overlooking the courtyard pool. Elsewhere is a four-car garage and two motorcourts with space for an additional 15 vehicles.
Honey-colored hardwoods in the main house dull the austere design’s cold edges. Exotic Portuguese limestone graces the walls and floors. The chic European-style kitchen can seat 11, and there are three ensuite guest bedrooms.
One wing of the home is dedicated solely to the resort-style master suite, which is framed by walls of glass overlooking the backyard swimming pool. Larger than the courtyard pool, this cement pond comes equipped with a Baja shelf, inset spa, waterfall, fire features and a lanai misting system for those torrid La Quinta afternoons. The 1.3-acre lot is landscaped with palm trees and drought-resistant cacti and features an elaborate lighting design courtesy of specialist Ron Neal.
Besides the aforementioned “Momager” Jenner, other Madison Club homeowners include Irving Azoff, Sylvester Stallone and music mogul Lucian Grainge.
And in addition to their swanky new La Quinta digs, Collins and Taylor have long owned a $10 million mansion high up in Beverly Hills’ exclusive Trousdale Estates subdivision. That blacked-out glassy contemporary, which features nearly 7,000 sq. ft. of living space, also sports a celeb pedigree. Prior owners include TV/radio presenter Arthur, film producer Oren Koules and “Friends” actor Matthew Perry.
Coldwell Banker’s Ginger Glass had the Madison Club listing and also repped Collins.