After a full year on the market and with nary a forthcoming buyer, bit-part Hollywood actor-turned-famed restaurateur Michael Chow and his stylish third ex-wife Eva Chun Chow yanked their elephantine L.A. mansion off the market and simultaneously dumped their team of high-powered real estate brokers. The couple, who sincerely hope the high-end market is hungry for second helpings, have now relisted their still-unsold residential white elephant with a new team of powerhouse agents, a slightly more palatable pricetag, and a healthy handful of tasty new photographs.
Custom-built by the Chows in 2005 and modeled after the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, the idiosyncratically opulent manor is less like a typical home than a collection of voluminous spaces dedicated to displaying the Chows’ world-class art collection. The architecture — perhaps best described as a pastiche of international styles — includes 400-year-old moorish columns, intricately carved 16th and 17th century ceilings from Europe, monolithic expanses of chalk white walls, and a massive open air rooftop deck outfitted with a fireplace and patterned stone floors.
One of the home’s glitziest rooms is the Art Deco-inspired library, with its walls trimmed in exotic slabs of polished hardwood. The kitchen, meanwhile, counterbalances that visual extravagance with its strictly minimalist, industrial-like vibe. There’s a formal dining room that could easily double as the boardroom for an international corporation, plus a cinema-style home theater that can comfortably accommodate 40 guests.
The 1.1-acre flat property — walled, gated and camera-secured, naturally — is dotted with mature palm trees and surrounded by broad swathes of lawn. At dusk, the rooftop terrace provides mesmerizing sunset views; at night, the surround lighting makes the terrace space look like some sort of extravagant outdoor temple to the stars above.
While the discounted $70 million pricetag may still seem outrageous, it should be noted that the property is located on what is arguably the most expensive residential street in all of Los Angeles — the same street where heiress Petra Ecclestone recently sold “The Manor” for a California record $119.7 million, and where the Playboy Mansion changed hands for $100 million a couple years before that. This is also the road where Ellen DeGeneres unloaded her remarkable midcentury modern to Facebook’s Sean Parker for nearly $50 million, so the swollen ask shouldn’t raise too many eyebrows.
As proprietor of the aptly-named Mr. Chow Chinese restaurant chain, Michael Chow presides over an enviably successful business empire whose flagship location — situated on Camden Drive in Beverly Hills — has long been the go-to dining hotspot for L.A.’s see-and-be-seen crowd. Lesser known is that Mr. Chow is also a former actor with an impressively long list of credits, perhaps most notably as an evil SPECTRE agent in the 1967 James Bond classic “You Only Live Twice.”
And earlier this year, shortly after marrying his fourth wife Vanessa Rano, Chow paid Katy Perry $12.7 million for a celeb-pedigreed Hollywood Hills compound with two houses, one a Spanish-style sprawler and the other a midcentury modern. Situated atop Runyon Canyon, that estate was also once owned by oil heiress Aileen Getty and Walmart heiress Sybil Robson Orr.