Though the off-market transaction went down without fanfare, records show that powerhouse music executive Steve Barnett — the current Chairman and CEO of Capitol Records — has sold his hilltop L.A. mansion for just a smidgen under $17 million, more than double the $7.9 million he paid for the property less than seven years ago.
Sited in the mountains just above Beverly Hills, in a neighborhood of Los Angeles city known as Beverly Hills Post Office, the nearly 7,000 sq. ft. house looms high above the narrow street encircling it and directly overlooks the much larger compound across the road, a property long owned by the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.
Since the house was never on the market, details are relatively scant, though tax documents do reveal the existing neoclassical Spanish-style structure was built in 2001, includes four bedrooms and seven baths, and sits on a .41-acre lot completely surrounded by towering hedges and an imposing driveway gate. There’s a two-car garage, an adjacent motorcourt and a grassy backyard with the typical pool and spa.
Barnett had shrewdly acquired the house in an off-market trust sale; previously, the property was owned by David Gundlach, an insurance tycoon who died unexpectedly in 2011, leaving his entire $150 million fortune — including his two L.A. mansions — to his humble northern Indiana hometown. And while it’s publicly unknown what alterations Barnett made during his tenure, at the time of his purchase the house sported a media room, a gourmet kitchen with high-end appliances, an outdoor living room with fireplace, and a hedonistic master suite with walls of glass and views stretching to the Pacific Ocean.
The $17 million buyer, records reveal, is famously fickle financier Rob Rosner, a New York City-based private equity honcho known for hopping from pricey Manhattan condo to pricey Manhattan condo like they’re so many Monopoly pitstops. Currently, Rosner and longtime wife Cecile bunk up at a historic converted hotel on NYC’s fashionable Fifth Avenue, in an apartment they purchased for just over $12.5 million and have since completely renovated.
As for Barnett, who presides over an enviable artist roster that includes Paul McCartney, Katy Perry, Niall Horan, Halsey and Migos, he doesn’t appear to have purchased another L.A. residence. But if he intends to stay as chief executive of Capitol — whose headquarters are, of course, in Hollywood — it seems logical that he’ll soon select another prohibitively pricey property to call home.