Yolanda’s on the run today so let’s be unusually concise here. Last month, our friends over at The Real Deal noted that a businessman in the education industry named Yife Tien had paid $23,460,000 (in cash, apparently) for a large home in Coral Gables, Florida.
Although Mr. Tien has primarily spent his life in Florida and offshore in the Caribbean, he and his family — his wife, Dr. Lucy Chua and his son Christopher — now split their time evenly between Coral Gables and Los Angeles. And big real estate moves on both coasts are keeping him quite busy, so it would seem.
You see, Mr. Tien has just flipped a house he only recently acquired from music superstar Reba McEntire back on the market at a substantially higher price than he paid little more than a year ago.
Last June (2015), Mr. Tien forked over $22,250,000 (through an LLC) for the investment property, located in the ultra-exclusive gated community of Beverly Park. This was right around the time Ms. McEntire and her longtime hubby Narvel Blackstock were getting the big D — divorce. Although divorce is always sad and selling a marital home is usually tough, Ms. McEntire can smile because she made a bundle on the sale — she originally picked the house up in 2003 for just $9,000,000.
The current listing — asking $29,995,000 — says the place has been “revamped and reimagined”, although if you ask Yolanda whoever reimagined it must not have had much of an imagination because it is straight up B-O-R-I-N-G. Sorry, we just had to say it.
The mock-med mansion was built in 1993 and looks it. At 11,598 square feet, it’s actually one of the community’s smallest homes, believe it or not. Still, it’s got 6 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, a large guest house, a pool, tennis court, all on 1.8 acres. What more do you need?
Oh, yeah. You’ve also got the requisite pimpmobiles parked out front. For reference, we’re guessing.
The front door opens to an beige-toned entrance hall that leads directly to a (mostly) beige living room with a gaping, walk-in bronze fireplace. Over in a corner of the living room is a semi-circular wet bar with a somewhat unusually dropped-down ceiling for greater intimacy.
The kitchen has white cabinetry and a Ford Excursion-sized center island with one of the thickest marble slab countertops we’ve ever laid eyes on. Intricate ceiling (mis)treatments continue into the dining room, which overlooks the backyard. There’s also a large wine cellar or rather a “wine shelf”.
The master bedroom has a raised ceiling with even more baby-poo colored furnishings and the master bath has more of the same. Listen, everyone, we know this is how many rich folks like to decorate their homes. But all the beige just confounds Yolanda to know end. It’s just so banal. So…. beige. Outdated, you know?
The backyard is maybe not quite as big as you might anticipate, but it does sport a Grecian-style swimming pool and an adjacent reflection pond. Next to the pool is an open-air guest pavilion featuring a large kitchen, a patio dining area, a living room space, and a pool table with beige trim (naturally).
The grounds also sport what appears to be a small storage shed of some sort, a full-size and properly aligned north/south tennis court, and a front-facing four car garage. Oh, and there’s also some oblique views through the trees to bustling city below the mountains.
The Tien family’s main residence in LA, in case you’re curious, happens to be in the very same gated community. Actually, it’s directly across the never-used Beverly Park park.
The 13,000+ square foot house, one of Beverly Park’s rare contemporaries (and much more interesting than Reba’s old granny pad), was acquired by Mr. Tien in early 2012 for $21,750,000.
Scarcely two months later, the Tien family shocked everyone again when they dropped another $21,000,000 on an uber-modern Malibu mansion.
The 5,000+ square foot glassy glamourpuss of a house, which clings dramatically to the cliffs of Malibu’s celebrity-infested Point Dume neighborhood, was built by Equinox founder Danny Errico and was once leased to David & Victoria Beckham for the summer, probably at an absolutely ludicrous monthly rate.
And then, of course, there’s that Palladian-style mansion on Tahiti Beach Island in Coral Gables, picked up just a month or so ago. The $23,460,000 sale of the three-story waterfront home marks a four-year record for Coral Gables and was, according to the listing agents, the second-biggest sale in all of Miami-Dade County so far this year.
So where, you might be wondering, does all that money come from? Mr. Tien currently owns (at least) four luxury properties that have cost him a total of right around $90,000,000.
Well, Mr. Tien’s elderly father Paul founded a for-profit medical school called American University of the Caribbean back in 1978. The school is currently based on the island of Sint Maarten. In August 2011, the univerisity — by that point reportedly generating nearly $50 million in revenue per year — was sold to DeVry in an all-cash, $235 million transaction.
In addition to all that cash, Mr. Tien also has other income streams. In 2006, he and his wife Dr. Chua founded Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine (RVUCOM) in Parker, Colorado. The school is (in)famous for being the very first (and for a long time, the only) for-profit medical school in the entire United States.
You see kids, despite his background in in the medical world, Mr. Tien is not a physician. He’s a businessman, and he’s unabashed about the fact that he’s in the medical school industry (or whatever) to make a buck. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
As for his real estate ventures, Yolanda wished Mr. Tien luck in selling his former-ginger-owned house in Beverly Park for nearly $30 million. We suspect he may need it. Beverly Park is a bit off trend these days. All the cool cats are down in Trousdale Estate and the Bird Streets. As far as we can tell, there are at least five other homes in Beverly Park that were recently on the market, four of which were priced within a couple million or so of this house. Not one of them has yet sold (to our knowledge).
As far as we can tell, there hasn’t been a single sale in Beverly Park since Mr. Tien acquired this house more than a year ago.
One more thing. As we also mentioned previously, the lavish-living Mr. Tien has a very indulged son named Christopher Tien. And our boy has an Instagram account that you really should check out. Particularly if you like cars. And watches. And food!