Apparently some folks are all in a tizzy that il Magione — one of the largest and most lavish mega-mansions located on LA’s arguably most prestigious street — has unexpectedly popped up for sale with a very serious $69,995,000 asking price. Calm down, people. These things happen! But naturally, Yolanda is eager for an excuse to mouth off about this place — to cast our own two cents into this wishing well. So here goes.
By the way, we say “unexpectedly” because the house was built on speculation and at great expense by prominent real estate developer Nile Niami. Our Mr. Niami — he is currently busy workin’ on his magnum opus, a Bel Air mega-mega-compound — completed and sold the house only four years ago to a man named Hasan Ismaik.
The 41-year-old Mr. Ismaik was formerly the CEO of Dubai-based real estate juggernaut Arabtec. In 2014 (the same year he bought this house, coincidentally), he was crowned the “world’s first Jordanian billionaire” by Forbes magazine. Whether he is still a billionaire, however, remains unclear. Shortly after the Forbes report was published, Arabtec went through a tumultuous period: shares plunged 50%, and Mr. Ismaik ultimately stepped down from the company. Whatever the case, he is still very rich.
We digress. Yolanda happens to know that Mr. Ismaik quickly moved into the property with his family — we recall he has at least one young daughter whose name is Laila or Lily or Nina or something like that. Anyway, it is a tad surprising and unexpected that the Ismaiks would opt to move out so soon, given that this house has “everything & more” (per the listing). Hmmm. Maybe they did not like LA? Maybe they are tired of stodgy ol’ Holmby Hills? Maybe they just want to make a profit? Maybe, maybe.
Speaking of profit, Mr. Ismaik is indeed looking at a fat one if he can unload this porker anywhere close to the ask. Records show he paid “just” $44,000,000 for the property in April 2014, and the current listing photos indicate he has altered almost nothing about the home, not even the furnishings.
So is this place actually worth $26 million more than what Mr. Ismaik paid only four years ago? What do y’all think? Certainly the mega-mansion market is still hot, and the estate features all the requisite gizmos and gadgets that any high-maintenance billionaire buyer could imagine.
Yolanda is not so sure about $70 million, however. The new-house sheen has kinda worn off by now, five years after completion. The wrinkles are incoming, and traces of botox will soon begin to show!
Then again, we never thought anyone would pay $100 million for that Playboy Mansion dump across the street, either. But then that happened!
We are quite certain that Mr. Ismaik feels like a billion bucks every time he drives home — his Holmby Hills mansion features one of the tallest and most imposing front gates we have ever seen. And there is an (occupied) guardhouse to ward off any intruders, though this neighborhood is essentially crime-free. So the guard’s primary function is probably to shake his fist menacingly at any tour bus that dares to pause in front of Mr. Ismaik’s driveway.
There is also a separate staff/service driveway around the far side of the estate that accesses the two-bedroom guest house.
The 31,450-square-foot behemoth was completed by Mr. Niami in 2013 and features a five-car garage and three full floors of living space (one completely subterranean). An elevator accesses all three levels.
Though not particularly expansive (by Holmby Hills standards), Mr. Niami sought to maximize outdoor space on the 1.4-acre lot by equipping the backyard with a sprawling, emerald green lawn and a classic oval-shaped swimming pool tucked into the far rear of the property. Tall trees and sculpted hedges ensure the home remains completely private.
The jaw-dropping entryway features a staircase wide enough to accommodate an 18-wheeler (?), marble floors, and a two-story mirrored wall. Guests will no doubt be oohed and awed, though we imagine Consuela curses Mr. Ismaik’s name every time she hauls out the ladder to spray Windex on that bitch.
The mirror theme continues into the double-height living room, which features a marble fireplace anchored by a floor-to-ceiling mirror surround. Interior furnishings are by Fendi Casa — of course — and each couch looks more expensive than a new Toyota Camry (which they probably are). Check out those three black chandeliers!
The kitchen has two islands plus a bar area, all slathered in marble; the adjacent family room has convenient access to the backyard through a row of French doors. And though there is a library, the bookshelves are inexplicably filled with rows and rows of fake-looking white books. Why? Just for looks — not for reading? Ugh.
There are a total of 10 bedrooms and 12 bathrooms on the estate — the master has two separate sitting areas and his/hers bathrooms and closets. There is also a private home salon, for obvious reasons. When you are as rich as Mr. Ismaik, you do not go down to Supercuts for a trim — the hairdresser comes to you.
The most outrageous gimmicks, however, are saved for the basement. First is the movie theater, which can seat a lucky 13 peeps and includes one of the largest screens your gurl has ever seen in a private home. Then there is the indoor pool and sauna combo, which apparently features its own mood lighting. Groovy!
Unquestionably the wildest feature, however, is the basement operating room. Good heavens! What in the John Wayne Gacy is going on up in that hot mess?! No, don’t tell us — we absolutely do not want to know!
Other fun (?) features include a bowling alley, fully-equipped gym, outdoor kitchen, wine cellar, and a poolside cabana with built-in misters “to keep you cool from the Southern CA Sunshine,” per the listing. Now that is something Yolanda can definitely appreciate!
While we do not know if all these gadgets will be sufficient to tempt a buyer in the $60-70 million range, we do know that South Mapleton Drive — where this estate is located — is arguably the most prestigious street in all of Los Angeles. As such, Mr. Ismaik’s neighbors are a whole bunch of billionaires or near-billionaires from around the globe.
Some of the other S. Mapleton homeowners include Vitasoy heiress Karen Lo, Formula 1 heiress Petra Ecclestone Stunt, Duty Free heiress Alexandra von Furstenberg, construction heiress Kristin Tutor Eberts, Twinkie/Pabst beer heir Daren Metropoulos, Obama’s White House decorator Michael S. Smith, Google billionaire Eric Schmidt, Facebook billionaire Sean Parker, Beats baller Jimmy Iovine, iconic restaurateur Mr. Chow, acclaimed director Sir Ridley Scott, private equity pasha Justin Chang and his wife Amanda Brown (she wrote Legally Blonde, dontcha know?), vodka and music mogul Diddy (aka Sean Combs), former Paramount Pictures CEO Frank Mancuso Sr., big businessman Marc Nathanson, and hedge fund honcho David Kaplan.
Listing agents: Branden & Rayni Williams, Hilton & Hyland