As the uppermost echelons of L.A.’s luxury real estate market remain stagnant, inventory has piled up at an alarming rate. Per the MLS, there are currently 333 homes listed for sale at $10 million or more — and that figure doesn’t include the dozens of properties privately available off-market — yet only 61 homes have sold in that same range over the past six months.
Ultra-contemporary megamansions have been hit particularly hard by the market slowdown, with dozens of them sitting vacant and unsold across the city. As such, sellers have turned to adventurous new marketing tactics in their fierce bid for buyers. Elaborate bashes held at the homes, and lavishly produced promotional videos featuring exotic cars and scantily clad models are now commonplace. But when the nifty gimmicks have been exhausted, the price slashing begins.
One property particularly emblematic of these market travails is the Hollywood Hills home of tech entrepreneur Lynda Weinman.
Back in early 2016, Weinman and her husband, Bruce Heavin, plunked down $27 million in cash for a brand-new mansion in the so-called Bird Streets, long considered the most desirable pocket of the Hollywood Hills. But the couple soon tired of the impressive estate, and in August 2018, they slapped a $29 million pricetag on the property. After a subsequent price reduction and the release of a sexy marketing video failed to snare a buyer, the property’s price has been hacked all the way down to $21.995 million.
It doesn’t take Lieutenant Columbo’s smarts to deduce that even in the unlikely event of a full-price offer, Weinman will lose a rather astonishing $5 million on the house. And that’s not counting the taxes, fat realtor fees, and exorbitant costs required to maintain an estate of this magnitude, of course.
The listing, held by high-end specialists the Altman Brothers at Douglas Elliman, reveals the three-level home has an eight-car subterranean garage plus a gated motorcourt. The blocky structure features an imposing front door framed by glass walls leads to a terrazzo-floored foyer. Most of the main floor’s public rooms have been filled with selections from Weinman’s impressive contemporary art collection, and the spaces are additionally blessed with disappearing floor-to-ceiling glass walls.
Upstairs is a 2,000 sq. ft. master suite — yes, that’s larger than the average American’s home — with westward views toward the Pacific Ocean and Century City skyline, a party-sized shower with dual rainfall shower heads, and an enormous walk-in closet. Elsewhere there’s a gym, massage room, movie theater and wet bar. The zero-edge pool lies abreast of a full outdoor kitchen and just beyond the broad backyard lawn.
Time will tell if the dramatically reduced price finally lures in a coupon-clipping billionaire. But at the very least, Weinman and Heavin have proved they are quite serious about unloading their residential non-nirvana.
Weinman, who shares an adult daughter with “The Simpsons” director Mark Kirkland, her first husband, is a teacher-turned-tech tycoon who taught at the acclaimed ArtCenter College of Design before launching the educational training website Lynda.com in 1995. Back in 2015, her namesake site was acquired by Linkedin for $1.5 billion, so its founder likely won’t be hurting too badly from the $5+ million loss on the sale of her L.A. home.
And anywho, Weinman has other things on her mind — she’s currently busy constructing a monumental estate in Montecito, on an 11.5-acre parcel of land that she picked up in two separate transactions for a total of $27.4 million. She also still owns her “starter” Montecito mansion — a $5 million contemporary estate — in addition to several smaller residences nearby. And back in 2015, she paid “Saturday Night Live” alum Dennis Miller exactly $19 million for his oceanfront Carpinteria mansion that happens to sit on the very same street as the residences of George Lucas, Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, and the $24 million manse of Ellen DeGeneres.