Thanks to Mama over at Variety (and several other kind tipsters), we have learned that big-time baller Lynda Weinman has unexpectedly flipped her Bird Streets mansion back onto the market with an asking price of $29,000,000. The contemporary Hollywood Hills crib — purchased just over two years ago by Ms. Weinman in an all-cash $27 million deal — is filled with modern art and features epic views overlooking Century City and the Pacific Ocean (on a clear day, of course).
Now in her 60s, Ms. Weinman is a born-and-bred (and entirely self-made!) LA gurl who traveled an interesting, unusual path to riches. For many years she was an ordinary professor at the prestigious ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena (CA). In her spare time, this super-smart lady authored several of the first books ever written on web design, and — in 1995 — she purchased the $35 internet domain name Lynda.com as a way to communicate with her students. That sort of forward-thinking would later earn her the title “Mother of the Internet“.
Eventually Ms. Weinman left the ArtCenter faculty and began teaching web design classes of her own. Her entrepreneurial foray into training became so popular — and attracted so much global interest — that Lynda.com quickly evolved from a simple communication portal into a full-fledged online training center, one of the first of its kind.
The nasty dotcom bubble burst of the late 1990s/early 2000s severely impacted Lynda.com — the fledgling company lost 75% of its workforce and was nearly forced into bankruptcy. But Ms. Weinman and her husband Bruce Heavin steadily rebuilt their user base, offering unlimited access to myriad instructional videos for just $25 per month. Soon major universities and education institutions were Lynda.com customers, and the company grew to more than 500 employees worldwide. In 2015, LinkedIn purchased Ms. Weinman’s little domain-turned-business for a shocking $1.5 billion in cash and stock.
Today, Ms. Weinman keeps busy by buying and selling trophy properties — more on that later — and by serving as President of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Fun fact: one of Ms. Weinman’s best friends is The Simpsons creator Matt Groening, whom she has known for decades — since their college days at Evergreen State College.
Some years ago, Yolanda read a published interview with Ms. Weinman in which she said — and we paraphrase — “Success is an amplifier … If you’re a jerk, success just makes you a bigger jerk.” That quote has stuck with us since then. “Success is an amplifier.” It’s so remarkably true. Just think about the folks you’ve known who became uber-accomplished in life, kiddies. (Or maybe think of yourselves?) Success does not change people. It only makes y’all a more exaggerated version of the person you were before. If you’re an asshole, prosperity will make you a bigger asshole. If you are generous, odds are you will become a world-class benefactor.
Yolanda has even seen that truth play out in our own life. We were with our ungrateful third ex-husband Randall before he struck it rich. Though he was a jerk always, he was at least a manageable jerk back in the good ol’ days. And we thought our devotion could reform him! Ugh. So naive. Never again!
But we digress.
In Ms. Weinman’s case, she was an art lover before she struck it rich. Now that she’s a baller, she can afford all the really cool shit — take a look at some of the paintings and other assorted artwork she has hangin’ in her sleek Sunset Strip crib.
As we have already mentioned, Ms. Weinman purchased this house in early 2016 for $27 million. At the time, it was a brand-new spec mansion with all the doo-dads, and it looks mostly the same now. The three-level property packs 12,530-square-feet of living space. There is a subterranean garage plus a rather inelegant front motorcourt covered with real grass (at least we think it’s real). The oak front door is dramatically surrounded by glass walls, and the entrance foyer is covered in shiny terrazzo flooring.
The flooring surface switches to wide-plank white oak in the dining and rooms and kitchen, the latter of which sports one of the longest center islands we have ever laid eyes upon. Check out all that marble! And many of the rooms are blessed with floor-to-ceiling disappearing glass walls.
Upstairs is a 2,000-square-foot master suite with sexy views overlooking the city, a party-sized shower with dual rainfall shower heads, and an enormous walk-in closet. My goodness, Ms. Weinman and Mr. Heavin are certainly not short on clothes or accessories! They could practically open their own boutique.
Elsewhere in the home are an additional 4 beds and 7.5 baths. And as y’all might expect, this property includes the full range of luxury features: a gym, massage room, movie theater, wet bar, zero-edge pool, a full outdoor kitchen, and even a broad grassy lawn (that’s a rarity in these tightly-packed hills). The underground garage can accommodate at least eight luxury vehicles — Ms. Weinman and her hubby appear to drive a $100,000 Tesla and a $130,000 Mercedes-Benz.
Ms. Weinman’s house sits on what is often considered to be the best Bird Street of them all: Oriole Way/Drive. Right next door are two very large mansions, both currently owned by Walmart heiress Sybil Robson Orr, who purchased them for a total of $36.5 million. Those two pads are currently vacant and undergoing major construction.
Next door to Ms. Robson Orr’s homes is an even larger mega-mansion that was purchased for $39 million way back in November 2012, an amount that remains the most ever paid for a house in the Hollywood Hills. The buyer was Jho Low, a fugitive who is wanted on international money-laundering charges. Though his exact whereabouts are currently unknown, he is believed to be layin’ low somewhere in Asia or Australia. Meanwhile, his LA mansion has sat vacant and neglected for the last couple years.
Ms. Weinman’s other next-door neighbor is 95-year-old comic book king Stan Lee. And just around the corner is the main residence of Oscar-winner Leo DiCaprio (Yolanda hears that Leo is interested in buying one of his next-door neighbor’s homes, but we digress). Oh, and at the end of Ms. Weinman’s cul-de-sac is the big ol’ house that was sold by Dr. Dre to Alex Soltani for $32 million.
We really don’t know why Ms. Weinman is selling her LA house so soon after buying — we can’t imagine she needs the money — but we do know that she will hardly be homeless once she unloads this beast. Records reveal that she presides over a property portfolio worth in excess of $70 million.
In addition to her $27 million pad in the Birds, Ms. Weinman also owns a large Nantucket-style oceanfront home in Carpinteria (CA) that she acquired in March 2015 from comedian Dennis Miller for the very A-list sum of $19,000,000. Some of her nearest Carpinteria neighbors include Ellen DeGeneres, George Lucas, and Ashton Kutcher & Mila Kunis.
Ms. Weinman also owns a rather spectacular 4+ acre vacant property in Montecito, not far from Oprah’s main residence. She and her hubby purchased this hilltop spread — with its ocean and mountain vistas — in June 2015 for just under $13,400,000. A major custom compound is currently in the very early stages of construction here.
Yolanda’s Montecito-based friend Barbara Bane has seen the permit applications filed for Ms. Weinman’s new mega-estate and tells us “It’ll consist of a 13,500 sq ft single family dwelling w/ 1920 sq ft attached garage, plus a couple other attached structures adding another 1400 sq ft.” Barbara also said that the plans look “wild,” which Yolanda does not doubt in the least. Our gurl Ms. Weinman is clearly a lady who enjoys living lavishly.
While they await completion of their new mega-mansion, Ms. Weinman and Mr. Heavin bunk up in their longtime Montecito house, a weird Southwestern sort of thing. Records show they scooped up the property back in January 2009 for $4,700,000 and have extensively renovated it over the years. They’ve added an infinity pool, a fancy gate and security system, and probably all the other gee-whiz gizmos that money can buy. (The above photos show the house as it looked in 2009 — it’s definitely different now.)
In 2013, Ms. Weinman paid a total of $10,300,000 for about 16 acres of essentially unspoiled Montecito hillside land. Presumably she intended to build a house on the property, but she must’ve had a change of heart at some point. Documents show that she dumped the mega-estate for $13,250,000 in early 2016. The buyers? Bain Capital bigwig John Connaughton and his wife Stephanie.
(Yolanda hears that the above property was severely affected by the recent Montecito mudslides. Yikes!)
Records additionally show that Ms. Weinman owns several smaller (but still multi-million-dollar) homes in the Santa Barbara and Montecito area. Yolanda is not sure who occupies these houses, but we expect that at least one of them was purchased for Ms. Weinman’s adult daughter Jamie Kirkland, her only child.
Listing agent: Patty Waltcher, Coldwell Banker