For a neighborhood mere minutes from the bustling Third Street Promenade outdoor mall — not to mention the crowd-swarmed local beaches — Santa Monica Canyon is remarkably remote-seeming. Its winding, narrow roads are hidden beneath a canopy of trees, forest-like foliage obscuring many area homes from public view. Hidden among the vines and overgrown oaks are some of the L.A. area’s most architecturally adventurous residences, many of them designed by legendary architects — Ray Kappe, Richard Neutra and Thornton Abell among them. Perhaps today’s house, tucked into the long shadows of estates designed by those icons, is destined to become a future classic.
Back in 2015, much-acclaimed architectural firm Marmol Radziner paid $5.6 million for a .93-acre property tucked deep into the canyon. They subsequently designed and built a deliciously chic contemporary mansion that was completed in 2017 and sold just last month for about $15.3 million, a big number even for perilously pricey Santa Monica. The buyer, records reveal, is tech entrepreneur Scott Marlette.
Marlette, a former engineer by trade, made his first fortune when Facebook went public in 2012. As one of Facebook’s first 20 employees, he developed the social media giant’s photo application — folks the world over can thank him for allowing them to visually stalk their closest friends and acquaintances.
Shortly after Facebook’s public bow, Marlette decamped Silicon Valley in favor of L.A.’s Westside, where he paid $5.4 million for a lovely Pacific Palisades modern farmhouse that remains his main residence. Since then, he’s joined — and departed — hotshot venture capital startup Slow Ventures.
In late 2011, Marlette partnered with businessman Trevor Bezdek and fellow former Facebooker Doug Hirsch to launch GoodRX, a tech startup that uses a website and mobile app to allow patients to check and compare prescription drug prices at pharmacies across the country. The pitch has apparently been successful; GoodRX was in talks to be acquired for up to $3 billion last year, reports said.
All three GoodRX co-founders have poured a decent chunk of their riches into high-end real estate. Besides Marlette’s new $15 million Marmol Radziner special in Santa Monica Canyon, Bezdek recently bought a $15 million Brentwood Park estate, while Hirsch also owns a $15 million Brentwood mansion custom-designed for him by none other than Marmol Radziner.
The new Marlette manor features more than 9,500 square feet of living space. Within the blocky, matte grey walls are a majestic double-height living room with soaring walls of glass and a double-sided indoor outdoor fireplace, a stunning collection of rustic oak cabinetry and an eat-in kitchen with dual islands and designer appliances.
Floor-to-ceiling walls of glass also feature in the upper level’s master suite, where neutral colors lush garden views imbue the bedroom with a desirably calmness. Other features of the estate include a gym, a home theater, a 1,000-bottle wine cellar, a so-called “butler’s kitchen” and a separate full outdoor kitchen, presumably so nobody on the property will ever go hungry. A pool and covered pool cabana with fireplace complete the amenities list; naturally the entire premises are also walled and gated for the ultimate privacy and security.
Marlette certainly won’t be lacking for high-profile new neighbors — his property happens to sit on the exact same street as Melissa Rivers’ new $11 million mansion and right next door to an enormous estate best-known for featuring prominently in Eddie Murphy’s “Beverly Hills Cop” movie and now owned by VICE Media co-founder Shane Smith.