Everyone knows the high-end real estate market is a mite sluggish right now — at least in LA — so today Yolanda dug this story out of our vault. The transaction went down back near the dawn of time, in November 2017, but nobody wrote about it. As far as we know. So it’s still fresh enough, we suppose.
Lavish contemporary mansions built on speculation are all the rage currently, and this baller-ific spread ticks all the requisite boxes. Gated, heavily fortified compound? Check. Instagram-worthy infinity pool? Check. Walls of glass, slabs of marble, open floor plan? Check. Check. Check.
Situated atop a steep hillside in upper Bel Air, the three-level manse was done up by Cain Interiors and features 12,600-square-feet of living space — that’s pretty huge, in case anyone was curious — with 9 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms.
Well, the discount buyer snagged the property (originally listed at $25 million) for “just” $18,000,000. But rather than moving into the new villa, he did something financially “normal” people might find bizarre.
Instead of being satisfied with his $18 million pad, the buyer hired London-based designer Nebihe Cihan to completely remodel the brand-new home’s interiors. All the new luxury finishes were ripped out and replaced with custom, even more luxurious finishes of Venatino Travertine, Ceppo di Gre natural stone and travertine custom-treated with black stucco. A few glimpses of the project are documented on Ms. Cihan’s Instagram account.
Believe it or not, kids, but these extraneous renovations happen quite often in the ultra-high-end sector, where billionaire buyers treat pricey properties like regular folks would treat an expensive tuxedo — customizing and tailoring it to their perfect fit. We’d do the same, had we the cash.
Speaking of money, today’s owners certainly ain’t hurting for it. They are a young(-ish) couple from Pakistan named Aly & Fatin Khan. Yolanda would estimate their ages as late 30s, or thereabouts.
Mr. Khan — not to be confused with Prince Aly Khan, who married actress Rita Hayworth — holds a graduate degree from ultra-prestigious Boston College. He currently serves as Chairman of Pioneer Cement, one of the largest cement producers in Pakistan. And he also happens to be the son of enigmatic tycoon Habibullah Khan, who’s been described as “The Howard Hughes of Pakistan” and “Pakistan’s mystery billionaire” — so-called because most folks in his native country have never heard of him.
Despite his deliberately low profile, the elder Mr. Khan is undoubtedly one of the richest men in Pakistan, having recently declared ownership of $1.25 billion in liquid assets. His Mega Conglomerate Limited is an ultra-powerful player in the country’s food, real estate, tourism and manufacturing industries.
Anyway, even though the younger Mr. Khan has completely remodeled the Bel Air home’s interiors, let’s peek at what his $18 million hath initially wrought.
The gated motorcourt fronts a soaring double-height entryway — all glass, of course — that dramatically looks right through the home’s innards to the infinity pool and rolling Bel Air hills beyond.
The elevator-equipped structure boasts “collapsible walls of glass” and several terraces. Though the .76-acre property ain’t small on paper, the steeply-sloped lot severely limits outdoor yard space.
A “penthouse-style” master suite boasts all the requisite amenities and lovely views. Somewhere up there is also a second (private) pool, apparently.
The lower level is decked out with a home theater, lounge, wet bar, massive wine rack and a (somewhat cramped-looking) gym. But remember kids, Mr. Khan has already renovated this whole house, so these interiors are long gone. Hold a moment of silence in their honour.
Some of the Khans’ nearest new neighbors include music super-producer L.A. Reid, who owns a similar $18 million contemporary mansion directly across the street. And just a quick skip away is a $27 million compound owned by Hong Kong billionaire Diana Chen.
In addition to his $20 million Bel Air palace, Mr. Khan also maintains a penthouse in Manhattan’s 432 Park, the world’s tallest residential tower. This is the same building, of course, where J.Lo and A-Rod own a $15 million apartment they are attempting to flip.
Mr. Khan closed on his 48th-floor penthouse in early 2016 for $14,894,651. He then hired Nebihe Cihan — the same lass who recently did up his Bel Air digs — to expensively tailor the place to his personal tastes.
For more mouth-watering photos of the 432 Park aerie, visit Architectural Digest India, which featured Mr. Khan’s penthouse in its January 2019 issue.