Newsflash: the real estate market is still hot, hot, hot. Particularly in the tony coastal neighborhoods of Los Angeles. But you didn’t need ol’ Yolanda to tell you that, right? A quick peek of property records will present you with some flabbergasting facts. In the past year alone, the sale price records for a single-family home have been shattered in the neighborhoods of Malibu ($85,000,000 courtesy of Dodgers owner Mark Walter), Pacific Palisades ($32,500,000 courtesy of financier Richard Hollander), Hermosa Beach ($15,000,000 courtesy of investor Jean Marc Chapus), Venice ($14,600,000 courtesy of tech entrepreneur Brendan Iribe), and Manhattan Beach ($21,000,000 courtesy of shoe heiress Jennifer Greenberg Messer).
These records are broken so easily nowadays, that Yolanda has become a bit jaded. We barely bat a primped eyelash when we see a $10 million pricetag hung on some silly shitbox that happens to sit on a semi-decent quarter-acre of land. Yet even so, there are still some truly insane outliers that can shock us. Example: this house.
You see, Yolanda was sittin’ on her behind, doing normal people things: yelling at the maid to pour us more coffee, phoning our attorney to get the restraining order extended on our nasty second ex-husband George, and poring over property records.
Then we spit our dentures right into our big bowl of Quaker Oats, right when we saw that a house in Santa Monica — a very nice house but a standard single-family house nonetheless — sold for an utterly illogical $41,082,000. For about five minutes, Yolanda was certain that figure was a mistake. But we confirmed with taxes that yes indeed — a very quiet $41 million sale did go down.
To put that figure into perspective, kiddies, $41 million is more than any house in Beverly Park has ever sold for. It’s more than any house in the Hollywood Hills or the Bird Streets has ever sold for. It’s even more than Dr. Dre paid for Tom Brady & Gisele’s insane Richard Landry mega-mansion. (But it’s less than the ludicrous $52.8 million mortgage (!!!) that Beyonce & Jay-Z are carrying on their new Bel Air compound. Oh, but we digress…)
In fact, $41 million is the biggest transaction ever recorded for any house west of the 405 (with the exception of a handful of properties up in Malibu, all of which are multi-acre oceanfront/blufftop compounds).
We know y’all are probably dying to hear about the buyer and seller and see interior pics, right? Unfortunately, Yolanda would love to see pics, too. The house is less than two years old, and the sale was totally off-market, so there ain’t nothin’ we can show y’all. And trust us, we’ve tried everything and everyone with no luck.
And both the seller and buyer’s names do not appear in public records — the seller’s identity is obscured behind a blind trust, the buyer’s is shielded behind a corporate entity — an LLC, if you will. However, Yolanda happens to know that the seller is Krista Levitan, the estranged soon-to-be ex-wife of Modern Family show creator Steven Levitan. Our Mr. & Mrs. Levitan bought the property together — in happier days, back in 2012.
Tax records show that the Levitans threw down $8,600,000 for the then-vacant flag lot and permits reveal they spent millions more to construct an approximately 10,000-square-foot “Modern Farmhouse”-style mansion. The house directly overlooks the golf course of the hoity-toity Riviera Country Club. Permits also reveal some further details: the house has a detached 10-car garage and a very large subterranean (basement) level that may or may not be included in that aforementioned 10,000-square-foot figure.
In any case, the house was completed sometime in early 2016, right around the same time that Mr. & Mrs. Levitan embarked on a particularly nasty voyage of divorce. We’re not sure who got what in the final settlement, so we don’t know for sure whether they split the record-breaking $41 million lottery win they got for this place, but we do know that Mrs. Levitan was the one living here for the last year or so. Here’s to hoping she enjoyed her stay when she wasn’t busy hiring security guards to stop her estranged husband from hugging their kids.
Modern family, indeed, eh?
We also happen to know that the spendthrift buyer is a still sorta-young but hardcore real estate baller named Kevin Washington. Our Mr. Washington is the younger son of Montana-based business tycoon Dennis Washington, the 83-year-old owner of the conglomerate known as Seaspan Marine Corporation. Papa Washington makes do with a current net worth of $6.1 billion, per the beancounters at Forbes. That’s good enough to make him the 239th richest person in the world. Chew on that!
The younger Mr. Washington is married to a beautiful blonde model named Chelsea Salmon, and together the couple have two young children, a boy and a girl.
Ack!! Don’t act like y’all don’t get a wee bit envious when you see two genetically-blessed people with (seemingly) perfect lives and mountains of money to boot. Kinda makes Yolanda wish we could turn back time and do things differently, now that we’re older and marginally wiser. But it’s much too late for that…
We digress. Kevin Washington is probably best-known to the general public for his boat. Yes, his boat.
Okay, the “boat” is actually an enormous floating mansion — a superyacht, if you will. And it technically belongs to his daddy. But it would seem that Kevin Washington has the ship at his constant disposal — when he’s not sailing it around the globe, it’s almost always docked in Marina del Rey, where it absolutely dwarfs every other ship in the harbor.
Seriously, if you live in the area, go down and take a look at this thing. We saw it last time we were out there — a couple weeks ago — and it’s just ludicrous how massive this beast is. Everyone was gawking, kiddies.
That’s a very nice behind, if y’all will pardon Yolanda for being fresh. But now a look at Mr. Washington’s real estate history. He’s hardly an LA newbie, after all.
In March 2012, Mr. Washington paid $6,400,000 for one of the two penthouses in the Sierra Towers apartment building, at the border of Beverly Hills and West Hollywood. He immediately gutted the unit and then — just six months later — flipped the unfinished project for a whopping $10,000,000. The buyer, y’all may be interested to know, was fellow billionaire heir Evan Metropoulos, who would go on to pay $17,200,000 for the other penthouse, which he has combined with the one he bought from Mr. Washington. (But we digress!)
In September 2012 — right after he sold his Sierra Towers penthouse — Mr. Washington paid $9,935,000 for a 6,229-square-foot mid-century stunner on what is often considered to be one of the best streets in the “Trousdale Estates” neighborhood of Beverly Hills.
Sometime in 2013, Mr. Washington embarked on a massive (and massively expensive!) overhaul of the property that lasted until 2017 and involved all new finishes, decor, and landscaping. In June of this year (2017), the fickle Mr. Washington put the property up for sale with a ballsy asking price of $27,500,000. The house remains available on the open market as of today.
In May 2013, the deep-pocketed Mr. Washington paid $8,500,000 in an off-market deal for a 2,638-square-foot house on Malibu’s Carbon Beach, which is informally known as “Billionaire’s Beach” for its super-wealthy residents. (These billionaires include Larry Ellison, Simon Nixon, Herbert Simon, and Mark Walter).
Property records show that Mr. Washington very quietly sold his Malibu pad last month (August 2017) in an off-market $9,175,000 deal. The new owner is Russ Jones, a bigshot at talent agency juggernaut Creative Artists Agency (CAA).
Back in July 2015, Mr. Washington paid married actors Jonathan Frakes and Genie Francis a fat $11,995,000 for a Traditional-style 7,256-square-foot mansion in the Beverly Hills Post Office area, where it seems he and Mrs. Washington have been shacking up while their Trousdale Estates home was under renovation.
With the purchase of their $41 million Santa Monica mansion, however, the Washingtons are also attempting to dispose of their unneeded B.H.P.O. pad. The house is currently on the open market with a $14,800,000 pricetag, and a sale is pending! Mazel tov. Now they just need to get that Trousdale treasure offloaded.
As for the Levitans, we aren’t sure where the former Missus has moved. But records show that Mr. Levitan still owns an oceanfront house on Malibu’s Broad Beach. The erstwhile couple also recently sold their longtime marital home in the tony Brentwood Park neighborhood for nearly $10 million. Interestingly enough, the buyer was a mysterious blind trust that has since had the residence completely demolished.
Now then — before we jet off, we’d like to remind our readers that Yolanda would sell our firstborn child into slavery for photos of that Santa Monica house. Whoever has a stash — and we know you’re out there and reading this — pretty please contact us. We’ll keep your identity on the DL and try to make you an offer you can’t refuse. Promise!
Mr. Washington’s agents: Branden & Rayni Williams, Hilton & Hyland