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Helicopter Heiress Buys $14.5 Million Malibu Estate

location: Malibu, Calif.
price: $14.5 million
size: 10,000 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms

An all-new mansion tucked away within an exclusive Malibu gated community sold last month for $14.5 million, and tax records reveal the buyer is a corporate entity easily linked to 33-year-old Cindy Robinson, the wildly wealthy heiress to a Southern California helicopter empire.

Built on speculation by a local developer, the 4.4-acre estate is one of the most “private, gated, secluded estates in [the city],” per the listing. The house lies down a nearly half-mile-long, palm tree-lined driveway that snakes around a rugged Malibu hillside before dead-ending at an imposing gate. Beyond that, a motorcourt capable of accommodating a dozen automobiles welcomes guests to the estate, which is privately secreted into the side of a deep canyon.

The almost perfectly symmetrical, metal-roofed mansion is best described as an architecturally progressive transitional, and it includes six ensuite bedrooms and a total of nine baths. The muted and chicly neutral interiors offer a beachy, casually minimalist blend of pure white walls, wide-plank hardwood floors, and recessed lighting throughout the structure’s 10,000 square feet of space.

Glass pocket doors provide the Robinson estate with a quintessentially SoCal indoor/outdoor lifestyle. The fireplace-equipped living room spills out to an alfresco dining terrace that overlooks the pool and lush backyard, while the eat-in gourmet kitchen flaunts custom cabinetry, high-end designer appliances and an adjoining breakfast area. The formal dining room, meanwhile, is joined by a convenient walk-in wine closet with room for thousands of booze bottles.

Other snazzy interior spaces include a lounge with backlit wet bar, an amenity-packed upstairs master suite with spa-style bath and closet with custom built-ins. And out back, the landscaped compound contains a hillside filled with dozens of mature palms, providing ample privacy from nosy neighbors. The rectangular pool has an inset spa, and there’s a romantic firepit area with room for multiple s’mores enthusiasts.

While the main house does not appear to possess an ocean view — a somewhat unfortunate omission in a $14.5 million Malibu mansion — all is not lost. Set on a plateau high above the main mansion is a detached guesthouse with a full bedroom suite and second kitchen. On clear evenings, the homeowners need only make the short trek up the hill, to the guesthouse’s wee back patio, where they can enjoy spectacular sunsets set above the horizon’s dazzling blue sea.

Robinson, a USC grad, is the only daughter of nonagenarian entrepreneur Frank Robinson and his late cancer activist wife Barbara Robinson. The Robinsons founded and grew L.A.-based Robinson Helicopter Company from a struggling 1970s upstart into a leading global manufacturer of civilian choppers, with $200 million in annual revenue and more than 1,300 employees. The Robinson R44, their most famous model, has been the world’s best-selling civilian helicopter for over 20 years.

A deep dive into public records reveals Robinson and her older brother Mark both maintain eye-popping luxury real estate portfolios that they own through a sophisticated maze of LLCs and corporations. He maintains two Hermosa Beach homes that are together worth about $15 million, while she owns a massive oceanfront mansion, also in Hermosa Beach, that was inherited from her late mother’s trust. That Mediterranean-style villa sports more than 8,000 square feet of living space and was recently assessed at $10.3 million, per tax records.

In April 2016, Robinson paid $4.5 million for a vacation cottage at the ultra-exclusive Kukio Beach Club resort on Hawaii’s Big Island, where there’s a Tom Fazio-designed golf course and 24/7 security. Last month, days before she closed on the Malibu mansion, the Hawaii property was flipped back onto the market with a $6.2 million ask, records show. And she and her brother also have direct ties to a mansion in the winter resort town of Truckee, Calif., near Lake Tahoe’s north shore, that was quietly acquired last year for $4 million.

Robinson’s main residence, however, lies in a prime part of L.A.’s Hollywood Hills. Back in 2013, she paid $4.5 million for a stately gated villa originally built in 1921, where she lives with husband Tim Mullen. The fully renovated East Coast traditional-style compound includes a detached guesthouse, motorcourt and sparkling saltwater pool.

Some of Robinson’s famous new Malibu neighbors include Megan Fox, Marcy Carsey, and former MLB star Derrek Lee. And Liam Hemsworth’s Malibu estate, which burned down in 2018’s devastating Woolsey Fire and is currently being rebuilt, lies immediately immediately next door.

Eytan Levin of The Address held the listing; Blair Chang of The Agency repped Robinson and Mullen.

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