Last week, Yolanda received an email from a friendly and chatty real estate insider fellow who we’ll call Don Won. Our Mr. Won, in addition to providing us several valuable nuggets of insider intel, whispered to your gurl that there is some major construction going down within the cartoonishly opulent “Beverly Park” gated community way above Beverly Hills. And our boy provided several images to prove it.
Before we dive deeper, Yolanda will back this up for any of the young’uns here who somehow, someway, have never heard of Beverly Park. We can’t fathom that, considering Yolanda and Your Mama and everyone else has been blabbing about it nonstop for years, but we suppose it’s possible.
Yolanda did a thorough rundown of the community here but suffice to say that Beverly Park is also the biggest, baddest, most bombastic guard-gated community in all of Southern California — perhaps even in the country, just in terms of the sheer size of the mansions and the amount of paranoid security measures up there. There are not one, not two, but three guard-gated entrances and 24/7 rent-a-cop patrols. In addition, many of the residents even retain their own private security teams and bodyguards.
The money-swamped community — it’s reportedly the richest neighborhood in all of LA — is located in a remote area just off Mulholland Drive, way up in a region known as Beverly Hills Post Office. The 67 mansions there all carry a 90210 zip code but are technically located in the city of Los Angeles.
Perhaps the most well-known aspect of Beverly Park is the celeb residents it attracts. For obvious reasons, the area has been home to all sorts of (extraordinarily rich) famous folk like Roseanne Barr, Reba McEntire, Sylvester Stallone, Mark Wahlberg, Denzel Washington, Eddie Murphy, a bunch of billionaire businessmen, a sackful of Saudi royalty, and even a couple Real Housewives.
Another reason why Beverly Park gets attention is the sheer size of the homes and the ludicrous way the ridiculously rich residents have gushed out the cash to festoon their palaces and gardens. The whole thing gives off a distinct Disneyland vibe when viewed from the sky. That could be a good or bad thing, depending on your point of view and where you personally draw the line between luxurious and tacky.
But we digress. Back to the construction we mentioned earlier.
In the mid-to-late 1990s, billionaire tool tycoon Eric Smidt and his wife Susan purchased two vacant lots in Beverly Park and spent a silly amount of time and an ungodly amount of money to cobble together the Italian “village” you see above at 60 Beverly Park. It’s not the largest or most lavish spread inside the neighborhood — Yolanda believes that “honor” goes to either the Steve Udvar-Hazy estate or the Haim Saban estate — but it’s certainly somethin’, ain’t it?
In March 2014, Mr. & Mrs. Smidt officially hoisted their village-like 5-acre compound on the market with an eye-popping $45,000,000 pricetag.
Despite the high price, the place generated a lot of interest among the folks out there with $45 million to spend on a house. We heard that one of the couples who took a gander at the property were longtime Bradbury Estates residents Jim & Eleanor Randall, though the Randalls ultimately did not bite the Beverly Park bullet. (Instead, they paid nearly $50 million for Bel Air’s famous Liongate estate).
Anyway, the estate eventually sold in December (2014) for $39,900,000, easily the highest price ever paid for a home in the neighborhood. Though the identity of the owner is disguised behind something called “Hacienda Estate Inc”, Yolanda happens to know (and we’ve also heard it from a couple other folks) that the buyer was Kazakh oligarch Eduard Ogay.
Mr. Ogay is a copper mine magnate who has also long been a business associate of Vladimir Kim, Kazakhstan’s richest man and the owner of a luxury apartment at the high-falutin’ One Hyde Park complex in London, where apartment sale prices have exceeded $200 million. We’re pretty sure the Ogay family also keeps (or kept) a residence in London, but we really have no further details regarding said residence.
Quick digression: for those who might be interested, Vanity Fair published a very thorough article on One Hyde Park a few years back that details the shadowy buyers who own — quietly — a slice of what is perhaps the world’s most expensive apartment complex.
Yolanda also happens to know that prior to their purchase, Mr & Mrs. Ogay and their two young children had been renting a big-ass but strangely squat-looking “Mediterranean” mansion in the tony Holmby Hills area of LA (above). As it turns out and for what it’s worth, that particular house (owned by bebe founder Manny Mashouf) is currently for sale with an asking price of $39,995,000, reduced from $45,000,000.
But we digress yet again. The Ogay’s new compound in Beverly Park is undergoing some major construction. You see, Yolanda had no idea this was going on until we were alerted by our Mr. Won. We were a bit shocked to hear it, honestly.
Construction itself in Beverly Park is certainly no surprise — everyone there is always changing something; it’s never good enough — but Yolanda was still flabbergasted to see the larger guest house, the adjacent soccer field-sized patch of lawn, and a wing of the main house have all been demolished. Primarily because we’ve heard from several chirpin’ little birdies that the Ogay family is currently living on the estate.
It’s a bit perplexing that Mr. & Mrs. Ogay would undertake such significant construction while their young family is currently occupying the premises, right? Although it appears that there has been a barrier placed to separate the work are from the main residence, there’s always gonna be safety hazards near any major construction zone, you know? Especially for small kids.
Your gurl is certainly no expert, but it appears to us that the Ogays are clearing a space to construct something big. Possibly a new mega-mansion to anchor the property. We would also further venture a guess that the existing main house (at only about 11,000 square feet or so, it’s positively puny for Beverly Park) will either be torn down at a later date or become the estate’s new guest house.
Maybe Yolanda shouldn’t be surprised. Fact is that most folks spending 40 million bucks on a house in this day and age change it up somewhat. If not, then they tear it all to pieces. Maybe peeps think they are helping the economy with all the construction? Or maybe they are just bored? It’s only money, after all. And in many cases — it’s not even their money.