BUYER: Elon Musk
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: Visionary inventor and high-tech serial entrepreneur Elon Musk has big sci-fi dreams to one day colonize Mars. But for now, at least, the SpaceX founder and CEO and Tesla Motors co-founder and CEO will have to content himself with the private colonization of a particularly plummy pocket of the high-toned Bel Air area in Los Angeles where over the last four years, according to a variety of sources, resources and calculations, he’s dropped a staggering $70.3 million on five homes. Between late 2012 and mid 2015, the South African-born Canadian-American multibillionaire businessman, who as of today the bean counters at Forbes estimate has a net worth of around $11.5 billion, plunked down a total of $48.05 million for four properties perched above the Bel-Air Country Club. We now hear from always on top of everything real estate yenta Yolanda Yakketyyak, who back in February (2016) exhaustively chronicled the tech tycoon’s earlier purchases, that Mister Musk is, through an opaque corporate concern, the mysterious buyer who just shelled out an $24.25 million in a hush-hush off-market deal to acquire a brand spanking new ultra-contemporary spec-built mansion located on a high ridge above Bel Air. The newly acquired property, never listed on the open market and still in the final phases of construction, sits at the tail end of a ridge line cul-de-sac with spectacular views that sweep over Los Angeles and though is in close as-the-crow-flies proximity to the four other Bel Air properties he already owned it is not, however and somewhat curiously, contiguous to any of the other four properties, none of which are, even more curiously, contiguous to each other.
In December 2012, about a year after he and his second wife, English actress Talulah Riley, split up and later divorced, he paid $17 million for a 1.67-acre estate with a large and lavishly appointed mansion on a prime street that snakes along the border of the Bel-Air Country Club. According to Our Fairy Godmother in Bel Air, Mister Musk leased the estate for about three years before he bought it and listing details from the time of the purchase show that in addition to 7 bedrooms and 7 full and 4 half bathrooms the 20,248-square-foot residence included amply proportioned public entertainment rooms, a two-story library, a home theater, huge gym, and 1,000-bottle wine cellar.
The following October (2013), several months after it was announced he and Miz Riley had re-united and married for a second time, Mister Musk coughed up $6.75 million for the 2,756-square-foot ranch-style residence directly across the street from the mansion he bought the year before. That property, which backs up to the pristine fairways of the Bel-Air Country Club, had long been owned by beloved and recently deceased actor Gene Wilder who sold it in 2007 for $2.725 million to a couple that gave it a quickie renovation and used it as a temporary residence while their far more grand mansion next door was under construction. Mister Musk converted the Wilder residence to a private school where, along with the children of some of his friends and associates, his five children — a set of twins and younger triplets from his first marriage to Justine Musk, a woman who did not have the most flattering things to say about her ex-husband in a 2010 article in Marie Claire — are provided a non-traditional education. He himself described the set up in a 2015 interview in Vogue as “’like a little schoolhouse on the prairie, except in Bel-Air on a golf course’” with “’all these funny nooks and crannies and cute cupboards.’”
Alas, Mister Musk and Miz Riley’s marriage once again soured and in December 2014 he filed for a second divorce. However, by the following summer the on-again/off-again couple were back together and in July 2015 Mister Musk paid $20 million for a 7,026-square-foot contemporary on 3.41 acres that is not next door but rather a couple of doors down from the $17 million mansion he’d bought a few years earlier. There are unconfirmed rumors the terms of the couple’s reconciliation included an agreement they would, at least part-time, maintain separate residences and so that rumor goes the $20 million modern was to facilitate that unconventional arrangement. At right about the same time he bought the $20 million modern manse he paid another $4.3 million to acquire a modest and woefully dated if hardly inexpensive 2,963-square-foot ranch-style house on a high ridge directly above the newly acquired $20 million residence. Perhaps the smaller house was purchased to house staff, security or family members or maybe it was to preserve privacy in the outdoor spaces of the larger residence below. Whatever the case, it’s directly across the street from his latest purchase, the $24.25 million spec-built contemporary. There are still two existing homes at the end of the cul-de-sac that stand between the $4.3 million ranch house and the $24.25 million ultra-contemporary and, though it’s nothing but wild speculation, neither Yolanda nor this property gossip would be the least bit surprised to see the property mad Mister Musk buy both of those houses.
Meanwhile, back in March Miz Riley filed for divorce from Mister Musk. However, in July, a couple of weeks after Mister Musk was reported to have spent some time in Miami with Johnny Depp’s estranged wife Amber Heard — both parties claim to be platonic friends, Miz Riley told the Daily Mail she would “never say never” to getting back together with her estranged husband.
We shall see, butter beans, we shall see.