“Shameless” television producer John Wells, writer, director and producer behind a slew of megahit TV series, including “ER” and “The West Wing,” has hoisted a sprawling equestrian ranch in the lush, rolling hills near the town of Kilauea, on the scenic North Shore of Kauai, with a sky-high price of $40.5 million. The somewhat remote spread, dubbed Wai Kala, comprises five contiguous parcels that together sprawl across almost 375 utterly stunning acres of mostly undeveloped land with numerous waterfalls and swimming holes along with a couple of custom-built truss bridges and two recently remodeled residences.
The largest of the parcels runs to almost 140 acres and includes the two houses, plus a commercial equestrian center. The significantly larger of the two homes sits above a winding stream and, according to listings held by Neal Norman at Hawaii Life, measures in at just over 3,500 square feet with four bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms. There’s also a chef accommodating kitchen and a cavernous great room that features a stone fireplace and soaring cathedral ceilings crisscrossed by exposed beams and trusses. The smaller residence, suitable for vacationing guests or a full-time caretaker, contains two bedrooms and one bathroom in almost 1,100 square feet. The equestrian center, named Silver Falls Stables, is included in the sale and comprises a large stabling barn, a welcome center and a riding arena.
As it turns out, this is not the first property in Hawaii, or on Kauai, owned by Wells. In 2003 he paid $612,000 for an unfussy, apartment-sized cottage that is covetously situated directly across the street from Kauai’s world-famous and insanely gorgeous Hanalei Bay. Tax records show it was sold in 2013 for $1.2 million.
Stateside, Wells is known to have owned a handful of notable homes in Los Angeles, Calif., and Vail, Colorado. Several years ago he sought to sell a rustic-luxe two-residence compound just outside of downtown Vail at $19.5 million. The resoundingly contemporary, stone and glass chalets were also available separately. The smaller, which tax records indicate Wells still owns, was priced at $11.95 million and no longer appears to be for sale, while the smaller, which carried a price of $8.5 million, was sold in 2018 for exactly $8 million.
Back in Los Angeles, Wells sold a storied residence in the Los Feliz neighborhood’s celeb-favored Laughlin Park enclave — it was once owned by Cecil B. DeMille — in 2007 for almost $6 million to Legendary Entertainment’s Mary Parent, who sold the house about 1.5 years ago for $8.5 million. Around the same time Wells sold up in Los Feliz, he set his sights on the historic and historically hoity-toity Hancock Park neighborhood where he ponied up $10.4 million for a nearly 10,000-square-foot mansion along one of the neighborhood’s most prestigious streets. He hung on to the swank estate until in 2017 when he sold it for a tad above $12.4 million to Nickelodeon president Brian Robbins. (Robbins sold the property earlier this year in a clandestine, off-market deal valued at $19 million to businessman Thomas Swan III and his husband Joe Townley.) Finally, last year Wells downsized to a roughly 6,000-square-foot, faux-timbered 1920s English Tudor manor house, also in Hancock Park, that he scooped up for a mite more than $7 million and was once owned by Francis Ford Coppola.