BUYER: Leonardo DiCaprio
LOCATION: Malibu, CA
SIZE: 1.76 acres
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: Circumstantial evidence certainly suggests and indefatigable real estate yenta Yolanda Yakketyyak swears on her top-secret holiday fruitcake recipe that it was Leonardo DiCaprio who shelled out $23 million in a covert, off-market deal for a 1.76-acre ocean-front property above Malibu’s postcard-ready Paradise Cove. The property, along a low bluff shared with luxurious beachfront estates owned by reality TV super-producer Mark Burnett and NBCUniversal vice chairman Ron Meyer, was acquired through a corporate entity linked to Mister DiCaprio’s Appian Way production company.
A deep dive into property records reveals the property, with about 90-feet of beach frontage, was once owned by prolific four-time Oscar-nominated film and television producer Ridley Scott who picked up the property in June 2004 for $7.2 million and sold it at a considerable profit about 1.5 years later for $11 million to a corporate entity linked to New York City-based billionaire businessman Vince Viola. Mister Viola, the son of a truck driver and a self-made man with a net worth estimated by the bean counters at Forbes to be in the range of $1.78 billion, briefly listed the property on the open market in 2012 with an asking price of $15 million and listing details from the time show the mostly undeveloped estate-sized spread then had a freshly renovated 610-square-foot cottage with one bedroom and one bathroom plus a viewing deck with panoramic coastline views. Mister DiCaprio’s plans for the property are unknown.
Mister Viola, recently nominated by president-elect Donald Trump as Secretary of the Army, is certainly no stranger to the property gossip columns. In late 2013, amid much hullabaloo and tongue-wagging, he put an unapologetically palatial, 40-foot-wide townhouse on New York City’s Upper East Side — it has a recording studio in basement and a swimming pool in the sub-basement — up for grabs with an idiosyncratic and publicity assuring asking price of $114,077,00 million. The asking price dropped to $98 million before the roughly 20,000-square-foot behemoth was pulled from the market in the fall of 2014.
Earlier this year Mister DiCaprio, Oscar-winning star of “The Revenant” who is slated to produce and co-star with Jonah Hill in the bio-drama “The Ballad of Richard Jewell,” sold an apartment in New York City for $8 million — he took a punishing $2 million loss on the condo that the bought several years ago for $10 million — and he additionally got rid of a fairly ordinary if hardly inexpensive ranch-style home in an affluent though unsung neighborhood in Studio City for $2.237 million. Even with those sales his residential property portfolio remains fat. Our research indicates he continues to own an ocean-front home along Malibu’s Carbon Beach that is currently on the market at just under $10 million as well as a Spanish style house in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles and two neighboring homes near the tippy-top of the Bird Streets ‘hood above the Sunset Strip. He additionally maintains: a Donald Wexler-designed mid-century modern residence in Palm Springs scooped up in early 2014 for $5.23 million; a couple of spacious apartments in an eco-consciously built complex in the Battery Park area of lower Manhattan acquired in two separate transactions several years apart at a combined cost of $11,665,700; and, with investment partners, Blackadore Cay, a 104-acre private island off the coast of Belize purchased in 2005 for $1.75 million and currently being developed into a high-end eco-resort.
Photo: via Zillow