SELLER: Bruce Makowsky
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
SIZE: (approx.) 38,000 square feet, 12 bedrooms, 21 bathrooms
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: The average size and sale price of a newly built home in the United States continues to climb — the Wall Street Journal recently pegged the average size to be just under 2,500-square-feet and the median price at just under $300,000 — but luxury real estate developer Bruce Makowsky has taken it to a whole new level with an über-modern spec-built megamansion in Los Angeles’s posh Bel Air community listed with an elephantine not to mention publicity assuring asking price $250,000,000, making it by far the highest-priced private residence currently for sale in the United States. (The next most expensive listing is a 16-acre, multi-residence compound in Manalapan, FL, owned by the family of deceased publisher William B. Ziff, Jr. and listed in early 2016 at $195 million.) Property records show Mister Makowsky acquired the property for $11 million in July 2013. The seller was professional football player turned chat and game show host Michael Strahan, currently host of “The $100,000 Pyramid,” who’d purchased the property just over a year earlier for $7.9 million.
With about 38,000-square-feet of crisply plush and sleekly appointed interior space over four levels, plus another 17,000-square-feet or so of outdoor living areas shoehorned on to a sloped parcel of just over an acre with unimpeded and downright dynamite 270-degree views that sweep over Los Angeles from the San Gabriel Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, the brand-spanking new residence is more than fifteen times the size of the average newly built house in the U.S. and its astronomical asking price is nearly 850-times that of the median sale price of a newly built home in the United States.
In addition to numerous and impressively bedazzled if arguably impersonally proportioned living, dining and entertaining spaces that feature vast walls of glass that disappear into the walls and facilitate an easy-breezy indoor-outdoor living experience, listing details indicate there are ten “over-sized VIP guest suites” plus two master suites. There are also three kitchens, five bars, two commercial-grade elevators lined in alligator skin and a total of 21 bathrooms. The residence’s myriad recreation and leisure amenities include a James Bond-themed forty-seat home theater with a 22-foot screen and a 4K projector pre-loaded with 7,000 movies, a four-lane bowling alley, a games area with industrial-sized “candy wall,” two temperature controlled and fully stocked champagne/wine cellars, a state of the art fitness center and “wellness spa,” and — no doubt to the auditory chagrin of some of the property’s privacy and quiet craving neighbors — a helipad on the roof.
Both master bedrooms open to spacious, faux-grassy private terraces with panoramic views. One of the master terraces includes a gigantic, U-shaped infinity edged spa while the primary outdoor living space has a large bar, outdoor kitchen and an 85-foot-long mosaic-tiled infinity edged swimming pool with swim-up bar. Equally impressive as the engineering feat that allows the lake-sized swimming pool to sit atop the garage, is the 18-foot wide and 12-foot high television screen that rises up out of the landscape at the touch of a button by way of a spiral hydraulic lift.
The property is offered not merely as a humongous house with cutting edge technologies and premium-grade finishes but as a complete, turn-key lifestyle package. The asking price includes all the furnishings plus more than 100 art objects and installations and two fully stocked champagne and wine storage rooms. There’s also a “car gallery” jam packed with a gleaming fleet of rare and vintage automobiles and motorcycles worth more than $30 million that will transfer with the sale and Mister Makowsky will pay the salaries of seven full-time staff— including a chef, chauffer and masseuse — for two years.
The developer, who made his first fortune hawking mid-priced handbags on QVC and in late 2014 sold a smaller but similarly outfitted über-modern residential extravaganza in the Trousdale Estates area of Beverly Hills for $70 million to Minecraft video game creator Markus “Notch” Persson, likened the purchase of his latest creation to that of a yacht. The world’s super affluent, he’s said in marketing materials and we paraphrase, will spend hundreds of millions of dollars on a ship-sized yacht they’ll float around on for just a few weeks a year so, in the logic of the superrich, it follows they may also be inclined to spend a couple hundred million on a house. We shall see. Internationally the most expensive home ever to be sold is believed to be a penthouse in London that went for a reported $221 million and the highest amount ever paid for a private home in the United States is $147 million for a lavishly landscaped 18-acre oceanfront spread on one of the most prestigious streets in East Hampton, NY, that hedge fund fat cat Barry Rosenstein picked up in 2014.
Time will tell if Mister Makowsky’s hyper-luxe land yacht sells for anywhere near its quarter of a billion dollar asking price but the deluge of wild-eyed international publicity it’s currently basking in will likely be eclipsed when another L.A.-based ultra-luxury developer, Nile Niami, completes “The One,” another spec-built gigamansion, also in Bel Air, that’s reported to measure in at more than 100,000-square-feet and is expected to be saddled with a planet realigning price tag of $500,000,000.
Listing photos: Hilton & Hyland