SELLER: Megan Ellison
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
SIZE: (approx.) 10,000 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: Although none of the property record databases we checked yet reflect a change of ownership, word on the high-end Tinseltown real estate street is that software heiress turned powerhouse film and television producer Megan Ellison made a surreptitious, off-market deal to sell her mountaintop estate in L.A’s Mount Olympus neighborhood for $35.7 million. Ellison purchased the multi-acre property in late 2013 for $20 million and later spent another $10 million on two additional vacant parcels that ballooned the size of the estate to not quite 8.25 acres. According to the Hollywood Reporter, who first caught wind of and reported the under-the-radar transaction, all eight-and-some acres were included in the deal. The buyer has yet to be identified but we’ve heard unconfirmed rumors it’s a big-name developer.
Prominently sited on a private promontory high above Laurel Canyon, Hollywood and West Hollywood, the curvilinear, architecturally eccentric 10,000-square-foot residence was originally designed by relatively unknown architect Richard Schwartz and built in 1990. The property was long owned by internet news pioneer turned venture capitalist Eddie Aslanian who was well-known as a host of large, loud, and — allegedly — sometimes sordid soirees.
At the time of Ellison’s purchase, the main residence contained six bedrooms and eight bathrooms and there were two self-contained apartments for guests or staff. At the front of the house a gated drive leads to a motor court capable of accommodating two-dozen or more cars and at the back, where Ellison removed a sand volleyball court, there’s a lagoon-style swimming pool and grotto, a vast expanse of lawn that falls away to steep, undeveloped hillside and a small pavilion with unobstructed views that sweep over the city from the downtown skyline to the Pacific Ocean.
Ellison later acquired a nearby residence, a sleekly finished contemporary with five bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms, that’s been available on the open market for nearly a year, first at $5.9 million and now at $4.395 million. Although she can no doubt more than afford it, unfortunately for her, the current asking price nearly a million dollars under than the $5,250,000 she paid for the property in March 2015.
The thrice Oscar-nominated producer decamped Mount Olympus for in a posh and plummy pocket of Beverly Hills where in December 2016 she paid celebrated cinematographer Janusz Kaminski $15.5 million for a 1.12-acre compound sequestered behind gates at the end of a long, gated and tree shaded drive. The compound comprises a 1920s Spanish-style main residence of 4,954-square-feet, a one-bedroom and one-bathroom guest cottage and a glass-walled contemporary pavilion designed as an office and media lounge with a drought-tolerant green roof. Earlier this year, as she is wont to do, the deep pocketed, property mad producer shelled out another $6,895,000 for a neighboring property that hosts a low-slung mid-century modern fixer upper of 4,351-square-feet designed by architect Alfred T. Wilkes and built in 1957.
Unsurprisingly, the prolific producer, who has ten or twelve high-profile projects in various stages of production including the Cate Blanchett starring “Where’d You Go, Bernadette,” also maintains a multi-million dollar real estate foothold in New York City where, true to real estate form, she owns at least two units in the same storied Beaux-Arts building in lower Manhattan’s Soho ‘hood. In May 2013 she paid $2.8 million for an idiosyncratic one-bedroom and one-bathroom penthouse with a circular, dome-roofed living room and in early 2016 property records indicate she coughed up another $3.425 million for the two-bedroom and two-bathroom unit next door.