Karen Lo’s $100 Million Holmby Hills Estate Takes Shape

Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, Calif.

Back in spring 2017, Hong Kong billionaire Karen Lo paid $18.8 million for a stately old house directly across the street from the Playboy Mansion, sited prominently on what is arguably the most exclusive street in L.A.’s Holmby  Hills neighborhood. A few months later, she spent another $17.3 million to acquire the bedraggled house next door, which was formerly owned by Hugh Hefner and used as his “Bunny hutch” — guest quarters for visiting Playboy playmates.

Eyes popped when Lo swiftly razed both homes and graded both lots, merging them into a single 3-acre estate that, as of today, remains vacant and undeveloped.

Naturally, curious minds have wondered what Lo is plotting for her supersized Holmby compound, on which she’s already dropped about $40 million, and now the first house renderings have finally appeared — in the form of a short, sweet video released by a Hong Kong-based design firm called Altair Studio.

Though she’s not a household name, Lo is assuredly one of L.A.’s wealthiest residents. She’s a granddaughter of Dr. Kwee Seong Lo, the now-deceased, self-made founder of Vitasoy, the Hong Kong-based soymilk drink empire that has become iconic in Asia — particularly in Mainland China, where it is wildly popular — and remains controlled by the family.

Popular on Variety

In addition to her Vitasoy fortune, Lo is indirectly related to richest Hong Kong family of them all — the Stanley Ho clan. Lo’s sister Sharen is married to multibillionaire Lawrence Ho, the son and heir apparent of the so-called “King of Gambling” Stanley Ho. (Lo is also the sister-in-law of Pansy Ho, who was at one time ranked by Forbes as Asia’s richest woman, and who recently paid about $120 million USD for a mansion on The Peak, Hong Kong’s most exclusive neighborhood.)

Somewhat surprisingly, the Altair rendering video shows that Lo does not plan to build an ultra-contemporary mansion, the kind that have become ubiquitous in the area. Rather, she foresees an International-style manor with soaring white columns and a red tile roof, plus enormous walls of glass that drink in the SoCal sunshine. The perfectly symmetrical house faces due north.

There are manicured formal gardens, a motorcourt with marble statue, sprawling lawns, a full-size tennis court, and two parallel Olympic-length swimming pools in the backyard. There’s also a large reflecting pool — or maybe it’s a third swimming pool — tucked into the far rear of the lot.

While Lo awaits the completion of her new L.A. estate, she has no shortage of luxury housing options. Back in 2017, she paid nearly $70 million for a hilltop Malibu estate that easily ranks as one of the most lavish properties in that posh seaside city. (That $70 million sale was also the subject of a contentious lawsuit — since settled — involving a prior owner of the gigantic estate, the son of Equatorial Guinea’s president.)

And in spring 2018, New York journalists went bananas after the Wall Street Journal revealed that Lo was the secret buyer who paid exactly $50 million in cash for Sting’s penthouse apartment, located in a particularly desirable Manhattan skyscraper.

Lo also owns two vacant properties in prime lower Bel Air. The contiguous properties — one acquired for $17.65 million, one for $19.65 million — span a combined 2.3 acres and happen to sit right next door to the $88 million L.A. home of Jay-Z and Beyoncé.

According to a current Bel Air resident, Lo has granted her next-door neighbors the freedom to park some of their guest and staff automobiles on her vacant Bel Air estates, an offer the superstar musicians have since happily accepted.

More Dirt

  • Nile Niami House Los Angeles

    Lender Takes Over Nile Niami's $38 Million Opus Estate, Plots to Resell

    Earlier this week, Nile Niami announced he had sold his infamous Opus estate in Beverly Hills. Originally listed at $100 million, the 20,000 sq. ft. mega-mansion went for “about $40 million” in a deal involving both the property and various pricey accessories, which were sold separately. The total value of the transaction, according to Niami — [...]

  • Anthony Hopkins House

    Anthony Hopkins Asks $11.5 Million for Bluff-Top Malibu Estate

    The Malibu, Calif., estate of Welsh-born Tinseltown treasure Sir Anthony Hopkins has come up for sale with The Agency’s Santiago Arana at $11.5 million. Tax records and other online documentation show the 1992 Oscar winning “Silence of the Lambs” star, who as subsequently been nominated for four more Oscars, most recently earlier this year for [...]

  • Jordan Maron House Hollywood Hills

    YouTuber CaptainSparklez Seeks Sale High Above L.A.’s Sunset Strip

    Lest anyone forget there are unfathomable amounts of money hauled in by YouTube’s leading superstars, Jordan Maron, better known to the global gaming universe as Ferrari-driving Minecraft master CaptainSparklez, has his sleek modern confection above L.A.’s perennially trendy Sunset Strip up for grabs at a mite under $4.9 million. The 28-year-old YouTube phenom, who occasionally [...]

  • James Charles House Encino

    James Charles Buys $7 Million L.A. Starter Home

    It’s a new decade, a new chapter, and James Charles is officially turning the page. The beauty guru is leaving the highly-publicized dramatics of 2019 in the rearview mirror, sister scrubbing off that bad energy by sister sliding into a brand-new Los Angeles mansion. And this time, he holds the deed. YouTube’s 20-year-old wunderkind has [...]

  • Steven Bochco House

    Steven Bochco’s Napa Valley Retreat Comes to Market at $8.5 million

    After first being offered as an off-market whisper listing, the achingly scenic, northern California wine country estate of late and vaunted television producer Steven Bochco has been listed on the open market by his wife, Dayna Bochco, at $8.5 million. Bochco passed away in April 2018 after a years long battle with leukemia. The influential, [...]

  • Don Lemon House

    CNN Anchor Don Lemon Seeks Harlem Buyer

    Veteran CNN anchor Don Lemon has hoisted his city-view condo in the New York City’s historic Harlem neighborhood up for sale on the open market with a $1.75 million price tag. The outspoken broadcast journalist, the winner of a prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award in 2002, hopes to squeeze a small but notable profit out [...]

  • Jeff Bezos House Los Anegles

    Jeff Bezos Drops $255 Million in Wild L.A. Real Estate Shopping Spree

    The Roaring ’20s redux has only just begun, but it’s already been a whirlwind decade for Amazon head honcho Jeff Bezos and his girlfriend, former TV news anchor Lauren Sanchez. The couple made their public red carpet debut in India, purchased their neighbors’ home in Washington D.C., and have just capped off a Beverly Hills [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content