From the outside, it’s impossible to tell the scope of Hacienda de la Paz, a Spanish-style mansion in Rolling Hills. Like an iceberg, the majority of its 51,000 square feet is hidden below the surface.
The estate — along with all its subterranean wonders and secrets — has sold at auction for $22.4 million.
That’s about $30 million shy of John Z. Blazevich’s original asking price. Blazevich, the president and CEO of Viva Food Group, first listed the home five years ago for $53 million before a series of cuts brought the price down to $40 million. Still unable to connect with a buyer, he sent it to auction earlier this year with no reserve.
Noted Spanish architect Rafael Manzano Martos designed the home, which was built over the course of 17 years. Due to strict neighborhood zoning codes in Rolling Hills, no homes are allowed over one story, so he dug through fossil-filled bedrock to expand the estate.
The home stretches five stories downward, holding an underground 10,000-square-foot Turkish spa, a 15,000-square-foot tennis court that doubles as a ballroom, and a bevy of nooks, crannies and passageways. A lap pool anchors the spa, and floor-to-ceiling murals turn the tennis court into a gallery-like space.
The home has a 10,000-square-foot underground hamam and spa, replete with a lap pool.(Steve Brown / Sepia Productions Inc.)
The owner’s dream was “to build an architectural tribute to California, in the style of the Getty Villa or Hearst Castle.”(Steve Brown / Sepia Productions Inc.)
The 15,000-square-foot indoor tennis court has walls decorated with trompe l’oeil paintings and is styled as a ballroom.(Steve Brown / Sepia Productions Inc.)
“This estate would be almost impossible to reproduce today,” says one of the listing agents.(Steve Brown / Sepia Productions Inc.)
The estate’s 51,000-square-foot main house was built primarily underground as a result of the community’s zoning restrictions.
(Steve Brown / Sepia Productions Inc.)
The 7.4-acre property was listed in June 2013 for $53 million and this year at $40 million. Now it’s set to be sold at auction.(Steve Brown / Sepia Productions Inc.)
Elsewhere, there are nine bedrooms, 25 bathrooms, a gym, a wine cellar, a yoga room, a bocce court and a catering kitchen.
The 7.4-acre grounds are approached by a long driveway lined with carob trees and a limestone motor court. Olive trees flank the guesthouse on one side of the property, and the other side holds a swimming pool and patio.
A clay tennis court, six-car garage, horse stables, arenas and 57 miles of equestrian trails finish off the estate.
The sale price reflects a 12% premium on the bid amount and additional applicable transfer fees paid to Concierge Auctions, which handled the transaction in collaboration with Jade Mills of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage and Jason Oppenheim of the Oppenheim Group. Oppenheim also represented the buyer.