Nigerian oil magnate exits Bel-Air with off-market sale of trophy home


The high-end market in Los Angeles has long been a popular spot for pocket-heavy foreign buyers looking to park their money, but recent top sales saw one international investor cashing out on the Westside. Here’s a look at the most expensive homes that changed hands in the last two weeks of April.

$21.565 million — Bel-Air

A limited-liability company with ties to Nigerian oil magnate Kola Aluko, who is being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for his alleged role in a multibillion-dollar money-laundering scheme, sold a contemporary-style home in the 700 block of Sarbonne Road in a deal that closed off-market.


Designed by architect Paul McClean and built in 2011, the contemporary-style showplace sits on more than an acre, with a gated entrance, a subterranean garage and a 132-square-foot infinity-edge swimming pool.

The 15,000 square feet of interiors feature walls of glass, 16-foot ceilings, marble walls and Italian fixtures throughout. A wood-paneled library, wine cellar and screening room are among the amenities.

The house previously sold four years ago for $24.5 million, property records show. Film producer and speculative real estate developer Nile Niami, who is building a $500-million compound in Bel-Air, was the developer.

$19,715,787 — Brentwood

Michael J. Richter, co-head of Lazard Aerospace & Defense investment banking group, sold a renovated traditional-style home in the 12000 block of Parkyns Street for slightly under the asking price of $19.995 million.

He bought the 12,732-square-foot home four years ago from Paul Terasaki, late transplant medicine pioneer and professor emeritus of surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, for $9.3 million.

Reworked by architect Ken Ungar, the gated residence has a refined look with grand-scale formal areas, stained oak floors, wainscoting and vaulted ceilings. A modern chef’s kitchen has two marble-topped islands, and a theater features stadium seating.

An over-the-top master suite has a pair of bathroom suites, each with a walk-in closet and fitness studio. A private balcony off the master bedroom overlooks the grounds. There are six bedrooms and 7.5 bathrooms in all.

Santiago Arana and Mauricio Umansky of the Agency were the listing agents. Josh and Matt Altman of Douglas Elliman represented the buyer.

$12 million — Brentwood

Kevin Reilly, president of Turner-owned television channels TBS and TNT, sold his home in the 600 block of MacCulloch Drive for $500,000 less than the asking price. The buyer was Snapchat co-founder Evan Spiegel.

The traditional-style home, designed by noted architect Gerard Colcord and built in 1951, was previously owned by actor Harrison Ford for more than a decade. Reilly bought the house from Ford in 2012 for $8.195 million, records show.

Renovated and restored, the 7,164-square-foot house sits at the end of a gated drive on close to an acre. The seven-bedroom, eight-bathroom floor plan includes a two-story entry, a wood-paneled office/library, an updated kitchen and a study. The living room takes in city and ocean views. A two-story guesthouse, a swimming pool, a pool house and an outdoor kitchen lie within the grounds.

Stephen Shapiro of Westside Estate Agency was the listing agent. David Offer of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties represented the buyer.

$10.7 million — Santa Monica

In the 2000 block of La Mesa Drive, an English Arts and Crafts-style house changed hands for nearly double what it sold for two years ago: $5.45 million.

Set back from the street on about a third of an acre, the renovated 1920s home is distinguished by its distressed herringbone wood floors, bold light fixtures and a mix of marble finishes. Glass doors off the common rooms open to an outdoor entertaining area.

Formal living and dining rooms, a chef’s kitchen, wine cellar, media room and library lie within the 6,496 square feet of interiors. A total of six bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms includes junior master and master suites.

Susan Perryman of Hilton & Hyland, an affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate, was the listing agent. Jerry Jolton of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage represented the buyer.

$10.5 million — Century City

A 5,306-square-foot condo at the Century building on Century Drive sold for $2.45 million less than the asking price of $12.95 million.

The 38th-floor condo features hardwood and marble floors, formal living and dining rooms, a kitchen with stainless-steel range, three bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms. There are fireplaces in the living room and master bedroom. Two covered parking spots were included in the sale.

The listing agent: Bachir Oueida of Nelson Shelton & Associates.

These are among the top residential real estate sales reported on the combined L.A./Westside Listing Service for the period from April 17 through April 30.