$110-million home sale in Malibu pushes L.A. price record into the stratosphere

A home compound on Carbon Beach also known as Billionaire's Beach in Malibu sold for $110 million.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

In the month of April, the Multiple Listing Service saw two L.A.-area homes with design pedigrees sell for north of $30 million. But it was an off-market, tsunami of a deal in Malibu that swept in to set a new price record for Los Angeles County. Here’s a larger look.

$110 million — Malibu

Hard Rock Cafe co-founder Peter Morton sold his oceanfront home on Pacific Coast Highway to natural-gas billionaire Michael S. Smith and his wife, Iris Smith, for $110 million — setting a new L.A. County price record for single-family home sales in the process.

The astronomical transaction is another notch in the belt for the county, which saw two record-setting sales of $100 million in 2016: for the sale of the Playboy Mansion in Holmby Hills, and for a mega-mansion built on speculation in the same neighborhood.


The half-acre compound comprises two parcels with two structures and more than 100 feet of frontage on tycoon-studded Billionaires’ Beach.

Designed by architect Richard Meier, the main house and guesthouse feature teak wood siding, automated shutters and windows and wraparound balconies that face the ocean. The two homes combine for about 8,000 square feet of living space with seven bedrooms and nine bathrooms.

A swimming pool and courtyard make up the grounds.

Hilton & Hyland agents Branden and Rayni Williams represented Morton in the deal. Barry Peele of Sotheby’s International Realty represented the Smiths.

Lenny Kravitz served as creative director for a newly built mansion in the Hollywood Hills.
(Simon Berlyn )

$33 million — Hollywood Hills West

On North Stanley Drive, a newly built showplace featuring interiors by Lenny Kravitz and his design firm sold for $5 million less than the asking price.

Perched above the Sunset Strip, the three-story, 10,700-square-foot house is visually dramatic, with offset rooflines, marble walls and retractable expanses of glass that center on 270-degree city and ocean views.

The home, designed by late Xten Architecture co-founder Austin Kelly, also includes a lower-level nightclub, indoor-outdoor terraces and a circular 70-foot swimming pool. A 12,000-pound granite boulder incorporates an outdoor fire feature.

Branden and Rayni Williams, who were co-developers on the project, had the listing. Darryl Wilson of Rodeo Realty represented the buyer, a Delaware-based limited liability company.

$32 million — Beverly Park

A Beverly Park mansion designed by architect Richard Landry sold to timepiece entrepreneur John Simonion, founder and owner of luxury watch company Westime, for $32 million.

The 22,905-square-foot house, which evokes a French chateau, was built in 2009. The private and gated estate sits on more than 2 acres of grounds with formal gardens, water features, a motor court and a tennis court. There are indoor and outdoor swimming pools.

Inside, amenities include a ballroom, a wood-paneled office and a library with a glass-bottom floor that looks into a brick wine vault. The movie theater is Moroccan-themed. Sauna and steam rooms adjoin the indoor pool.

Aaron Kirman and Neyshia Go of Pacific Union International were the listing agents. Jeff Hyland of Hilton & Hyland represented the buyer.

$20.75 million — Holmby Hills

On South Mapleton Drive, the estate of the late Elizabeth Keck, former wife of Superior Oil Co. heir Howard B. Keck, sold to a limited liability company for $20.75 million.

The neoclassical villa-style home, built in 1963, has more than 10,000 square feet of space that begins with a marble-lined foyer with a curving artistic staircase. A circular receiving room sits behind the entry and opens to a garden-view living room. A library, an office, a formal dining room, six bedrooms and nine bathrooms complete the floor plan.

The 1.27-acre property is walled and gated and features various specimen trees, reflection pools and spouting fountains. A two-bedrooms guesthouse sits near the swimming pool.

Elizabeth Keck, who died last year at 96, appeared in a handful of films in the late 1940s under the stage name Bettye Avery. Later in life, she was known as an ardent Francophile and collector of French tapestries, paintings and antiquities.

She acquired the property in 1991, records show. Prior to that, it was owned by Verna Harrah, the late widow of hotel and casino magnate William F. Harrah.

Jeff Hyland and Rick Hilton of Hilton & Hyland were the listing agents. Drew Fenton, also with Hilton & Hyland, represented the buyer.

Twitter: @LATHotProperty