Sunday, August 18, 2019

"In Beverly Hills, the Mountain’s fate looms as foreclosure auction gets delayed"

The prized property burst onto the market last summer boasting a potentially record-breaking price tag of $1 billion with a snazzy branding strategy and a marketing budget of $1 million.


celebrities, moguls, investors and even royals have been tussling over the mountaintop parcel for nearly half a century.

Views stretch from downtown Los Angeles to Catalina Island, and the closest neighbor is half a mile away. Disneyland, at roughly 85 acres, measures merely half the size of the property.


The mountaintop was once owned by a sister of the late shah of Iran, the Princess Shams Pahlavi, who had planned to build a lavish palace there. It didn’t happen.

The property was later acquired by talk show host-turned-TV-producer Merv Griffin, who commissioned prominent designer Waldo Fernandez to create a marble-and-limestone mansion. It was never built.

After falling into financial trouble, Griffin sold the mountaintop for more than $8 million in 1997 to Mark Hughes, the founder of Herbalife, in a deal that reportedly set a price record at that time for Southern California.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles is going to start looking like the end stage of a Sim City 2000 game:
Competition for tenants who can pay top rents has grown so fierce that landlords are loading up their new buildings with goodies unheard of in years past when a swimming pool and laundry room were considered ample enticements for renters.

In a new downtown Los Angeles apartment complex, residents could be found on a recent hot Friday afternoon washing their pooches in a dog park that offers separate runs for large and small breeds. It’s just one of the tenant amenities on a sprawling 2-acre deck that unfolds like a garden courtyard eight stories above Figueroa Street at the towering Circa complex.


In addition to a gym, the building will have a two-lane bowling alley, a virtual reality gaming room, a golf simulator, dog-grooming space, demonstration kitchen, wine-tasting counter, billiard room and yoga studio. On the 42nd story will be a private rooftop garden and lounge.


plans to host events intended to entice tenants away from their electronic devices into communal activities such as bowling leagues, movie nights and backgammon tournaments. There will also be more high-minded events such as forums on astronomy or social inequities such as homelessness that may be open to visitors.
And in other Los Angeles news:
When Los Angeles officials gave their blessing to a new development to replace the Amoeba Music building in Hollywood, critics went to court to try to stop it, arguing it would destroy a “cultural resource.”

But one of the owners of Amoeba Music complained this week that the push to preserve its distinctive art “threatens the very existence of the business it is claiming to hope to preserve.”

In his statement, Amoeba co-owner Jim Henderson said that “using Amoeba without our consent in their battle against development is more likely to permanently close our doors than anything else we have faced to date.”


The AIDS Healthcare Foundation has been a controversial player in development debates in Los Angeles, repeatedly suing the city over planned projects that it argues will fuel gentrification and clog streets with traffic.