Category Spending Money Wisely

TV’s Ty Pennington flips Venice charmer onto the market

Ty Pennington, the Emmy-winning host behind “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” is offering up a house of his own. His remodeled spot in Venice just came to market for $2.8 million.

He stands to make a big profit if he gets his price. Records show he bought the property for $1.11 million in 2004.

Pennington, a longtime carpenter who found fame on the home improvement show “Trading Spaces,” put plenty of work into the house during his 16-year stay. Once a drab shade of tan both inside and out, the two-story home now boasts a bright blue exterior and crisp white interiors.


Inside, he added bamboo floors in the living spaces, concrete countertops in the kitchen and a wraparound porch lined with porcelain tile. In the primary suite — one of three bedrooms — there’s an antique cast-iron tub.

Billed as a “contemporary Craftsman,” the 2,100-square-foot floor plan also features a living room with a decorative fireplace and a sunken family room overlooking the backyard — a landscaped space complete with a dining patio and koi pond.

Pennington, 56, won two Primetime Emmys for “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” which ran from 2003 to 2012. In the years since, his other hosting gigs have included “The Revolution,” “On the Menu” and “American Diner Revival.”

Patrice Meepos of Compass holds the listing.


Ava Duvernay asks $2.48 million for Hollywood Hills perch

Ava Duvernay is eyeing a scene change in Hollywood Hills. Just after the new year, the Oscar-nominated director behind “Selma” and “When They See Us” relisted her scenic hillside home for $2.48 million.

She paid $1.85 million for the property in 2017, records show, but then upgraded last year, shelling out $9.8 million for a 7,380-square-foot Mediterranean estate on half an acre in Los Feliz.

This one’s a bit cozier at 3,600 square feet but fills its space with sunny, glass-filled, skylighted living spaces that take in sweeping views of the canyons below. In Hollywood Knolls, it spans three stories with four bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms.


An open floor plan brightened by clerestories unites a chef’s kitchen, dining area and living room with a fireplace on the main level. The space expands outside to one of three decks that hang off the back of the home.

Downstairs, the lower levels add an office, bonus room, media room and primary suite with a sitting room and spa bathroom.

A Southern California native, Duvernay received a Golden Globe and Oscar nomination for her 2014 film “Selma,” and her other credits include “Middle of Nowhere” and “A Wrinkle in Time.” She received another Oscar nomination for her 2016 Netflix documentary “13th.”

Jeremy Fischer of Nourmand & Associates holds the listing.


Hollywood office campus sold to movie producer and partner real estate developer

An office campus across from Sunset Las Palmas Studios in Hollywood has sold for $186 million to a partnership between producer-investor Russell Geyser and office landlord and developer LPC West — a notable deal at a time when much of the commercial office market is reeling from vacancies brought on by the pandemic and recession.

The sale of the 261,000-square-foot complex illustrates the resiliency of the entertainment business and the expectation by investors that many tenants will prefer low-density offices after the danger of COVID-19 has passed. The property is occupied by entertainment industry tenants specializing in production, post-production and film financing, including Broad Green, Picture Head and Bold Films.

“We think that post-COVID, low-rise campus environments with great outdoor space are going to be heavily sought after,” said Rob Kane, executive vice president of LPC West, the regional arm of national real estate firm Lincoln Property Co.

The property known as 959 Seward was completed in 2015.

The property known as 959 Seward was completed in 2015 and is home to such entertainment industry tenants as Broad Green, Picture Head and Bold Films.

(Zach Lipp / LPC West)


The property, known as 959 Seward, which reflects its address, has two four-story buildings with high ceilings and operable windows. There is a central courtyard, outdoor lounge areas and a restaurant.

It was completed in 2015 by Jerry Snyder, a prolific Los Angeles developer who died in May at the age of 90. Built on a site that formerly housed the headquarters of Consolidated Film Industries, it is the first property in the J.H. Snyder Co. portfolio to be sold since he died.

The campus is across Romaine Street from Sunset Las Palmas Studios, which was founded in 1919 and was once owned by director Francis Ford Coppola.


It has been used to make movies by such industry legends as Harold Lloyd, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Howard Hughes. It is now owned by Hudson Pacific Properties Inc. and Blackstone.

The property known as 959 Seward was completed in 2015

The property known as 959 Seward was completed in 2015 and is home to such entertainment industry tenants as Broad Green, Picture Head and Bold Films.

(Zach Lipp / LPC West)

The studio and office campus are in Hollywood’s media district, which has seen a wave of investment over the last two decades. Among the companies located there are Netflix, Milk Studios, Red Studios, Capitol Records and ViacomCBS.

LPC West’s holdings in the media district include Hollywood Media Center, formerly known as the Eastman Kodak building, and 817 Vine, an office campus near 959 Seward.


LPC West is betting that there will be growing demand from tech and entertainment companies creating content such as movies and shows for streaming services including Netflix and other providers, Kane said. “We think that’s going to be focused in Hollywood.”

Geyser is the managing member of real estate investment company Geyser Holdings and the founder of Rainmaker Films, a production and film financing company. He is known for his involvement in such films as the 2017 release “Kill Switch” and next year’s sci-fi thriller “Stowaway,” starring Anna Kendrick, Toni Collette, Daniel Dae Kim and Shamier Anderson.

Geyser’s father, Lewis Geyser, a longtime partner of Jerry Snyder’s, helped develop 959 Seward and still is a senior partner at J.H. Snyder Co.

Purchasing the property was “a historical point of connection for me,” Russell Geyser said.


In Bel-Air, a 34,000-square-foot spec mansion gets an $81-million price cut

In L.A.’s over-the-top spec market, the only thing bigger than the homes are the price tags — and eventually, the price cuts.

The latest example spans 34,000 square feet on an acre in Bel-Air, where celebrity plastic surgeon Raj Kanodia was seeking $180 million for his massive spec mansion in 2018. With no takers in two years, he just dropped the price to $99 million, down 45% from his astronomical asking price.

Spec building is the epitome of high-risk, high-reward, with luxury developers erecting some of the largest houses in Southern California without a buyer lined up and slapping on price tags that regularly top $100 million. If they can’t find a buyer, tax bills add up quickly; as of last year, The Times reported that there were 12 properties in L.A. County with an annual property tax bill of more than $1 million.

This often leads to dramatic price cuts, and Kanodia is far from the first to significantly lower his ask. Unica, a Spanish spec villa of 41,000 square feet, hit the market for $100 million before relisting for $78 million in September. In 2016, Bruce Makowsky offered his 38,000-square-foot mansion for $250 million, making it the priciest listing in the country, before eventually selling it three years later for $94 million. Coincidentally, Makowsky’s place sits right next door to Kanodia’s.


Built in 2018, Kanodia’s home spans three stories on a lush hillside lot with sweeping views of the city. A 29-foot entryway sets a dramatic tone, leading into an expansive glass-covered floor plan with nine bedrooms and 20 bathrooms.

Throughout the home, pocketing doors slide to create scenic indoor-outdoor spaces. Highlights include a living room with a spiral staircase, a bold stainless-steel kitchen and multiple wet bars.

Lounges and dining patios descend to a 90-foot infinity pool out back, and at the edge of the property, there’s a spacious lawn and a series of tiered gardens.


Branden and Rayni Williams of the Beverly Hills Estates hold the listing.


Nile Niami sells flashy Hollywood Hills home he bought from Scooter Braun

As Nile Niami continues working on The One — his 100,00-square-foot mansion he’s hoping to sell for $500 million — he just wrapped up a smaller deal in the Hollywood Hills. The spec developer and movie producer has sold a modern spot perched above the Sunset Strip for $9.58 million, less than half of the massive $19.9 million he was aiming for in 2017.

It’ll chalk up as a loss when factoring in the renovations he made, but in terms of pure numbers, the sale is $80,000 more than the $9.5 million he paid in 2015 when he bought it from talent manager Scooter Braun.

Spanning three stories, the hillside home is a classic Niami offering, boasting sleek modern style, high-end amenities and flashy finishes across roughly 6,000 square feet. The main level boasts dramatic common spaces such as a marble kitchen and a double-height living room with a fireplace and mirrored backsplash.


The entire top level is dedicated to the owner’s suite, a scenic indoor-outdoor space lined with walls of glass. One of three bedrooms and six bathrooms, it comes with a custom closet and spa bathroom. Amenities fill out the lower level, including a movie theater, billiards room, wine cellar and wet bar.

Three levels of decks and patios hang off the back of the home, leading to a tropical backyard with a swimming pool and spa at the edge of the property. A lounge area and outdoor gym complete the quarter-acre grounds.

Camellia Yeroomian of the Agency held the listing. Jacob Greene of Douglas Elliman represented the buyer.


Billionaire Steve Wynn sets price for Beverly Hills mega-mansion: $110 million

Steve Wynn is eyeing a jackpot in Beverly Hills. The casino mogul, who stepped down as CEO of Wynn Resorts in 2018 after accusations of sexual misconduct, just listed his extravagant showplace for $110 million.

That makes it the fourth-most expensive property currently up for grabs in L.A. County, according to the Multiple Listing Service.

If the billionaire gets his price, it will rank among the priciest home sales in California history. The crown currently belongs to Jeff Bezos, who dropped $165 million on Beverly Hills’ famed Warner estate last year.

It would also be a massive return on investment for Wynn. He bought it from Guess jeans co-founder Maurice Marciano for $47.85 million in 2015 and expanded the home dramatically, adding about 8,000 square feet to the already-colossal estate.


The mansion now spans more than 27,000 square feet, which makes it the largest of his lavish, cross-country collection of homes. Records show he also owns a 25,000-square-foot retreat in Idaho, a 24,600-square-foot oceanfront mansion in Florida, a 13,500-square-foot Mediterranean villa in Las Vegas and an 11,000-square-foot penthouse in New York.

This one offers a more contemporary style. Accessed by a private gate on a cul-de-sac, the property sits on 2.7 acres with a main house, guesthouse, swimming pool, custom landscaped lawn and tennis court with a seating house. Terraces and patios hang off the back of the home, taking in views of the city below.

Inside, 11 bedrooms and 20 bathrooms are spread across three stories. In addition to the usual slew of chic living spaces including a reception area and bar room, there are amenities such as a movie theater, wine cellar, gym, office and elevator.


Leonard Rabinowitz, Rick Hilton and Jack Friedkin of Hilton & Hyland hold the listing.

Wynn, 78, served as chief executive of Mirage Resorts before selling the company to MGM Grand Inc. and forming Wynn Resorts. He stepped down as CEO of that company in 2018 after accusations of sexual misconduct, which he has denied. In 2019, he was ordered to pay a settlement of $20 million to Wynn Resorts. Forbes puts his net worth at $3 billion.

Last summer, he offered up his Las Vegas mansion for sale at $25 million, which at the time was the most expensive listing in the city.


Trevor Noah drops $27.5 million on Bel-Air showplace

Trevor Noah will spend 2021 in style. The day before New Year’s Eve, “The Daily Show” host shelled out $27.5 million for a contemporary mansion in Bel-Air, The Times has confirmed.

The comedian must have a thing for architectural showplaces. In 2019, he dropped $20.5 million on a similarly dramatic mansion also found in Bel-Air, but ended up selling it last summer for $21.7 million.

Noah bought this one from Mark Rios, an L.A. architect who built the 11,000-square-foot home for himself. Inspired by Japanese aesthetics, he told Architectural Digest that he went through 50 plans before settling on the final design and employed dark timbers based on a room he saw in Kyoto and extra-thick walls to protect against the noise of the city below.

From the street, the home appears as a series of cubes stacked together. Aerial photos from the back reveal that the estate sprawls across its hillside lot with a series of open spaces that adjoin or overlook a scenic backyard with a lawn and infinity-edge pool.


Stone, wood, bronze and glass combine in the common spaces including a spacious dining room and a lounge with custom wall coverings. Spread across three stories are six bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, an office, library, elevator, gym, spa, steam room and game room.

Up top, a movie theater leads to a rooftop terrace. A cabana with a bar and sun deck adjoins the pool out back.

Linda May and Drew Fenton of Hilton & Hyland held the listing. Jonah Wilson, also with Hilton & Hyland, represented the buyer.

A native of South Africa, Noah has found success in comedy and television. After joining “The Daily Show” as a correspondent in 2014, the 36-year-old succeeded Jon Stewart as host the following year and inked a five-year extension in 2017 — the same year he won a Primetime Emmy.



Palm Springs’ House of Tomorrow, an Elvis Presley hideaway, sells for $2.6 million

One of the most striking homes in Palm Springs has finally sold. All it took was six years of relists and price cuts that saw the original $9.5-million tag slowly whittled down to the final sale price of $2.6 million.

Known as the House of Tomorrow, the futuristic dwelling in Vista Las Palmas not only stands out as one of the most stylish Midcenturies in a city filled with them, but it also holds a special place in rock ‘n’ roll history. The home is where Elvis and Priscilla Presley went after their secretive wedding in 1967, and listing photos show a portrait of the couple adorning one of the stone-clad walls.

Built by Midcentury architect William Krisel, the innovative digs serve as a time capsule of the 1960s. Floating fireplaces, rock walls and terrazzo floors adorn the interior, which is made up of four circular wings that total 5,000 square feet.


It’s pretty much entirely in touch with its original style today, with rounded walls of glass and a dramatic, eye-catching roofline. Floating stone spheres ascend to the massive double-door entry.

One of the main highlights inside is the sunken living room, which features a ring of clerestory windows and a floating fireplace hanging from the ceiling in the center. Built-in seating wraps around the room.

Other spaces include a chandelier-topped dining area and kitchen with a circular center island. Five bedrooms and five bathrooms complete the floor plan. Outside, lawns and landscaping add some color to the private backyard, which is anchored by a swimming pool vaguely shaped like a chevron.

Scott Histed of Bennion Deville Homes held the listing. Marc Sanders of Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty represented the buyer.


Legendary windsurfer Robby Naish asks $18 million for Hawaii estate

In Hawaii, a windsurfer’s paradise is being offered up by one of the sport’s most iconic figures. Robby Naish, the California native who’s won 23 windsurfing world championships over the course of his prolific career, is asking $18 million for his 73-acre spread overlooking the ocean on the North Shore of Maui.

Listed for the first time ever, the rolling grounds sprawl along half a mile of coastline between Uaoa Bay and Pilale Bay on a scenic lookout known as Kealii Point.

An 8-foot tiki statue brings a resort-like feel to the front of the property, and structures include a 6,000-square-foot home with a gym and a 2,000-square-foot workshop — as well as pandemic-proof amenities such as a solar panel system and private well.


Palm trees line the long driveway approaching the estate, and stone stairs ascend to the double-door entry. Inside, koa wood and pocketing walls of glass bring coastal charm to the living spaces.

A sweeping staircase anchors the entry. Picture windows overlook the ocean in the formal dining room and breakfast nook, and the chef’s kitchen adds an island and breakfast bar.

Five bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms finish off the floor plan. A patio surrounds a swimming pool outside, and farther out, vast stretches of lawn lead to trails that descend to the shoreline.

Naish, 57, won his first windsurfing championship at age 13 in 1976 and has since been named to the PWA Windsurfing Hall of Fame and the National Sailing Hall of Fame. In the ‘90s he founded Naish Sails Hawaii, which manufactures windsurfing and paddleboarding equipment.


Josh Jerman and Tim Stice of Hawaii Life hold the listing.


Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union trim Sherman Oaks mansion to $6 million

Power couple Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union are still shooting for a sale in Sherman Oaks, cutting the price of their Mediterranean-style mansion to $6 million. That’s the same price they paid in 2018, records show.

The pair upgraded homes in a major way last year, shelling out $17.9 million for a 17,000-square-foot showplace in Hidden Hills nestled between properties owned by DeMar Derozan and Kylie Jenner. About a month later, they listed the Sherman Oaks property for $6.2 million.

Accessed by a private road, the leafy estate spans three-quarters of an acre and centers on an 8,650-square-foot house built in 2017. Outside, there’s an infinity pool with sweeping canyon views, an outdoor kitchen with a pizza oven and a wraparound balcony.


French doors and walls of windows brighten the living spaces, which revolve around a striking architectural staircase that swirls at the center of the three-story floor plan. For amenities, there’s a movie theater, a wine cellar and an elevator.

Elsewhere are five bedrooms and 8.5 bathrooms, including a primary suite with a pocketing wall of glass and remodeled bathroom.

Wade, 38, is a former professional basketball player who played 16 years in the NBA, making 13 all-star teams. As a member of the Miami Heat, he won three NBA titles and was the league scoring champion in 2009. He retired following the 2019 season.

Union, 48, is an actress known for her film roles in “Love & Basketball,” “Bad Boys II” and “Bring It On.” More recently, she appeared on the television series “Being Mary Jane” and “L.A.’s Finest.”


Anna Marie Simpliciano of Hilton & Hyland and Althea Bowman of B&B Investments hold the listing.