Billionaire Pays $63.1 Million for Beverly Hills Hearst Estate
Imagine walking into a home that stretches over the majority of 3.5 acres, complete with ceilings that are 22-feet high and rooms that feature hand-carved wood designs. Now, imagine that it’s your home, your very own to explore and enjoy. For one billionaire named Nicolas Berggruen, this is no dream. It is a reality, at least it will be once the house closes escrow at the end of this month on his new Beverly Hills home.
A Dream Mansion at a Bargain Price
The Hearst Estate, as this Beverly Hills fixture is now called, recently sold at auction for a bargain price of $63.1 million. That may not sound like much of a bargain, but it’s important to remember that the same house was on the market for more than $125 million this past April. Even as recently as two months ago, it was still on the market for far more than what was eventually paid for it, as the owner was trying to sell it for $89 million. All things considered, that makes $63.1 million seem like a real discount. Besides, this is a house worth paying a premium for, so the bargain price is even more surprising. In addition to the aforementioned vaulted ceilings and hand-carved wood, the house sports practically everything a person could ever want. It sprawls out over 29,000 square feet and has nine bedrooms and a whopping 15 bathrooms.
There’s also a Billiards room, two separate movie rooms and a dedicated library that is two stories tall in and of itself. Aside from that, the home features some of the most revered architecture of its time, both inside and out. Built in 1927, it has been owned by the same person since the 1970s. However, it’s also been in and out of bankruptcy several times since then. Eventually, it went to auction and billionaire Nicolas Berggruen snatched it up. As it turns out, he’d been interested in the home for some time, even sending the former owner a private offer. When it was made public that the house would go up for auction, he was one of the bidders that showed up. Eventually, it came down to just him and one other person. He wanted the house badly enough that he stuck with it, even though his initial bid was placed at $47 million. Clearly, he ended up paying considerably more than that, but in the end, he also got the house he wanted.
Space to Stretch Out
Of course, the house isn’t the only thing on the property worth talking about, though it’s hard to get past it from the first time you lay eyes on it. Between the vaulted ceilings, herringbone wood floors and long hallways filled with unique artwork, the house is a real stunner. It is a mansion in the purest sense of the word, and that’s if you’re just looking at the exterior of the home. Many people agree that the home’s best features aren’t seen until you step inside. That’s largely because the home looks a lot like all of the other mansions in Beverly Hills from the outside, complete with the stucco exterior design and palm trees that dot the landscape. California gets very hot and much of the architecture there is designed to combat that heat as effectively as possible. Unless you’re a particular fan of this architecture, the home might seem a bit lacking at first glance, but only when you’re looking at it from the outside. Once you step through the doors, it takes on an entirely new atmosphere, almost as if you’re looking at two completely different houses. In addition, there are several other buildings on the property, including a gate house that has five bedrooms and a couple of other structures that typically serve as guest houses. If that’s not enough to impress, there’s also an Olympic-size swimming pool, placed squarely in the middle of two smaller reflecting pools. An 800 foot driveway tops it all off.
About the New Owner
There doesn’t seem to be a great deal of information known about Berggruen, the new owner. Most people know that he has his own business, called The Berggruen Institute, which is described as a think tank for entrepreneurs geared toward political and social reform. Clearly, that can mean a lot of different things. In fact, there has been a rather large amount of confusion regarding exactly what type of business is conducted at the facility. Nevertheless, Berggruen himself makes more than enough money to cover the cost of the mansion and then some. Apparently, he is planning on extending his business into the Los Angeles area, even to the point of building a brand new building in the area where he can focus more of his activities on the West coast of the United States. That is precisely why he was looking for a place to live in or around Los Angeles in the first place.
It only makes sense that he would eventually settle on a mansion in Beverly Hills. This was the house that got his attention the moment that he laid eyes on it, and one that he has been actively pursuing since that time. There’s no telling what will actually become of the property once Berggruen takes up residence there. Some people have wondered if he will renovate it in order to make certain aspects of it look more modern. Others have chimed in with the hopes that he will leave it exactly as is because it has its own sense of old-world charm. A lot of people don’t want to see that change. There is no doubt that as far as the interior is concerned, the house looks like an old Italian Villa in some places and a fully remodeled Medieval castle in others. One only has to compare and contrast the long hallways with the two-story library in order to see these two comparisons. Whatever eventually happens to the mansion, it looks like it is at least in good hands from a financial perspective, meaning that there is less chance of it going into bankruptcy and falling into disrepair.