Ward is interested in all things travel and runs the Castles in America website. He's also currently working on a fantasy novel.
A Mega Mansion with an Astronomical Price Tag
Beverly Hills! That’s where we all want to live — to paraphrase a song, and judging from listing prices, it’s true and one mega mansion in that town of movie stars and supermodels has the record for the most expensive real estate listing in America. The Palazzo di Amore was listed at a price of an unbelievable $195 million dollars making it the most expensive real estate listing ever in America.
For $195 million dollars, you’d expect a buyer to expect quality and the Palazzo definitely delivers. Perched on a promontory, so that perhaps the owner could look down on mere mortals, the Palazzo is built in a Mediterranean villa style on 25 acres of prime Beverly Hills real estate complete with a ½ mile winding tree lined driveway, a gate house, a tennis court, a 128 foot reflecting pool, a swimming pool, a driveway with a fountain made of Italian Carrara marble, and a guest house.
The 35,000 square foot main residence, with the total complex clocking in at 53,000 square feet, boasts a who’s who of luxury amenities. There’s a grand chef’s kitchen with a walk-in refrigerator, a 3,500 bottle wine cellar and tasting room, a separate 10,000 bottle wine cellar, descending twin curving staircases made of you guessed it more marble, 27 car garage with room for 150 more cars on the property outside, an elevator, a game room, a breakfast room, staff quarters with separate kitchens and entry, and a 5,000 square foot master suite. The average US home of 2,464 square feet can fit in there!
The amenities don’t end there. The 12 bedroom, 27 bathroom Palazzo has a Turkish spa on the property with tiles made by the workers of the King of Morocco. And then there’s the entertainment center … or to describe it more accurately, an entertainment complex. The 15,000 square foot entertainment area includes a two lane bowling alley, a 50 seat movie theater with dressing rooms as it can also double as a stage theater, and for those 1,000 guests the entertainment complex can hold, there’s a discotheque/ballroom with DJ booth, laser lights, and revolving dance floor to dance the night away!
The Palazzo di Amore was built by the mega developer to the 1%, Mohamed Hadid, most famous for his guest spots as the ex-husband of Yolanda Foster in the reality show The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. If for some reason you’re worried, the two exes are fine, actually more than fine. They actually still spend time with one another, and Mohamed even introduced Yolanda to her now current husband, music producer David Foster. David is equally loaded as he produced songs for music’s greatest acts including Whitney Houston, Michael Bublé, and Madonna with his most important claim to fame being his Grammy win as producer for Whitney Houston’s smash rendition of the song “I will Always Love You.”
The property of the Palazzo di Amore, however, is owned by billionaire real estate tycoon, Jeff Greene. A former busboy before he hit it big, Greene bought the property for $35 million out of receivership from a Saudi businessman. He’d always intended to flip the property, but the Palazzo consumed more of his life than he had planned. “Honestly, I didn’t think it was going to be this much work,” Greene said as construction took eight arduous years to complete. But there were happy moments at the property. The Palazzo di Amore (The Palace of Love) gets its name because that’s where Jeff Greene married his wife Chinese Australian Mei Sze Chan in a lavish million-dollar wedding. Swans were said to swim in the Palazzo’s reflecting pool with city lights twinkling in the distance …
Because the Palazzo has something most mansions would kill for: the views. Perched as it is on a promontory, the Palazzo has views of the West Side of Los Angeles, the Century City skyline, and the Pacific Ocean. At night, the lights of Los Angeles could be seen, and in the morning, world class shopping at Rodeo Drive could be had as it’s only minutes away!
With the view, you can also enjoy your very own private label wine. That’s right, the Palazzo has a working vineyard on the premises and guests can enjoy the namesake Palazzo di Amore wines cultivated right there on the grounds. How many mega mansions can say that?
Alas, it seems to be too good to be true for the Palazzo even for the super-rich. The original $195 million price tag from 2014 has been first slashed to a mere $149 million, and then even more humiliatingly, to $129 million in 2019. Mauricio Umansky, super real estate agent and husband of RHOBH (that’s Real Housewives of Beverly Hills for the non-reality TV obsessed) star Kyle Richards is hawking the property. Come on 1%ters, buy this property already! Perhaps it’s the neighborhood? Beverly Hills has not been immune to the protests and riots related to the Black Lives Matter movement where protesters converged on the famous Rodeo Drive. Ominously, some even chanted to ‘Eat the Rich’ proving that not even Beverly Hills is immune to the cares of the world.