Everyone knows Los Angeles real estate is crazy. It is pure insanity. In my neighborhood, for instance, 100 year old, 1100 square foot houses go for $1.2 million. Usually, developers buy them, tear them down, and build 5,000 square foot box like McMansions that then sell for $3 million. If you want a one or two bedroom condo, that’s going to set you back $700,000 to $900,000 or more. And that’s just my hood. I do not live in Beverly Hills or Holmby Hills where the truly expensive homes and estates lie. In fact, one street in Los Angeles absolutely takes the cake as the most expensive and exclusive street in not just L.A., but the world. Welcome to South Mapleton Drive in the Holmby Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Sit down San Franciscans, San Jose dwellers, New Yorkers, Shanghai residents, and people from Hong Kong. I’m sure you could make an argument for streets in your cities that are eye poppingly expensive. But here’s the thing, they aren’t South Mapleton Drive. Located in the heart of Holmby Hills, the street’s most famous house sits at the southernmost end of the street. You may have heard of Spelling Manor. Another famous house on the street you’ve surely heard of is the Playboy Mansion—technically the address is not on Mapleton but it does have a secondary entrance on the pricey drive. On the east, South Mapleton Drive is bounded by the exclusive Los Angeles Country Club. On the west side, the UCLA/Westwood area abuts it.
Current residents of South Mapleton Drive include Formula 1 heiress Petra Ecclestone, Twinkie heir Daren Metropolous, Google’s Eric Schmidt, Napster’s Sean Parker, legend Jimmy Iovine, heiress Alexandra von Furstenberg, restaurateur Michael Chow, director Ridley Scott, Obama’s White House interior decorator Michael S. Smith, P. Diddy, private equity mogul Justin Chang and his author wife Amanda Brown (Legally Blonde), former head of Paramount Frank Mancuso, Sr., hedge fund tycoon David Kaplan, and businessman Marc Nathanson.
Last year one of the smallest houses with the worst location on the block—it is on the corner of South Mapleton Drive and Sunset Boulevard, sold for $15,072,000 to Chinese retail mogul Alfred Chan and his Italian fashion designer wife Fiona Cibani. Yes, you read that right? The cheapest house on the block sold for $15 million. Three of the homes on the long street have sold in the past few years for more than $40 million. No other street in Los Angeles can claim these kind of high priced real estate stats.
There is a current palatial estate being built on South Mapleton Drive, three doors down from Petra Ecclestone and in between Alexandra von Furstenberg’s and Daren Metropolous’s properties. The new home is being built by architect Richard Landry, who has enormous mansions he designed dotting Los Angeles’ most exclusive ‘hoods and beaches.
The 1.29 acre property was last sold for $14.4 million in 2011 by Lions Gate Entertainment CEO Jon Feltheimer, who had purchased it in 2009 for $9.8 million. The current owners are Gurgen and Artyom Khachatryan—sons of Gagik Khachatryan, Armenia’s Finance Minister. They tore down the existing home on the property. The house under construction is expected to be a two story mansion with a full basement containing an indoor pool, a five car garage, and detached pool house with its own basement.
Construction on the Landry designed mansion is still in the early stages.
This isn’t the only property on South Mapleton Drive owned by the Khachatryan brothers. In 2010, they bought an estate dating back to 1939 located at 355 South Mapleton Drive. They got a serious deal on this home–$11 million. Of course, it was during the height of the economic recession. In June 2016, the brothers put the home on the market for $35 million. They didn’t flip it—no changes were made to the property—they just wanted to sell it for triple the amount they paid for it six years earlier. The house did not sell. So, the brothers chopped the price to $26.5 million.
In April, super high end developer Nile Niami sold a 30,000 square foot spec mansion on the exclusive street with 19 bathrooms and a cosmetic upkeep suite for $44 million to an unidentified Saudi. A few months later, Niami sold another South Mapleton mansion for $39 million.
But let’s get back to the street’s most famous house—the Spelling Manor. The 55,000 square foot mansion sits on the corner of South Mapleton and Club View Drive. In 2011, the mansion sold to Petra Ecclestone for $85 million. She put $20 million into updating the home. She recently put the property on the market for $150 million.