A huge chunk of land in Bel-Air is going up for auction

Thanks to its impressive list of celebrity residents and an impressive collection of record-breaking mega-mansions, Bel-Air has earned a reputation as one of the poshest enclaves in the country.

A 260 hectare lot comprising 6% of the famous neighborhood will be auctioned off to the highest bidder.

The auction is a last-ditch effort to sell the massive expanse known as Senderos Canyon, which is one of the largest and most valuable vacant lots in the LA area, but hasn’t found a buyer since they went on the market a decade ago.

At 260 acres, it’s three times the size of Disneyland, easily dwarfing the 157-acre Beverly Hills mountain, widely considered the finest vacant lot in LA. It is by far the largest piece of land currently on the market in LA; Second place belongs to a 53-acre property in Granada Hills that is asking for $1.2 million.

Despite its colossal size, potential buyers were few and far between due to the high cost and time it would take to develop the property into something profitable.

Consisting of three contiguous lots, the trophy property first went up for sale for $125 million in 2013. No takers. In 2019, the price was reduced to $75 million and then $60 million. Still nothing. Now it’s auctioning with bids starting at $39 million, a discount of almost 70%.

There have been many ideas for the property over the years. The land is not eligible for any specific use, but potential buyers have suggested just about anything: a goat farm, a retirement community, a luxury wellness retreat, or even an outdoor campus for a school.

“Everyone has great ideas,” said listing agent Scott Tamkin of Compass.

Renderings show possible uses for the valuable space. One shows a golf course. Another shows a horse ranch surrounded by an artificial lake.

A rendering of the property shows its potential use as a golf course.

A rendering of the property shows its potential use as a golf course.

(Sibylle Allgaier)

A more realistic vision for the country might be a handful of luxury homes, and Tamkin estimates that Senderos Canyon could accommodate about 17. There are 15 to 20 acres at the top of the property that would be the easiest to develop, but building deeper into the canyon would be more difficult and require significantly more infrastructure and grading.

The auction is held by Paramount Realty USA, which has handled more than $2 billion in real estate auctions. Misha Haghani, the company’s owner, called the property “unique and irreplaceable”.

The tender opened on January 24th and runs until March 15th – a strategic date for the owner. About two weeks later, Measure ULA goes into effect, adding a 5.5% real estate transfer tax to the deal, provided it sells for more than $10 million.

If it sells for $39 million, the seller — a limited liability company called Giro Properties — would owe $2.145 million under tax. To speed things up, the seller is offering a $2 million loan if the buyer closes before the measure closes on June 1.

It’s the latest example of luxury homeowners looking for ways to avoid the tax. Some are simply trying to sell properties before April, while others are getting more creative, trying to split up properties to bring their value below $5 million — the price point at which a 4% tax is triggered.

Auctions are typically viewed as a last resort for selling a home and usually only take place after a property has languished on the market for several years.

In 2021, the Hearst Beverly Hills estate sold for $63.1 million at auction after originally being listed for $195 million. Last year, a 105,000-square-foot mega-mansion called The One sold to the highest bidder for $141 million — an all-time record for an auction home, but a far cry from the original asking price of $295 million.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2023-01-25/a-huge-chunk-of-bel-air-is-going-up-for-auction A huge chunk of land in Bel-Air is going up for auction

Alley Einstein

Alley Einstein is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Alley Einstein joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing Alley@ustimespost.com.

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