$250M man­sion is most ex­pen­sive U.S. list­ing

Mega man­sion in Bel Air in­cludes car fleet, cin­ema, art­works

The Hamilton Spectator - - STYLE - AMANDA LEE MY­ERS

LOS AN­GE­LES — At $250 mil­lion, a new mega man­sion in the ex­clu­sive Bel Air neigh­bour­hood of Los An­ge­les is the most ex­pen­sive home listed in the United States.

The pas­sion project of de­vel­oper and hand­bag ty­coon Bruce Makowsky, the four-level, 38,000-square­foot man­sion built on spec in­cludes 12 bed­room suites, 21 bath­rooms, five bars, three gourmet kitchens, a spa and an 85-foot in­fin­ity swim­ming pool with stun­ning views of Los An­ge­les. There’s also a 40-seat movie the­atre, a bowl­ing al­ley, and a fleet of ex­otic and vin­tage cars worth $30 mil­lion.

Ac­cord­ing to Makowsky, only 3,000 peo­ple in the world could af­ford to buy it.

The As­so­ci­ated Press re­cently in­ter­viewed Makowsky in­side the man­sion. Here’s what he had to say about why he built it and who would spend $250 mil­lion on a house. Why did you build this house? “Af­ter be­ing on ma­jor mega yachts across the world and on beau­ti­ful pri­vate air­craft, it didn’t make sense to me peo­ple were spend­ing $350 mil­lion on a boat, $100 mil­lion on a plane and they’re liv­ing in $20-mil­lion and $30-mil­lion homes ... The homes have not kept up with the toys. So my feel­ing is if you’re go­ing to spend over 12 hours a day in your home, it should be the most amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence in the world.”

What is it like be­ing in­side the house?

“I would say it’s the eighth won­der of the world. I’ve had a cou­ple peo­ple come in here and say it’s in the top seven — one of the other seven could go away ... Ev­ery sin­gle inch of this house is breath­tak­ing. It’s a sen­sory over­load. I’ve shown this house about 25 times now. Peo­ple go in and use just about ev­ery ad­jec­tive on half of the lower level. There’s no more ad­jec­tives. They just be­come numb. Ev­ery sin­gle thing in this house makes you feel like you’re in heaven.”

How did you reach $250 mil­lion for the list­ing price?

“The rea­son it’s $250 mil­lion is be­cause of all the work for the past four years of hav­ing 300 peo­ple in­side here, the art cu­ra­tion in­side the house. We have over $30 mil­lion worth of cars, ex­otic sports cars and vin­tage cars ... We have a 270-de­gree view from the snow-cov­ered moun­tains all the way down to L.A. Seven full-time staff come with the house, which is crazy. So if you want the best chef in the world, you have her, and if you want a masseuse we have you all hooked up ... We have wa­ter fea­tures that go com­pletely around the house. We have stones from 50 dif­fer­ent quar­ries from around the world, the most beau­ti­ful pre­cious stones run­ning through the house ... I truly be­lieve the value is here.”

Why would some­one spend so much money on a house, even with all th­ese ameni­ties?

“It’s the kind of thing where I can’t sell it. Some­body has to fall in love with it and die over it. And when a per­son sit­ting with $2 bil­lion, $5 bil­lion or $20 bil­lion in the bank and it’s just a num­ber, do they re­ally want to en­joy ev­ery sec­ond of their life — be­cause this isn’t re- hearsal, this is real life — or do they just want to look at a num­ber in the bank?”

PHO­TOS BY JAE C. HONG, THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Bruce Makowsky, on the bal­cony off the mas­ter bed­room.

Makowsky walks up steel stair­case next to sculp­ture of a Le­ica cam­era.

An 85-foot in­fin­ity swim­ming pool.

NATHANAEL TURNER, NEW YORK TIMES

A bird’s-eye view of the glass-tile in­fin­ity pool.

A lounge area dec­o­rated with pho­to­graphs of celebri­ties.

A wall of candy dis­pensers in the lounge area.

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