What do Merv Griffin, the founder of Herbalife, and the sister of the late shah of Iran have in common? They all owned (and failed to develop) a 157-acre property that sits in the hills high above Los Angeles. Now, the "crown jewel of Beverly Hills" as it is dubbed by the listing agent is on the market again. And the $1 billion asking price makes it the most expensive listing in LA history "by a mile," the LA Times reports. Dubbed "The Mountain," the property is divided into 17 parcels, each between 2.7 and 12.2 acres each, according to Forbes. It's zoned for buildings of up to 48 feet tall. And while previous owners' visions of vast compounds and palaces were never realized, The Mountain is landscaped, giving it, per the New York Times, "the surreal feel of an empty, mountaintop golf course."
Even with its sweeping views of all of Los Angeles, the Pacific Ocean, and Catalina Island (smog allowing), The Mountain is "wildly overpriced," real estate executive Stephen Shaprio tells the NYT. "For a billion dollars, you could buy it multiple times," he says, adding that $200 million may be more realistic. Listing agent Aaron Kirman, who has an estimated $400,000 to $1 million marketing budget, is undeterred and plans on hitting the road in hopes of finding a buyer. Out of 2,800 billionaires in the world, he tells the LA Times, his company has identified 100 potential buyers. After all, as the spokesman for the listing company says, owning The Mountain "will make the buyer the most prestigious billionaire overnight." (Read more real estate stories.)