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Stunning $1B Property Sells for Just $100K

But the Mountain of Beverly Hills has a sketchy financial history
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2019 5:50 PM CDT
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The Mountain of Beverly Hills.   (YouTube)

(Newser) – A sprawling LA property once listed at $1 billion sold Tuesday for just $100,000—and that's not the worst of it, the Guardian reports. The so-called Mountain of Beverly Hills was repurchased by its former owner along with an estimated $200 million in debt. "This is the largest non-judicial foreclosure sale and the largest loss from a lender I've seen in 27 years," a lawyer battling for the property tells the LA Times. With 157 acres and glittering views, the plot was expected to do better. Reports had Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise among possible buyers. But problems date back to 2004, when the estate of late Herbalife founder Mark Hughes sold the land to investor Chip Dickens and lent him about $45 million to do it.

Dickens then transferred ownership to an LLC that couldn't pay the debts, which swelled to around $200 million. And who wants to buy that? "No one," said a woman in sunglasses when asked her identity at the property's auction in Pomona. "Just stopped by for a walk." Indeed, no one offered a bid and the Hughes estate repurchased it with the debt. Now the company that lost ownership is planning litigation if the owner—Dickens' partner in the purchase, Victor Franco Noval—gets booted out. It's all a far cry from the $1 billion the company asked for last summer. But the land will likely be re-listed "with a ginormous asking price" by Hughes' estate, says TMZ. "All that's missing is a godlike mansion." (Read more Los Angeles stories.)

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