Cosmetic Surgeons Are Building L.A. Megamansions
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Cosmetic Surgeons Are Building L.A. Megamansions

And the results are over the top.

By Katherine Clarke
Mon, May 10, 2021 11:27amGrey Clock 6 min

It could only happen in Los Angeles: Celebrity plastic surgeons are getting into the megamansion-building business.

The latest entrant to the market is Alex Khadavi, a 48-year-old dermatologist known for everything from Botox to buttock-enhancement procedures as well as for a clientele that has included singer Lance Bass and actor David Hasselhoff. Dr. Khadavi is listing his recently completed Bel-Air megamansion for $87.777 million, making it one of the highest-priced properties to have gone on the market in recent months.

Dr. Khadavi joins the likes of Raj Kanodia, doctor to the Kardashian clan and so-called “King of L.A. Rhinoplasties,” and Paul Nassif, a facial-plastic surgeon known for his role in the reality-television series “Botched,” in diverting their attention to the high-end development game. Dr. Kanodia first listed his Bel-Air megamansion for $180 million in 2018, while Dr. Nassif is listing a nearly completed mansion in the same area for US$32 million.

Dr. Alex Khadavi’s Bel-Air home is packed full of amenities, including a Champagne-tasting room. MARC ANGELES

Dr. Khadavi—whose jet-black eyebrows, chiselled features and perfectly coiffed hair allows him to seamlessly blend in with his clients on his Instagram account—says he got carried away with the project. He says he paid US$16 million for the existing property in 2013 and had planned to spend roughly $10 million more on a new glassy contemporary home. Instead, he devoted seven years and roughly $US30 million to the more-than-1950-square-metre compound.

“It’s like when you go to a car dealership to buy a Toyota and they show you a Ferrari or a Lamborghini,” he says of choosing the materials and finishes. “It’s like, ‘Hey, I want that one!’ You can’t pass it up.”

The result is over-the-top, even for Los Angeles. Known as “Palazzo di Vista,” the modern seven-bedroom contemporary sits behind enormous mirrored-steel gates on an elevated parcel of land with 360-degree views spanning from the San Gabriel Mountains to the Channel Islands.

In the middle of the grand foyer, a push of a button reveals a surprise: The floor opens up to reveal a DJ platform on a hydraulic lift. Push another button, and smoke machines send fog throughout “the cube”—the surrounding glassed-in living room area that also has a glass-bottomed bridge overlooking the space.

In the pool outside, several powerful jets are set to automatically begin pumping the water in time with music, so guests in the water can feel the bass. The pool also is the setting for a digital show that Dr. Khadavi likens to Disneyland’s elaborate “World of Color” attraction. A rotatable 3-D laser projector on the roof casts light in a rhombic-shape up to 153sqm  over the pool.

The purpose of the light show isn’t to project princesses; it is designed to display the latest art-world craze: NFT artwork. An NFT, which stands for “nonfungible tokens,” is a digital asset that serves as a kind of deed to prove ownership of various digital artifacts, like works of art.

In addition to the NFT pool display, the home also includes a “multisensory” NFT art gallery comprising seven indoor large-screen media displays dotted throughout the house. Valued at $7 million, the art collection is also available for sale and includes pieces by Ghost Girl—a 3-D artist who offers visual experiences for “VJing,” a kind of real-time visual performance—and Bighead, a record producer and DJ who worked on the production of the 2017 hit “Gucci Gang” by hip-hop artist Lil Pump.

The home also includes a glass elevator that is positioned to look as though it is plunging into a koi pond as it heads to the basement. There is also a formal dining room, a Champagne-tasting room, a movie theatre, a massage room, a car museum and a detached guesthouse with an outdoor tequila bar, according to listing agents Aaron Kirman of Compass and Mauricio Umansky of the Agency. Dr. Khadavi planted 56 Moroccan date palm trees around the perimeter of the property for privacy.

Dr. Khadavi, who oversees two dermatology practices in Los Angeles, says his pursuit of perfection became all-consuming. Within the first year, he had fired his architect. Soon after, he replaced his contractor and got rid of his interior designer. “I’ve pretty much been doing it myself,” he says. “I tell people I got a degree in interior design from Pinterest.”

A glass elevator at the property is built to look as if it is plunging into a koi pond below as it enters the basement level. JOE BRYANT

There were other sources of inspiration. The doctor says the proportions of the house were inspired by the “golden ratio” of Italian mathematician Fibonacci. The sevens in the asking price are a nod to Dr. Khadavi’s favourite number; he and his family moved to the U.S. from Iran when he was 7 to escape the revolution.

No expense was spared. “Instead of going for the $10-a-square-foot marble, I went for the $150 to $200 a square foot marble,” Dr. Khadavi says. “This property deserves the best.”

When it came to refining the aesthetics of the house, the dermatologist says he drew on his work. “When I do injectables in people’s faces… I always look and see what I could do above and beyond to make this person better, “ he says. “Every person is beautiful, you have to make them more beautiful.”

At the touch of a button, a hole opens up in the ground of entry foyer to reveal a DJ platform. MARC ANGELES

Plastic surgeons like Dr. Khadavi are among a larger group of high-net-worth individuals who piled into Los Angeles’s luxury housing development space over the past few years. With the market heating up in the early 2010s, many wealthy people with well-positioned parcels of land began building properties geared toward foreign buyers and billionaires, says Stephen Shapiro of Westside Estate Agency, who is not involved in the home. Suddenly, everyone was a developer, including those with limited or no real-estate experience. That boom resulted in an oversupply of spec homes.

A car museum was built to showcase designer vehicles. JUWAN LI

For some of these surgeons, building a distinctive architectural home is a way to express themselves in a new way. “One of the reasons I built [my house] was to express my artistic vision through another medium, in addition to the scarless rhinoplasty and facial enhancement,” Dr. Kanodia says.

For his part, Dr. Nassif says he found that the patience and attention to detail he honed in his surgery work proved useful in real estate. “You have to look at everything with very scrutinous glasses in surgery,” he says. “I’m doing the same thing with the house.”

In real estate, like in surgery, it’s wise to expect the unexpected, Dr. Nassif says. “You’re dealing with problems all the time,” he says. “An issue comes up with a contractor or you can’t get marble into the Port of California because of Covid delays. It’s never as easy as you think it would be.”

The rush of new contemporary spec homes built in the Los Angeles area has put downward pressure on prices. While Dr. Nassif says he’s had significant interest in his home since listing it earlier this year, Dr. Kanodia recently slashed the asking price of his home to US$99 million from US$180 million. Developers like Nile Niami, known widely as the king of Los Angeles spec homes, handed the keys over to his lenders on at least one project and is facing default on others, The Wall Street Journal has reported.

The spiralling costs of Dr. Khadavi’s project also had consequences. While he initially thought he might live in the property, Dr. Khadavi says he is now selling it largely because he can’t afford to keep it. It’s also too large for him, his girlfriend and his Goldendoodle Cheetos. “I don’t have a large family, and I don’t have the financial capability to enjoy the house,” he says. “I borrowed a lot of money to get it to this level, and I can’t afford living in it.”

Anyone living in the mansion would “need to probably have a couple of butlers and a couple of maids,” he says.

Mr. Umansky says the house is an entertainer’s paradise, and he is confident he will find a buyer looking for that party lifestyle.

“In order to be great you have to dare to be bad. You have to take risks,” Mr. Umansky says, noting that cookie-cutter houses don’t stand out in a crowded market. “There are these tech and cryptocurrency guys who are still young and who want to have fun.”

 

Reprinted by permission of The Wall Street Journal, Copyright 2021 Dow Jones & Company. Inc. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Original date of publication: May 8, 2021.



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11 ACRES ROAD, KELLYVILLE, NSW

This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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It’s a slam dunk as a covetable $2m KDR site complete with basketball court hits the market in the Hills District

The ball is in the buyer’s court with this knockdown/rebuild opportunity

By KANEBRIDGE NEWS
Tue, Apr 18, 2023 2 min

Glenhaven in Sydney’s Hills District is one of those areas that locals tend to keep to themselves. Leafy with large blocks on offer, the suburb takes its name from its valley location, with the northern end originally known as the Glen and the southern end called the Haven. 

En route from Parramatta to the Hunter, Glenhaven has become an ideal place for growing families in search of a little more space, or even room to house several generations under one roof.

The challenge is finding properties that tick all the right boxes.

As demand for trades and supply chain issues continue to ease, now could be the right time for a knockdown/rebuild project for would-be buyers looking to create their dream home.

Fairmont Homes specialises in knockdown/rebuild projects in Sydney. General manager at Fairmont Homes, Daniel Logue, said there are key features to look for when choosing a knockdown/rebuild site.

“The key items we look for are the site falling to the street, not to the rear, to help with stormwater drainage as well as access to the site,” he said. “Neighbouring property front setbacks are also important. In some older areas, the older houses are set closer to the street, meaning your new home will have to be set to suit.

“Value for money and the return on the end sale price of the home is another issue.”

If possible, he said designing a home that meets the criteria of the Complying Development legislation will speed up approvals considerably.

While suitable knockdown/rebuild sites can be hard to find in Glenhaven, there are still hidden opportunities if you know where to look.

One block at 158 Gilbert Road, Glenhaven is ideally suited for rejuvenation. With almost 850sqm to play with, it slopes down to the street and sits between neighbouring properties that have already been stylishly updated.

 

 

An existing basketball court at the rear could provide the perfect teen backdrop to a family home, or it could make way for a larger house with landscaped gardens and pool. Alternatively, it could be the perfect position for a cabana or granny flat to serve as in-law accommodation or a source of secondary income.

With recent sales of completed homes in nearby streets reaching well above $5 million, it’s a great opportunity to make a slam dunk of a buy into one of Sydney’s best kept secrets.

Address: 158 Gilbert Road, Glenhaven
Price guide: $1.8 million
Inspection: By appointment only
Contact: William Brush, LJ Hooker Dural 9651 1566 

 

MOST POPULAR
11 ACRES ROAD, KELLYVILLE, NSW

This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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