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Bel-Air Land Up for Auction at 70% Off Starting at $39 Million

The property in question is Senderos Canyon, a 260-acre (105-hectare) rugged sanctuary in the ultra-exclusive Bel-Air district where homeowners have included Elon Musk, Serena Williams and Ronald and Nancy Reagan.

January 24, 2023
5 minutes
minute read

This golf-course-sized tract of land in one of the most expensive areas of Los Angeles is up for sale. The minimum bid is $39 million, so act quickly to get this great deal. The seller is motivated and wants to sell fast, so don't miss your chance.

The property in question is Senderos Canyon, a 260-acre (105-hectare) rugged sanctuary in the ultra-exclusive Bel-Air district where homeowners have included Elon Musk, Serena Williams and Ronald and Nancy Reagan. It is being listed for auction Tuesday at a discount of almost 70% from its 2013 asking price of $125 million. After receiving no offers, the land was relisted in 2017 for $75 million, then again last year for $60 million. Still no deal. According to Scott Tamkin, the Compass Inc. agent who has the listing, "The seller wants to move on."

It's a challenging time for US real estate deals as prices retreat after borrowing costs soared and stocks turned bearish. The median home price in the Bel-Air/Holmby Hills area slipped to $4.1 million in December, down 4.9% from a year earlier, brokerage Douglas Elliman reported. Only six properties traded last month, 73% fewer than in December 2021.The ideal Senderos Canyon buyer has the ability to pay cash and the patience to wade through Los Angeles's cumbersome entitlement and approval process to develop the property, Tamkin said. At a time of high inflation and falling asset values, there are worse places for an ultra-high net worth person to park money than land in the 90077 ZIP code, according to Misha Haghani, founder of Paramount Realty USA, the auction house conducting the sale.

Haghani said that Bel-Air is a safe haven that is not going anywhere. One factor that is adding urgency to the situation is that deals must be closed before April 1 in order to avoid paying a new city transfer tax of 5.5% on transactions that are worth $10 million or more.

According to Stephen Shapiro, co-founder of Westside Estate Agency, the fact that Senderos Canyon is being marketed at an auction may be a sign of desperation. Westside Estate Agency is a luxury brokerage with offices in Beverly Hills and Malibu.

Shapiro noted that recent high-profile Bel-Air auctions haven't gone well for the sellers. He pointed to The One, which sold for $141 million last year after its developer floated a $500 million dream price. In May, the top bid for a property once listed for $87.8 million was $45.8 million. A half-built mansion developed by Mohamed Hadid, father of supermodels Gigi and Bella Hadid, fetched $5 million at a court-ordered auction in 2021, not enough to even cover demolition costs.

The Senderos Canyon auction will require sealed bids to be submitted by March 15. The winner of the auction will be chosen based on a combination of the size of the offer and the likelihood of consummating the deal, said Haghani. Tamkin declined to name the current owner of Senderos Canyon. According to public records, a limited liability company bought the property in 2006 for $24 million.

The land for sale in Bel-Air is depicted in drawings as a residential compound, vineyard, equestrian center, or 18-hole par-70 golf course. However, the property lacks utilities, roads, and other infrastructure. Its well-off neighbors have a history of tying up projects in litigation and environmental reviews.

Shawn Bayliss, executive director of the Bel-Air Association, said that it's obvious that many people will have concerns about the property. "Anyone who buys it is taking a risk," he said.

Editorial Board
Eric Ng
John Liu
Editorial Board
Bryan Curtis
Adan Harris
Managing Editor
Cathy Hills
Associate Editor

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