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Steve Lopez: A $50 million condo for sale in the land of tents is a special kind of LA crazy

Steve Lopez, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Home and Consumer News

LOS ANGELES — Just when we thought the real estate market had cooled, along comes evidence that in the land of make-believe, there is no ceiling.

My colleagues Roger Vincent and Andrea Chang have reported in the last few days that even the humble condominium, which once was sort of like a starter house on training wheels, is going for astronomical sums.

Vincent reports that in Beverly Hills, developers of a 17-unit complex hope a single condo can bring about $40 million. That's a bit steep for me, but I don't want to rule it out because the features include a butler's pantry, a full bar in the entertainment room and a 2,500-square-foot terrace.

It's not clear whether the place is furnished, or whether appliances — and the butler — are included. And those could be deal-breakers for me.

Chang, meanwhile, wrote about the swanky party thrown for top-gun real estate agents to celebrate the listing of $50 million condo in West Hollywood. That would be a record in the county for condos, but in L.A., such records don't last long. Chang reported that a $75 million condo was about to hit the market.

For the little soiree, by the way, each attendee was assigned a personal concierge in case there was some sort of crisis, such as maybe a temporary caviar blini shortage, an empty champagne glass or an overdone filet mignon with heirloom truffle.


I was not invited to the party, but I wanted to at least have a look at the building, so I went to the 8800 block of Beverly Boulevard and wandered around. A paint-splattered man named Giovani Quijada was on his way into the building to do some drywall, and he was shocked to hear that the unit on the roof could go for $50 million.

"Who has that kind of money?" I asked.

"I don't know," said Quijada, shaking his head. He told me that he makes $20 to $25 an hour in construction and owns a $400,000 home in Lancaster.

Just down the street, a woman who gave her name only as Crystal was photographing an artist for what looked like some publicity photos. She said she lives in the San Fernando Valley, where she is unaware of any $50 million condos.


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