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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

"It's kind of ridiculous," she said.

There was, of course, a homeless person less than a block from the luxury condo building. We have 70,000 or so of them in Los Angeles County, and by one count, nearly 50% of renters pay roughly half their income on rent and utilities.

"That's a lot of money," Jeremy Poole said when I pointed up at the high-priced condo.

Poole, in tattered clothing, told me he sleeps where he can but didn't rule out being back indoors again. He looked up at the $50 million rooftop pad, smiled and said:

"Maybe, one day."

Nicholas Monaco, a production manager, was dining at a Starbucks and did a double take when I told him about the $50 million home down the street.

 

"Who the hell wants to live there for $50 million?" he asked, thinking it would make more sense if it was a house in the hills or on the beach.

Monaco, who rents a nearby apartment, told me that if he were rich enough to buy a $50 million condo, he would instead "help some people who need it, maybe downtown."

I did point out that on the upside, people who buy expensive homes pay a lot of taxes. If "people are being helped, " he said, he didn't have a problem with it.

In 2015, super-agent Jeff Hyland made that point while giving me a driving tour of his Beverly Hills terrain, where homes listed for more than $100 million are not uncommon. Property taxes support government services, Hyland argued, and everyone benefits. On that outing, Hyland took me to a property he had just sold for $35 million.

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