Why sell the "dream home" you spent four years and $65 million building? Because even you think things got a little out of control. Real estate investor C. Frederick Wehba put 9577 Sunset, one of the dueling Sunset Boulevard megamansions, on the market a few weeks ago, despite his wife calling it their dream home in a 2008 Los Angeles Business Journal article. The LABJ has inquired now about the change of heart and found that "such a prominent display of wealth no longer made sense during the protracted economic slump. The couple also planned to use the home for charity and political fundraising events, but the recession has put a damper on that sort of entertaining." In the article, Wehba tells a classic boom tale: "We thought it would be a smaller house and it became, 'Well, OK, why not?'" The house was previously estimated to cost $40 million.
The 36,000 square foot house, which is, naturally, "inspired by Versailles," isn't quite done--workers are still putting in a hand-carved marble fireplace a giant crystal chandelier, and 15 pound gold-plated doorknobs--but it's expected to be complete in the next 45 days. Here's a little more on the house's opulence: "The exterior is made of hand-carved limestone quarried in Portugal and sent to China for finishing. (Only about a half-dozen Los Angeles homes feature exteriors of hand-cut stone, including the 52,000-square-foot Spelling mansion.) The doorknobs were fabricated at the same French workshop that has maintained Versailles. A relief above the front doorway is so detailed that toenails of the angels in the carving can be clearly seen." There's also a scary-sounding 35 pound gold-plated shower fixture and an 800 square foot master bedroom with a ceiling slot for a rather modest 60 inch TV.
The Wehbas have already bought custom and antique furniture from France and still plan to decorate. The house is listed just barely above cost, at $68.5 million, and according to the LABJ, "there has already been interest from buyers in Asia and the Middle East."
· One Palace, Never Used [LABJ]
· One House Crosses the Finish Line in Beverly Hills Construction Race [Curbed LA]