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12 Horrifying Quotes From LA's Spec Megamansion Boom

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Oh cool, the business of building enormous waste-of-space megamansions for no one in particular so that they can sit empty until they're sold and then sit empty most of the time after that is totally booming! Developers have discovered that some people from other countries have a ton of money and are looking to burn it up in the 17 handcrafted Italian marble fireplaces--three in bathrooms--of a brand new Los Angeles megamansion. So a lot of speculators are building a lot of enormous spec houses in the Hills right now. The Hollywood Reporter has a long piece all about it, and we picked out the barfiest parts, just for you: -- Real estate firm CEO Alessandro Cajrati Crivelli has gotten too used to "triple-height ceilings": "I feel like I'm living on the edge of poverty under 9-foot ceilings."
-- Who needs such high ceilings?? "I create homes for the 1 percent of the 1 percent."
-- Unexplained note on Crivelli's five local mansion projects: "Construction permitting was fast-tracked."
-- But at least the houses won't be ugly; the aesthetic is "Richard Neutra on steroids."
-- Another unexplained phrase: "handcrafted closets."
-- Real estate agent Billy Rose says "It used to be 5,000 to 6,000 square feet was about as big as you got with these kinds of homes ... Now 13,000 square feet is sort of the entry level for spec homes, and we're routinely trading at $2,000 a square foot."
-- A Malaysian billionaire bought that 18,000-square-foot spec house on the site of the old Ricardo Montalban place in the Bird Streets for about $39 million, but it's not enough space! "That owner is said to be looking for even more space by excavating 80,000 square feet under the home without altering the existing house."
-- One developer is building something in the "contemporary organic" style.
-- Usual Suspects producer-turned developer Michael McDonell says with no apparent sense of dread: "Feature film production and high-end home-building are surprisingly similar in their paradigm."
-- "Call it the era of the empty trophy home. Because the majority are being purchased as investments, not primary residences, most specs largely remain unlived in. Those La Cornue ranges and soaring Fleetwood pocket doors, those climatized wine rooms and the chroma-therapy showers, the PRIMA-powered screening rooms, not to mention the blue-chip art installed by a new breed of decorators paid to design and stage the homes, most of which are purchased fully furnished, all will go unappreciated 358 days a year."
· Hollywood's Most Expensive Spec Houses: Up to $55 Million [THR]