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Inside the world's most expensive mansion

BEAM Staff
April 17, 2018

Hitting the market in January 2017 with a price tag of $250 million, the 38,000 square-foot spec house crafted by developer Bruce Makowsky is no longer the most expensive listing in America. The LA mansion's asking price was just slashed by $62 million, down to $188 million. 

Spanning 38,000 square feet with 12 bedrooms, 21 bathrooms and 3 kitchens, the estate was codenamed Billionaire. Amongst its amenities are an infinity pool, a private bowling alley, a wall of candy dispensers, visual art, a helipad, a garage filled with collector cars and a home cinema sitting up to 40 people.

Built by handbag designer turned real estate developer Bruce Makowsky, the mansion was created on spec for a billionaire buyer. According to Makowsky there are only around 3,000 individuals throughout the world with the required wealth to buy this house. If a transaction on it were to close, it would be the most expensive house ever sold in America, even with her price cut, splashing the current, $147 million Hamptons record.

"After spending lots of time on mega yachts and large private jets that can sell from $50 million to $500 million, it baffled me that no one was developing luxury real estate at those high levels for the super wealthy." Makowsky stated. Amongst design features of this house, which was built with an unlimited budget, are over 100 art installations and a 270 degree view.

Stretching over a total of five floors, each with an unobstructed view of Los Angeles' skyline, the Billionaire comes fully equipped with art work, a garage filled with collector cars, luxurious furniture, fitted out kitchens and a built in helipad. A set of moving Seven Dwarf images, proudly displayed on the main floor, was worth $500,000 alone to the developer.

Other than the designer furniture and art work, Billionaire features extensive areas for its future owner to relax in style. A special spa and wellness area is built in with a massage room that looks over Los Angeles. Other amenities include a fully equipped gym as well as large pool surrounded by sun loungers for relaxation. An extensive wine cellar can also be found on the grounds.

"My mission started five years ago to create the most extraordinary, exciting and dramatic contemporary estate ever built in the most beautiful place in the United States." Makowsky explained. "After purchasing this amazing property, the real excitement began. The budget was there is no budget. It had to be a home that would leave you in utter amazement!"

Makowsky's billionaire project came straight off the heels of another development in the highly exclusive area of Beverly Hills. In 2014, Makowsky sold the estate built on spec to Minecraft founder, Markus Persson for $70 million, a deal that was considered astonishingly high at the the time. Listing the Billionaire at $250 million made it the most expensive listing in America.

The 62 year-old, Rhode Island native, Bruce Makowsky initially made his money selling ladies accessories such as handbags and shoes on QVC, which later expanded to being distributed in over 1,300 department stores. under the brand Van Zeeland. In a deal worth $330 million, the company was eventually acquired by Li & Fung in 2008.

After his exit, Makowsky settled in Malibu, California and started becoming active in real estate. First purchasing a house in Beverly Park and flipping it at a premium, Makowsky multiplied redevelopment projects within the area. The idea for his most high-end project yet came to him from yachting as he wanted to translated the luxury of the seas onto real estate.

Makowsky's Billionaire house is, however, no longer the most expensive listing in America following its $62 million price cut. This title now belongs to the Manor in LA's Holmby Hills, which has now spent 17 months on the market for $200 million. Spanning over 56,500 square feet of living area, 1,500 more than the White House, the Manor, which now belongs to Formula One heiress Petra Ecclestone, could also become the most expensive house ever sold.

Neither of these properties are set to hold on to their titles for long as luxury home developer Niles Niami is set to put his latest speculative build on the market. Codenamed, The One, his 100,000 square feet mansion will become the most expensive house in America with a price tag of $500 million. Amongst its features four swimming pools, walls made out of jellyfish aquariums and a private casino.

Specialising in building gigantic mansions for the world's billionaires, Nami has four other projects currently being completed, even though The One will be the country's most expensive. The site for The One was originally purchased for $28 million with a 10,000 square feet house that was tore down to make room for The One.