- Los Angeles developer Ardie Tavangarian is known for selling over-the-top homes. Last year, a house he built in the Bel-Air area sold to a Chinese buyer for $75 million.
But his latest creation, a megamansion with two safe rooms and a retractable roof for stargazing, isn’t listed for sale. Instead, the Pacific Palisades house is hitting the market as a rental asking $350,000 a month.
As the real-estate industry scrambles amid the coronavirus pandemic, Mr. Tavangarian said he decided to rent rather than sell the amenity-laden home to capitalize on increased demand for luxury homes from renters, especially those coming from densely populated cities like New York and San Francisco.
The asking rent is ambitious but not unprecedented. Branden Williams of Hilton & Hyland, who has the listing with his wife and business partner Rayni Williams, said they have rented Los Angeles-area homes for as much as $500,000 a month in the past.
The property debuts at a difficult time for the high-end real-estate market, as sales have largely paused in cities like New York. While Los Angeles has notched a few major sales during the pandemic, the spring market is still moving much more slowly than usual as agents navigate restricted showing capabilities and rattled buyers.
But Ms. Williams said the Covid-19 crisis has led to significantly more demand for high-end rentals.
It’s taken the rental market to a whole new level,” she said of the pandemic. “If you figure that the elite and wealthy aren’t going to be in Europe this summer and on their yachts, they might come to L.A. and rent a very luxurious home in lieu of that yacht.”
Mr. Tavangarian said the property has already been toured by Tesla chief executive Elon Musk. A spokesman for Mr. Musk didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Perched atop a promontory overlooking the Santa Monica Mountains and the ocean, the house sits on roughly an acre of land next door to a mansion owned by Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, record show. Mr. Tavangarian purchased the land for about $7.25 million in 2013. He declined to say how much it cost him to build and furnish the home, although he did say a curved, 40-foot-tall statement wall on the property alone cost roughly $2 million.
The six-bedroom house has a fully stocked wine cellar, spa and movie theater. A large garage doubles as an events venue, with a car turntable that can be transformed into a dance floor.
The master suite, accessed via a retinal scanner, has a custom-designed roof that retracts to reveal the sky, either entirely open or through glass. It can also be used as a projection screen to watch movies in bed, Mr. Tavangarian said.
“You feel like you are sleeping outside,” he said. “It’s like a campfire environment right in your own home.”
The house is fully furnished with pieces Mr. Tavangarian said he hand-selected, including a Damien Hirst painting.
Outside, the property has an infinity pool with a hidden Jacuzzi, custom cabanas, a “sauna pod” designed to frame the mountain views, and an outdoor dining area surrounded by olive trees.
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