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The billionaire cofounder of Gateway has sold his $18 million Los Angeles mansion


Ted Waitt, the billionaire cofounder of computer hardware company Gateway, has unloaded a prime piece of Los Angeles real estate that was last listed for $17.9 million, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The 6,000-square-foot contemporary mansion is located in Hollywood Hills West, in a nest of blocks often called the “Bird Streets” after their names — this one’s on Blue Jay Way.

The Bird Streets are known for their high-profile residents, who in the past have included Hollywood A-listers like Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Aniston. The buyer of this particular property is Latvian film producer and philanthropist Boris Teterev, according to the LA Times.

Waitt now operates Avalon Capital Group and is involved in philanthropic work. This is just one of three high-end Los Angeles properties he has acquired in the last few years.

Set on a hillside, the stone-and-wood house was built on under an acre in 2009, selling previously for $11.5 million, according to public records. It makes full use of its prime viewpoint, with an infinity pool overlooking the city below.

The house was listed with Ryan Davis of John Aaroe Group. Paul Stukin, also of John Aaroe Group, represented the buyer.

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Saw’ director James Wan makes an off-market exit in the Bird Streets


LA Times

Hollywood filmmaker James Wan has gone off-script in a recent transaction, parting with his home in the Bird Streets area of Hollywood Hills West for $13.125 million in a deal that closed outside the Multiple Listing Service. Talk about your flair for the dramatic.

Built in 1962 and since updated in a more contemporary style, the 7,550-square-foot home provides a textbook example of the indoor-outdoor lifestyle that has become synonymous with Southern California.

An artful entry topped with a series of skylights opens to an open floor plan that seamlessly flows between a chef’s kitchen, breakfast area, a den and a living room with a wet bar. Walls of telescoping glass doors wrap the exterior, bringing outdoor living areas and panoramic views inside.

The master suite has a fireplace and a spa-like shower for a total of six bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms. A detached guest house sits adjacent to the main residence and has a full kitchen and living room. There’s also a separate gym.

On the grounds, an outdoor kitchen complete with a pizza oven opens to a kidney-shaped swimming pool and spa. Expansive decks and a patio with an outdoor fireplace complete the setting.

The sale is quite a windfall for Wan, the director-producer known for the “Saw” film franchise, who bought the house two years ago for $9.75 million.

Andrea Shrink of Teles Properties represented Wan in the transaction. Gayle Weiss and Rochelle Atlas Maize of Nourmand & Assoc. represented  the buyer.

In addition to his work on the “Saw” films, Wan, 39, directed “Insidious” (2011), “The Conjuring” (2013) and “Furious 7” (2015). Among his current projects is the upcoming DC superhero flick “Aquaman,” due out in 2017.

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How Beverly Hills’ Bird Streets Turned Into a Celebrity “Clusterf—”


The Hollywood Reporter November, 2015.

Five years ago, the housing market in the hilly enclave above the Sunset Strip was on the ascent. Among the notable sales was a four-bedroom contemporary on famed Blue Jay Way that billionaire philanthropist Ted Waitt acquired from producer Megan Ellison in 2011 for $11.5 million. Since then, values have soared ever higher: This September, Waitt put the property back on the market with an asking price of $20 million. Another development: “Shovel-ready” has become an increasingly common term in Bird Streets real estate listings. Recent teardown targets include the 10,000-square-foot Oriole Way mansion that equity fund founder Alex Soltani acquired in January for $32 million from Dr. Dre (who’d purchased it for $15.4 million in 2011) and the four-bedroom traditional on Warbler Place that comic book mogul Stan Lee now is offering for a $3.8 million asking price.

In 2012, a sculptural villa designed by Mexican architect Ricardo Legoretta for Ricardo Montalban was razed to make way for an 18,000-square-foot spec designed by gigamansion specialist Paul McClean — which broke neighborhood sales records at $39 million. Will the Bird Streets’ popularity bring about its downfall? Though longtime stalwarts Leonardo DiCaprio and Keanu Reeves remain, other A-listers such as Jodie Foster, Tobey Maguire and Christina Aguilera have flown the coop. Former resident Nick Offerman has said: “We could never get sick of this place, but the neighborhood has turned into a clusterf—.”

Price per square foot is up 30 percent
In 2011, the most desirable properties in the neighborhood were commanding more than $2,000 per square foot. Now, $3,000 per square foot is not unheard of.

Number of properties on the market
In 2011, there were 15 houses on the market ranging in price from $1.25 million to $18 million. Currently, there are 22 properties for sale, ranging in price from $1.975 million to $33 million. Seven of the listings today are described as either “shovel-ready” or a “development opportunity.”

Rise in spec development

The profit potential has lured spec developers to the chagrin of longtime residents. “Construction is out of control,” says showrunner Jenny Bicks, one of the co-founders of the nabe’s Doheny Dining Club with her husband, producer Adam Peck. “People are building $30 million hillside monsters.”

Building McMansions — underground!
Some developers have been ignoring 2011 anti-mansionization laws and digging into hillsides to make multiple subterranean levels, referred to euphemistically as “basements.” Since a 2014 limit on excavations, they’ve been using plumbers’ vans instead of trucks to secretly transport dirt out.

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Winklevoss twins put their Bird Streets home back up for lease at $110,000 a month

LA Times September, 2015

Internet entrepreneurs Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss have their home in Hollywood Hills West back up for long-term lease — this time at $110,000 a month. The contemporary two-story had been priced earlier this year at $150,000.

It’s been a busy week for the brothers, who also announced the launch of their new Bitcoin exchange, Gemini Trust Co.

Their L.A. home has slightly less than 8,000 square feet of interior space with glass pocket doors that slide open to take in the cityscape views and a courtyard. A home theater, a bar, an office, five bedrooms and nine bathrooms are among the living spaces, which extend outdoors to patios and decks.

Lawn and an infinity-edge swimming pool with a spa complete the one-third grounds.

There’s underground parking for four cars.

The brothers co-founded HarvardConnection, which later was named ConnectU. They received a $65-million cash-and-stock settlement in 2008 over claims that Mark Zuckerberg used their idea to create Facebook.

The twins, who are 34, paid $18 million in 2012 for the property in the so-called “Bird Streets” area.

Denise Moreno of Hilton & Hyland, an affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate, is the leasing agent.

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Goran Visnjic Lists Mediterranean Villa Above Sunset Strip


SELLER: Goran Visnjic
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $4,850,000
SIZE: 4 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: Several real estate snitches have kindly sent convert communiqués to let us know that a Los Angeles house owned per property records by Slavic beau-hunk actor Goran Visnjic has come up for sale with an asking price of $4.85 million. Property records show the swarthy, Croatia-born and bred actor acquired the property in March 2005 — during his long tenure on the hospital melodrama “E.R.” — for $3.921 million. The terra-cotta colored and forest green shuttered, 1930s Mediterranean villa sits behind a high wall and secured gate on a predominately flat, .27-acre parcel at the base of the famed Bird Streets ‘hood just above the always jumping Sunset Strip. Listing details we peeped don’t indicate the square footage — the L.A. County Tax man puts it at 3,793 square feet — but do show the updated two-story residence offers four bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms, and a couple of fireplaces.

The walled front courtyard features fanciful checkerboard pattern tile terracing, a traditional two-tiered fountain with quatrefoil base, and a wood and wrought iron arched front door that opens to a central foyer with wrought iron railed staircase. A doorway lined with graphic tiles leads to a small library with custom built-ins and French doors while the roomy formal living room provides a chunky carved stone fireplace and French door access to the front courtyard. A trio of arches on the back wall of the living room lead to a lounge with French doors to a poolside veranda. The adjoining dining room has a somewhat wacky, handcrafted-looking series of inset display niches on one wall and opens on the opposite side to a center island kitchen fitted with slab stone counter tops on bone-colored raised panel cabinetry and a full collection of commercial-style stainless steel appliances. Three en suite guest/family bedrooms on the upper floor are joined by a sizable master suite comprised of voluminous bedroom with exposed beam vaulted ceiling and a rather unusual fireplace with a dunce hat-like chimney breast. The master also contains a yoga/meditation room and a stone tile floored sun porch/sitting room that overlooks the backyard and connects through French doors to a spacious, tiled bathroom that includes a double-sink vanity, over-sized shower stall, and a circular soaking tub set into a tiled and arched niche.

Outdoor living spaces include a Moroccan-style lounge with built-in seating and a dining loggia with built-in barbecue. The loggia opens to a stone tiled terrace that surrounds the dark-bottom swimming pool and it’s a couple of tile accented steps up from the pool terrace to a small and essentially flat patch of tree-shaded grass that backs up to cobalt blue wall with integrated water feature and, behind that, a near vertical cliff that ensures privacy.

Since his time on “E.R.” came it an end Mister Visnjic has appeared in a number of short-lived television series (“Pan Am,” Red Widow,” “Crossing Lines”) along with the feature film “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and he currently shakes his well-formed money-maker in the Steven Spielberg produced and Halle Berry starring sci-fi television drama “Extant.”

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Billionaire Ted Waitt puts $20-million price tag on Bird Streets address

LA Times

Billionaire philanthropist Ted Waitt, who last month bought a home in Beverly Hills for $10.3 million, has put his home in the celebrity- and mogul-centric Bird Streets area of Hollywood Hills West up for sale at $20 million.

Set on a promontory of more than half an acre, the contemporary-style home has views stretching to downtown L.A. and the ocean.

Interiors done in stone walls and vibrant wood finishes include formal living and dining rooms, a game/media room, an office, four bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms. Set off of the family room, a large wall aquarium lends an exotic touch to a curved wet bar.

Done in zebrawood, the open-space kitchen sports a large center island topped by a freestanding stainless steel hood. A wall fireplace, a large soaking tub and a walk-in closet highlight the master suite.

Designed for indoor-outdoor living, sliding walls of floor-to-ceiling glass seamlessly meld with various terraces, balconies and an expansive patio with an infinity-edge pool. Elsewhere, an outdoor dining area is outfitted with a long fire feature.

Waitt, 52, co-founded the computer hardware giant Gateway Inc. in the 1980s. Considered one of the country’s leading philanthropists, he has a net worth of about $1.3 billion, according to Forbes.

He bought the house in 2011 for $11.525 million, records show.