BEVERLY HILLS—A piece of land in Beverly Hills that was once listed at $1 billion recently sold for $100,000. The 157 acre property, regarded by real estate agents as ‘The Mountain’ was one of the world’s most expensive residential properties. The property was sold at a 10,000 percent markdown at a foreclosure auction in Pomona on Tuesday, August 20.
The property was previously owned by the estate of Mark Hughes, the Herbalife founder, until it was sold to investor, Chip Dickens, in 2004. Dickens borrowed $45 million from the Hughes Estate, but never paid back the loan so with interest and fees, the outstanding loan was priced at $200 million. The estate foreclosed on the loan and auctioned off the property, after the current owner, Secured Capital tried to file for real estate protection to keep the property from the foreclosure sale.
At the auction, the starting price for the property was $200 million due to the debt on the property. No other bidders bid except for the Hughes Estate, which purchased the property paying only $100,000, and forgiving the $200 million debt.
There have been attempts in the past to build on the property. When the property was owned by Princess Shams Pahlavi in the 1970s, there were goals to build a palace. When late television host Merv Griffin purchased the land to build a mansion, he faced financial issues and sold the property to Herbalife founder Mark Hughes for over $8 million. Hughes died in 2000 before any development plans could come to fruition.
Written By Alexandra White and Casey Jacobs