Nicolas Berggruen, known to some as the “homeless billionaire,” now has another home. Berggruen is the winning bidder in an auction for the legendary Hearst Estate in Los Angeles. The $63.1 million Berggruen is paying for the home hardly puts a dent in his net worth of about $2 billion.
Who is Nicolas Berggruen?
Berggruen is the founder and president of the investment firm Berggruen Holdings and the think tank Berggruen Institute for Governance. He has often been called the “homeless billionaire” because he lived in hotels for many years and didn’t have a permanent address that he called home.
The Hearst Estate has been on the market since April. The current owner, attorney Leonard Ross, racked up about $50 million in debt from not selling the home for years, reports the Los Angeles Times. Ross first listed the estate for sale in 2016 at a whopping $195 million list price, but it didn’t sell. In April, the home hit the market again at a price tag of $89.75 million, which was dropped in June to $69.95 million.
Berggruen’s first offer of $47 million was accepted in August but, since the offer was less than Ross’s debt, that offer triggered a bankruptcy sale through auction. Berggruen’s final bid of $63.1 million beat out five others bidding on the mansion.
The Hearst Estate is a symbol of old Hollywood.
The Hearst Estate is the perfect picture of the Hollywood glamour days. The 29,000 square foot mansion was built in 1926. It was designed by architect Gordon Kaufmann, who also designed the Hollywood Palladium, Greystone Mansion, and Hoover Dam. The home was originally built for a LA area banker but then purchased by Hearst and his partner, actress Marion Davies, in 1946.
Located on 3.5 acres at 1011 North Beverly Drive, the palatial salmon-colored estate features nine bedrooms, 15 bathrooms, a formal living room with a 22-foot arched hand-painted ceiling, and a two-story library. It also has its own Art Deco nightclub, with a bar salvaged from a former nightclub owned by Hugh Hefner. The estate also has two guest apartments, a pool house, a tennis pavilion, and a two-story gatehouse.
The home has appeared in the films The Godfather, The Bodyguard, and Beyoncé’s Black Is King. It was also reportedly the honeymoon spot for John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy. Popular singer Adele held her 31st birthday party there in 2019, reports Architectural Digest.
Berggruen has built an impressive real estate portfolio.
Berggruen’s winning bid of $63.1 million is reportedly the most ever paid for a home at an auction. However, it isn’t Berrgruen’s first real estate venture. He has built an impressive real estate portfolio over the years.
In 2015, he bought 450 acres in the Santa Monica Mountains for his think tank headquarters. In 2017, he bought a 20,000 square foot home in LA’s Holmby Hills for $41 million. In 2020, he spent another $22.5 million for property adjacent to his Holmby Hills home.