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The $75 million vacant lot


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September 29, 2006

The $75 million vacant lot

Chris Palmeri

A 12-acre parcel of land in Los Angeles' ritzy Bel-Air neighborhood is up for sale, making it potentially the highest-priced single family home site in America. The property has sweeping views of the city and the Pacific Ocean. Two immediate neighbors are on the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans. Nancy Reagan lives close by.

The property has a history too. Some of the trees were planted more than 80 years ago by Alphonzo Bell Sr., who developed Bel-Air. Stars such as Kim Novak, Red Buttons and Barry Manilow once lived on the land before movie producer and New York real estate heir Steve Bing acquired and demolished nine of the eight homes on the site. Bing originally planned to build his own version of Shangri-La on the property but sold it last year to investor group ECP Acquisitions for a reported $75 million.

That ECP has decided to flip it so quickly rather than develop it shows that even in the stratospheric world of deci-million dollar properties, the housing market may be softening. ECP is putting the land up for auction by Beverly Hills-based Westside Estate Agency and New York-based The Greenwich Group International next week.

03:13 PM

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