Why is David Geffen's Beach House Worth $85 Million?

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David Geffen’s beach house sells for more than any other private residence in Malibu. Can someone tell me why?

David Geffens Beach House

david geffens beach houseI don’t care that David Geffen‘s beach house in Malibu just sold for a record-setting $85 million, I just don’t get the allure of Carbon Beach. I mean, you step three feet out your front door, you’ll get run down by some wanker in a Maserati whizzing down PCH after swilling too much sake at Nobu. Beach traffic on PCH makes accessibility a liability, and all that noise and pollution and can completely ruin a billionaire’s day.

I know, I know — probably nowhere  else on earth are you more likely to run into heavy hitters like Larry EllisonEli BroadPaul Allen, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jerry BruckheimerJeffrey Katzenberg, and Les Moonves while strolling down the beach in your backyard — they’ve all owned properties there at one time or another. But if you can afford to live in one of the pricy pads on “Billionaires Beach,” do you really need the access?

No one outside of Geffen’s lofty circles knows exactly what he who paid $85 million is getting, since it was a quiet, off-market deal that never appeared on the MLS. But we have heard the compound includes five separate buildings on a massive green lawn. There’s a main residence, two guesthouses, a pool, gym, and fancy theater, as befits a studio executive of Geffen’s caliber.

And anyone who has ever tried to park on that stretch of PCH or tried to use the public beach on the other side of the estates, is familiar with this particular property. Geffen lead the fight to keep us commoners off the public beach by waging a three-year court battle against opening an easement on the western edge of his property.

When he lost that fight, he attempted to keep the hoi polloi  from parking in front of his house by building nine garage bays along the highway side of his property, complete with curb cuts and fancy driveway aprons, so it would appear to beachgoers that parking there would block a driveway. The catch? At least four of those garage doors are reported to be fake—they don’t lead to garages at all. And truth be told, they’re not very convincing, although I haven’t yet dared to park in front of any of them.

So I’m just going to put it out there: Mr. Geffen, if you’d like to invite me to hang with the ObamasMariah CareyOprah WinfreyBruce Springsteen, and Tom Hanks on your $590 million, 454-foot yacht The Rising Sun, and explain to me what makes Carbon Beach so great, have your people call my people. They’re waiting by the phone.

To find out more about the sale of David Geffen’s beach house, see my feature on Realtor.com.

David Geffen’s beach house sells for more than any other private residence in Malibu. Can someone tell me why?


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Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award winning journalist, author and film/TV critic. She can be heard regularly on Cumulus radio stations throughout the US, and on BBC Radio.

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