LOS ANGELES — It’s the battle of the big-bucks beaches.
Malibu’s celebrity-studded Broad Beach appears to be engaged in a throw down of sorts with billionaire bastion Carbon Beach to the east. Several properties have come on the market within the last month that will require diamond-encrusted pocketbooks to purchase.
At $57.5 million, the most expensive Malibu listing now in the Multiple Listing Service is the Frank Gehry-designed Borman estate set on more than an acre. The site has 160 feet of Broad Beach frontage, an ocean-view tennis court, a lap pool and a spa. A steppingstone path through lawn leads to the sand.
The 11,413-square-foot, two-story home, custom built in 1989, features a gym, a wine cellar, a loft, five fireplaces, a sauna, six bedrooms and 10 bathrooms.
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Owner Burton Borman, who died last year at 85, was the former chief executive of insurance company PennCorp Financial. A tennis lover, he commissioned Gehry to design the beach house. Among Gehry’s credits are Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.
“There is a fan club of people who really appreciate Gehry,” said co-listing agent Jeffrey Hyland of Hilton & Hyland, an affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate. He has sold two other Gehry properties. “Like many great artists, some of their earlier work is the best they’ve done.”
Broad Beach offers an alternative to those who have been crowded out of Carbon Beach by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison.
The Bay Area billionaire has bought nearly two dozen properties in the beach community over the last decade, with nearly half of them along Carbon Beach. His crowning purchase was a three-structure copper-roofed compound bought last year for $37 million from former Yahoo CEO Terry Semel and his wife, Jane.
The $75-million sale earlier this year of a 9.5-acre bluff property owned by billionaire money manager Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital Management is the highest sale on record in Malibu.
Carbon Beach has the advantage of being closer to town than Broad Beach, but it also has a steady stream of traffic buzzing by on busy Pacific Coast Highway. Broad is out of earshot of the street traffic, so crashing waves make up the background noise. Those same waves, however, have contributed to sand erosion, and beach restoration is under way.
Although Carbon has an impressive list of residents ranked on Forbes magazine’s richest-people list, Broad Beach has a history of celebrity owners, including Jack Lemmon, Carroll O’Connor and Whoopi Goldberg.
“Broad Beach has always been a quiet celebrity place,” said Jack Pritchett of Pritchett-Rapf & Associates, who shares the Gehry listing. Gated Malibu Colony is the other celebrity hub. “The lots on Broad Beach, in general, are a little bit larger than in the Colony.”
Those failing to make the shortlist to view the Modern-style Gehry mansion may qualify for a peek at a nearby Gerard Colcord-designed beach house priced at $24 million that Pritchett has listed.
The Cape Cod-inspired manse sits on more than three-quarters of an acre and has 100 feet of beach frontage. The 4,833 square feet of living space contain four fireplaces, a sunroom, an office, four bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms. There’s also a gazebo, a spa and a guesthouse.
Deep-pocketed do-it-yourselfers can pick up a more than one-acre Broad Beach site with 120 feet of sandy frontage for $29.5 million. The parcel comes with a building permit for a 10,000-square-foot compound with eight bedrooms, 9.5 bathrooms, a pool with a spa, a paddle tennis court, a theater and an office.