On top of a ridge in California’s Santa Monica Mountains, a 120-acre estate owned by the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has sold for $65 million — a deep discount from its original price tag of $150 million.
The prized piece of land is one of the largest undeveloped properties in Los Angeles’ Westside area. Floating above the city, taming the rough canyon landscape with pristine stretches of grass, it’s easy to see how it earned the nickname Enchanted Hill.
The name stretches back to the 1920s, when the property was owned by screenwriter Frances Marion and silent film star Fred Thomson. Their neighbor, Hollywood actress Greta Garbo, is credited with coining the Enchanted Hill moniker that stuck for a century.
Marion and Thomson commissioned California architect Wallace Neff to build a home on the property, and Neff designed a Spanish Colonial Revival-style gem that stood for decades until Allen bought the property for $20 million in 1997 and razed it.
Allen planned to replace it with a mansion but never completed the project. However, he did ready the grounds for development, dividing the estate into five lots and adding a 1-mile driveway, two guard-gated entrances and infrastructure for utilities. At the time, Allen imagined a single-family compound that included space for equestrian facilities and a winery.
His vision never came to pass, and he died in 2018 from cancer. A trust tied to his estate put the property up for sale a year later at $150 million and eventually trimmed the tag down to $95 million.
Snaking along the ridge-top lot, the compound takes in sweeping views of Los Angeles, the Pacific Ocean and several canyons. Jeff Hyland, Rick Hilton and Zach Goldsmith of Hilton & Hyland held the listing.
Allen, who died at 65, was 22 when he founded Microsoft with Bill Gates. After leaving the company eight years later, with what would become one of the largest fortunes in U.S. history, he devoted his life to philanthropic causes and high-profile investments, including buying the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trail Blazers franchises. His firm, Vulcan, has been instrumental in shaping Seattle’s downtown core.
At the time of his death, Forbes estimated his net worth at $20.3 billion.
The $65 million property isn’t even Allen’s most expensive sale of 2021. Over the summer, his estate sold the Octopus, a $266-million megayacht complete with a swimming pool, gym, library and space for two helicopters and a submarine, according to Superyacht Times.