Bruce Makowsky is somewhat of a legend in Los Angeles real estate circles. He'd have to be when he was brash enough to build a 38,000-square-foot spec mansion in Bel Air and put it on the market for $250 million. Before Makowsky began selling nine-figure homes, he made his fortune selling leather bags on QVC. He eventually sold his handbag company to a Chinese conglomerate for $330 million. After cashing out he founded BAM Luxury Development which is a property development company focusing on a 10-mile radius on the Westside of Los Angeles. He bought a home for $5.3 million in 2013 and sold it for $19 million the next year after renovating it. He also flipped a home from $12.65 million to $65 million. Bruce Makowsky sold a home for $70 million in 2014, which set a record in Beverly Hills. The home he listed for $250 million was later relisted for $188 million and has 12 bedrooms and 21 bathrooms. The property tax bill for this mansion is a whopping $1.36 million, the largest tax bill in Los Angeles County.
The Billionaire has three kitchens, a private art gallery, a 40-seat movie theatre, two wine cellars, a fitness center, five bars, a massage room, a candy room, and a four-lane Louis Vuitton bowling alley. Oh, and by the way, the two wine cellars are stocked with hundreds of bottles of fine wine and Champagne. It hit the market in 2017 and the listing included a helicopter used in the 1980s series Airwolf, a Hobie Cat sailboat, and a $30 million fleet of cars that includes a Bugatti, vintage Allard, and custom Rolls-Royce. The exterior of The Billionaire has more than 17,000 square feet of decks looking over Los Angeles. The back patio has an 85-foot infinity pool with its own swim-up bar.
Originally listed at a quarter of a billion dollars, the price was dropped to $188 million and then $150 million and eventually sold in 2019 to an unknown buyer for $94 million. However, there's a lawsuit over the perceived value of the home. In early 2019, an anonymous Zillow user with a Chinese IP address hacked the website's security measures and changed the sale prices displayed on the listing. In February, it falsely showed the property sold for $110 million. It was later changed to $90.54 million and then to $94.3 million. Makowsky sued Zillow for $60 million in damages. He also claimed that the incident caused permanent harm to the perception of the property since at the time it was listed for $150 million. This lawsuit is awaiting a ruling.
Makowsky may have not been thrilled with selling The Billionaire for just 37.6% of his original asking price, but it was still the third-most expensive home sale in Los Angeles County in 2019. The only two that topped it were Jan Koum's $100 million Malibu mansion, and Petra Ecclestone's The Manor (aka the Spelling Manor), which sold for $119.75 million. The Manor's sale set the record for the highest sale price of a home in California.
As far as spec mansions go, The Billionaire is the second-highest known sale in L.A. County history. Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores bought a spec mansion in Holmby Hills in 2016 for $100 million.