It means “Palace of Love” in Italian—and Palazzo di Amore was a nearly eight-year labor of love for real estate investor Jeff Greene. The 25-acre Beverly Hills compound’s namesake is also a nod to Greene’s 2007 nuptials to wife Mei Sze Greene, a grand gesture by a self-made real estate entrepreneur who owns more than 30 properties in Florida, 3,500 apartments in Los Angeles and 3 buildings in downtown Manhattan. Romance oozes from the palatial Mediterranean-style villa: a floating glass-floor walkway over pools lined by mature olive trees, a sweeping double stairway, a vineyard reminiscent of Tuscany. Greene says he wanted to create “a palace for the modern era” by “setting the highest standards of craftsmanship and artistry in every detail, from employing a 17 step painting process with antiquing to importing 70-year-old olive trees.”
Last week, Palazzo di Amore made headlines after it was announced that Joyce Rey and Stacy Gottula of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Beverly Hills were listing it for $195 million, making it one of the most expensive residential listings in the country. Rey says the property truly “has it all”— privacy, acreage, square footage, amenities and breathtaking city light views stretching from Century City and the Wilshire Corridor, all the way to the ocean. “It offers everything that a high-net-worth buyer would be looking for in a property,” she noted.
With architecture by Bob Ray Offenhauser and design by legendary Alberto Pinto, the 35,000 square-foot residence was developed by Mohamed Hadid. An icon in his own right, Hadid is known for developing some of the nation’s most expensive and coveted estates. His most recent Beverly Hills estate was listed for $58 million and was quickly sold within 11 months by Rey and Gottula, setting the record for the most expensive home sold in Beverly Hills in 2013. They also set the 2010 national sales record when they successfully sold Hadid’s lavish estate Le Belvedere in Bel Air listed for $72 million. Both homes sold to international buyers—and Gottula expects the buyer of Palazzo di Amore to follow in the same footsteps.
“The buyer will be someone who enjoys the finer things—wine, film, travel, entertaining,” she said. “It will be someone who enjoys having a good time with close friends or hosting events on a grand scale with a thousand guests. Palazzo di Amore is an entertainer’s paradise.”
Greene agrees, calling the residence “the ultimate paradise for entertaining in style.” He invested tens of millions to complete and expand Palazzo di Amore after purchasing it, finishing the second floor of the main residence and building a massive approximate 15,000 square foot entertainment center that includes a disco/ballroom with a revolving turn table style dance floor, DJ booth and a laser-light system. The entertainment complex features a 50-seat private screening room, a bowling alley and a game room. It can host up to 250 guests for a seated dinner or event. Guests are welcomed into the complex via a floating glass-floor walkway over pools lined by the olive trees.
It’s not hard to imagine guests being impressed from the very moment they arrive on the property. They must first enter through not one, not two, but three sets of grand double gates and approach the estate via a quarter-mile long tree-lined drive. A marbled two-story sky-lit entry eventually greets them, along with graceful twin curving staircases and beautiful architectural details: limestone floors with marble and maple inlay, hand-painted ceilings, paneling of maple burl wood.
The living room, dining room, breakfast room, game room, office and family room all open onto the manicured grounds. The outdoor entertaining areas include a striking 128-foot scenic reflecting pool and fountain. The recreational facilities include a swimming pool, a spa, an outdoor barbecue area and tennis court. The main floor of the residence boasts a grand chef’s kitchen replete with classically-styled cabinetry and a commercial size walk-in refrigerator. It is complemented by a secondary staff kitchen, a fully-equipped butler’s pantry, two staff rooms, a three-car attached garage and a suite of two private offices with separate entry. The wine cellar on the main floor holds 3,000 bottles and a tasting room provides a stately setting to savor the estate’s private label, Beverly Hills Vineyards.
The vineyard produces 400-500 cases per year of wine made from classic varietals, including Sangiovese, Syrah, Cabernet, Merlot, Rose and Sauvignon Blanc. The lower level houses approximately 10,000 bottles and additional barrels in a second wine cellar which includes temperature-controlled rooms for wine storage flanked by a large tasting room with stone floors and brick barrel-vault ceilings.
“The current owner is a passionate wine collector and has told us that the estate’s private label holds up to some of the industry’s finest wines,” added Gottula.
The second level, accessible both by the sweeping double stairway and by an elevator, has two wings. The east wing features a spacious guest suite and a 5,000 square foot master suite. The bedroom features a fireplace with hand-carved wood mantel and a sitting area with Juliet balconies and a large picture window offering sweeping views. The his- and her- baths include showroom-quality walk-in dressing rooms. His master bath features a traditional hammam (a Hadid hallmark), a Turkish style spa highlighted by custom hand-painted wooden panels, a fireplace and floor-to-ceiling iridescent Moroccan tiles glistening beneath suspended Turkish lamps, cultivating the feel of an exotic getaway. The west wing houses four expansive bedroom suites including a VIP suite outfitted with silk upholstered walls, a full kitchen, a large-scale bathroom, a walk-in closet, a sitting room that opens to a spacious terrace spanning nearly 100 feet long as well as 2 additional staff rooms. In total, the estate offers 12 bedrooms and 23 bathrooms.
Palazzo di Amore lives up to its name…there is certainly a lot to love.