A California mansion that spurred neighborhood turmoil when it was built is going on the market for $150 million.
The seller of the roughly 12,640-square-foot beachfront home in Manhattan Beach is tech investor Rob DeSantis, who co-founded software company Ariba and was an early investor in LinkedIn. He purchased three adjacent lots in Manhattan Beach, a coastal city about 20 miles from Los Angeles, for approximately $13 million around 2000, he said, and then spent several years designing a seven-bedroom home and pool.
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While home sales above $100 million are fairly common in Los Angeles and Malibu, Manhattan Beach has yet to see a sale above $30 million, according to Eric Fonoimoana of Compass, one of the listing agents. If the DeSantis property fetches anywhere near the asking price, it would be the most expensive sale by far in Manhattan Beach, Fonoimoana said.
“There are properties in Malibu that have sold for over $150 million, $200 million,” said DeSantis, who is not related to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. “My personal opinion is, this house has everything those houses have to offer, and in some cases, more.” He said the home is a six-minute walk to dozens of restaurants, and is relatively close to downtown L.A. and the airport.
Then there’s the fact that a home of this size could never be built again in Manhattan Beach, Fonoimoana said.
While DeSantis was building his house, fears of overbuilding roiled the community. The City Council formed a “Mansionization Committee” and ultimately passed an ordinance prohibiting future homeowners from building on triple lots like the one DeSantis owned.
DeSantis, whose plans were grandfathered in, said his goal was to build a tasteful “beach bungalow” that would be aesthetically beautiful for the community and his family. In addition to underbuilding what the site could accommodate, he said he added offsets along the perimeter of the house with trees. The result, he said, is a house that is not “big and bold and ostentatious.”
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Completed around 2009, the house has lots of stone and teak for a “Tommy Bahama feel,” said DeSantis. The pool, which is on the second level of the sloped property, has glass windows on the bottom, so swimmers can be seen from the steam room, shower and changing area below. “Kids can have fun looking up through the skylight and see their friends swimming,” he said.
DeSantis said the kitchen has views of the beach, Manhattan Beach pier and Malibu. He installed solar panels on the roof and a geothermal system to heat and cool the house. Together, they cover 80% to 90% of his utilities, he said.
DeSantis said he is looking to sell because his family has relocated away from Los Angeles. He owns multiple homes in California, he said. “The house is not getting the use it once was when we lived there full-time,” he said.
In November, DeSantis listed the house for rent, asking $150,000 a month. He said he wanted to test the market and make sure selling is the best option. “You never know how you feel about the house until it’s being taken away from you,” he said.
The property is being co-listed by Fonoimoana and Brook Billings of Compass and Branden and Rayni Williams of the Beverly Hills Estates. DeSantis said he connected with the agents through TrueParity, a startup he co-founded in 2021, that connects homeowners with agents. As part of the marketing campaign, TrueParity is working with YouTuber Enes Yilmazer to feature the property on his channel.
In October, the median sale price in Manhattan Beach was $2.5 million, down 16.4% from October 2022, according to real-estate brokerage Redfin.
Fonoimoana said property values in Manhattan Beach have risen astronomically over the years, and homes along the beach sell for $10 million to nearly $30 million.