Forget the McMansion - this is the giga-mansion
Jennifer Aniston leads LA protest against the rise of 90,000-square-foot properties which they claim are ruining life for other millionaire homeowners
For some billionaires, a McMansion in an upscale Los Angeles neighborhood just isn't enough.
So, high-end developers are building giga-mansions - luxury homes covering up to a whopping 90,000 square feet with jaw-dropping features.
But these sprawling residences, in Beverly Hills and Bel Air, have sparked outrage among wealthy residents, including actress Jennifer Aniston.
They claim that the giga-mansions are creating noise in the area, invading their privacy, and endangering their homes by destabilizing the hillside.
They have been complaining to city officials - and have even set up a homeowners' alliance - in a bid to put a stop to the ostentatious developments.
Aniston, 46, whose $21million Bel Air mansion - which she shares with her fiancé Justin Theroux - covers a fewer 8,500 square feet, told officials that the 'very idea that a building of 90,000 square feet can be called a home' seems 'at the least a significant distortion of building code', ABC reported.
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Kicking off a trend: Experts believe the boom for LA giga-mansions began with the 2011 sale of TV producer Aaron Spelling's 56,000-square-foot home (pictured) in Holmby Hills for $85million. They also say only 30 to 40 per cent of giga-mansion buyers are foreign
'Too big': This sprawling residence, dubbed Palazzo di Amore (the Palace of Love), in Beverly Crest, is among numerous giga-mansions in Los Angeles's Beverly Hills and Bel Air neighborhoods, have sparked outrage among wealthy locals, including actress Jennifer Aniston
Housing feud: Aniston (left), 46, told city officials that the ' very idea that a building of 90,000 square feet can be called a home' seems 'at the least a significant distortion of building code'. Right, developer Mohamed Hadid, who specializes in building enormous mansions
A lot smaller: Aniston's $21million mansion (above) in Bel Air - which she shares with fiancé Justin Theroux - covers 8,500 square feet
One home to have angered residents is a 30,000-square-foot creation of real estate developer and model Gigi Hadid's father, Mohamed Hadid.
Hadid, also the ex-husband of 'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Yolanda Foster, is erecting the glass, steel and cement mansion in Beverley Hills.
At 103 feet tall, it stands 67 feet above Los Angeles's 36-foot height limit, and has been nicknamed the Starship Enterprise by fuming neighbors.
When completed, the circular-shaped creation will sit just yards away from entertainment attorney Joe Horacek's door, ABC's Nightline reported.
'I feel the privacy is completely and totally gone,' Horacek told the program, which airs at 12.3am (EST) on Friday night.
In an interview with the New York Times, the prolific developer added: '[Hadid's] violated just about every regulation that applies.'
To construct the property, which will feature two wine cellars and an infinity pool when completed, Hadid has excavated enormous amounts of soil from the hillside surrounding Horacek's home. This has left the attorney concerned that the giga-mansion could end up 'crumbling' on top of his own house.
Last November, city officials revoked Hadid's permits after residents' complaints led them to discover that the developer had added some unapproved features to the mansion. Hadid has since returned to the approved building design, meaning he can finish the project - to Horacek's and others' anger.
According to Nightline, Hadid himself lives in a 50,000-square-foot mansion in Beverly Hills with a ballroom, a Turkish bath and a huge infinity pool.
A close view: One home to have angered locals is a 30,000-square-foot creation of Hadid, which has been nicknamed the Starship Enterprise by fuming neighbors. When completed, the circular-shaped creation will sit just yards away from entertainment attorney Joe Horacek's door. Above, Horacek (left) shows a Nightline reporter how the close the giga-mansion (in the background) is to his house
Record price: Last year, the Palazzo di Amore (pictured), which Hadid built with the aid of architect Bob Ray Offenhauser and designer Alberto Pint, went on the market for a staggering $195million - making it the most expensive house publicly listed for sale in the U.S..
Sprawling: The villa features more than 35,000 square feet of living space, including an entertainment complex and a ballroom (pictured)
Safari theme: The covered portico overlooking a huge reflecting pool makes the space feel like a safari lodge when the sheer are drawn
Jaw-dropping features: The giga-mansion features a 128-foot-long reflecting pool with fountains (seen left), and a Turkish bath (right)
Last year, a gated 25-acre estate, dubbed 'Palazzo di Amore' (Palace of Love), that the developer built with the aid of architect Bob Ray Offenhauser and designer Alberto Pint went on the market for a staggering $195million - making it the most expensive house publicly listed for sale in the U.S..
The sprawling villa features more than 35,000 square feet of living space, including a two-story entrance hall with two sweeping staircases.
It also includes a 15,000-square-foot entertainment complex, complete with a disco/ballroom, a revolving dance floor, a DJ booth and a laser system.
Inside the entertainment area, up to 250 guests can make use of a 50-seat theater, a bowling alley and a game room under hand-painted ceilings.
They can exit the complex via a floating-style, glass-floor pathway, which sits over several swimming pools lined by 70-year-old olive trees.
A grand home: Hadid himself lives in this 50,000-square-foot mansion (pictured) in Beverly Hills with a ballroom and a huge infinity pool
Plenty of space: In addition to the ballroom, which can seat 300 people, Hadid's home also includes an ornate Turkish bath (right)
Hadid (second right), the ex-husband of 'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Yolanda Foster, is pictured with his daughter Gigi (second left), as well as Shiva Safai (far left) and Alana Hadid (far right) at the grand opening at Royal Personal Training on January 29 in Los Angeles
Enormous: The majority of the people who purchase LA giga-mansions (such as this one) are either local, rich professionals or stars
Once outside, residents can swim in a 128-foot reflecting pool, relax in a Turkish-style spa, walk through formal gardens and play on a tennis court.
They can also visit a beautiful vineyard, which produces 400 to 500 cases of wine a year under its own private label, the LA Times reported.
In defense of his current giga-mansion project next to Horacek's home, Hadid said: 'There is a need for it, there are customers asking for it. They want to have a splash, to have 200-300 people at a party, they need to have several bar areas, an outdoor area, something specific that is different.'
But many celebrities and wealthy professionals disagree that the neighborhoods of Beverly Hills and Bel Air 'need' giga-mansions.
Fred Rosen, who built Ticketmaster, recently set up the Bel-Air Homeowners Alliance after witnessing enormous properties spring up around him.
He told Nightline that construction trucks are constantly driving through the exclusive neighborhood, while dirt continues to be dug out of the hillside.
Construction work: In many cases, McMansions are torn down, so that bigger, more pricey properties can be built in their place (above)
'Ruining the area': Fred Rosen, who built Ticketmaster, recently set up the Bel-Air Homeowners Alliance after witnessing enormous properties spring up around him, like Palazzo di Amore (pictured). He said construction trucks are constantly driving through the area
Indeed, the alliance's latest petition, which aims to get two control ordinances passed in the city, reads: 'The excavation and hauling of dirt has been the single largest risk to the health and safety of residents in Bel Air and is endured on a day to day basis on our city streets. The result of the digging and hauling is that we have literally thousands of unsafe truck trips up and down our narrow streets and roads placing residents in danger.'
Maureen Levinson, who lives down the road from a 90,000-square-foot Bel Air mansion which is still being built, is a member of the alliance. 'There’s wildlife here, and that’s the way Bel Air used to be, very peaceful and quiet,' she told Nightline, comparing the construction trucks to 'freight trains'.
The 90,000 square foot home will be the largest in the neighborhood, with 'a cantilevered tennis court and five swimming pools', according to The Los Angeles Business Journal. Mr Rosen said this will likely mean up to '200 construction trucks a day' driving through the area in upcoming months.
The property, which was dreamed up by film producer-turned-developer Nile Niami, is expected to sell for around $150million once completed.
Opposing views: Saudi Arabian prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud (left) plans to erect a massive 85,000-square-foot mansion in Los Angeles. But Rosen (right) says the excavation and hauling of dirt to build such mansions is a safety risk to residents
Other giga-mansion constructions in Bel Air and Beverly Hills include a 70,000- to 80,000-square-foot Mediterranean estate that is being built for a Qatar national, and plans by Saudi Arabian prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud to erect a massive 85,000-square-foot mansion.
The prince's proposal was immediately met with anger by Bel Air residents, and city officials are currently reviewing it, the Times reported.
Experts believe the boom for giga-mansions began with the 2011 sale of TV producer Aaron Spelling's 56,000-square-feet home for $85million.
They also say only 30 to 40 per cent of giga-mansion buyers are foreign - the majority are either local, rich professionals or stars.
In many cases, McMansions are torn down, so that much bigger, more expensive properties can be built in their place.