A development boom for spec houses has brought dozens of outrageously oversized homes and similarly outrageous gimmicks to the Hollywood Hills. But a new $35 million property in Doheny Estates may have literally jumped the shark.
Today’s spec houses look the same: They’re ultra modern, glossy and boxy. To set their mansions apart, Los Angeles developers have raced to add over-the-top frills like champagne vaults, candy rooms, and bowling alleys. But none of them had a shark tank—until now.
The “shark house,” yes, it’s actually named that, features a 300-gallon, uncovered tank that’s about 2 feet deep and is filled with eight stingrays, three houndsharks, one remora shark, one horn shark, one catshark, one starfish, and three yellow tang fish, according to real estate agent Sam Real of Nest Seekers International.
Several stepping stones float above the “pond” so you can risk your life while “watching your fish or doing yoga or reading a newspaper or whatever you want to do,” Real says.
“We had to hire an aquarium specialist,” he says. “Some of the sharks we do have, the houndsharks, they will get up to around 6 feet, so we have a contract with him that he will actually, once they get too big for that pond, deliver them to an aquarium and replace with them new younger houndsharks.”
Other flourishes of the seven-bedroom, 11-bathroom home include a “wellness center,” a wine cellar, humidor, and a freezer just for tequila. (It’s a walk-in freezer that Real says was inspired by the now-shuttered Nic’s Beverly Hills, where guests would don fur coats to down frosty vodka shots).
“Buyers are looking for a place that is more of a resort than a home,” Real says. “It’s about, ‘How much else can I put in my house so that I don’t have to leave?’”
But if the amenities are over-the-top, the finishes, materials, and furnishings are more understated. The aesthetic is minimal, but not cold. Real says that sets his property apart from that of rival spec developer Paul McClean.
“This house isn’t another McClean. It’s not a party house,” Real says. “It will maybe find a buyer with more sophistication.”