Kanye West paid $57 million for a Malibu mansion, then gutted and abandoned it. Now, nobody wants it.


Rapper Kanye West has slashed $14 million from the listing price of an abandoned Malibu property he bought for a whopping US$57.3 million in 2021, completely gutted, abandoned and is now trying to sell without windows, doors, interior finishes or completed plumbing, electrical and air conditioning systems.
Kenzo : Outside Arrivals - Paris Fashion Week - Menswear F/W 2022-2023

Kanye West attends at Paris Fashion Week on Jan. 23, 2022.

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Key Takeaways
  • West has been trying to offload the 4,000-square-foot home, with the help of celebrity “Selling Sunset” agent Jason Oppenheim, for almost five months and recently dropped the asking price to $39 million, a 26% slash from its original $53 million listing and 32% less than he paid for it.
  • Shortly after he purchased the Tadao Ando-designed house in 2021, West ripped out every fixture and furnishing, knocked out the windows, removed the doors and seemed to be preparing for an extensive renovation.
  • West, whose legal name is now Ye, reportedly shut down his building company, Yeezy Construction, Inc. in November, doesn’t seem to have touched the house in over a year and can now add trouble selling the building to a litany of other controversies and financial pain points to have come from the project.
  • West paid bicycle designer Richard Sachs $57.3 million for the mansion in an off-market deal in 2021, according to Architectural Digest, significantly less than the $75 million it was listed for in 2020 (West was considered a billionaire at the time but dropped off Forbes’ list last year and now has a net worth of about $400 million).
  • In 2022, West hired contractors and started the renovation but it wasn’t even a year before reports emerged that the house—completely open to the elements on one side since the removal of floor-to-ceiling windows—had fallen into disrepair, and neighbors told TMZ they hadn’t “seen anyone around for many months” and the home had been “left to rot.”
  • Last September, contractor Tony Saxon sued the rapper, saying he was forced to work 16-hour days, had to sleep on the floor or the property and was fired for raising concerns about plans for the house’s electrical system without being paid more than $1 million he’s owed; West has denied the allegations.
  • In January, Saxon’s lawyers placed a lien on the house that won’t allow it to be sold without the buyer first settling debts owed to Saxon.
Crucial Quote

“What’s missing are the interiors,” Oppenheim told the Hollywood Reporter, adding a new owner would need to spend several million dollars to redo the house. “It’s priced to reflect the need for the interior finishes to be replaced. On the positive, it can be brought up to 2024 standards — it was built about 10 years ago.”

Big Number

1,200 tons. That’s how much concrete, the signature material of architect Ando, was used to build the house in 2013. It is also made of 200 tons of steel with 12 pylons dug 60 feet deep to anchor the frame.

Surprising Fact

Ando has been called “Hollywood’s favorite starchitect” and several big-name celebrities have doled out hundreds of millions of dollars for his properties. Jay-Z and Beyoncé last year spent $200 million, shattering California’s price record, on an Ando mansion in Malibu. The home sits on 8 acres and is 40,000 square feet.

It took 15 years to plan and build and was commissioned by Bill and Maria Bell, art collectors who rose to fame as the creators of “The Young and the Restless” soap opera. Fashion designer Tom Ford lived on a sprawling New Mexican property with a concrete house and an equestrian facility designed by Ando until he sold it in 2021 (the list price dropped from $75 million to $48 million before it sold for an undisclosed sum).

Kim Kardashian is reportedly working with Ando on a La Quinta, California mansion. A majority of Ando’s most famous works are in Japan, including the Church of Light built in 1989, Hill of the Buddha (2015) and Chichu Art Museum (2004).

Key Background

News broke that West had purchased the Malibu mansion in late September 2021, eight months after his now ex-wife, Kim Kardashian, filed for divorce. At the time, West was a billionaire. He debuted on the Forbes billionaires list in 2020 with an estimated net worth of $1 billion, largely thanks to his lucrative Yeezy partnership with Adidas, and was worth an estimated $1.8 billion in 2021 and $2 billion by 2022.

In November of 2022, West and Kardashian’s divorce was finalized and Kanye was ordered to pay his ex $200,000 per month in child support, in addition to half of the educational and security costs for their four children. It was shortly before the divorce was finalized, in October of 2022, that West’s bizarre racist and antisemitic behaviour began to tarnish his public image (and erode his net worth).

That month, West wore a “White Lives Matter” shirt to a fashion show in Paris and Vice released previously unaired clips of an interview by Fox News’ Tucker Carlson in which the rapper made bigoted statements about Jewish people and spread outlandish conspiracy theories.

West was then briefly suspended from Twitter for threatening to go “death con 3 on Jewish people,” told Chris Cuomo that Black people signing to “Jewish record labels” was a form of “modern day slavery,” and reports emerged about his pro-Hitler and pro-Nazi remarks.

Brands begin to cut ties with him in October of 2022—Balenciaga was the first—and so followed the end of his brand partnership with Adidas. Other companies like Gap and Foot Locker also ended deals, his wax figure was removed from Madame Tussauds, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago revoked his honorary doctorate and watchdog group StopAntisemitism named him the “Antisemite of the Year.” He fell off the billionaire list in 2023.

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