Pacific Connection

By Dave Fratello | January 28th, 2010
On and off for about 14 months, 511 Pacific has been offered to any and all comers.

Well, those with $5-8 million to spend.

At last, the huge, spectacular new home has made a connection with a buyer. Last list price was $5.750m.

In fact, we're told that once a serious buyer stepped up, suddenly there were multiple offers.

So it looks like we can take this beauty off the board one way or another, while inventory of new construction in the Hills slips to 2.

Side note: About that word, "new." The build date in the listing for 511 Pacific is 2008, properly reflecting the date of completion and first offering of the home late that year. Since then, the home's been staged and then unstaged, but never lived in, so that's "new" in our book.

511 Pacific – which actually rises above Ardmore, with the entry on Pacific in back – is absolutely unique, boasting huge (and unexpected) panoramic views from PV to Malibu and a ton of space spread all about a network of hallways and staircases. You could get lost in this maze of a house.

Much of the lower floor on the west side (with views) consists of the master, master bath, separate closet/dressing room (with extra bath) and yet another room that could be called a "sitting room" for the master, or a sizable private gym. That space would be a nice, bright living room or game room in any other home, but here it's really just for the master of the house.

Suffice it to say, the builders squeezed a lot of amazing, custom home onto this peculiar, inclined lot. Features like the media/theater room downstairs and disappearing window/walls (nanawalls) that open up the big views are state of the art.

We could say that price was the problem here all along, but that's not the only factor.

Sure, a start at $8.150m was ambitious. But it was down $1.4m by February 2009 and down $2m+ (to $5.995m) by March 2009, just a few months after launch. Though the price fluctuated thereafter, you'll note that the most recent list price wasn't much further down.

There were also issues with the loans – NODs on the construction loans that had to get cured – and an unrelated, background legal squabble that took time to peter out.

Timing worked against the listing for a long time. Starting up an $8m listing right as the world's financial system teetered? Not good timing.

But 2010 was good to the listing. And to the brand-new listing agent, who took over Jan. 13 and suddenly found himself swimming in competing bids. Good work, good timing.


A brief note: Up the street, 1011 Pacific is back on the market after a few months off. But there's a big change: the sellers' ambitions are much-reduced.

The big (6br/5ba, 6875 sq. ft.) ocean-view home was first up in Sept. 2008 for $5.995m. That seemed like an awfully big jump from the Aug. 2004 acquisition price of $3.975m – a markup of +$2.020m/+51%. That was not in the cards. Last list price in 2009: $4.995m.

Chop another $800k now, and the listing's at $4.199m, just +$224k/+6% over the Aug. 2004 price.

As the story of 511 Pacific shows, an overall cut of $2m or more may be necessary if you start too high, and it may, eventually, work.

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