A mystery landowner's plan to build an 85,000-square-foot family compound has set off a major kerfuffle in a tony Hollywood hills neighborhood whose residents include Bruce Springsteen, Jay Leno, and David Beckham, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The proposed "mega-mansion"—which would be located in the iconic 90210 zip code—will include a 42,681-square-foot main house, a double-winged "son's villa" of more than 27,000 square feet, a 4,400-square-foot guest house, a 5,300-square-foot staff quarters and a 2,700-square-foot gatehouse.
The owner's identity is being kept secret. But there are indications he could be a member of the Saudi royal family. A special business created to buy the land lists as its president Mansour Fustok of London. Fustok--who described the mansion to the Times as "just a normal Mediterranean-style house"--is the uncle of Prince Abdulaziz ibn Abdullah ibn Abdulaziz al Saud, one of Saudi King Abdullah's sons.
And the complex may be intended for the prince himself. According to a representative of Fustok's business, the owner is a single father of three. Prince Abdulaziz is divorced and has three children.
But residents of the Benedict Canyon neighborhood—including Hollywood honcho Michael Ovitz (pictured)—are worried about the project's potential for noise, pollution, and environmental damage. They've organized a campaign to block it, arguing that the owners are trying to get around a legally mandated environmental review.
Ovitz may not be the best front-man for the campaign. He himself once proposed a 28,000-square-foot megamansion on property straddling the Los Angeles-Beverly Hills border, which also generated heated opposition. The home, which ultimately was built, sits a stone's throw away from the site of the proposed compound.
(AP Photo/Chris Gardner)