UPDATE, MAY 22, 1:29 P.M.: The Irvine Co. is trying to block the $18.5 million sale of an unfinished Newport Coast mansion to 81-year-old Japanese industrialist Toshiaki Ogasawara.
In court documents filed Friday, the developer of that and many other chunks of Orange County claims that the original 2003 land sale agreement included a provision that the property would not be re-sold until completion of the 16,600-square-foot estate resting on it.
The Irvine Co.'s court motion states the developer has a "strong interest" in seeing to it the provision is met.
Previously valued at $37 million to $87 million depending on whose reporting you believe, the 12.5-acre property at 1 Pelican Hill Road North was snatched up by Ogasawara in a bankruptcy auction. The listing agent had the home at 95 percent complete while also noting landscaping is not finished.
The court intervention has caused an estimated one-week delay in the close of the sale. The bankruptcy judge has scheduled a May 31 hearing.
ORIGINAL POST, MAY 16, 10:35 A.M.: From the Dept. of Things Really Are Tough All Over: an unfinished Newport Coast mansion that some reports had priced as high as $57 million, while others pegged it at $87 million (inflation), had a winning bid of $18.5 million in bankruptcy court.
The winning bidder? 81-year-old Japanese industrialist, Japan Times publisher and USC trustee Toshiaki Ogasawara.
His was the top bid among four for the Tuscan-style, eight-bedroom, 17-bathroom, 16,600-square-foot estate at 1 Pelican Hill Road North.
Ogasawara will have to dump up to $3.5 million more in to finish the main house, pool and landscaping. After Auction.com takes a 5 percent premium for arranging the sale the U.S. Bankruptcy Court opened on April 26, remaining proceeds will pay off a OneWest Bank construction loan and, if anything is left over, investors and construction contractors.
The amount Auction.com sought under the bankruptcy agreement was not disclosed, but a week before the sale the property was listed at $37 million. The Los Angeles Times reported $57 million was the previous top asking price for what was once called Villa del Lago, while the Orange County Register had it up to $87 million. Either/or, them's Ryan Seacrest numbers!
For his $18.5 million, Ogasawara will get a wine cave, a 17-car garage, a private lake and vineyard and a horse stable and riding area on 12.5 acres of prime Newport Coast real estate.
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Ah, but what about closet space?
The pad came to being when real-estate agent John McMonigle formed a limited partnership to buy the parcel in 2003. Several bank loans were taken out to build the estate, including a $21.6 million note from La Jolla Bank in 2007.
That bank was shuttered in 2010, and early the following year OneWest Bank acquired the loans and filed to foreclose on the property. McMonigle left the partnership shortly before it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.