Jeff Bezos reportedly set a real estate record Wednesday with the purchase of an historic $165 million Los Angeles estate. But the gargantuan buy made up just a fraction of the Amazon CEO’s recent stock sale and spending spree: He’s unloaded $4.1 billion in stock in the past 11 days alone, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and spent $170 million in addition to the house in the past month.
The world’s richest man, with a net worth of $131 billion, has gone on a real estate tear in the past year, buying three New York apartments worth $80 million combined in June 2019, the $165 million Warner Estate, and a $90 million plot of undeveloped land in Los Angeles from the estate of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen this month, according to The Wall Street Journal. He already owns the largest house in Washington, D.C., worth $23 million, which he’s been remodeling for several years, and two other multi-million-dollar homes in Beverly Hills.
The high-profile Bezos’ latest purchase comes as he has faced criticism recently for amassing a fortune exceeding a hundred billion while economic inequality worsens nationwide and Amazon pays little in federal taxes. The day before news of Bezos’ purchase broke, Amazon’s top spokesman and former Obama press secretary Jay Carney bickered with reporters over the company’s impact and the consequences of its massive expansion.
Amazon did not respond to a request for comment on Bezos’ behalf.
Shopping for real estate capped off a busy month in the public eye for Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post. He attended the Super Bowl (where he smirked with Lizzo), hosted a star-studded party at his D.C. mansion (and subtweeted a business associate who attended), and attended the Academy Awards (where Chris Rock roasted Bezos over his recent divorce). In addition, news broke that the tech mogul spent more than $70 million on two paintings in anonymous auctions in the fall.
The price of Bezos’ new Los Angeles mansion set a record for the city’s most expensive property ever. The 9-acre estate previously belonged to record industry mogul David Geffen, who bought it for $47.5 million in 1990, a record price at the time. Before Geffen, the home’s most notable owner had been Warner Bros. founder and president Jack L. Warner, who had it built in the 1930s. A 1992 Architectural Digest story on the estate shows a lavish dining room with seating for dozens, a basement bar the size of a restaurant, a long pool, and a Versailles-inspired living room. The Journal reports that no real estate agent was involved in the deal.
The purchase tops another media mogul’s recent buy. Lachlan Murdoch, an heir to the News Corp. empire of Fox News and the Journal, bought a $150 million estate named Chartwell in Bel-Air in December, which reigned as Los Angeles’ priciest property for mere months.
Bezos’ new house isn’t the only game in town, though. A second Warner Estate that belonged to Warner Bros. co-founder Harry Warner is for sale for $40 million, according to a broker’s listing. If that’s too steep, a Warner Estate guest house appears to be available on Airbnb for $525 a night.