Los Angeles: A Saudi prince is the
previously unidentified owner of a proposed mega-mansion site
that has been the subject of gold-plated protest in the
wealthy neighborhoods around Beverly Hills, the property`s
previous owner has said.
Prince Abdulaziz ibn Abdullah ibn Abdulaziz Al Saud
one of the sons of Saudi King Abdullah in 2009 bought the
three adjacent parcels with the famous 90210 zip code in
Benedict Canyon, where the massive mansion on Tower Lane that
is roughly the size of the famed Hearst Castle is set to be
built, movie producer Jon Peters told the Los Angeles Times.
The prince paid $12 million for the 5.2 acre hillside
lot, set up a business, Tower Lane Properties Inc. in London,
and made lawyers and contractors sign secrecy agreements to
hide his identity.
Residents of the neighborhood that is home to
late-night TV host Jay Leno, David Beckham and rocker Bruce
Springsteen, held a news conference earlier in the week to
publicize their objections to the palatial home.
They complained that the project is oversized for the
narrow streets, that years of construction will destroy their
quality of life and that the proposal would create mudslide
and fire hazards.
"I warned the prince that he was surrounded by very
powerful neighbors and that he should be extremely careful in
what he proposes to build," said Jarrett Hedborg, a Los
Angeles interior designer who has worked on residences for
Prince Abdulaziz in Saudi Arabia, Paris and Beverly Park and
consulted on the new mansion.
"Working for the prince for 20 years, I knew his
taste," Hedborg told the Times.
"He had expressed to me that he wanted a house that
evoked old classic California Spanish architecture."
Residents said the compound`s size a
42,681-square-foot house, a 27,000-square-foot villa, a guest
house, staff quarters and a gatehouse doesn`t fit in with the
neighbourhood of stately mansions, with one neighbour
complaining that the pool is bigger than his house.
They have formed a group called Save Benedict Canyon,
put up a website and gone door-to-door to let their neighbours
know about the proposal.
They said city planners need to put the project
through a rigorous environmental review and planned to show up
with lawyers at the next planning commission meeting April 14.