Malibu Beach to sell for more than Playboy Mansion, break Los Angeles price record

Hard Rock Cafe co-founder Peter Morton is poised to sell his Malibu estate in an off-market deal for $110 million.

Morton was expected to be sealing the deal in a closing on Tuesday, selling the home to natural gas billionaire Michael S. Smith and his wife, Iris, Mansion Global has learned. The estate, consisting of a five-bedroom main house and three-bedroom guest house, will set a new record for the highest price ever paid for a home in Los Angeles County — surpassing the Playboy Mansion, which sold for $100 million in 2016.

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Architect Richard Meier, whose signature white-clad contemporary mansions dot Malibu, designed the residence in teak wood and glass, according to a 2006 profile of Morton in The Los Angeles Times. Morton, 70, could not immediately be reached for comment.

The custom teak shell, which draws back like shutters to let the light into floor-to-ceiling glass — reportedly needs daily oiling to keep its warm, rich hue.

malibu home street view

The teak-embellished property sits directly alongside the Pacific Coast Highway.  (Google Street View)

The home will smash Malibu’s record sales: a tie between David Geffen’s Carbon Beach compound and powerbroker Kurt Rappaport’s beach mansion, both of which sold for $85 million, Mansion Global previously reported.

It is believed the Malibu residence will also break a national price record in terms of price per square foot, a source said. The house — modest compared to its ultra-luxury neighbors at about 8,000 square feet — will sell for $13,750 per square foot.

By chance, Smith, CEO of Freeport LNG, paid the exact same price for a beach home on the opposite coast in 2016. He shelled out $110 million for 6.4-acre estate in East Hampton, New York.

But the off-market Malibu deal may not hold its record status for long. Los Angeles currently boasts the country’s most expensive listing, a $350 million estate owned by late billionaire Jerry Perenchio, in addition to a handful of newly built mega-mansions with nine-digit asking prices.

Agents Rayni and Branden Williams of Hilton & Hyland represented the seller.