A$37 million dollar mansion is not what dreams are made of. At least not for LeBron James, who is knocking down his recently purchased Beverly Hills home to build from ground up. For the NBA mogul, who signed a 2-year $97.1 million contract extension with the LA Lakers, the demolition of a multimillion dollar house is chump change.
Fans are taking note, and not too kindly. The chorus of Instagram comments includes: “Being able to casually knock down a Mansion just because you don’t like the look of it is a next level flex 😂,” and “Hearst Castle pt 2 incoming.”
The 13,000-square-foot mansion was doomed from the start. The Spanish Mission-style manse, which he purchased in 2020, never had a real future with King James.
Upon purchase, James started the legal battle to get building permits to rebuild on the 2.5 acre plot, which had a pool and a pool house, tennis courts, and one of the largest driveway gates in LA. Inside, the home features vaulted ceilings, seven fireplaces, four bedrooms, eight bathrooms and seven fireplaces throughout. There was also a screening room and a trophy room. Walls of glass slider windows boasted views of the Pacific Ocean. Arched architecture was prevalent throughout, like in the breakfast courtyard with teal-tiled fountain. Clearly, a gut reno was not an option, to the chagrin of this IG commenter: “When I get tired, I’ll sometimes switch the drapes. Lebron gets tired, the whole house is gone. 🤯”
Originally, the home was built in 1934 and owned by Hollywood actor Charles Boyer. It then changed hands and belonged to Howard Hughes, aviator and film producer, who then leased it to his one-time lover Kathryn Hepburn in the 1950s. The house then changed hands and in 1986 was purchased for $2.9 million by William J. Bell and Lee Phillip Bell, soap opera icons who co-created The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful.
The property itself, surrounded by cypress trees and bronze sculptures, gave off an Old World charm that clearly didn’t mesh with James’s current style. So how would the four-time NBA champion make his future home a slam dunk? His other homes have no-frills all-white interiors, like in the sleek 12,000-square-foot Miami mansion and his primary Brentwood residence, a contemporary home with a wine cellar, as well as an elevator and a spa with a sauna and a massage room. Perhaps, his architects will emulate the post-industrial finishes, like those of Seattle-based architecture studio Olson Kundig, the name beyond the LeBron James Innovation Center at Nike’s headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. James is also known for embracing sustainability, he invested in a carbon-neutral dairy product company last year, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if his new mansion is LEED Platinum Certified, perhaps a retort to this commenter, “Bad for the environment imo #carbonfootprint.”
With James’s son Bronny starting school at the University of Southern California this fall, a short 30 minute drive to the Beverly Hills dream home, James has all the markings for retiring as a Laker.
As for those criticizing his real estate indulgences, note that James does have a philanthropic side. In 2018, he built the I Promise School public school in Akron, Ohio, his home town, which incorporates a STEM curriculum to help at-risk kids.