A Private Palace With a Ballroom That Doubles as a Tennis Court
The Andalusian-style estate near Los Angeles also has a Moorish hammam and its own equestrian trail
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON SEPTEMBER 06, 2016|MANSION GLOBAL|SAVE ARTICLE
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LISTING OF THE DAY
Location: Rolling Hills, California
Price: $48 million
After John Z. Blazevich spent millions of dollars and 17 years building his dream home in Los Angeles, he thought he would spend the rest of his life there. But just seven years after his masterpiece was complete, the food entrepreneur is ready to embark on his next project.
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His new home will most likely be much smaller than the sprawling Spanish mansion, which is set on eight acres on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. With 51,000 square feet of living space, Hacienda de la Paz is the 36th-largest home ever built in the U.S. that is still standing, according to Mr. Blazevich.
“I had planned on residing here forever, but as you get older, life presents new opportunities,” Mr. Blazevich told Mansion Global.
Hacienda de la Paz is located at the crest of the peninsula in the guard-gated city of Rolling Hills. The main house has nine bedrooms and 25 bathrooms, as well as panoramic ocean-to-mountain views.
Mr. Blazevich, originally from Bosnia Herzegovina, bought the land in 1993. The estate was finished 17 years later and was designed by Spanish architect Rafael Manzano Martos, who has restored palaces in Spain. To date, it’s his only U.S. project.
The design is influenced by the first Spanish settlers in California, and Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Moroccan artisans and craftsmen all contributed to the home’s construction.
At one point, Mr. Blazevich commissioned 300 nomadic tribesmen from the Moroccan desert to hand carve each sandstone piece of the 10,000- square-foot hammam and spa. Each piece was then carefully deconstructed and shipped to California in hundreds of crates.
“I wanted to build an iconic property that would be reflective of California’s history. I knew Spanish explorers were the first Europeans to settle here and I wanted to pay tribute to their contributions. I did not desire to build a Southwestern, Mexican Colonial or a Mediterranean villa. It had to be an authentic Spanish Andalusian estate and I named it Hacienda de la Paz. After 17 years, the end result? One-thousand years of Spain’s architectural history under one roof,” he said.
Perhaps one of the home’s most intriguing features is its five subterranean floors that stretch 50 feet below the ground, with close to 31,000 square feet of amenity space.
One of the floors has a 10,000-square-foot, 10th century style Moorish hammam and spa, with hand-crafted ceilings, imported marble, hand-carved sandstone, 24-carat gold Venetian tiling and an indoor pool.
“I’ve stayed at many of the finest hotels in the world and have never seen a spa as exceptional or historical as mine,” said Mr. Blazevich. “Swimming in the hammam pool you feel as if you are floating through time; what a supernatural experience.”
There’s also an 18th century-style, 15,000-square-foot Neoclassical ballroom, which is ideal for hosting fundraisers. It can accommodate 350 sit-down guests for dinner, a dance floor and a 30-piece orchestra. The ballroom doubles as an indoor tennis court.
Other amenities include an outdoor clay tennis court, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, equestrian trail, bocce court, gym and yoga room, wine cellar, guesthouse and six-car garage.
Despite it being a massive estate, Mr. Blazevich’s average six-month gas bill only sets him back about $30—thanks to a geothermal HVAC system.
Agent: Christophe Choo, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
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