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Former property owner confirms Saudi prince purchased Benedict Canyon site

March 25, 2011 |  6:04 pm

Photo: Architect's rendering of main house of Tower Lane project. Credit: Landry Design Group
Hair-dresser turned movie producer Jon Peters confirmed that he sold 5.2 acres of land in Benedict Canyon to a Saudi prince who now plans to construct an 85,000-square-foot compound on the site.

Prince Abdulaziz ibn Abdullah ibn Abdulaziz Al Saud, a son of Saudi King Abdullah,  purchased three adjacent parcels in 2009, Peters said. Property records list the sale price at $12 million.

The Times reported Tuesday that the proposal had stirred heated opposition among neighbors, who include Bruce Springsteen and Michael Ovitz. Project opponents say they have gathered the support of about 500 residents, who contend the project would harm the canyon's environment. They have urged the city to require a full environmental review of the project, and the matter is slated to be discussed at a Los Angeles Planning Commission meeting April 14.

Prince Abdulaziz has gone to great lengths to shield his identity, creating a special corporation for the project and requiring all project representatives and contractors to sign agreements saying they will not disclose his identity.  One project representative described the owner as a single man with three children whose family would use the property only occasionally. Prince Abdulaziz is divorced and has two sons and a daughter. He owns additional residences in Riyadh and Jedda in Saudi Arabia and Paris.

Jarrett Hedborg, a Los Angeles interior designer, said he worked on those three residences as well as one in Beverly Park. He said he was also consulted by Prince Abdulaziz on the Benedict Canyon project on private Tower Lane.

"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," Hedborg said.

"Working for the prince for 20 years, I knew his taste," Hedborg added. "He had expressed to me that he wanted a house that evoked old classic California Spanish architecture."

The proposal calls for a 42,681-square-foot main house, a double-winged "son's villa" of more than 27,000 square feet, a 4,400-square-foot guest house, a 5,300-square-foot staff quarters and a 2,700-square-foot gatehouse. Renderings provided by architect Richard Landry show a palatial main house and son's villa that would be a hybrid of Mediterranean and Spanish Colonial Revival styles.


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--Martha Groves

Photo: Architect's rendering of main house of Tower Lane project. Credit: Landry Design Group