Elon Musk Sells Bel-Air Homes to Real Estate Developer

In the wake of Musk’s announcement that he is leaving California in favor of Texas, he has reportedly closed a deal to sell four adjacent homes in a cul-de-sac in Bel-Air for a total of about $62 million. The buyer is a real estate developer named Ardie Tavangarian.

Although he has now officially cut as many ties to California as possible, Elon Musk has been interested in selling his personal property since at least May, when he announced that he was selling his houses. “I don’t need the cash. Possessions just weigh you down,” he said in a tweet.

He previously sold an estate that was once owned by the actor Gene Wilder to a business managed by the wife of Wilder’s nephew and another Bel-Air property to Chinese billionaire William Ding. He did express concern about the historical value of the Wilder home while making his announcement:

His girlfriend, a musician called Grimes, was reportedly annoyed with his decision, however — probably understandable, considering that the couple have recently welcomed a new baby boy. Grimes owns a home in Pasadena and Musk has not yet sold a home in Hillsborough.

Musk is currently looking for a place to rent in Texas and recently toured a mansion that can be rented for $350,000 a month. He has cited Californian policies that include high taxes and a response to the COVID-19 pandemic that he called “fascist” and un-American as his reasons for leaving California in favor of Texas. Although he did not seem worried about Tesla’s ability to survive the response, he said that many businesses and individuals likely would not. He said of it in a Tesla earnings call in early 2020:

“If somebody wants to stay in their house, that’s great and they should be able to. But to say they cannot leave their house and that they will be arrested if they do, that’s fascist. That is not democratic — this is not freedom. Give people back their goddamn freedom.”

Although he is not the only wealthy entrepreneur to leave California due to policies that are unfriendly toward businesses like Tesla, COVID-19 was the cause of an especially high-profile fight between Musk and county and state officials over the forced closure of his factory, though the state appears to have backed down by declaring the Pasadena Gigafactory an “essential” business. The fight has cost one Pasadena official his job and the state may have been worried about losing the tax revenue and the 10,000 jobs at the Gigafactory. During the course of the fight, he moved Tesla headquarters and his charitable foundation out of California in favor of the more business-friendly Texas.

The parties in the $62 million transaction have been in talks since July and the deal closed earlier this week. Tavangarian said that he plans to combine the four properties into a single project. However, he has not yet released details on what that project will be.

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