Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Pinkberry Pashas List Modern Malibu Pad

SELLERS: Shelly Hwang and Young Lee
PRICE: $3,495,000
SIZE: 4,799 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms,

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: In the mid-Naughts Korean American entrepreneur Shelly Hwang and her boyfriend/architect Young Lee set out to open a tiny tea parlor in a centrally located residential section of West Hollywood, CA. Alas, the city put the ix-nay on the tea parlor after neighbors rejected their attempt to secure a booze license. Probably they were devastated at the rejection of their hooch-selling application but the repudiation became the catalyst for their bazillion dollar Plan B: a colorful, new-fangled sort of frozen yogurt shop called Pinkberry that offered a limited number of (mostly tart) flavors and a limited number of (mostly fruit and cereal) toppings at premium prices.

Almost overnight the small store became a huge hit amongst all the scores and scads of Angelenos who didn't even know they ached so intensely for a lip-pursingly tart frozen treat. Much to the chagrin of the store's residential neighbors, chattering crowds over-whelmed the narrow street where cold snack-seeking hordes double- and triple-parked their cars and waited in line for 20, 30 and sometimes 40 minutes for taste of the somewhat icy and decidedly sour substance. The instant frenzy brought extra police to manage the swarms and meter maids to ticket the illegally-parked vehicles. Within a few short years–and the help of a near $25,000,000-plus investment by Starbucks founder Howard Schultz's venture capital fund–perky Pinkberry stores filled with glossy white tables and multi-colored Philippe Starck-designed Ghost chairs began to pop up all over southern California and New York. Natch, Pinkberry being a phenomena that started in southern California, dressed down stars of all stripes soon began to appear in all the celebrity rags, tabs, blogs and gossip glossies spooning Pinkberry into their manicured mouths.

A 2007 report in Fortune magazine revealed that the first Pinkberry store turned a profit after just four months and that with an average purchase price of $5.50 a typical store doing 1,500 servings a day could easily bring in a quarter million dollars or more in revenue per month. The near instant and continued success of Pinkberry has allowed Miz Hwang and Mister Lee to adopt and maintain a swanky lifestyle that encompasses fancy cars and a very contemporary multi-million dollar residence in Malibu, CA they recently heaved on to the market with an asking price of $3,495,000.

Property records show the Pinkberry pashas only acquired the boxy and glassy residence situated high on a steep hillside above Surfrider beach in August 2008. The house was designed and built by minimal-minded Santa Monica-based architect Steve Kent who originally planned to live in the cliff-cleaving crib with his family. However, as was reported in a 2009 article in the Wall Street Journal, the newly-minted Pinkberry moguls finagled a tour of the then-not-quite-completed house and instantly made a substantial offer that would have been foolish for the architect to refuse. Records show Miz Hwang and Mister Lee coughed up $3,525,000 for crisp and clean-lined dwelling that according to current listing information, "includes membership to the new private, gated section of Rambla Pacifica," whatever that means.

Your Mama gave the well-worn beads of our long-suffering abacus a few flicks and clicks we quickly calculated the $3,525,000 purchase price converts to approximately 1,007,143 medium-sized original flavor Pinkberry servings (without topping) at $3.50 per serving. At it's current listing price of $3,495,000, Miz Hwang and Mister Lee stand to lose $30,000 on the sale of their Malibu residence not counting carrying costs, improvement, and real estate fees. That's about 12,000 small-sized original flavor Pinkberry servings (sans topping) at $2.50 apiece.

Listing information shows the sleek house measures 4,799 square feet over three floors with a total of 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms. The main floor of the house lays out in one open sweep of airy space with chocolate brown-stained hardwood floors, luminous white walls, and a long row of floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors that open to a long, cantilevered balcony with knee-buckling views and up and down the coast. A free-standing double-sided fireplace separates the living room from the dining room that itself blends seamlessly into the sybaritic (and hideously expensive) Boffi-brand kitchen complete with dual Sub-Zero frefrigerator/freezers, separate wine fridge, and an integrated Miele-brand coffee maker.

A lower level media room, where Mister Lee reportedly plays a lot of video games on a 65-inch Bang & Olufsen flat-screen tee-vee our internet research reveals costs around $35,000. No puppies, that's not a mis-print that's $35,000 just for the damn television set. We calculate that Mister and Missus Pinkberry had to sell about 5,385 large-sized pomegranate flavor Pinkberries (without topping) at $6.50 a pop to pay for the boob-toob.

Other high-tech convenience, amenities and luxuries include Toto-brand bidet toilets, an integrated FiOS system, central vacuum, and indoor and outdoor areas wired for sound. Although the house is perched and a rather precipitous slope the architect and engineers managed to squeeze out a fairly good-sized and pancake flat back/side yard shielded from the street by mature shade trees and divided in to a generous grass patch and a wide, ocean-view deck dotted with multi-colored and very modern outdoor furniture pieces.

Apropos of nothing related to the real estate, listing photographs show a pair of late-model, his-and-her Rolls Royce's parked in the driveway in front of the frosted glass garage doors deeply set into a chunky mass sheathed in extra-wide-plank, horizontally installed wood paneling. One, a gigantic 4-door Phantom sedan, has a mind-numbing base price of about $380,000–about 84,000 medium-sized green tea flavor Pinkberry servings (without topping) at $4.50 per serving–and the other, a 2-door Phantom Coupé, carries base price of $408,000, about 82,000 medium-sized original flavor Pinkberry servings (with topping) at $4.95 per serving.

listing photos: Coldwell Banker Malibu Colony


Babe Parish said...

this is where i'd live if skrillex was my boyfriend. the house is bad ass, but whoever authorized the whips parked smugly in the driveway needs to be pinched (as do i for this comment).

i like it...minus all that cb2 boloney, the views and rooms are like something out of a brett easton ellis, less than zero sequel, which i am patiently waiting for. i would baby the hell out of all that wood outside with my vintage t-shirt collection and lemon scented indian oil from my aunt's antique shop in tubac, arizona. yum. skrillex, baby, let's get on it, please.

Anonymous said...

I smell money trubs

Anonymous said...

Why is this even given attention on here? Celebrity? The vulgar cars in the drive (does the garage door not operate) speaks volumes about this California mess.

Anonymous said...

How many Pinkberry's are still around" Everytime I drive by one, it's empty, empty empty.

Anonymous said...

I love all of the serving/pricing info.

As for the casa, no pool?

The Rolls Royce pictures say it all - desperation.

Lady J

Anonymous said...

I would buy this in a minute. Gorgeous place.
Do people still go to Pinkberry?

Doug said...


The "children" love you and thank you for all you do. This includes inducing us to do our homework. Membership in Rambla Pacifico seems to be access to a privately rebuilt road. http://www.ramblapacifico.com/ This disheartened me because I thought it was some sort of beach access.

Were I to win any of the lottery jackpots that were large enough to consider a home in the $3Mil-$4Mil range, this would be on my shortlist. I love the views and, really, I wouldn't want to be right on the beach looking at portly bodies in Speedos and hearing the carrying-on while I try to sleep. The MLS listing says the furniture might also be available so perhaps the yogurt barons have sprinkled just a wee too much money around living high off the proverbial hog.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the Rolls Royces out front are slightly obnoxious.
And the theory that they might have money problems might be sound. Anyone that buys two Rolls Royces and spends $35,000 for a TV to play video games on does not seem like someone that is good at managing their money or making good decisions.

midTN said...


Anyone who doesn't read this and laugh out loud at Mama's house pricing and car cost/per pinkberry serving break down has absolutely no sense of humor.

I love this blog.


Steve Mawson said...

and the ugly,crass pimp mobiles parked out front ?!

nouveau riche wanker$

Anonymous said...

New Money, Flashy, Look at Me = Lack of Class.


Anonymous said...

"I would buy this in a minute. Gorgeous place.
Do people still go to Pinkberry?"

Yes, some people still do. They're tourists.

Anonymous said...

Me no likee.

Don Juan's Wreckless Daughter said...

Mama = Priceless
Commenters = Equally Amazing

Mama bakes the cake & you guys are the delicious icing. xoxo


Anonymous said...

What's up with the plastic dining room set? Looks like a spec house sitch

Anonymous said...

I would buy it in a heart beat... and put a lap pool in the side yard.

Anonymous said...

This place is as warm and inviting as a smile from Nancy Regan.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful home...I love the architecture

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised Mama didn't mention that Hwang and Lee filed for divorce about a year ago. I'd wager that's the primary reason this place is being sold off, not because of money troubles.

Anonymous said...

If you have that much money, wouldn't have an ostentatious house to go with those over-the-top cars? That house looks more like a clinic than a real home. So cold, commercial, and unfriendly.