Architect Scott Gillen used to be a stunt driver in Hollywood. Specifically, he was the stunt driver on the iconic television show “The Dukes of Hazzard” when he was a teenager. These days, he appears on Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing: L.A.” and is the designer of some of the most stunning and expensive homes in Malibu. He’s developed homes for Matthew Perry and David Duchovny. He is pretty much single handedly responsible for driving up Malibu’s already pricey real estate prices. He made news three years ago when he dropped $50 million on a 24-acre undeveloped plot of land in Malibu and announced his “The Case” project. He was inspired by the famous Case Study Houses from the 1950s and 1960s that were designed by Richard Neutra, Charles Eames, Ray Eames, and Eero Saarinen. How Gillen went from stunt driver to designer of the most expensive real estate in Malibu is pretty interesting.
Back in 2001, Scott and his wife were living in Venice, California when she got pregnant. They decided to buy a larger home in Malibu for their growing family. When he sold their home in Venice, he realized he was a natural in the real estate industry. So he launched his design and brokerage firm Unvarnished Co. Today, it is the luxury division of the brokerage that is making waves in Malibu real estate.
“The Case” project encompasses five minimalist mansions. The Case took 11 years to get approved, and it is one of only three gated communities in Malibu. Case No. 2 hit the market in February 2020 with a price tag of $100 million. The home is slated to be finished in early 2021. In fact, all five homes in the series should be done at the same time. Case No. 2 is 10,727 square feet with five bedrooms and five and a half bathrooms. It sits on three acres with panoramic views of the ocean and coastline. Walls of glass look out over the Pacific Ocean. The home features hardwood floors and a custom walnut soaking tub in the master bedroom. The master bedroom also has access to an outdoor spa where there is a 132-foot infinity pool and patio with a fire pit.
Case No. 2 is the second home in the series to hit the market. Case No. 5 was the first in the series to hit the market, also for $100 million. They will range in price from $40 million to $100 million. Lot sizes range from 2.5 acres to six acres. Square footage of the five homes ranges from 10,000 to 12,500 square feet. Each home has its own pool as well as water cannons to fight the fires that so often plague Malibu.
The five homes in the community will be heavily guarded and behind gates, making it a press and paparazzi free-zone. Gillen worked with well-known security expert Gavin de Becker to design the development’s security. De Becker is known for his roster of high profile clients, including Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who hired de Becker to look into his leaked text messages. Gillen reportedly told de Becker to make The Case as paparazzi-proof as possible.
One of the homes in The Case has already been snapped up by a well-known resident of Malibu and their family for just under $40 million. Gillen expects the rest of the future residents of The Case to be very successful people who are looking for nothing but the very best in their next home. The entire community was expected to be complete sometime in 2020, but the pandemic has likely pushed that to 2021.