SOURCE: Scott S. Smith, Business Journalist

September 01, 2015 08:30 ET

Real Estate Game of Thrones Plays Out Over Billion Dollar Property in Beverly Hills

BEVERLY HILLS, CA--(Marketwired - Sep 1, 2015) - Following many years of litigation between Tower Park Properties, LLC ("TPP") and the Hughes Family Trust, ownership of The Vineyard Beverly Hills is being transferred to Secured Capital Partners ("SCP"), a California-based LLC which is already in possession of the Grant Deed on the Property, according to Victor F. Noval, General Manager of Secured Capital Partners, and founder of the Victorino Noval Foundation, LLC. Victorino Noval came to the United States from Cuba to build a real estate empire of shopping complexes which are operated by his family today.

The epic court battle between Tower Park Properties and the Hughes Family Trust (the "Trust") involves the children & grandchildren of one family against the son of another. The litigation ultimately resulted in a signed settlement agreement between the Trust, TPP and SCP, which after being approved by the court was challenged by the Trust. Due to the challenge by the Trust, TPP was forced to default on its obligations to SCP that resulted in TPP losing the property to Secured Capital Partners. Additional Information about the most recent ruling can be found at PACER at http://www.pacer.gov/ in the United States District Court, Central District of California, Case No. CV 13-1518-GHK.

In 2003, three years after Mark Hughes passed away, the Trust sold the 157 acres to Tower Park Properties. TPP was unable to complete the infrastructure improvements pursuant to its written agreements with the Hughes Family Trust. To avoid default and pay off the mortgage, TPP borrowed monies in the form of secured loans from Secured Capital Partners. Since 2010, Secured Capital Partners has funded approximately $100 million to pay off all mortgages on the property pursuant to the settlement agreement between the parties, infrastructure improvements, carrying costs and property taxes.

The property has been owned by some of the world's wealthiest people, including the Shah of Iran, who planned to build his palace there. The Shah bought the vast acreage in his sister's name and held it until 1987 when he sold it to television tycoon Merv Griffin. Griffin owned it from 1987 to 1997 when the late Mark Hughes, founder of Herbalife and a well-known philanthropist, bought the land from Griffin and started making plans to build his dream compound. The property was then transferred to the Hughes Family Trust benefiting his heir and only son, Alexander, who is now 23 and the sole beneficiary of the Trust assets.

According to Victor F. Noval, "Many have come along to try to sensationalize what was nothing more than a real estate transaction by two wealthy families who have helped raised millions of dollars for charitable organizations around the world with a focus on healthcare and cultural exchange programs in arts and entertainment." The property has been the location of numerous events held by the Victorino Noval Foundation, including an Oscar party with James Cameron as the keynote speaker on environmental issues, along with special guests Halle Berry, Sean Penn and Charlize Theron. The Vineyard was also the location for the first ever Diamond Ball for the Clara Lionel Foundation. The ball was hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, with Brad Pitt introducing Rihanna as the headline performer. Among the star-studded guests and VIPs were Salma Hayek and her billionaire husband, Francois-Henri Pinault, Kim Kardashian, Big Sean, Kris Jenner, Ellen Pompeo, Cuban-American Steven Bauer, and SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk. The property is estimated to have a value of $1 Billion USD. It is not currently for sale.

The 157 acres, now known as The Vineyard Beverly Hills, boasts an unparalleled panoramic view of Los Angeles all the way from Malibu to downtown Los Angeles. The property looks over Beverly Park, which according to an article in Forbes magazine is a "Beverly Hills' Mansion-Packed Billionaire Community." From The Vineyard, one can see the homes of the rich and famous Hollywood elite like Mark Wahlberg, Denzel Washington, Nancy Sinatra, Rod Stewart, Seth McFarland and Sylvester Stallone.

The Vineyard Beverly Hills is quite possibly the most valuable plot of undeveloped residential land in the United States. Noval continued by promising, "Now that Secured Capital Partners has been crowned 'King of The Mountain,' plans for The Vineyard Beverly Hills will include continuing to use the property as an event site to raise more money for charitable organizations worldwide."

Scott S. Smith is an internationally-known business journalist with as many as 1,400 articles appearing in over 175 major media. Scott is also the author of Extraordinary People: Real Life Lessons on What It Takes to Achieve Success.

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