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Billionaire to turn part of Beverly Hills estate into farm

Billionaire Jeff Greene has taken his Beverly Hills estate, once listed for $195 million, off the market.

After failing to attract a buyer, even after slashing the price by $46 million, the real estate magnate has a new plan: Turn part of the trophy property into an organic farm.

Greene told CNBC on Thursday that Palazzo di Amore, his 25-acre estate and mega-mansion perched atop Beverly Hills, is no longer for sale. The property was listed last year for $195 million, but in September, Greene cut the price to $149 million, saying he was "very motivated to sell."

Turns out, he was even more motivated to become a billionaire farmer. Greene said that while he may still consider attractive offers for the property, he plans to turn at least two acres into an organic farm.

"We're going to grow tomatoes, potatoes, onions, corn," the real estate magnate said. "We're going to talk to a local farmer who is going to take the product and sell in a local market. And, of course, we'll eat the organic foods."

"Our neighbor can walk through the gate and pick some, too," he said. That neighbor, it just so happens, is fellow billionaire Barry Diller, chairman of IAC/InterActiveCorp.

Greene said he realizes that land in nearby areas of Beverly Hills is going for $10 million or more per acre. But he said the property is currently vacant, since he and his family live in Palm Beach, Florida. And since part of the estate is already a working vineyard, adding additional crops made sense.

"Right now, part of the land is not really being used at all, so why is it crazy?" he said.

Palazzo di Amore
Source: Coldwell Banker Previews
Palazzo di Amore

Greene also said he will continue to rent the house if and when there are interested renters. He rented the property in August for $450,000 — for just that one month.

Palazzo di Amore has around 53,000 square feet of living space with 21 bedrooms and 23 bathrooms. The 35,000-square-foot main house has a finished wine cellar, a traditional hammam (or Turkish-style spa) and expansive views of Los Angeles.

The estate also includes a 15,000-square-foot entertainment center complete with a disco/ballroom, revolving turntable-style dance floor, DJ booth, laser-light system, 50-seat private screening room, bowling alley and game room.

Palazzo di Amore was just trumped as the most expensive listing in America, when Le Palais Royal, a 60,500-square-foot mansion in Hillsboro Beach, Florida, upped its priced to $159 million.