China’s ‘Steel Princess’ Lists $30 Million Beverly Park Estate

James McClain

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Though she bought the place only seven months ago, Hong Kong-based billionaire businesswoman and philanthropist “Diana” Chen Ningning — the so-called Steel Princess of China — has flipped her extraordinarily luxurious and celebrity-pedigreed 90210 compound back onto the market, where it’s landed with a $30 million thud. Located in North Beverly Park — indisputably L.A.’s most expensive and notoriously exclusive guard-gated community — the genteel estate possesses extensive formal gardens, a Grecian-inspired pool, and cool hillside breezes courtesy of its location high in the mountains above Beverly Hills.

Originally built in 1999, the rambling Tuscan-style manor was renovated and greatly expanded by former professional baseball superstar Barry Bonds, who owned the 1.84-acre property from 2002 until 2014, when it was sold for $22 million to a Russian businessman. Over the last few years, the house has been on and off the market a number of times at fluctuating prices — it was purchased in 2016 for $26.5 million by a couple from Mainland China, who later sold it at a loss to Chen — previous reports reveal she forked out $23 million for the estate this past March.

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While it’s unknown what sort of decor alterations Chen has made since her purchase — the current listing notably does not include any images of the home’s interiors — the rambling mansion has grandly-scaled entertaining rooms with soaring ceilings, an upstairs master suite with his/hers bathrooms and closets, three additional bedroom suites for family and two staff/guest bedrooms. Current marketing materials do not specify the home’s square footage, though previous listings have placed it north of 17,000.

Also inside are — or were — a massive kitchen painted a delicate shade of lavender, an at-home gym, an Art Deco-inspired wet bar, and a decidedly rococo movie theater with gold leaf appliqué. Outdoors, there are elegant allees of olive trees, numerous loggias and patios for al fresco dining and entertaining, a lighted and walled sports court, two spacious motorcourts, fountains and a guesthouse with a full bedroom suite, kitchen and living area.

As a seemingly-eternal paragon of status and exclusivity, North Beverly Park has long attracted a slew of celebrity and foreign dignitary buyers — current residents include Denzel Washington, Eddie Murphy, Samuel L. Jackson, Magic Johnson, Sylvester Stallone, Steve Harvey, Sumner Redstone, Anastasia Soare, Kimora Lee Simmons, Rod Stewart and several Saudi princes. Naturally, hordes of Tinseltown strivers and social climbers dream about joining them behind these towering gates, though the community’s hefty HOA dues alone — according to the listing, they currently top $3,100/month — will keep the wannabes salivating from a distance.

According to Forbes, Chen is a self-made billionaire and one of China’s wealthiest women. However, some of her detractors have disputed the “self-made” designation, pointing out that Chen — who is now in her 40s and holds an MBA from the New York Institute of Technology — was born into a wealthy and politically influential family, and partnered with her mother to found Pioneer Iron and Steel Group (PISG), the initial source of her fortune.

PISG spectacularly disintegrated in 2010 during the worldwide economic recession, crippled by massive debts topping a half-billion dollars. Years before the bankruptcy, however, Chen had shrewdly used her steel fortune to make a series of lucrative investments in a diverse array of other companies and industries, leaving her an inordinately wealthy woman — a billionaire, in fact — even as PISG crashed and burned.

And self-made or not, Chen indisputably remains one of China’s most high-profile tycoons, popularly known in local media as the “Steel Princess,” a nickname earned both for her role in developing the country’s mineral assets and for her success in the traditionally male-dominated world of Chinese business.

Chen’s latest business endeavor is Yintai U.S. Investments, a family holding company with offices in Beverly Hills and the San Francisco Bay Area. Through this corporate entity, Chen invests in real estate and in companies “that have substantial potential to improve life and benefit society,” per her bio.

A peek through records reveals the currently for-sale 90210 mansion is not the only lavish stateside home owned by Chen. Back in late 2017, she shelled out $19.25 million for a brand-new contemporary mansion in the Bel Air hills, directly overlooking the Stone Canyon Reservoir. Two weeks later, she dropped another $7.8 million to acquire the Tuscan-style villa directly across the road.

And up in Silicon Valley, Chen presides over a stunning architectural compound — with a perfectly circular pool and more than seven acres of manicured grounds — up in the preposterously posh town of Woodside, Calif. Records show she acquired that place last July, for $6.7 million.

The Beverly Park estate is listed by seasoned local area experts Barry Peele and former rocket scientist turned posh property purveyor Victoria Risko at Sotheby’s International Realty.

Launch Gallery: Diana Chen Lists $30 Million Beverly Park Mansion

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