Ramtin Ray Nosrati has built more than 100 luxury homes over the past decade for Los Angeles’ rich and famous. He expects to build many more because so many clients, particularly from the East Coast, made a ton of money during the pandemic. So just as the Vanderbilts and Carnegies showed off their aspirations during the Gilded Age by building mansions, the newly flush elite are shopping for fortresses.
When you think megamansions, you might imagine kitchens with walk in, restaurant-style refrigerators and wine rooms that can store 500 bottles. Nosrati of Huntington Estate Properties, has done that and pioneered the cannabis lounge complete with a grow operation and in-house budtenders. He circumvented the city’s crusade against blocked views and multistory single-family homes with subterranean construction, burying huge sections of a house below street level.
Nosrati grew up in L.A. and made his money marketing cell phones and wireless services. His first development project came in 2003, when he bought some defunct chicken ranches in the suburbs east of L.A. and turned them into tract housing. After the 2008 crash, he switched from middle-class to luxury homes; he realized it was safer to bet on building for the rich, who were more resilient to crises.