Jeff Hyland, Titan of Luxury Real Estate in Los Angeles, Dies at 75
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Jeff Hyland, the Los Angeles real estate titan who helped usher in an era of modern-day celebrity brokers and gave shine to the city’s great historic estates, died Wednesday after a brief battle with cancer. He was 75.
Hyland and business partner Rick Hilton opened the luxury real estate agency Hilton & Hyland in 1993. The company, credited with billions of dollars in residential real estate sales since its inception, announced the “devastating” news about its co-founder and president Thursday in an Instagram post.
The post quoted Hyland’s wife, painter Lori Hyland. “As some of you may have known, Jeff has been privately battling cancer for the last year,” she said. “I am thankful to all of you for sharing your wishes and prayers during Jeff’s illness. Your support and kindness has touched me deeply, and I know you mourn with me now.”
Hilton, the grandson of Hilton Hotels founder Conrad Hilton, husband of Kathy Hilton and father of Paris and Nicky Hilton, also released a statement. “Thirty years ago, Jeff and I started on this journey,” he wrote. “Throughout, a great partnership and a deep friendship were forged, and Hilton & Hyland emerged as a force in the industry. Jeff was a legend. His knowledge about real estate and architecture was unparalleled.”
Hyland, who grew up in L.A.’s Little Holmby area, was behind the sales of scores of mega-properties in the area during the past few decades. In 2019, he was one of the listing agents who sold the $150 million Chartwell estate, also known as the Beverly Hillbillies house because of its appearance on the CBS show, to Lachlan Murdoch; at the time, it broke the record for the most expensive residential property ever sold in California.
Hyland also was one of the agents who sold Spelling Manor in 2011 to Petra Ecclestone for $85 million; the property was recently relisted by its current owner for $165 million, with Hyland and the firm’s Drew Fenton as agents.
Other attention-getting sales over the years included a $21 million penthouse bought by The Weeknd; the famed Enchanted Hill property purchased recently by ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt for $65 million; the former home of soap opera creator Lee Phillip Bell, purchased by LeBron James for $36.8 million; and a Bel Air mansion bought by former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick for $43 million.
Hyland was not one to crow in the media about his big sales, though. One of his deep passions was as an architectural historian of the city he grew up in. He had a lifelong enchantment with the storied historic residences of the L.A. area, publishing the book The Estates of Beverly Hills in 1984 and a follow-up book with Rizzoli in 2008, the 400-page The Legendary Estates of Beverly Hills, which spotlighted 45 mansions built by such architects as Paul R. Williams, Gordon Kaufmann, Wallace Neff and Roland Coate.
“There are only a handful of these class-A estates left,” Hyland told The Hollywood Reporter in 2020.
Indeed, his second book included a section remembering many of the notable L.A. residences that have been demolished, including Douglas Fairbanks Sr. and Mary Pickford’s Pickfair and Rudolph Valentino’s Falcon Lair.
“Jeff was the real deal,” Compass real estate agent and architectural historian Bret Parsons tells THR. “He believed in very thorough research about these great houses that we are losing every day. He had a personal quest to preserve their history. He loved Los Angeles, and he loved good architects. Architects tell the history of a city.”
The son of Dick Hyland, a screenwriter (Kilroy Was Here) who went on to found a literary agency (where filmmaker Roger Corman worked early in his career), Hyland had an intimate knowledge of the areas he would later write about. “Between my parents, their friends and my friends, I was in and out of so many of these houses as a kid,” Hyland once told Art and Living, noting that he “grew up three blocks away from the Kaufmann-designed Bing Crosby estate,” which was torn down to become Spelling Manor.
Hyland, who attended the United States International University in San Diego, earning a business administration degree, got his real-estate license in 1975 while in his 20s, starting off working for Coldwell Banker. His first client, according to a 2014 Los Angeles Times profile, was producer Dino De Laurentiis, a referral he got through his father.
He went on to become a founding member of Christie’s International Real Estate; the founder of internet platform Forbes Global Properties (in 2020); president of the Beverly Hills Board of Realtors; president of the Los Angeles County Board of Real Estate; and state director for the California Association of Realtors.
Hyland’s own real estate holdings, according to Dirt, have included a 40-acre estate in Agoura Hills, an equestrian estate in Topanga Canyon, a Manhattan pied-à-terre and a Hollywood Regency-inspired mid-century home in Beverly Hills’ Trousdale Estates.
Agents at Hilton & Hyland include Fenton, Brett Lawyer, Jonah Wilson and Linda May, former Million Dollar Listing star Chad Rogers and Rick Hilton’s son, Barron N. Hilton.
“I don’t know a single person in the industry that was as active and involved in the politics, building, zoning and safety. He truly cared about the city,” Rayni Williams, the co-founder of the Beverly Hills Estates real estate brokerage and a former agent at Hilton & Hyland, told The Beverly Hills Courier. “Jeff Hyland was a mentor to so many and a father figure to even more. It’s a very sad and tremendous loss to our community.”
Six years ago, Hyland told the L.A. Times that a cornerstone of building his business was integrity: “All said and done, it’s your reputation that counts.”
source : https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/lifestyle/real-estate/jeff-hyland-dead-real-estate-titan-1235096515/