An MTV Founder Snaps Up a Stunning 1970s Time Capsule in Santa Monica for $8 Million

Looking for a real estate throwback? Check out this fun and funky—but still remarkably luxurious and searingly expensive—house on the Westside of Los Angeles. Situated mid-block on what has long been considered one of Santa Monica’s most prestigious streets, the property boasts panoramic views that sweep from the mountains to the sea.

The well-positioned house just sold for $7.9 million to John Sykes, a veteran entertainment industry executive who co-founded MTV and has been iHeartMedia’s president of entertainment enterprises for over a decade. Sykes, 68, is also the former president of VH1 and the current chairman of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation.

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Built in 1941 and expanded in the late 1940s, the offbeat traditional-style house sold in 1972 for just $150,000. Those lucky buyers held onto the property for 50 years, selling it last fall for exactly $9 million to a non-famous L.A. family. But unfortunately for them, that family appears to have had a change of heart — nine months later, the house was back on the market, asking $9.5 million. After a big price reduction, Sykes came along and negotiated an even deeper discount.

Inside, there are five bedrooms and five baths in just under 4,000 square feet. And nearly every inch of those square feet is a 1970s time capsule, with wood paneling galore, groovy wet bars, charmingly outdated wallpaper and a smattering of pastel colors setting the beat. Dozens of oversized windows scattered throughout the house flood the place with natural light, while sliding glass doors allow ocean breezes to waft inside and back out.

Speaking of outside, the backyard definitely dates to a bygone era but is remarkably well maintained — much like the home itself. The generous half-acre lot includes grassy lawns, mature palm trees, a towering hedge wall for privacy, and a large swimming pool encircled by a patio sure to delight sunbathers and entertainers alike. Also on tap are rose gardens, flowering bunches of bougainvillea and an attached two-car garage.

Per the listing, “the property yearns for one to bring it back to all of its glory or reimagine the lot,” so it seems likely the estate will be altered considerably in the coming months and years.

No word yet regarding what exactly Sykes plans to do with his new West Coast outpost, or whether he will eventually make the spread a main residence, but records reveal he has long owned a compound that sits less than 50 yards from the beach in New York’s posh East Hampton neighborhood.

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