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Corona del Mar’s Portabello Estate Sells for $41M

Fariborz Maseeh, the head of Newport Beach investment firm Picoco LLC and one of Orange County’s wealthiest residents, has bought Corona del Mar’s Portabello Estate in what appears to be the most expensive home sale OC’s ever seen.

A Massachusetts-based limited liability company managed by Maseeh bought the estate for $34.1 million, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

The deal also reportedly includes the transfer of a property valued at around $7 million to the estate’s seller, Frank Pritt, founder of Seattle software maker Attachmate Corp.

Including the $7 million sale, the combined $41.1 million price paid for Portabello bests the previous high mark paid for an OC home, the $35 million sale in 2008 of a Newport Bay mansion previously owned by actor actor Nicolas Cage.

Both the buyer and seller in the latest deal were represented by agent John McMonigle of Newport Beach’s McMonigle Group, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The sale of Portabello comes at a discount, of sorts. Pritt first listed the estate, located on a triple oceanfront lot with a panoramic view of the Pacific, for sale in 2006 for $75 million.

He put it back on the market this summer for a greatly reduced $49.6 million.

Portabello has eight bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, a three-story grotto with two pools, two spas and a swim-up bar, a two-lane bowling alley, an auto museum, an Art Deco theater and a 2,000-square-foot master bedroom suite.

The sale raises the local profile of Maseeh, the cofounder and former chief executive of IntelliSense Corp., a Massachusetts software maker.

Maseeh ran IntelliSense from 1991 until he sold it to Corning Inc. for about $750 million in two transactions in 1999 and 2000.

He later started up Picoco LLC, which manages several hedge funds and other assets.

The Business Journal conservatively estimated Maseeh’s worth to be around $375 million this summer, making him the 20th richest person in OC.

He gives via the Massiah Foundation, which makes investments in education, science, healthcare, the arts and humanities. He’s been a big contributor to the University of California, Irvine, in addition to other schools.

Maseeh’s a member of the Samueli School of Engineering advisory board at UCI and serves on similar boards at Portland State and the University of Southern California.

Maseeh grew up in Tehran and came to the U.S. at age 18.

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Mark Mueller
Mark Mueller
Mark is the Editor-in-Chief of the Orange County Business Journal, one of the premier regional business newspapers in the country. He’s the fifth person to hold the editor’s position in the paper’s long history. He oversees a staff of about 15 people. The OCBJ is considered a must-read for area business executives. The print edition of the paper is the primary source of local news for most of the Business Journal’s subscribers, which includes most of OC’s major corporate and community players. Mark’s been with the paper since 2005, and long served as the real estate reporter for the paper, breaking hundreds of commercial and residential real estate stories. He took on the editor’s position in 2018.
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