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Sprawling across 12 acres on the southern edge of Palm Springs, this compound was custom built for philanthropist Robert Pond and his wife Jo in 1989. Standing head and shoulders above its Coachella Valley peers — quite literally, as it’s tucked into a hillside knoll — it comes complete with a Spanish-style mansion and detached pair of guesthouses. Altogether, the estate offers a whopping total of 10 bedrooms and 15 bathrooms, plus stables and garage space for up to 100 vehicles, and sweeping dessert and mountain vistas to boot.
Pond retired to Palm Springs after converting a Minneapolis-based family business into a $100 million global enterprise. He’s best known in the local community for helping to launch the Palm Springs Air Museum, which houses a collection of more than two dozen of his still-flying, WWII-era aircraft.
Known as “The Pond Estate,” the property has since hosted countless weddings, fundraisers and parties; it was last sold at auction via Premiere Estates back in 2016 for $7.5 million. Now it’s changing hands once again, with Tom Ryan — president and CEO of ViacomCBS Streaming and cofounder of Pluto TV, which was sold to Viacom in 2019 for $340 million — paying $8.4 million for the property, a nearly million-dollar discount from the original $9.2 million ask.
Ryan’s foray into the media world began in 1996, when he started an early digital music company called Cductive — one of the first mp3 retailers selling 99-cent downloads — which was later bought by main rival eMusic in 1999; today, his net worth is estimated to be upwards of $84 million.
Tucked away behind walls and gates, in the prestigious Andreas Hills neighborhood, the compound features nearly 19,000 square feet of living space spread across a main home and two guest houses rife with terrazzo tile and sparkling chandeliers.
A grand rotunda entrance welcomes, and opens into the 12,737- square-foot main home featuring a great room with a soaring beamed ceiling and dramatic fireplace; formal dining room that seats 16; and a gourmet kitchen outfitted with a commercial-grade walk-in refrigerator.
There are four en-suite bedrooms, seven full bathrooms and four half baths. Two of the bedrooms are accessible from exterior entrances, while the carpeted master retreat boasts a sitting area, dual bathrooms, a walk-in closet, fitness room, steam shower and sauna. There’s also a sizable estate office, and an indoor lap pool and hot tub.
A larger, 4,113-square-foot standalone guest house has a full kitchen, dining area and living room, three bedrooms, three full bathrooms and a half bath, as well as a three-car garage. A smaller, detached 1,835-square-foot guest casita also offers a full kitchen, living area, three bedrooms and three full bathrooms.
As for the grounds, they include a large pond, fountains, numerous sculptures and an island accessible by wooden bridge. A pool and spa are flanked by an outdoor kitchen and a sunken bar, plus an adjacent catering kitchen, and a tennis court, equestrian stables and a riding ring are nearby.
The ultimate indulgence, especially for the car aficionado? Five detached, climate-controlled garages that can accommodate beyond 100 vehicles.
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