He already owns a $5.2 million Miami Beach condo at the prestigious St. Regis Bal Harbour resort, but Daoud Wardak apparently also wants a West Coast outpost. To that end, he’s heading for Beverly Hills — records reveal the semi-mysterious businessman, who is a son of former Afghan Minister of Defense Abdul Rahim Wardak, has bought a $20.9 million mansion on a prime Trousdale Estates street.
Built all-new this year and designed by local architecture firm Woods + Dangaran, the nearly 9,000-square-foot house was described in an off-market listing as a fusion of “modern meets midcentury.” The 0.58-acre property last sold in 2016 for $9.5 million to the Woodbridge Group, a now-defunct Ponzi scheme; Woodbridge demolished the original house on the lot, and the new structure was sold to Wardak on behalf of Woodbridge’s bankruptcy proceedings by Viewpoint Collection, a premier developer of high-end Los Angeles homes.
The new house replaced a smaller but seductively curvaceous 1960s midcentury modern long owned by Sally Hershberger, a Kansas oil heiress-turned-L.A.’s infamous “hairstylist to the stars.” During her ownership tenure, Hershberger leased the property to Candace Nelson, founder of the Sprinkles Cupcakes and Pizzana food chains, before selling it in 2013 for $6.9 million to a Florida-based businessman.
As for the current house, the strikingly angular structure packs five bedrooms and seven bathrooms into its glassy walls, which offer views of the Downtown L.A. skyline. Unvarnished woods and other natural materials define the interiors, which offer a muted palette of gray and cream tones. Contemporary minimalism appears to be a theme — there’s a central courtyard with a solitary olive tree, plus flat ceilings punctured only by recessed LED lights. Even the plantings in the drought-resistant yard are semi-wild and mildly overgrown in their own trendy manner. Out back, a rectangular pool sits just a few feet from the house.
Not much is publicly known about the various business interests or wealth origins of Wardak, an ethnic Pashtun refugee who was born in Afghanistan in 1977. But public corporation records show he’s the president of a Miami-based firm called AD Capital Group. Various reports have also noted that his older brother Hamed Wardak, a Georgetown University grad and onetime valedictorian, is a successful businessman who runs military transportation company NCL Holdings. Based in Virginia but operating primarily in Afghanistan, NCL has secured lucrative U.S. government contracts in exchange for protecting American supply routes in Afghanistan; those contracts were reportedly worth north of a whopping $360 million.