Hannah Carter Japanese Garden Sold for $12.5M

The Los Angeles Times has reported that the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has sold the Hannah Carter Japanese Garden and its accompanying Bel-Air residence to real estate developer Mark Gabay. Under the terms of the sale, Gabay is required to maintain the garden in its current state for 30 years.  

Recognized as one of the most important postwar Japanese-style gardens in the United States, the garden was created by Nagao Sakurai and Kazuo Nakamura in 1960 and was reconstructed by Koichi Kawana in the 1970s. In 1964, the garden was gifted to UCLA by Edward W. Carter and subsequently renamed to honor his wife, Hannah. But after pledging to maintain the garden in perpetuity, UCLA put it up for sale in 2010, following Mrs. Carter's death (Mr. Carter predeceased her). TCLF listed the garden in its Landslide program in 2012, joining a coalition that included the Los Angeles Conservancy and others determined to halt its sale and ensure its long-term maintenance.

On July 27, 2012, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge issued a temporary injunction delaying the sale of the garden and upholding UCLA’s legal obligation to maintain it. The university then reached an agreement, in October 2015, with the Carter heirs, which permitted the sale of the garden on condition that any new owner maintain and preserve it for 30 years. The purchase agreement between UCLA and Gabay did not stipulate public access to the garden.