In case you hadn’t heard, social media is now big business — top influencers can pull down six figures for a single sponsored post or brand deal, while Facebook is one of the world’s biggest companies — and few know that market better than tech mogul Justyn Howard. The Chicago-based Sprout Social founder and CEO has made a proverbial killing banking on social media management, and the sector’s boom has transformed Howard’s once-humble startup, founded in 2010, into a $1.9 billion juggernaut that went public late last year. Since then, the company’s stock has more than doubled in value.
Now Howard and his longtime wife Elizabeth have reinvested a portion of those tech gains into real estate, paying $16.1 million for a brand-new Malibu mansion atop a steep cliff, sporting mesmerizing views of the aqua Pacific Ocean. Records reveal the Howards also ponied up almost $4 million for an adjacent vacant parcel of land, for a total outlay of just under $20 million; together, the two side-by-side parcels sport a whopping 12.8 acres of hillside land.
Built new in 2019 and never occupied, the ultra-contemporary manse is accessed via an exceptionally long gated driveway that meanders up the mountainside, curving around and dead-ending at a paved motorcourt, and there’s also a subterranean 4-car garage around the far side of the house.
The estate is landscaped simply, with drought-tolerant native plantings out front and a relatively small patch of grassy lawn out back. Inside, the blocky, vaguely Lego-like structure has nearly 10,000 square feet of living space across two levels. The main (upper) floor includes a sophisticated gallery-style foyer that steps down into an oversized living room, complete with all the requisite cinematic touches — gleaming hardwood floors, ocean views through floor-to-ceiling windows, and an unbelievably enormous stacked-stone fireplace that effectively divides the living area from the more intimate formal dining room.
Just off the dining room is a chic eat-in kitchen with custom cabinetry and a slew of top-of-the-line Wolf and SubZero appliances; that space opens to a casual dining area and family room with another stacked-stone fireplace and convenient wet bar. Stunning banks of Fleetwood sliders open to a concrete patio with space for large-scale entertaining — COVID-19 allowing, of course — and a staircase that leads down to a swimming pool with inset spa and bird’s eye views of the beach and sea.
Other main floor spaces include not one but two private offices/libraries, one of them overlooking an intimate courtyard and the other with ocean views, and two family bedroom suites. And tucked into its own private wing is the lavish master suite, which a sitting area with fireplace, an apartment-sized closet with custom built-ins, and a lovely bathroom wrapped in marble.
Downstairs are the home’s two guest bedrooms, both of them with ensuite baths, plus a gym, Art Deco-style wet bar, and a soundproof movie theater with seating for 8 guests, all of them serviced by a kitchenette with stainless appliances.
Though it appears this is their very first L.A.-area home, the Howards are not new to the luxury real estate game or stylistically adventurous mansions, for that matter. Their current home in Chicago is a unapologetically Brutalist mansion that looks more akin to a fancy college dorm than a traditional American house. Tax records show that property was acquired in 2016 for $3.8 million.