Mark Wahlberg's Grotto Gets a $500,000 Makeover on Flip It Like Disick: See the Results!

By Emily Mae Czachor Sep 23, 2019 3:00 AMTags
Watch: Will Scott Demolish Mark Wahlberg's Grotto?: "Flip It Like Disick" Recap (S1, Ep7)

Contemporary is cool, but how many people can say their backyard is home to a water park-sized grotto previously enjoyed by Mark Wahlberg's inner circle?

The Beverly Hills estate whose hillside landscape and extravagant amenities set the stage for HBO's Entourage mansion wasn't quite ready for purchase by the end of Sunday's new Flip It Like Disick, but it was well on its way there. After Scott Disick and big-league developer Ilan Sharone worked their construction magic on the $12.4 million property's Playboy Mansion-like grotto, the place was at least a few steps closer to market-ready. And for $500,000, the outdoor mini makeover didn't break the bank, either.

But, in what's starting to sound like business as usual for real estate folks, it seemed like there was no way the grotto refurbishment was going to happen until just before it actually did. The impressive final product trailed a lengthy conversation between Scott and his new partner about whether the rocky watering hole was worth revamping at all.

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"Now that my money is invested, I want to make sure that we can get the absolute most out of this," said the Talentless founder, who poured $5 million into the attractive and potentially highly profitable house-flipping project during last week's episode. Since then, he and Ilan had been discussing the renovation in more detail.

Regarding the outdoor living space, Scott initially voted to nix the grotto altogether and argued that replacing it with a rectangular infinity pool sporting "smooth, modern sharp edges" was without a doubt the right way to go. But a ballpark quota from "pool specialist" Simon and additional pushback from Ilan encouraged him to explore alternative options. 

"This grotto, it's massive," the specialist noted, adding that it would cost them around $100,000 "just to demo it." Upgrading the space in Scott's image would probably call for almost a full $1 million, Simon continued, and that figure didn't account for his ultimate plan to scrap the grotto entirely and build an infinity pool looking out over the estate's "monster view" of Los Angeles. According to the expert, relocating would require "maybe a million dollars more" to finance, which Ilan thought was "pricey."

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"Two million dollars to knock down this whole grotto and put a new pool is obviously a ton of money," Scott told the Flip It Like Disick camera. "But in the long run, if it makes the money back, I think it's still something that we need to think about."

In addition to mulling it over himself, he solicited a second opinion from Million Dollar Listing's Josh Altman, a real estate agent and friend who actually sold the Wahlberg house to Ilan in the first place (he also represented a Bel Aire property that Scott's team toured this week in the midst of all the Jed Smith flip drama). After airing his concerns about the grotto's outdated feel as compared to the "brand-new beautiful house" adjacent to it, Josh brought up a valid point the dad of three might not have considered before.

"If it wasn't the Entourage house, I'd probably say get rid of it," he said, but advised Scott not to do so since he'd shown the house to a wave of potential buyers back in 2018 and witnessed their excitement over the real-life grotto that inspired many a fictional pool party during the Entourage heyday. 

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"It has history. So I mean, it's pretty cool," Scott told Ilan later, having called to say he'd changed his mind about their hardscape dilemma. "Maybe people actually enjoy being able to have something that fun for themselves outside as opposed to a regular old pool."

When his colleague unveiled the upgraded grotto shortly after their chat, Scott was impressed. What was once a vintage conglomerate of faux rock had been brought back to life, thanks to some three-dimensional finishing touches from the guy responsible for Cars Land. By constructing additional layers of "stone" from plaster, he was able to "make the texture look like real rocks," which is exactly what they were going for.

Plus, "we added all this beautiful greenery," Ilan pointed out, nodding to a fresh patch of foliage lining the grotto's outer edges. Pair that with its sparkly new aqua-colored floor and the towering spa cave legitimately looked good as new. So, even though it took Scott a minute to hob aboard the rugged terrain train, he ultimately agreed that keeping it was a smart move on more counts than one.

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"The whole point of flipping houses is how quick you can get something turned around," he explained. "And it just made more sense to not make a brand-new pool, keep the grotto, sell it and take that profit." 

See how the refurbishment came together—and find out if Scott and the team ended up selling their Jed Smith property prematurely—in the full recap video above! And for an up-close look at the Wahlberg estate's newly-minted backyard grotto, scroll through the photos the below.

An Aerial View

The $500,000 update!

Pebble Flooring

The team replaced the grotto's previous ground layer with durable material similar to traditional Pebble Tec, so it looks and feels more like the sea floor.

Textured Stones

The refurbished grotto features upgraded rock detailing to give the structure a fresh and realistic feel. 

Cascading Waterfall

Look at that view!

Hidden Hot Tub

Nestled beneath the grotto's main waterfall is an in-ground whirlpool. 

Built-In Water Slide

Now fully functioning!

New Greenery

Additional foliage planted along the grotto's upper tiers livens the space.

"Sandy" Beach

The grotto's surrounding shore slopes downward gradually to meet the water level. 

Check back next week for an update on Scott's property-flipping ventures!