featured projects

The Roth House - Beverly Hills, CA
The famous Roth House by Case Study architects Buff, Straub and Hensman. Greatly expanded with a two-story addition and completely renovated for glamour and impact. On its own promontory above the Beverly Hills Hotel, the property commands astounding views from downtown to ocean. The home's original 2,200 square feet were seamlessly more than doubled to include a media room with its own full bath, two guest bedrooms, a master suite that occupies the entire second floor, and an outdoor room above the master with jetliner views in all directions. Extensively documented by architecture photography legend Julius Schulman and widely published in books and magazines, The Roth House was awarded the prestigious Award of Merit by the National Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).
Cordell Residence - Hollywood Hills, CA
Aeries was chosen to redevelop this home because of our experience remodeling and expanding upon historically significant architecture. Originally designed by John Elgin Wolfe, the progenitor of the Hollywood Regency style, this home would be updated and modernized throughout, without compromising its connection to history. The owners also envisioned an addition that would house a media room overlooking the entry garden of what would become a completely brick-walled property . The media room is ovular in shape (suede paneled walls with copper crown molding) to echo the shape of a beloved fountain just beyond a new patio outside. Wade Graham designed landscape/hardsacpe/gate/wall improvements and Aeries implemented. Madeline Stuart designed the interiors.
Rustic Canyon Residence - Santa Monica, CA
The home was built in 1972, but in a Mid-Century Post and Beam aesthetic. The property was outdated in all of its systems and materials and suffered from over 30 years of deferred maintenance which affected its viability down to the structure. But because it took advantage of the best possible siting on the lot, close to the toe of an extreme slope and overlooking the balance of its half acre of useable land, siting that could not be replicated under today's codes, Aeries recommended remodeling the existing structure rather than taking it down and building new. The entire house was rebuilt, refreshed and brought up to date with all new materials, fixtures and finishes. The floor plan was completely re-imagined in order to serve the wish of the owner that the house feel and operate like a clubhouse, ideal for recreation and entertaining and complete with a putting green for a lawn, designed and installed by the grounds crew at the famous Riviera Country Club. Aeries drove the landscape, hardscape, and interior design and implementation as well. The project was accomplished in five months, including the design phase. Photography by Nicolas O.S. Marques/ Photekt.
Pacific Palisades Residence - Pacific Palisades, CA
Aeries began advising on this project when the property was still in escrow. Once closed, we worked closely and intensely with the owner to fully develop an architecture and design book which clearly spelled out the complete re-making of the floor plan of this previously untouched 1938 Georgian Colonial home, and called out every finish, fixture, appliance and interior design element. We meticulously restored this over 8,500 square foot home from the outside in and from the inside out. An almost completely useable acre of land was transformed and made private by landscape and hardscape. A dramatic eight pond system filled with koi was repaired, lit and brought to life. A large, heavily engineered pool and surrounding decks and seating areas were built over a hillside, seamlessly multiplying the amount of unwooded, flat outdoor living and play area enjoyed by the owner and her young children. An outdoor fire pit and custom hot tub were added as well. The greatest success of this project was the joyful collaboration with the owner who, over the course of the project, codified her passion for design and development and became an integral part of and leader of the design team. Photography by Nicolas O.S. Marques/ Photekt.
Easton Drive Residence - Beverly Hills, California
When the owner (an award-winning magazine owner) of a small, one-bedroom, single-story former hunting lodge, which once belonged to Clark Gable, got married (top a prominent magazine writer) and the new couple found themselves with a daughter on the way, Aeries was brought in to transform the ultimate bachelor pad into a gracious family home.  The lodge became a two-story, three bedroom home with proper master, guest and powder bathrooms, a cook's kitchen, a media room, a sleeping loft and a living room with double-height ceilings.  A former garage structure became a gym and an office for the wife of the couple which, as it now has a full bath and kitchen, is easily convertible into a guest house.  A new pool and pool house were added and the three structures were unified into a flowing whole by landscape and hardscape whose design and implementation were also overseen by Aeries.  The major challenge posed by this project was the impact of the slopes which descended steeply from the hillsides to almost touch the house on three sides.  Aeries worked closely with soils, civil and structural engineers as well as the Grading Department at Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety to devise a design that would meet the program needs of the clients and also be allowed by the city according to its updated grading and setback requirements.  Aeries fought through several battles of code interpretation to insure our clients got the house they wanted.  While the architecture and overall vision of the house belongs to Karen Putman, interior designer Wendy Haworth was brought in to design cabinetry for kitchens and bathrooms as well as a furniture palette for interiors.
The Whitney Residence - Santa Monica Canyon, CA
The celebrated Whitney Residence is a widely published and much admired example of Frank Gehry's residential architecture. The floor plan was carefully and sensitively reconfigured to suit the program needs of the home's new owner. The entire home was renovated and more than 1,500 new square feet were added. The half-acre on which the home sits were re-imagined. Designed and added where outdoor lounges and fireplaces, fountains, a yoga retreat, an outdoor gymnasium, covered patios, an outdoor movie theater and a large adult cigar lounge high in a sycamore tree.
Hollywood Hills Residence - Hollywood Hills, CA
This unique compound in the Hollywood Hills above Chateau Marmont is comprised of two formerly dilapidated 1952 ranch houses, purchased separately and unified into one flowing property, now containing a main and a guest house. With the exception of a second story addition to the main house, the mission was to embrace and elevate the existing structures - to bring excitement and glamour to simple and undervalued architectural forms. With dramatic head-on city lights views, a new heavily engineered hillside swimmer's pool, an orchard and several outdoor rooms, the property sets the stage for indoor-outdoor recreation and entertainment.
Bronze Lane Residence – Brentwood, CA
For the owners of Bronze Lane, Aeries was brought in to accomplish two goals simultaneously: the façade of the existing residence was so be remodeled with enclosed parking structure and gym additions seamlessly added, and a free-standing writing studio was to be added at the rear of the property, oriented toward the view, in which both owners (Hollywood writers) could peacefully pursue their work separate from main house activity.  For the writing studio, the owners wanted to build a pre-fab in order to minimize the length of time the construction work would impact their home, but they wanted also wanted a highly customized structure.  Aeries worked closely with KitHaus to custom-design the studio and to build it off-site.  After regrading the site and preparing the foundation, the writing studio was installed and functional in four days.
Hutton Drive Production Studio – Beverly Hills, CA
Aeries' mission at Hutton Drive was to expand and transform a small, original, 1960's auxiliary structure into a production office for the owners to use as a writing, producing, editing and web-development studio surrounding a pool.  The production offices would have to double as a residence to return to in years when the owners (a married writing, directing and producing team) would be on location and would need a pied a terre to return to in Los Angeles.  Transformer-like cabinetry was carefully developed, allowing desks to convert into beds and meeting tables into seating areas.  The existing structure was reimagined and rebuilt using contemporary construction methods and in compliance with current codes, but staying true to its Eamesian, mid-century provenance.  The structure was tripled in size.

Aeries Development is a design and development company specializing in the creation of high-end, single family homes.  Aeries brings real property to its highest and best use for its own account and on behalf of outside developers and individual owners.  We believe that a finished project will resonate only when every detail has been cared for and precisely executed along the way.   We have developed our building resources to the point at which we purely enjoy the development process, achieving fast, cost-effective, transparent, calm and joyful building projects.

Billy Lehman went to Princeton University and did his graduate work at Yale University. He has been involved in design and development for over 15 years, having completed many ambitious and successful high-end, single-family residential developments in addition to commercial retail and office projects. Billy has developed real estate primarily in New York, San Diego and Los Angeles where he founded Aeries Development in 2002. Through his work building schools in Malawi, Billy has become a member of the Global Education Advisory Board at Save The Children and chairs the Affinity Thinking Group within STC, an organization charged with developing innovative ways to get schools built in impoverished, remote locations.
Karen E. Putman received her Bachelors of Architecture degree from the University of Southern California and has been involved in the fields of design and architecture for over twenty years, having completed a multitude of projects for a diverse clientele throughout the United States. Having studied abroad and traveled to more than two dozen countries, her work displays an authority and an authenticity based on first-hand experience and study of the roots of various architectural styles as well as an understanding of people, culture, materials, and art.

A native of Newport Beach, California, Karen has worked for awarding winning firms such as Scheurer Architects, JZMK Architecture + Planning, Kevin L. Crook Architect, Thomas P. Cox Architect, and Michael E. Barsocchini & Associates. She has won many prestigiuous architecture awards herself including a Builder's Choice Award, four Golden Nugget Awards, an SMC SoCal Award, a DSMC Award, three Aurora Awards , and three Sand Dollar Awards, all recognizing outstanding achievement in single family home design. Karen's approach to architecture and design is both practical and passionate, with a strong emphasis on collaboration.

Zoe McElroy studied architecture, design and residential remodeling at UCLA. She was the creator of the popular blog “Purchase Worthy” which showcased unusual design elements for use in home construction. Zoe comes to development from the film and TV world where she worked extensively in production in both the US and her native Australia. She was the showrunner for the televison show “Life After Film School” on Fox.


CNN "CNN Money" Feature - April, 2014
"I'm so in love with my house." Credit: CNN Money
"Do people find houses? Or is it sometimes the other way around?"

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"Among the roughly 600 celebutantes were architect Michael Palladino of Richard Meier & Partners, design critic and radio personality Frances Anderton of KCRW, developer Billy Lehman, and Jay Roewe, senior vice president of production at HBO."

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"Fairy-tale fate, however, does not a reconception and renovation make -- nor does it ensure a happy ending. For this, Georgi turned to project manager Billy Lehman, founder of Aeries Development (a unique, one-stop, turret-to-toothbrush design and development firm), and his architecture and design partner, Karen Putman."

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"Conception to completion was a single year, explains Putman, but 'the scope was the usual everything, the entire floor plan was remade and the grounds redone,' says the Princeton-and-Yale-educated Lehman. Among the changes and additions were what Lehman calls a new and 'heavily engineered pool and pool area,' a new lawn created by the pool's relocation and refurbished koi ponds, all set amid fruit groves, wild ducks, chickens and indoor-outdoor dogs. 'Maryl really lives in her house,' says Lehman."

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ELLE DECOR MAGAZINE Feature - October 2012
"There's what I call a 'dwelling adventurism' [in Los Angeles]," says Lehman. "People express themselves through how they live."

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Los Angeles Times Feature - April 2012
"Developer Billy Lehman recently installed a K4 Kithaus, a prefab design often used as an extra bedroom or office, in the Brentwood backyard of a writer-producer couple with kids. The couple found it was impossible to get work done inside the home, so they added a dedicated mini-building in back."

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NBC "Open House" Feature - March 5, 2011
"An exclusive tour of an amazing home." Credit: NBC LX.TV Open House.
ANGELENO MAGAZINE Feature - March 2011
"His first question was why I needed more space," says Brackpool. "He spent an hour walking around then sat down and laid out the design, and he hit it straight on. I was floored." The project took all of five and a half months, on time and on budget.

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C MAGAZINE Feature - October 2009
If houses embody life stages-the childhood home; the bachelor pad; the midlife remodel-then Billy Lehman and Dana Goodyear's light-filled residence hovering above the Chateau Marmont in the Hollywood Hills is most definitely the honeymoon suite. Everything about the couple's first shared living space has the blush of new romance and the excitement of joining respective passions and interests. It's a showcase for his art collection and her treasured heirlooms; the furniture is both bold and delicate; and even the landscaping-baby fruit trees and all-feels like a couple in the process of planting roots. Lehman, a real estate developer who also designed the house, calls it "a mission of love."

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944 MAGAZINE Feature - April 2006
The famous Roth house by Case Study architects Buff, Straub and Hensman has been expanded with a two-story addition and completely renovated for glamour and impact by celebrated architect David Hertz and designer Billy Lehman.

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editorial - web
The Wallstreet Journal Feature - September 2010

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editorial - web
The Huffington Post Feature - September 2010

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editorial - web
Curbed LA Feature - September 2010

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Ben Goldhirsh - CEO, GOOD and Owner Easton Drive Residence
"Working with Aeries has been an overwhelming success. The support we enjoyed through the whole process made it a creative pleasure, and from a nuts and bolts perspective, we executed our dream home at half the cost and in half the time as bids from other contractors. This was a radically different dynamic than what I'd experienced in previous construction efforts. Whereas before I was getting pinned with change orders from a smiling contractor that I did not trust, and a continually expanding timeline and budget, here I was surrounded by a team of experts who digested my objectives, arrived at compensation plans that got us all driving toward the same goals, and worked their tail off to deliver the best outcomes across quality, speed, price, and service. I endorse Aeries wholeheartedly."
Maryl Georgi - CEO, Yogamatic, Inc. and Owner, Pacific Palisades Residence
"Thank god for Billy. He handled the project in such an organized and efficient way, that it cleared the way for me to focus on design and construction decisions. If there was a conflict, he fought it on my behalf, and I could maintain a positive relationship with the gentlemen on the job. In addition, he found my contractor and architect for me, both of whom were tremendously talented and a joy to work with. Never once did I have to pour over an invoice without him catching every point worth noting beforehand. Billy knows exactly where to spend money wisely and where to budget more efficiently. He kept every participant on task and was probably the only one truly conscious of the timeline. In addition, regarding the design and construction, Billy has impeccable taste and a careful eye - he knows how to navigate all parties regarding permits, plans, interiors, and landscape. I knew I could trust every thought and opinion he had throughout the job process, and even brought him with me on shopping trips. I love my home, but I would happily live in ANY house that Billy designed and developed. They are all both beautiful and functional. He checked and rechecked everyone's work, and stayed by my side, even months later when simple punch list items needed to be addressed. His attention to detail and balance beats anyone I know. Moreover, he's an absolute pleasure to have around! Lucky me."
Keith Brackpool - CEO Cadiz, Inc. and Owner, The Whitney Residence
"I had interviewed multiple architects for the remodel and I just didn't think any of them were in sync with what I wanted. Nearly all of them wanted to add square footage to accomplish my wish list. Finally I called Billy and asked him what I was doing wrong. His first question was to ask me why I needed more space! He spent about an hour walking around then sat down and laid out the design. He hit it straight on. I was floored. He was hired. And I was never anxious, as of course it turned out that I never had any need to be, as the attention to detail was second to none. A consummate professional. I am a big proponent of the transparency of Billy's fee structure overall. It avoids any possible conflict of interest and I only wish more people in this related space (designers etc) would consider the same."
David Ford - CEO Latigo Partners and Investor, The Roth House
"I live in New York and had seen Billy's pioneering loft remodeling work begin in the TriBeCa neighborhood here before the area was on most New Yorkers' radar. When he moved to Los Angeles, I was eager to be a part of what he was doing. The project at 9892 Beverly Grove Drive was delivered on budget and ahead of schedule in typical Aeries fashion. We sold the project into the real estate downturn and still achieved a record price per square foot for the neighborhood (Beverly Hills Post Office). I know that the integrity of the design, the quality of the build, and the insistence on spending only smart money all the way through was our hedge against the kind of trouble that other developers faced at the time. It's not simple for me to get comfortable with an investment in a real estate development that, in the case of Beverly Grove, was happening all the way across the country from me. Only someone with Billy's exacting nature could have made me feel as comfortable as i did the whole way through. Maybe only Billy could have. Since this project, Billy has provided me invaluable advice toward the development of a beachfront property in Amagansett, New York, as well as the remodel of my family's apartment in TriBeCa, the neighborhood he guided me to. I would invest with Billy again in a second."
Jeff Klein - CEO Jeff Klein Hotel Group (Sunset Tower Hotel, City Club Hotel) and Owner, Hollywood Hills Residence
"Billy thank you for everything. We think the world of you. We think you have done a brilliant job and have been incredible every step of the way. We both think you are a total superstar. You did an A+ job and we appreciate all your hard work and everything you did for this job and for us. You have always been extremely professional throughout the entire project. You are a genius and anybody doing a renovation in LA needs to work with you."
Rob Greenberg - Film and Television Producer and Owner, Bronze Lane Residence
"I hired Aeries to build a free-standing office on our property in Brentwood and I immediately threw Billy some curve balls.  My wife and I wanted the best pre-fab structure available on the market, but we also wanted Billy to convince the pre-fab company to modify and customize their design to our specific needs, and to do all that for a discount on their normal price.  Billy was able to accomplish all of these goals in the design and pricing phase.  We then headed into a build that came with a built-in challenge: because the building was a pre-fab, the architect of the building did not concern himself with or make it his business to understand the site conditions or the foundation work required to install it.  Similarly, the contractor hired to do the foundation work was not particularly familiar with the building, which was being built off-site.  Our big problem came in the form of an incorrect site plan drawn by the pre-fab's architect.  The architect drew the building with a three-foot high retaining wall behind it, when in fact it required at least a 12-foot high retaining system.  When this reality hit mid-build, I felt that someone should have caught the architect's mistake.  Billy was quick to accept responsibility and went so far as to apply a meaningful percentage of his fee toward the cost of the new retaining system.  But our problems were just beginning.  The city inspector disallowed Billy's relatively inexpensive and fast retaining wall solution (other consultants I brought in also said Billy's solution could not work).  The inspector shut our job down and assigned us a long list of extremely expensive and time consuming requirements for starting up again.  Some would have been impossible to meet.  This very inspector had done the same thing at our property when I built my pool a few years earlier, without Aeries.  This time, however, rather than waste time and spend a ton of extra money, I watched Billy take on the Building Department.  He had the inspector removed from the project and received a determination from the city's head of all inspectors that Billy's wall could stay and that the project could be completed with no additional delay or cost.  Aeries does a lot to make sure a project comes in on time and on budget.  It can't keep a construction project from coming temporarily unglued, and there are usually surprises, that is the nature of the construction.  But Aeries is whom you want in the mix when problems inevitably arise.  Billy knows what he's doing and has no investment in selling you an expensive solution.  I recommend Aeries to anyone looking to build or remodel a home."
Jake Matthews - Founder and CEO, 9 Mile Investments and Owner, Sunset Pacifica Building
"9 Mile Investments made a smart move in hiring Aeries Development to manage the entitlement process for our 60,000 square foot development (20 lofts over retail) in Pacific Palisades, California.  We're a Sonoma-based development company and this was our first foray into the Los Angeles area market.  In very short order, Billy Lehman had us surrounded with an A+ team of consultants (including Coastal Commission and Land Use operatives) and was leveraging his long-standing political relationships and acumen in order to get our team in front of the highest-level decision-makers at the Los Angeles building and planning departments.  The red tape cut, we were able to quickly understand what we would be able to accomplish in terms of entitlements and put the project on a track toward our build-out.  Billy was instrumental in developing our entitlement strategy early on and had key input into our design and marketing strategies.  He scored major successes in representing our project to key community boards and to the local press.  It's also worth mentioning that Billy understands that in real estate development it is important to be able to manage the overall project, but it is also essential to be physically in touch with one's asset.  It was because Billy took a routine walk of the entire building on a Sunday morning that we discovered a broken water pipe pouring into an elevator shaft and averted a very costly and time-consuming problem.  9 Mile is grateful to Billy and his team at Aeries and we recommend Aeries highly."
Mark Levin and Jennifer Flackett - Film Writing and Directing Partners and Owners, Hutton Drive Residence
"We brought Billy and his Aeries Development team onto a remodel project for our office because we wanted to find the best way to do it both aesthetically and economically. It was a great choice.  He understood our vision and worked with us to make it happen.  He found the best architect for what we needed, negotiated a very fair price, had good practical ideas that reflected our taste, and ultimately found us a great contractor.  Things invariably come up when you're in the midst of construction -- unexpected discoveries, inevitable delays -- but Billy always dealt with them quickly, especially when there was any issue with permits and the city.  He is very effective.  Ultimately we have a wonderful structure that didn't cost us an arm and a leg.  Thank you, Billy."
Ernie Carswell - Founding Partner, Teles Properties
"In my professional experience for the last 27 years, I can easily state that the level of design and flawless execution performed by Billy Lehman and his Aeries Development group never ceases to impress me. Some of the world's most expensive homes, most famous homes and most photographed architectural homes reside in this local market of greater Los Angeles. Billy Lehman's homes stand head-to-head with any of them on their design integrity, conceptual utility and luxurious comfort. I highly recommend him to anyone seeking fine residential design and construction."

Aeries Development


phone: (323) 656-0473

fax: (323) 656-0483