The Real Deal Los Angeles

Celebrity home swapping

A-listers trade homes among themselves, creating properties with storied pasts

September 27, 2016 01:00PM
By Cathaleen Chen

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From the L.A. print issue: No other ritzy real estate market has such a high concentration of celebrities — block by block — as the most desirable zip codes in Los Angeles. The American film industry was born here, after all, and countless directors, producers, agents, actors and musical divas call it home. Some of the most pedigreed properties have been owned by a long line of Hollywood honchos, and our roundup of recent deals shows the venerable tradition is alive and well. A boldface name is no guarantee of pricing power, though: Queen of pop Britney Spears and veteran television executive Fred Silverman have both slashed the listing prices for their chic abodes. While Hugh Hefner didn’t get his asking price of $200 million, he still raked in a Hef-ty record-breaking sum.

Playboy Mansion sells for the sexy sum of $100 million

In La La Land’s priciest home sale ever, a snack-food prince purchased the infamous Playboy Mansion in August. The buyer, Daren Metropoulos — the 32-year-old son of C. Dean Metropoulos, an investor in empty calories who owns the house next door — paid $100 million for the five-acre estate. (L.A.’s previous residential record was set with the $88.3 million sale of Holmby Hills’ Fleur de Lys estate, in 2014.) Although TMZ reported in early August 2016 that the sale had fallen through, the deal closed later that month. As part of the agreement, the 90-year-old Hugh Hefner and his wife will remain in the house until his death. Metropoulos is a principal of his family’s eponymous private equity firm, which purchased Hostess Brands for $410 million, in 2013, in a partnership with financial-planning company Apollo Global Management. It also invested in Perrier-Jouët Champagne and Ghirardelli Chocolate.

Kendall Jenner buys home of Emily Blunt and John Krasinski

Kendall Jenner — the fashion model, reality TV star and member of the sprawling Kardashian clan — didn’t stick to her family’s Calabasas home base while house hunting. Instead, Jenner bought the Hollywood Hills home of actors Emily Blunt and John Krasinski. Jenner paid a cool $6.5 million for the home this summer, well below the couple’s initial asking price of $8 million. The nearly 5,000-square-foot, six-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bathroom contemporary-style home sits above Sunset Strip, a mere stone’s throw from the iconic celebrity party hotel, the Chateau Marmont. With expansive views from both the oversize windows and rooftop deck, the home features an outdoor fireplace, a media room and a gym. Jenner’s broker was Farrah Aldjufrie of The Agency, and Blunt and Krasinski were repped by Kurt Rappaport of Beverly Hills-based Westside Estate Agency.

Darryl-Hannah-homeDaryl Hannah sells Malibu home to boyfriend Neil Young

They’ve been spotted around town holding hands. Now, Daryl Hannah — the actress who first swam her way into American hearts in “Splash” and co-starred in last year’s Netflix series “Sense8” — has sold her rustic, eco-friendly Malibu hideaway to her significant other, the folk-rock legend Neil Young. In June, the crooner paid $3.6 million for the 17.6-acre mountainside property, which is $2.3 million more than what Hannah bought it for 15 years ago. The property includes a bungalow and a former hunting cabin. Hannah has had the property on and off the market in recent years, initially with an asking price of $5 million, which later dropped to $4.25 million.

Tom Ford bids $53 million for a storied Beverly Hills home

American fashion designer and film director Tom Ford has reportedly bid $53 million for a 3.2-acre, seven-bedroom Beverly Hills mansion in an off-market deal. The sellers are hotel developer Brad Korzen and renowned interior designer Kelly Wearstler, the duo that started the Viceroy brand and sold it to Starwood. Former famous inhabitants include William Powell — best known for his portrayal of Nick Charles in the popular “Thin Man” series — who purchased the Spanish-style home in 1933 and turned it into a Georgian-style manor. Three decades later, it was acquired by prolific James Bond producer Albert “Cubby” Broccoli. Fans of the Bond franchise will take note that Ford has been 007’s most recent tailor of choice.

Sonny and Cher’s former love nest reportedly in escrow

Rumor has it that a Holmby Hills mansion with a star-studded past is in contract for $93 million. The 10-acre spread, located at 141 South Carolwood Drive, is better known as the Owlwood estate. The main residence, a 12,200-square-foot Italian Renaissance mansion, has nine bedrooms and a dozen bathrooms. Designed by architect Robert Farquhar, the home was built in the 1930s and boasts a long list of illustrious former inhabitants, including 20th Century Fox co-founder Joseph Schenck — whose love affair with Marilyn Monroe allegedly began here — popular entertainer Tony Curtis and the singing duo Sonny and Cher.

meg-ryan-home‘Saw’ movie director buys Meg Ryan’s former Westside home

Talk about a genre mash-up. James Wan, the Australian director who created the violent “Saw” horror film franchise, paid $18.5 million for the former Bel Air home of the 1990s romantic-comedy darling Meg Ryan. The seller was Adam Bernhard, the founder and CEO of online retailer HauteLook, who bought the home from Ryan for $11.3 million in 2012. Over the years, the 9,000-square-foot classic Mediterranean-style mansion has sheltered an impressive string of A-listers, including actress Diane Keaton and filmmaker Stan Dragoti. Westside Estate Agency’s Kurt Rappaport and Richard Ehrlich were the listing agents.

Former agent-turned-Univision CEO buys Reagan estate

Billionaire media mogul Jerry Perenchio, Univision’s onetime chairman and CEO, recently doled out $15 million for the longtime Bel Air home of Ronald and Nancy Reagan. Although not a household name, the former Hollywood deal-maker represented many, including Marlon Brando and Reagan himself during the former president’s acting heyday. The Reagans came into possession of the 7,200-square-foot house in 1986, when a group of friends purchased it on their behalf for $2.5 million — precisely one-sixth of what Perenchio paid. The 1.3-acre, 17-room estate has a swimming pool and well-manicured grounds.

Disney exec buys home of ‘Pirates of Caribbean’ director

The classic California ranch-style house of the successful filmmaker Gore Verbinski has sold to an unnamed high-level Walt Disney creative executive for $2.8 million. Verbinski, who won an Oscar for his work on the animated film “Rango,” paid $1.1 million for the 4,600-square-foot home in the La Cañada Flintridge community in 1999. Sitting on more than an acre of land, the five-bedroom, five-bathroom residence features a living room with vaulted ceilings, two dining rooms, a small study and glass doors that lead to a backyard with a brick terrace.

Britney-spears-homeOops, Britney Spears priced it too high

The pop diva slashed a million off the asking price of her 1.4-acre Thousand Oaks estate, listing it just below $8 million. Spears purchased the property for $6.7 million in 2012. Measuring in at 8,500 square feet, the five-bedroom, single-story residence has a home theater, a game room, a chef’s kitchen, a seven-car garage and a wine cellar. Outside, the swimming pool has its own beach and a party-size spa, allowing the owner to throw parties befitting a princess of pop.

Creator of ‘Scooby-Doo’ and ‘Charlie’s Angels’ cuts price

Veteran television executive Fred Silverman has slashed the asking price for his 2.6-acre Mandeville Canyon home from $30 million to $22.5 million. Silverman, who has worked for each of the Big Three broadcasters — ABC, NBC and CBS — paid $3.2 million for the property 25 years ago. The 8,000-square-foot, five-bedroom, eight-bathroom abode has formal living and dining rooms, as well as a family room and a library. The grounds include a swimming pool, a pool house, a tennis court and a four-bedroom guesthouse.