Buzz cut: Owlwood Estate in Holmby Hills gets $65M price chop

The mansion, owned by developer Robert Shapiro, was initially listed at a sky-high price

Robert Shapiro and Owlwood Estate
Robert Shapiro and Owlwood Estate

UPDATED, 10:25 a.m., Sept. 24, 2018: Embattled developer Robert Shapiro has relisted the famed Owlwood Estate in Holmby Hills, after having taken a chainsaw to the initial sky-high price tag.

The 10-acre estate is now being floated for $115 million, down from the initial $180 million Shapiro wanted for it 14 months ago, according to the Los Angeles Times.

A sale of around $115 million would still mean that Shapiro would get more than he paid for it. His firm, the now bankrupt Woodbridge Group of Companies, paid $90 million for the property in 2016.

Owlwood Estate was built in 1936 and includes a 12,000-square-foot Italianate main house with nine bedrooms and 10 bathrooms. The entire property is landscaped and includes a pool and tennis court on one of its three parcels. Notable past residents include singers Sonny Bono and Cher, and actor Tony Curtis.

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Woodbridge filed for bankruptcy amid a federal investigation into its business practices, which prompted the Securities and Exchange Commission to file a lawsuit against Shapiro for allegedly running a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme.

Shapiro stepped down from the firm shortly before the suit, but denied any wrongdoing. The SEC alleges that the scheme allowed Shapiro to spend $21 million on jewelry, luxury cars and other personal indulgences.

Under Shapiro’s leadership, Woodbridge scooped up many high-profile residential properties, including Owlwood and Megan Ellison’s “mountaintop” mansion in the Mount Olympus neighborhood of Hollywood Hills. It also bought at least five parcels in Hidden Hills and others in Bel Air and Beverly Hills.

Woodbridge went on the hunt for a broker to sell its entire L.A. portfolio in March. The firm hired Jade Mills of Coldwell Banker and Linda May and Drew Fenton of Hilton & Hyland as the listing brokers for the Owlwood Estate. [LAT] — Dennis Lynch