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The Real Deal Los Angeles

After 2 foreclosures, owner gets Pasadena villa back, and has listed it for $19M

Records show the seller was $3.5M behind on his mortgage payments in 2017
February 22, 2019 01:00PM

1145 Arden Road, officially called the Arden Villa (Credit: Zillow and iStock)

When a famous Pasadena mansion re-listed for nearly $9 million less than its original ask last month, it appeared to be little more than another high-end property taking longer to sell in a cooling market.

It turns out the so-called “Arden Villa” — the home made famous by the 1980s soap opera, “Dynasty” — is far from a typical re-listing.

Guang “Geoffrey” Ren, who is now seeking $19.5 million for the 17,600-square-foot estate, lost the home to foreclosure 20 years ago, according to Yolanda’s Little Black Book. He reacquired it, then almost lost it in foreclosure again.

Ren initially put the home on the market in December 2017, asking $28 million.

The compound features a Palladian-inspired Italianate house with 10 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms, as well as a 2,430-square-foot guesthouse, a tennis court, and two pools. It served as a famous filming spot, best known for Linda Evans and Joan Collins iconic lily pond catfight in “Dynasty.”

Ren apparently has had a long-running fixation with the property. He purchased it for the first time in 1993 for $2.8 million. Then four years later he lost it in foreclosure, causing the home to end up in the hands of two Hollywood hotshots. Peter Tolan, a television and film producer, bought the home in the early 2000s, and later sold it to David Zander, a co-founder of a commercial production company.

For reasons that remain unknown, Ren dropped $20 million to purchase the home again in May 2013. He took out a hefty $18 million loan for the deal.

Yet Ren never moved into the home, and put it on the market four years later for the same asking price. Records show that he was $3.5 million behind in mortgage payments at the time, and a public foreclosure auction was scheduled for March 2018.

Ren ended up scoring some last-minute refinancing, and the public auction was cancelled. Though he spends most of his time in China, Ren also owns a 4-acre compound nearby in Villa Heights. [YBB] — Natalie Hoberman