A Laguna Beach mansion that replaced a cliffside home owned by the late sitcom stars Ozzie and Harriet Nelson is asking $40 million.
The three-story, 8,700-square-foot home in the gated community of Lagunita is selling for the first time since it was built nearly 25 years ago, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The property was once the site of the Nelsons’ weekend home, according to owner Tony Ciabattoni, who said he bought the run-down home overlooking Victoria Beach from the Nelson family in 1997.
He said the couple known as Ozzie and Harriet built the house in the 1950s as a beachfront getaway during the soaring success of the TV sitcom, “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.”
Ciabattoni, who once ran a family furniture company, paid $1.85 million for the property after renting it for a few months. He and his late wife, Jane Ciabattoni, lived in the old Nelson house for a year before finding an architect to build the new one.
The five-bedroom house has floor-to-ceiling glass doors, a home theater, a sports bar with games, an office and a wine cellar.
The home has a sports bar has pool tables and shuffleboard, and movie theater with fiber optic lighting, a candy stand and a ticket booth – with a life-size sculpture of a woman working the desk, with glasses hanging on her nose and a cigarette in her mouth. A ceiling banner features movie quotes such as “You’re gonna need a bigger boat,” from “Jaws.”
Ciabattoni, 77, said he was always a fan of the Nelsons’ show, which depicted the life of a typical middle-class American couple with two sons, Ricky and David.
“When I was 13 or 14 years old, I wanted to die and come back to life as Ricky Nelson,” Ciabattoni said of the late heartthrob, who died in a plane crash in 1985.
The Nelson family home had fallen into disrepair by the time Ciabattoni bought it. He warned David Nelson, whose parents had died, that he would tear it down. As a gift, he and his wife commissioned a painting of the old house from the beach.
Actress Tracy Nelson, Ricky Nelson’s daughter, said she recalled it fondly.
“Grandma used to stand in the window with binoculars and watch my Grandpa take his daily swim from Victoria Beach to Blue Lagoon,” she said. “Crashing waves put you to sleep at night.”
Josh and Matt Altman of Douglas Elliman have the listing.
In November, New York hedge-fund manager Joseph Edelman and his wife, Susan Lebovitz-Edelman, broke a sales record in Orange County when they paid $70 million for an oceanfront mansion in nearby Abalone Point, in Laguna Beach.
[Wall Street Journal] – Dana Bartholomew