Billionaire investor Ron Burkle has listed the restored Toluca Lake estate of comedian Bob Hope for $29 million.
The longtime home of the late Bob and Dolores Hope at 10346 Moorpark St. has been revamped, but still features amenities beloved by the famed comedian, including his wood-paneled office, joke storage vault and a 3-par golf hole replete with bunkers, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Burkle, who has a penchant for restoring the landmarks in his native Southern California, bought the 15,000-square-foot estate from a Hope trust in 2018 for $15 million – saving it from demolition..
Two years earlier, he paid $13 million for the Hopes’ John Lautner-designed home in Palm Springs and restored that as well.
“I have always had enormous respect for the Hope family and consider them friends,” Burkle, 69, told the newspaper. “We saw the Hope House in Toluca Lake as a wonderful opportunity to help preserve their legacy.”
The London-born comedian, actor and dancer known for his machine-gun quips, along with his singer wife, built a legacy from their east San Fernando Valley home.
Five years after Bob and Delores Hope married, they planted a stake in 1939 in Toluca Lake, then a rustic suburb for such celebrities as Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, W.C. Fields and Greta Garbo.
Over the years, the Hopes acquired more and more of the surrounding land. Today, the 5-acre property is among the largest single-home properties in Los Angeles.
The Hope house was designed in an English traditional style by architect Richard Finkelhor, who also built homes for Barbara Stanwyck and Zeppo and Harpo Marx. Around 1960, the couple tapped architect John Elgin Woolf, father of the Hollywood Regency style, to redesign the house.
Bob Hope would drive his golf cart through the neighborhood to the Lakeside Golf Club, where he’d hold court with stars of the Toluca Lake colony. His wife Dolores would head down for daily Mass at St. Charles Borromeo Church.
Throughout the decades, their house became famous as a trick-or-treat destination on Halloween, where the couple would hand out full-size candy bars, silver dollars and even Frisbees stamped with the face of the funnyman.
Bob Hope, a real estate investor who amassed 10,000 acres in the Valley during his lifetime, died in 2003. His wife Dolores died at age 102 in 2011.
Their former estate has a main house with six bedrooms and walls of glass that look out to the gardens. An open living area with a stone-clad fireplace leads to a formal dining room.
The property also contains a two-bedroom apartment above the garage, along with staff quarters in the courtyard off the main house.
The property, surrounded by towering trees, contains a tennis pavilion, a commercial kitchen, a home theater, a gym, a security office, a conference room, a saltwater pool and a large outdoor barbecue kitchen.
Burkle, founder of the West Hollywood-based investment firm Yucaipa Companies, grew up in Pomona and made his fortune through leveraged buyouts of supermarket chains like Stater Bros., Ralph’s and Fresh & Easy.
The owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins and chairman of Soho House also owns Michael Jackson’s one-time Neverland Ranch, the Beverly Hills estate of silent-screen actor Harold Lloyd, known as Greenacres, and a 25,000-square-foot mansion overlooking Blacks Beach in La Jolla.
[Wall Street Journal] – Dana Bartholomew