Jerry Perenchio Bags Another Big One in Bel Air

BUYER: Jerry Perenchio
LOCATION: Beverly Hills, CA
PRICE: $9,200,000
SIZE: 7,942 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Although former talent agent turned tee-vee tycoon turned multi-billionaire Jerry Perenchio is an elusive and fiercely private man who eschews publicity or attention of any kind, he lives in one of the most dramatic and recognizable mega-estates in all of Los Angeles. Chartwell, as he calls the estate, sits smack dab in the center of Bel Air and includes a real ding-dong doozy of mansion surrounded by vast gardens that defy any real estate obsessive’s ability to ignore. The property positively screams at the top of it lungs, “Look at me! Look at me!” It’s also one of the few properties that Your Mama would happily go cold turkey on the daily gin & tonics in order to have just one hour to poke around and have a wee look-see at the unabashed splendor with our own boozy-woozy eyeballs.

According to property records, the powerful and prodigious property owner Mister Perenchio recently added to his already gigantic homestead, dumping $9,200,000 on a fixer upper across the street from the main entrance gates of his shamelessly lavish estate. The new addition brings the total size of his colossal compound up to almost thirteen acres. Listen bunny-hunnies, Your Mama is going to get to Mister Perenchio’s newest real estate acquisition, however we have a lot of background to cover so hold on tight, grab a nice drinky-poo and settle in for the long haul while Your Mama takes one of our lengthy and (in)famously circuitous routes to the meat of Mister Perenchio’s real estate matter.

Jerry Perenchio, who hails from the dusty city of Fresno, CA where his family owned a vineyard or two, migrated to Hollywood in the 1950s. His Hollywood beginnings are almost cliche: Snatched out of the mail room at MCA by the legendary Lew Wasserman who groomed him to become a top talent agent to superstars like George and Martha–that would be Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, Dame Elton John and, back when he was to die for gorgeous and before he became morbidly obese, Marlon Brando. In the early 1970s Mister Perenchio went into sports promotion and is at least partially responsible for the iconic Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier fight at Madison Square Garden in 1971 as well as the much ballyhooed tennis “Battle of the Sexes” in 1973 when the great Billie Jean King humiliated Bobby Riggs in three straight sets after he blathered on about the superiority and strength of male tennis players.

In the mid 1970s, Mister Perenchio partnered with the legendary Norman Lear and Alan “Bud” Yorkin, establishing and growing a production company that churned out a long list of hit programs such as The Jeffersons, One Day at a Time, The Facts of Life, Square Pegs, Silver Spoons, Who’s the Boss, and Diff’rent Strokes. Mister Perenchio and his partners became wildly rich in 1985 when they sold their solidly successful entertainment concern to Coca Cola for $485,000,000.

Mister Perenchio subsequently bought the Loews Cineplex theater chain and flipped it in less than a year, a ballsy maneuver that earned him a stunning $140,000,000. However, his real money, the bulk of his billion dollar plus fortune, comes from a $550,000,000 investment he made in five Spanish language television channels that eventually became the juggernaut Univision Communications. As best as we can tell, Mister Perenchio, now a bit long in the tooth, no longer assumes day-to-day responsibilities at Univision, but he continues to be the controlling stockholder owning somewhere in the neighborhood of 16% of the cyclopean conglomerate.

Not long after Mister Perenchio and his former partners sold their production company to Coca Cola in 1985, he began scooping up high-priced properties just east of and above the secluded, exclusive, and closed for renovations Hotel Bel Air. Property records show that Mister Perenchio picked up the first and largest piece of his sprawling estate back in December of 1986 when he forked over $13,500,000 for a 6.3 acre parcel with panoramic views of Los Angeles and a hulking and somewhat somber looking 21,523 square foot limestone-clad mansion . The purchase was, at that time, the second highest price anyone had ever paid for a house in Los Angeles. At least some of the children ought to recognize Mister Perenchio’s monster manse as the house used for the set of The Beverly Hillbillies, where the lovably naive Jed Clampett moved his hillbilly kinfolk after striking black gold, Texas tea, bubblin‘ crude, oil that is.

The huge house, done up the style of a French chateau, was built in the early 1930s by a developer as a gift for his wife who–the children might be amused to know–never moved into the monumental mansion because, the wee lassie, she hated it. The house sat empty until it was purchased in the mid-1940s by hotel magnate Arnold Kirkeby who at one time owned the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Mister Kirkeby died in an airline crash in 1962 but the opulent estate remained in the Kirkeby family until Mister Perenchio picked it up in 1986.

Mister Perenchio, who was married for the third time shortly after buying the property, hired near mythic French decorator Henri Samuel–whose other clients included Rothschilds, Vanderbilts, Gutfreunds and even Valentino–to give the place a total overhaul. He reportedly spent another $9,000,000 rebuilding the 10 bedroom and 12 pooper beast that includes entire rooms of buttery boiserie that were dismantled, shipped from Europe and painstakingly pieced back together, an underground motor court capable of parking 30 cars, and an elevator that descends into the bowels of the home and opens into a couple tunnels that lead out to the gardens.
Mister Perenchio’s new estate (a portion of which is shown above) wrapped itself around a smaller property next door and the following February the entertainment mogul shelled out another $3,600,000 to absorb the 1.299 acre property that records show includes a 5,704 square foot residence with 5 bedrooms and 6 poopers. Not content with 7.5 prime acres and two gigantic houses in the heart of Bel Air, in April of 1987 Mister Perenchio, an indisputable property hog, forked over $3,050,000 for a third property on Bel Air Road, this one measuring 1.732 acres according to the tax man. It’s unknown to Your Mama if at the time of purchase the property contained a residence, but this portion of the estate is now used for little more than a long and wide driveway that connects the massive motor court to an electronically controlled entry gate onto Nimes Road.

A few years later, in May of 1989 to be exact, Mister Perenchio snatched up a fourth property to fold into his fast growing estate. Your Mama was not able to sort out how much Mister Perenchio paid for the .98 acre parcel but we do know that it currently contains little more than a helipad. That’s right puppies, a damn helipad right in the middle of Bel Air. We don’t imagine his nearby neighbors–who include Cheryl Tiegs, Nancy Reagan, and Francois-Henri Pinault and Salma Hayek–much care for that noisy extravagance. Or, maybe, they don’t care. Who knows?

Anyhoo, after incorporating the fourth property into his estate, Mister Perenchio cooled his real estate heels…or at least the ones he was exercising in Bel Air…until October of 2006 when records show he bought a bare piece of land from directly across the street from the mansion’s main gates on Bel Air Road. Records show that he paid businesswoman Bren Simon–the philanthropic widow of billionaire shopping mall magnate and Indiana Pacers co-owner Melvin Simon–$8,500,000 for the 1.4 acre lot that, as far as we know, has been landscaped but remains essentially vacant, or at least free of any built structures.

Now that we’ve discussed the first five properties that comprise Mister Perenchio’s titanic estate we can finally get to his most recent real estate acquisition that adds a sixth property to his bulging Bel Air property portfolio. As mentioned above, records reveal Mister Perenchio paid $9,200,000 in an all cash deal for a Nimes Road estate that was last listed at $12,500,000. Listing information indicates the property spans 1.28 acres with glittery views of Los Angeles and includes a 7,942 square foot single story house built in 1951. The current house contains, according to listing information, 4 bedrooms and 5 poopers plus a staff suite with living room, bedroom and private pooper. There is also, according to listing information, an attached guest house.

The sprawling, “C” shaped house, with its stone front facade that gives it a distinct John Elgin Woolf architectural vibe, wraps around a large, gated motor court. The back of the house opens through long walls of sliding glass doors to the large, flat back yard that has room for but does not currently have either a tennis court or, somewhat surprisingly, a swimming pool. But that’s no matter, perhaps, because a well-connected Beverly Hills real estate insider snitched to Your Mama that she heard through the gossip grapevine that Mister Perenchio plans to use the supremely positioned property as an auxiliary parking area in order to increase the already large number of parked cars his estate can currently accommodate. That’s right puppies, it’s (rumored to be) a nine and some million dollar private parking lot.

In addition to the half dozen properties that make-up his behemoth Bel Air spread, property records show that Mister Perenchio also owns a penthouse unit at the Museum Tower in New York City and no fewer than 12 properties inside the gates of the star studded Malibu Colony. No butter beans, that is not a typo. Your Mama’s admittedly rudimentary research turned up a dozen Perenchio owned properties in The Colony including three on the ocean side. Presumably Mister Perenchio leases a large number of these homes. The Colony properties are in addition to his extensive commercial holdings in Malee-boo and in addition to the the private golf course he built and continues to own that sits adjacent to The Colony.

Now then, Your Mama to walk the long bodied bitches Linda and Beverly so that we can get home and settle in for a long afternoon and evening of the Australian Open and those orange skinned, jewel encrusted sandal wearing, over-processed bee-hawtchas on The Real Housewives of Orange County.

photos: Hilton & Hyland (top) Bing (bottom)

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  1. The Gregor says:

    I still hate that the original facade/integrity of the Kirkeby Estate was so radically altered. Just makes me sad … and mad at him for no good reason. LOL

  2. Anonymous says:

    I saw the book 875 nimes for sell on ebay a few months ago over 300.00 dollars wish I had the extra money to spend.

  3. Leonard Ratliff says:

    Most exciting project ever. I was responsible for A/C & Plumbing. Mr. “P” was the greatest but very demanding. I would have been the same. I have many pictures of the progress during construction.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I worked on the Chartwell Estate when it was being remodeled. I remember the cost being well over $9mil. The landscaping alone , I understood to be $15mil. It was quit an experience and have a number of photos during the construction, from begining to 99% complete.

  5. Cfrank says:

    There’s a photo of one of the garden structures (barely visible at the bottom center of the aerial photo) at the following web site:

    It is the bottom of the two photos.
    I was in charge of the shop construction, and participated in the installation of several outdoor garden structures at the Chartwell project, about 21 years ago.

    The top photo is another project I helped to build, at a different estate in Virginia, that Mr. Trump is attempting to purchase.

  6. Donovan says:

    Very nice post. thanks. Nice to see that Jerry is doing just fine.

  7. mike says:

    how is that house only valued at 9 million? He spent 43 million to fix it up. I worked on that house for over 2 years, one of the funnest construction jobs I have ever worked on.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Wow, Nancy Reagan literally next door to The Clampetts! Who knew?

  9. blueberry says:

    Mr. Jerry has a lot of big bucks to buy this one. Hope to be like him in that way.

  10. Anonymous says:

    mama, you’ve truly outdone yourself! my lust for details of the real estate dealings of the filthy rich and just a tad crazy has been sated.

  11. Maraschino Tarcuto says:

    I must say I am very impressed with the extent of this man’s real estate holdings. Good grief, imagine owning twelve homes in the Colony?! And I bet he has wooed Nancy Regan over the years and is prepared to absorb her parcel as well, should he live longer than she. I wonder if Mr. Perenchio has stipulated in his trust that the Bel Air property, once combined, must not be dissolved? I can imagine greedy heirs attempting to sell it off to developers. Anyway, darling, what a simply divine report on the real estate megalomania at the top!

  12. Carla Ridge says:

    Yes, I’d imagine when Pres. Reagan was still alive that helipad was not received well by the Secret Service, since the properties abut each other.

    But what rather galls me — and I understand this is a blog devoted to celebrities and their insatiable real estate appetities — but buying 4 or 5 enormous estates in such an ultra-exclusive area to combine them into one megalomaniacal, egotisticalidocious Xanadu just seems…sick. Like he feels he need to deprive other people?

  13. LakeEric says:

    Mama, you outdone yourself today – when is your book coming out?! And also a snappy shout out to all of the readers with fantastic links..this will satisfy my real estate porn addiction all day! hugs to all.

  14. Thanks Mama and a special shout out to brooklawn dr. for turning me on to Paquita Machris. She sounds like she’d be right at home down here in Texas, where we firmly believe that Smith and Wesson is better than any fancy hi-tech security system.

  15. StPaulSnowman says:

    Painfully pretentious to call this place “Chartwell”. Winston Churchill’s magnificent home in Kent already claimed this moniker. Perenchio should have called this place Mount Vernon instead.

  16. Regina Joi says:

    Sorry, but noticed after your beady eye and forked tongue did include the Henri Samuel tidbit…

  17. Stewie says:

    Awesome post Mama, thanks so much. Made my day. However, one correction if I may, the house he just bought does have a pool in the back yard. Its kind of a circular shape. You can see it with Bing Maps Birdseye

  18. Chris says:

    The Reagan house on St. Cloud is just behind (and below) the B. Hillbilly estate, is it not? If you look at it all on Google Earth (street view) there seem to be oodles of cars parked along Bel Air Road and St. Cloud, etc. Don’t these people have garages?

  19. brooklawn dr says:

    Just one last post. The seller was quite a character in her own right. A pistol packing mamma.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Mama and the children will most assuredly be thrilled with these three Beverly Hillbillies links offering quite a bit of detailed eye candy of this grande dame of estates:

  21. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for ALL the info Mama–truly interesting, but seriously when is enough real estate enough for someone?

  22. brooklawn dr says:

    Awesome, newsy post Mama. We used to play in the lot across the street from the “Hillbilly” house back in the day. It has always been vacant of sorts that I can remember. We once saw Fred MacMurray taking an evening walk there. Strada Vecchia was a fun, safe street to hide and play on since there are really no nearby parks.

    Again, many thanks for a wonderful post.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Do you mean he is tearing this down to park his cars?

  24. Anonymous says:

    Dear Mamma, A wonderful tale of Ville Perenchio. Thank you!
    A teeny difference of opinion on that long driveway, with ‘my bad’ of cutting & pasting your devoon words…. A theatrical approach designed for “for the long haul that takes one of our lengthy and (in)famously circuitous routes to the meat of the real estate matter,” the front door. Oh please not just “little more than a long (stretched out bitch) of a driveway”
    Its like Jack Warner’s (David Geffen’s) by Florence Yoch in the ’30s – ya almost drove into Greenacres’ pool before doubling back to the damn door, the ‘ole’ longest way from point A to B ‘impress em’ design trick…
    -with big appreciation for your way with words.

  25. Regina Joi says:

    Lovey…you forgot to mention that the great ‘Henri Samuel’ did all the redo in the 90’s…bringing in entire period boiseried rooms and other accoutrement of the 18thC. One can only imagine the splendor, and there is a Wallace Neff home pristine used for a guest house.

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