Former Reagan Home Reimagined by Hollywood Duo

Emmy winning producer Michael Mannheim (“Roe vs. Wade”) and Tony-nominated screenwriter Janus Cercone (“Leap of Faith”) sort of fell backwards into developing high-end properties. At first the real estate obsessed couple enthusiastically re-imagined numerous homes for themselves but eventually, in 2003, they turned their increasingly full-time avocation in to a bone fide profession. Through Jaman Properties, with investment backing from a consortium of Tinseltown insiders whom they politely declined to identify, the couple have extensively re-worked or built from the ground up eight multi-million dollar homes in some of L.A.’s most hoity-toity zip codes. Typically sold in under-the-radar off-market deals, a fair number of their former homes and projects have been acquired by showbiz movers and shakers who include Mary Parent, Matt Groening, Marcy Carsey, and Conan O’Brien who, in early 2008, bought a brand-new, nonchalantly luxurious six-bedroom Brentwood mansion in a hush-hush down-low deal for $10.75 million.

Whether making movies or designing high-end homes Mannheim and Cercone are natural born storytellers who say they conceptualize their projects around a carefully defined fictionalized character. For their latest project — a plum Pacific Palisades property owned for 25 years by Nancy and Ronald Reagan, who lived in the home at the time he was elected president in 1980 — the couple imagined the buyer would, among other things, be a quietly confident individual who enjoys trophy cars, gourmet cooking and large-scale entertaining.

Although radically transformed from a low-slung mid-century modern in to a stately five-bedroom and 8.5-bathroom Spanish revival with crisp, modern interiors, the home preserves symbolic traces of the former owners. A living room bar where Reagan mixed drinks for world leaders was meticulously restored and updated with ice maker and wine fridge and the original shower door in the master bathroom, where Reagan was when he got Jimmy Carter’s concession call, mounted as a commemorative art piece in the library. The souped-up kitchen features a hand-made Italian range that Cercone cheekily described as “so expensive you’d want to be buried in it,” and car enthusiasts will appreciate the detached, man-cave-y “show garage” complete with dual-spigot beer Kegerator. The elevator-equipped abode sports a slew of high-tech amenities and creature comforts that include a comprehensive home automation system, a climate controlled 2,000-bottle wine room, and a cashmere-lined screening room with state-of-the-art projection system. Other notable features include a powder room with walls covered in 25,000 individually hand-applied peacock feathers, a one-bed/one-bath guesthouse with mini-kitchen, and a monumental, 125-foot heated veranda with fireplace and spine straightening 270-degree views that sweep over Los Angeles from the Griffith Observatory to the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island.

As is Jaman’s modus operandi, the property won’t be listed on the open market but is represented by David Offer at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices with an asking price of $33 million.

photos courtesy Jaman Properties

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  1. Petra says:

    Very overpriced. Good luck with sale – they’ll need it with this one. RIP Nancy.

  2. James says:

    I’m waiting for Nancy’s house to hit the market for Jerry Perenchio to snatch it and expand his mammoth Bel-Air property even further.

    • Dane says:

      Given that Jerry Perrenchio was one of the honorary pallbearers at Nancy’s funeral last Friday, it may well already be a done deal. Apparently, they were close. Depending perhaps on whether or not Patti bothered to ingratiate herself with him — since the Reagan property adds nothing much to his estate. If you look at the aerials, his gardens that sweep south from the house towards her property are all very much in place. But if he likes Patti, he may be willing to throw them a 15-20m bone. . .

      • Dane says:

        Yeah, I read Mama’s post from 2010. Thing is ole Jerry is now 85, and reported to be separated from his current wife. Maybe not in quite as an acquisitive mood these days. But who knows. Has anybody checked property records? Maybe he already owns it and was leasing it back to Mrs. Reagan at a nominal fee. She may have been stretched pretty thin cash flow-wise towards the end. Lots of full time care for both her and before that for her husband.

      • Desert Donna says:

        Read Mama Marks previous report Jerry P Bags A Big One In Bel Aire. I would have Jerry open his check book and ask the Executors “how much shall I make this out for”, if I were the heirs.

    • Me says:

      If this were to be the case then it will sell off market. The estate would be foolish to list it when it is worth much more to the neighbor. Let them come to you.

  3. Rabbi Hedda LaCasa says:

    I will forever recall a precise moment during a state of the union address given by President Ronald Reagan: the camera panned to First Lady Nancy Reagan as she glanced at her watch! May memories of the Reagans become blessings to those who loved them.

  4. Dane says:

    Patti Reagan has a really good entry on her website (where she occasionally posts) about taking a walk on this street where she grew up (San Onofre).. She’s actually quite a good writer. Basically the jist of it is that this was a quietly affluent, almost semi-rural neighborhood on the very upper edge of land that could be developed in the Santa Monica Mountains that now, during an early morning stroll, is a cacophony of hammers and power saws as old mid-century houses are ripped apart (the Reagan’s) and much bigger and more elaborate ones take their places. . .

    For all Nancy Reagan’s grandness, their house was prototypically upper middle class suburban/exurban California. Not Beverly Hills or Pasadena/San Marino suburban. Pacific Palisades would be more comparable to Palos Verdes or La Canada. Those were communities more suited to defense industry executives and engineers than Hollywood types.

    When Betsy Bloomingdale asked her decorator, Ted Graber (who eventually did the private quarters in the White House for the Reagans), to go up and give Nancy some help with the house on San Onofre, he resisted, knowing what kind of a house it was and that they really didn’t have any money to spend.

    • Wrinklebottom says:

      Pacific Palisades has changed since then, though, particularly the “Riviera” section, where this house is located, where the modest old homes (like the Reagans) have been routinely torn down and replaced with much larger and more lavish residences that regularly sell for well over $10 million. It’s also now home to many of the entertainment industry’s biggest players including Spielberg, JJ Abrams, Ben Affleck, etc.

  5. Mjkbk says:

    I thought the Reagans sold that house in 1982…….THIRTY-FOUR years ago–not “25”. How many years must pass before a property that no longer resembles their home in ANY CONCEIVABLE WAY won’t be touted in Hollywood as some kind of “reimagining”?

    What a total sham of a “news item” you’ve put together here, just to help someone sell an expensive new mansion immediately following Nancy Reagan’s passing.

    Bunch of ghouls.

    • cadavra says:

      Before you start calling people names, you might try learning how to read first. It says they lived in it for 25 years, not that they sold it 25 years ago.

  6. Dane says:

    More interesting to me at the moment is the fate of the Reagan’s house in Bel Air. I guess we know one thing — that it will be torn down and. . . replaced or incorporated into the Perrenchio property next door (doubt it). Question is how much will Patti and Ron reap from the sale. . .

  7. Wrinklebottom says:

    Too Bad they’re being so stingy with the pics; considering the recent slowdown in LA’s ultra-high-end real estate market, the ultra-secretive pocket listing route might not be the best way to go…

    • Desert Donna says:

      I thought the same Rick. The price seems very aggressive and it will take a specific buyer who at this asking price can have a new build. Nancy RIP.

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