SELLER: Fred Latsko
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
SIZE: 112 acres, 11,700 square feet, 7 bedrooms, 9 bedrooms (plus guesthouses)
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: The 112-acre Robert Taylor Ranch, deep in the rustic-luxe heart of celeb-favored Mandeville Canyon about 10 miles from Rodeo Drive, has popped back up for sale on the open market at $20 million. The sprawling, multi-winged main house and some of the property’s other structures were originally designed by esteemed California architect Robert Byrd and built in 1950 for petroleum magnate Waite Phillips. For Phillips, the ranch was but a real estate trifle in his portfolio that included a 72-room Italian Renaissance mansion in Tulsa, OK, that’s now the Philbrook Museum of Art and a vast ranch in New Mexico, 127,000 acres of which he donated to the Boy Scouts of America. At some point — to be honest we’re not exactly sure when — the ranch was acquired by actor Robert Taylor who lived there until his 1969 death. Taylor, married throughout the 1940s to film and television star Barbara Stanwyck, starred in the iconic early 1950s films “Quo Vadis” and “Ivanhoe.” He later starred in the TV series “The Detectives” and at the end of his life hosted the series “Death Valley Days.”
Sometime in the 1970s the ranch was sold, according to the kids at Curbed, for just $900,000 to fairly recently deceased concert promoter and radio station magnate Ken Roberts who made a spectacularly unsuccessful attempt to sell the ranch in 1990, first with a ferociously unrealistic asking price of $45 million and later with an only-slightly-less-pie-in-the-sky $35 million. Almost 20 year later Roberts gave it another go in 2008 when the ranch popped up for sale with an even more eye-poppingly tumescent $65 million asking price but, in the end, Mister Roberts gave up the property in 2010 to the hedge fund outfit New Stream Capital in order to settle a $27.5 million legal claim. The uncommonly expansive estate was lickety-split put back up for sale at $28.9 million but, alas, by August 2012 the price had dropped like a concrete-booted body in water to $18.9 million. Finally, in December 2012, New Stream sold the property at a much-publicized auction for $12 million to a corporate concern controlled by Chicago-based real estate developer Fred Latsko who, interestingly enough, also owns a 164-acre farm in Indiana purchased from media queen Oprah Winfrey. Perhaps in a pique of real estate fickle or possibly as an easy way to pocket few million bucks, Mister Latsko put the ranch back on the market in May 2014, at $20 million. We don’t know if there were any serious interested parties but just three months later the ranch was taken off the market only to return this week with the familiar price tag of $20 million.
There are, according to current listing details, seven bedrooms and nine bathrooms in the 11,700-square-foot main residence and the estate’s numerous outbuildings include a 4,000-square-foot complex with casino/game room and extensive office space plus a quartet of guesthouses that combined come to about 3,100-square-feet. Recreational amenities include a swimming pool, hot tub, outdoor kitchen and barbecue area, tennis court, equestrian facilities, and private hiking trail.
Listing photos: Hilton & Hyland