BUYER: Sturmer Pippin Investments, LLC
SELLER: Dawn Arnell
SIZE: about 10 acres with 12,600 square foot main residence
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: In early August this property gossip exclusively revealed that the legendary Owlwood Estate in L.A.’s exceptionally posh and exuberantly pricey Holmby Hills ‘hood was in escrow and soon to be sold for what several Platinum Triangle real estate movers and shakers then said was “somewhere in the neighborhood of $93 million.” Well, buttercups, buckle your real estate safety belts because a widely disseminated press release reveals the deal has officially closed and the sale price was $90 million, an amount that does not include any additional considerations such as furnishings or artwork and marks one of the highest prices ever paid for a private residence in Los Angeles County.
The buyer is identified as Sturmer Pippin Investments, LLC, a corporate entity headed up by Bob Shapiro, CEO of Woodbridge Luxury Homes, a real estate investment concern and high-end house flipping operation known for, according to the press release, “modernizing classic estates while carefully respecting their rich histories.” The seller of the trophy estate, which encompasses three individual parcels that total approximately 10-acres and borders the northern edge of the prestigious Los Angeles Country Club, was Dawn Arnell, the low-profile widow of late sub-prime mortgage mogul Roland Arnell.
A long driveway circles up in front of Owlwood’s main residence, a 12,600-square-foot Tuscan villa designed by architect Robert Farquahar and built in the mid-1930s for Florence Letts Quinn, ex-wife of department store magnate Arthur Letts, Junior. Later owners of the grand mansion include hotelier Joseph Drown — partner of Conrad Hilton, 20th Century Fox founder Joseph Schenck — long rumored to have been one of Marilyn Monroe’s lovers, oil man William Keck, and actor Tony Curtis who, according to author Michael Gross’s engrossing book “Unreal Estate,” sold it to Sonny Bono and Cher in 1974 for about $750,000. The property was later owned by a theater producing carpet mogul and then a shadowy Syrian businessman who sold it in 2002 for an undisclosed amount to the Arnells.
The estate’s acres and acres of rolling lawns, which all by themselves must cost a small fortune to irrigate and maintain, are sprinkled with mature specimen trees and, set a short golf cart ride from the main house, an extensive leisure complex is composed of a sunken tennis court, a swimming pool, and a poolside guesthouse. The property also includes a second guesthouse, a manned guardhouse, and a black top parking lot where there once stood a mansion owned by Jayne Mansfield who painted it bubblegum pink. That mansion, which was later owned by crooner Engelbert Huperdinck, was razed in 2002.
“The Owlwood Estate has been the unchallenged symbol of uber-luxury since being built during the Great Depression, and we will keep it that way for another 80 years,” Mister Shapiro stated in the press release and went on to say, “We fully intend to honor this property’s legendary past by ensuring it remains the absolute definition of luxury living for wealthy buyers from around the world.” What exactly that means is not clear — future plans for Owlwood have not been finalized according to the press release — but several Platinum Triangle real estate insiders we chit-chatted with suspect the property will be split up, developed as three separate estates and sold off at what Woodbridge hopes will be a substantial profit. We shall see, butter beans, we shall see.
Photos courtesy of Mercer Vine