Several impeccably plugged-in Platinum Triangle real estate movers and shakers, including Our Fairy Godmother in Bel-Air, say that the legendary Owlwood estate — the crown jewel of L.A.’s hoity-toity Holmby Hills ’hood — is about to be sold for somewhere in the neighborhood of $93 million. Though not listed on the open market, the Sunset Boulevard estate was widely reported between 2012 and 2014 to be available at an elephantine asking price of $150 million.
Word on the street is that the buyer is a deep-pocketed, L.A.-based investment group that, according to bean-counting yenta Yolanda Yakketyyak, already owns about $100 million in luxury residential real estate, mostly in the Trousdale Estates area of Beverly Hills and the neighboring Bird Streets neighborhood above the Sunset Strip.
The storied spread encompasses three legal parcels that total close to 10 completely landscaped acres, anchored by a 12,200-square-foot Italian Renaissance mansion designed by esteemed architect Robert Farquhar and built in the mid-1930s for Florence Letts Quinn, ex-wife of the department-store-magnate Arthur Letts Jr. The house was later owned by 20th Century Fox founder Joseph Schenck, as well as suave actor Tony Curtis, who bought it from Superior Oil founder William Keck and sold it to Cher and Sonny Bono in 1974 for about $750,000. Later owners included a theater-producing carpet tycoon and a shadowy businessman who sold it in 2002 for an undisclosed amount to the current owner, Dawn Arnall, the exceptionally well-heeled widow of sub-prime-mortgage mega-mogul Roland Arnall.
The outrageously expensive-to-maintain trophy estate (annual property taxes alone are close to half a million bucks, according to L.A. County tax records) shares a long border with the fancy-pants Los Angeles Country Club, and encompasses manicured lawns ringed by thick stands of mature specimen trees. An extensive leisure complex includes a sunken tennis court, swimming pool, and a poolside guesthouse. The park-like estate is completed by a second guesthouse, a manned guardhouse, and a huge, black-topped parking lot where there once stood another mansion famously owned by the pinup bombshell Jayne Mansfield — who, to the delight of some and the squinty-eyed chagrin of others, painted it bubblegum pink.
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