Beverly Hills Country Club, which was founded in 1926 to give movie industry people a place to play together, has been sold to investors who plan to improve it.
Singerman Real Estate, a Chicago investment firm, and Meriwether Cos., a Boulder, Colo., hospitality and resort development company, bought the four-acre property near the Santa Monica Freeway south of Century City.
Terms of the sale were not disclosed, but the new owners promised to spend $10 million on renovations to the dated complex. The Beverly Hills Country Club is actually in Los Angeles, at 3084 Motor Ave.
The seller was L.A. Partners, headed by Gene Axelrod, which had owned the property since 1985.
The club has a 34,000-square-foot clubhouse with dining and meeting rooms, 10 lighted tennis courts, a gym and a Junior Olympic-size swimming pool. Minor improvements will begin in the coming weeks and major projects -- including renovation of the clubhouse, pool area and general landscaping -- will begin early next year, the new owners said.
"The Beverly Hills Country Club has served the local community for almost 90 years," said Meriwether Cos. Managing Partner Graham Culp. "And we are excited to help ensure it remains a place for Southern California families to gather and socialize for the next 90 years."
Singerman Real Estate is the majority owner of the club. Meriwether Cos. and Los Angeles real estate investor Kris Thabit are responsible for day-to-day operations.
The club has about 1,500 members. Monthly dues range from $175 to more than $350. Dues will not rise until renovations are completed, the owners said.
Beverly Hill County Club was established by Elmer Griffin, uncle of celebrity businessman Merv Griffin, as a place where 20th Century Fox and MGM executives could meet, socialize, conduct business and play tennis, according to the club's website.
At that time, most other Los Angeles clubs did not admit entertainers. The club became popular with the movie and sports set. Members included Cesar Romero, Humphrey Bogart, Errol Flynn, Ann Sothern, Jack Lemmon, Edie Adams, Ernie Kovacs,