Daren Metropoulos takes ownership of Playboy Mansion, Hef included

There’s a new playboy on the Westside.

Daren Metropoulos, the son of billionaire investor C. Dean Metropoulos and principal at the investment firm Metropoulos & Co., has closed sale on the legendary Playboy Mansion. The longtime Holmby Hills home and workspace of Hugh Hefner, the mansion sold for $100 million, half of the $200-million asking price.

Still, the sale represents the largest sale ever recorded in Los Angeles County; another sprawling Westside manor, the Fleur de Lys, previously held the record after selling two years ago for $88.3 million.

It’s the end of an era but not quite goodbye for Hefner. The Playboy patriarch and founder is allowed to remain in residence for the remainder of his life. As part of the sale, Playboy Enterprises will pay Metropoulos $1 million a year to lease the property for Hefner, who turned 90 in April.

The mansion’s many statues, gargoyles and arcade games were included in the sale.

Metropoulos is familiar with the property, having bought a neighboring one from Hefner in 2009. He intends to eventually connect the two estates, both designed by Arthur R. Kelly, which abut the Los Angeles Country Club.

Considered architect Kelly’s greatest work, the Playboy Mansion was originally built for department store scion Arthur Letts Jr. in 1927.

The Gothic Tudor-style house has 29 rooms including chef’s and catering kitchens, a game room and a screening room with a built-in pipe organ. Twelve bedrooms are within 20,000 square feet of living space; the master suite spans two floors.

Exotic birds and other animals roam freely through grounds that include a tennis court, a gymnasium, a four-bedroom guesthouse and the infamous swimming pool and grotto. The estate is also among a select few L.A. homes to have a zoo license.

Gary Gold and Drew Fenton of Hilton & Hyland, an affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate, and Mauricio Umansky of the Agency held the listing for the mansion. Jade Mills of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage represented Metropoulos.

That Metropoulos intends to renovate and restore the mansion to its original form comes as little surprise. The 33-year-old tycoon, working with his father and his brother, Evan, has a reputation for breathing new life into timeworn brands.

Two years ago, Metropoulos & Co. sold Los Angeles-based Pabst Brewing Co. for more than $700 million in cash, or $550 million more than what the company paid for it in 2010. Perrier-Jouët Champagne, Ghirardelli Chocolate and Bumble Bee Tuna are among the other brands bought and flipped by the firm.

Call it a double feature

A pair of side-by-by estates owned by actor-producer-director Tom Hanks and his wife, actress-producer Rita Wilson, are for sale in Pacific Palisades. Located in the Palisades Riviera area, the adjacent homes are offered separately at $9.25 million and $8.75 million, or for a combined $18 million.

The less expensive of the two houses, a Spanish Revival-style villa built in 1933, retains its Old World ambiance with such details as beamed ceilings, wood floors and original fixtures, ironwork and tile. A step-down living room, paneled dining room, library/den, four bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms lie within nearly 4,000 square feet of interiors.

Outdoors, hedged grounds are filled with various sitting areas, lawns and a fountain feature.

Next door, the more expensive of the two homes is an English traditional built in 1957. Designed for small- and large-scale entertaining, the 7,300 square feet of living space includes formal living and dining rooms, a screening room and a pub/billiard room with fireplace.

Seven bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms include a master suite with a redone bathroom and his and hers closets. A playroom is on the third floor.

Both estates take in sweeping canyon views.

Hanks and Wilson acquired the properties in separate off-market transactions in 2003 and 2007 totaling a little over $13.1 million. The couple also own a third contiguous property on the same street that is not for sale.

Mary Lu Tuthill of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage and David Offer of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties hold the listings.

Hanks, 60, has acting credits including “Big” (1988), “Saving Private Ryan” (1998) and “Cast Away” (2000), which he also produced. He won lead-actor Oscars for his roles in “Philadelphia” (1993) and “Forrest Gump” (1994). He will appear in “Sully,” the story of pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, later this year.

Wilson, 59, appeared with Hanks in "Sleepless in Seattle" (1993). She has also appeared on the TV series “Girls” and “The Good Wife” and produced the 2002 film “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and its sequel, released this year.

He’s dealing in pairs

Funnyman and television host Howie Mandel has bought a pair of condos in downtown Santa Monica in separate, off-market deals totaling $4 million.

The larger of the two units, purchased earlier this year for $2.5 million, features a trilevel floor plan with steel beams, 14-foot ceilings and walls of south-facing windows. A galley-style kitchen with a brick backsplash opens to a living/dining area.

Upstairs, there’s an office, two bedrooms and two bathrooms. A media room with an 80-inch television also lies within the 1,900 square feet of living space.

The smaller unit, a ground-floor condo purchased for $1.5 million, has similar raised ceilings and exposed steel beams plus mahogany wood floors. More than 1,450 square feet of interiors includes two bedrooms and two bathrooms.

There’s also a private, hedged patio, side-by-side parking and two storage units.

With the purchases, Mandel now owns three units in the William Dale Brantley-designed building. Last year, he bought a two-story penthouse with an elevator and a full-floor private garden for $5.3 million in another deal completed off-market.

Mandel, 60, has been a judge on the reality competition series “America’s Got Talent” since 2010 and previously hosted “Deal or No Deal” from 2005 to 2009. The onetime stand-up comic is also known for voicing the character Bobby on the animated series “Bobby’s World.”

A residential ‘Trump’ card

What do you get the Donald Trump supporter who seemingly has everything? This home in Beverly Hills might fit the bill.

Listed for sale at $29.995 million, the Greek Revival-inspired mansion on North Rodeo Drive was flipped by Trump at a loss seven years ago and also happens to border a neighboring property owned by the Republican presidential nominee.

Trump bought the home in 2008 for $10.35 million and, a year later, took a slight cut on the property: Records show it sold in 2009 for $9,500,095. Prior to that, it had been owned for decades by Omar Bongo, the president of Gabon who died in office in 2009.

Built in 1981, the grand two-story has a symmetrical, wide front lined with a row of slender columns. Bay windows flanked by green-hued shutters span the length of the exterior; a decorative pediment creates visual interest above double front doors.

Inside, some 15,000 square feet of polished space boasts a chandelier-topped, marble-lined foyer that opens on one side to a formal living room and, on the other, a formal dining room.

Other common rooms include an office/den, an all-white kitchen with stainless-steel appliances, a separate prep kitchen, a sauna and an elevator. The master suite features a spa-like bath dressed in granite and Greek marble for a total of 11 bedrooms and 10.5 bathrooms.

Sets of French doors open off the main level to a long loggia that overlooks the swimming pool. A tennis/basketball court completes the fenced and gated setting.

Paul Margolis and Yvette Pozzato of Compass hold the listing.

As for Trump’s current digs, he’s owned the house next door since 2007, when he paid $7 million for the property. Tucked behind gates and tall privacy hedges, the more than half-acre estate has 16 rooms, including five bedrooms and six bathrooms, in 5,395 square feet, according to tax records.

A swimming pool lies within the grounds.

Slugger finds his MVP digs

The National League’s reigning MVP has found a new place to hang his hat.

Bryce Harper, star outfielder for the Washington Nationals, has bought a home in a gated Henderson, Nev., community for $2.7 million.

Completed last year, the two-story house offers a contemporary spin on the Prairie School style. The symmetrical front of the house is reached by concrete steps leading to a frosted-glass front door. Bands of casement windows are positioned on both sides of the home; clerestories enhance a pop-up above the entry.

Inside, the home opens to a vaulted foyer with a floating wood-and-steel staircase and an ornamental garden feature. A cascading water wall underscores the raised ceilings while providing visual interest.

Other features of note include a glass-enclosed wine wall with storage for 360 bottles and a chef’s kitchen complete with quartzite countertops, modern fixtures and an island/bar. A wet bar with a glass pop-up counter sits across from the kitchen.

Upstairs, there’s a game room with an additional kitchenette and an oversized balcony overlooking the roughly half-acre grounds. The master suite sports a fireplace, a spa-like bath and a walk-in closet for a total of five bedrooms and five bathrooms in 7,400 square feet of living space.

Pocketing glass doors off the family room open to a swimming pool with a raised spa. Views extend as far as the Vegas Strip.

The property was most recently listed for sale at $2.95 million, records show.

Florence Shapiro of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Nevada Properties was the listing agent. Harvey Tadmor of Desert Sky Realty represented the buyer.

Harper, four times an all-star, has ties to the area, having attended Las Vegas High School and, for a year, the College of Southern Nevada.

The 23-year-old tied for the National League in home runs last season with 42 homers, earning Silver Slugger and Most Valuable Player honors in the process. The touted first overall draft pick has 20 home runs in 103 games for the Nationals this year.

neal.leitereg@latimes.com

Twitter: @NJLeitereg

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