In Pasadena, a home with a rich history has sold to a man who plans to keep it that way.
The John S. Cravens estate, a grand mansion on Millionaire's Row, has been purchased by Grammy-nominated musician Michael Feinstein for $7 million.
The estate boasts nearly 20,000 square feet of elegant flourishes and European finishes. Its architect, Lewis P. Hobart, designed such structures as San Francisco's Grace Cathedral; its builder, P.J. Walker Co., constructed the Los Angeles Times building and the Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills.
Built in the 1930s, the home features steel-reinforced concrete, brick veneer and a Vermont slate roof. A skylight atrium sets the tone in the stately interior, and, further in, living spaces are filled with chandeliers, ornate woodwork and elaborate wrought-iron work. Murals by artist Ernest Peixotto decorate the grand gallery.
The property changed hands a few times in the 1940s and '50s before it was donated in 1962 to the American Red Cross.
In selling the home, originally priced at $10.5 million, the organization vowed to find a buyer who'd appreciate its historical significance. After nearly a year of showcasing the property, it found one that filled the bill: Feinstein.
"[Feinstein] has restored, to my knowledge, three other properties, and I was lucky enough to see the one he did in Los Angeles," said co-listing agent Gretchen Seager.
Original owners John and Mildred Cravens never had children but kept 32 servants, according to Seager. Consequently, the home is laid out as a master suite with an abundance of rooms for live-in staff. "Feinstein will do a nice job bringing the interior up to speed for the way modern families live," Seager said.
Seager shared the listing with fellow Sotherby's International Realty agent Josie Tong. Due to Tong's longtime support of the Red Cross, the pair covered marketing expenses and donated their commission to the organization.
Feinstein, 61, has had a successful career as the ambassador of the Great American Songbook, a collection of pop and jazz songs from the early 20th century. In 2012 he was named the principal conductor for the Pasadena Symphony and Pops.
Singer makes a quick exit
Adam Levine of Maroon 5 has sold his home in Holmby Hills for $18 million — the same price he paid for the Caspar Ehmcke-designed estate six months ago, records show.
Built in 1966, the French Regency-style house sits behind gates on more than an acre of grounds that include a 9,200-square-foot main house, a two-story guesthouse and a three-car garage.
Beyond the towering front doors, the main house opens to a circular foyer lined in checkerboard marble. Formal living and dining rooms, an office/den, five bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms are among the living spaces. The breakfast solarium has a view of the grounds.
Outside, concrete decking surrounds a quatrefoil-shaped swimming pool. Adjacent to the pool is a pool house. Views from the property take in the greens and fairways of the Los Angeles Country Club.
The 38-year-old Levine is the lead vocalist and guitarist for Maroon 5. The Grammy-winning pop-rock group has hits that include "She Will Be Loved," "This Love" and "Moves Like Jagger." The group's last album in 2014, "V," sold more than 2 million copies worldwide.
Since 2010 he has appeared as a judge on the singing-competition series "The Voice."
Kurt Rappaport of Westside Estate Agency was the listing agent. Michael Nourmand of Nourmand & Associates represented the buyer.
Makings of a real estate baller
Lonzo Ball has shortened up his commute to the Staples Center. The Lakers rookie recently paid $1.625 million for a condominium at the Ritz-Carlton Residences at L.A. Live, the luxury high-rise that sits adjacent to the multipurpose arena in downtown Los Angeles.
The west-facing unit has two bedrooms, three bathrooms and nearly 1,700 square feet of living space. High ceilings, designer finishes and an office are among the features. Views from the bedrooms and the dining area take in the city lights and mountains.
Two parking spaces are included with the condo, which hit the market last summer for $2.05 million. The luxury high-rise, which opened in 2010, has such building amenities such as a rooftop pool, a fitness center and valet services.
Dara Keyomarsi of HomeSmart-Evergreen Realty was the listing agent, according to the Multiple Listing Service. Dee Barrow of Keller Williams Realty represented the buyer.
The condo purchase isn't Ball's first splash into real estate since going pro. In August, a limited liability company linked to the point guard paid $5.2 million for a three-story mansion in Chino Hills. The same LLC also paid $3.5 million last year for a large warehouse space in downtown L.A.
Ball, 20, was selected second overall in June by the Lakers after one season at UCLA. The point guard has started 36 games this season and has averaged 10.2 points, 7.1 rebounds and 7.1 assists.
He will reportedly earn $33.4 million over the next four seasons as part of his rookie contract.
Blasting off from the marina
Katee Sackhoff, an actress known for her role in the sci-fi show "Battlestar Galactica," has sold her home in the Silver Strand section of Marina del Rey for $2.7 million.
The three-story house takes advantage of its beach proximity with a rooftop deck offering ocean views. Inside, the 3,797 square feet of interiors features white walls, hardwood floors and arched doorways. Interior spaces include a living room with a fireplace, formal and casual dining rooms and a center-island kitchen.
An oversized step-down family room holds three sets of French doors that open to a lush courtyard patio. Vaulted ceilings top the home's three bedrooms. The master suite has a fireplace and walk-in closet.
Kerry Ann Sullivan and Tami Pardee of Halton Pardee and Partners were the listing agents. Jennifer Portnoy of Portnoy Properties represented the buyer.
The 37-year-old Sackhoff has appeared in a steady stream of sci-fi and supernatural shows and films since the turn of the century. She's appeared notably in "Halloween: Resurrection" (2002), "Riddick" (2013) and "Oculus" (2013).
Landlord is a fit for former model
Kimora Lee Leissner, the model and fashion designer who launched the Baby Phat brand, has found a tenant for her estate in Beverly Hills, leasing it for $45,000 a month as part of a long-term agreement.
The Mediterranean-style mansion, built in 1990 and since updated, is surrounded by hedges and gates on about an acre of grounds. Within its more than 9,400 square feet of living space are a paneled library, a movie theater and a wine cellar. There are seven bedrooms and nine bathrooms.
Outdoor amenities include a swimming pool with a circular spa, ample patio space and a pool house. Formal gardens and a large fountain complete the setting.
Leissner bought the property a decade ago for about $11 million, records show.
Morgan Trent of Aaron Kirman Partners, a division of Pacific Union International, handled the lease.
Leissner, 42, gained fame as a model for Chanel and previously appeared on international covers of Harper's Bazaar. In the late 1990s she developed the lifestyle brand Baby Phat under former husband Russell Simmons' company Phat Fashions. She remained president of the brand after Phat Fashions was sold to Kellwood Co in 2004 for $140 million.
Two years ago she launched a clothing line for working mothers under the KLS brand.