Just 10 months after being sold for $90 million, making it the second-largest sale ever in Los Angeles County at the time, the historic Owlwood estate has returned to the market for double the price.
The 10-acre Holmby Hills property features a 12,000-square-foot 1936 Tuscan-style mansion designed by architect Robert D. Farquhar. Among its famous former residents: actor Tony Curtis and, later, singing duo Sonny Bono and Cher.
Owlwood consists of three buildable parcels. One lot is currently vacant, the second includes the 1936 home and the third is home to a complex that includes a swimming pool, a guesthouse and a sunken tennis court.
The three parcels were combined in 2002 by the late billionaire Toland Arnall, founder of Ameriquest Capital Corp., and his wife, Dawn.
Last year the storied estate sold to Sturmer Pippin Investments. Bob Shapiro, head of Sturmer Pippin Investments and chief executive of Woodbridge Luxury Homes, said that since the sale he has hired "the best of the best to put together a redevelopment plan which will boost the property's value while maintaining the architectural integrity of the home's origin."
The development will include an option to subdivide a portion of the acreage into buildable land or additional homes as a part of a gated enclave with a private street.
"Nowhere else can you find 10 park-like acres in the middle of Holmby Hills," said Tyrone McKillen, co-founder of Plus Development group. "It's probably one of the greatest single properties in all of America."
One of the biggest questions: At $180 million, who will buy it?
Paul Habibi, professor of real estate at UCLA, said it is about finding a buyer who recognizes the property as a historic one-of-a-kind estate.
"Those streets in Holmby Hills have some of the highest prices in the nation," said Habibi. "If there is a property that is going to command a price at $180 million, it is going to be in that area."
Habibi also said putting a $180-million price on the home could be a marketing strategy to give the home more buzz.
Bret Parsons, real estate agent and architectural director for Coldwell Banker, said Owlwood's sellers are smart to take advantage of a "stratospheric" market where people will pay almost anything for trophy homes.
"Owlwood is a metaphor for the dramatically rising prices of properties in Los Angeles and Southern California, and people are taking advantage of it," Parsons said.
Last year, for instance, two notable Holmby Hills properties were each sold for $100 million: the Playboy Mansion, and a home on Carolwood Drive purchased by investor Tom Gores. And shortly after Owlwood's sale, the Manor — the former Candy and Aaron Spelling estate in Holmby Hills — was listed for $200 million.
He added that it's ultimately the buyer who determines the value of a home: "Homes have no value until someone is willing to pay something for them."
Plus Development Group will oversee the development of the Owlwood property. Adam Rosenfeld, co-founder of Mercer Vine, an L.A.-based real estate agency, is the listing agent.
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