Marlon Brando Selling Island Interest

Times Staff Writer

Actor Marlon Brando's passion for privacy drove him to buy Tetiaroa, a South Seas atoll, when he was filming "Mutiny on the Bounty" in 1962.

Now he's selling a long-term leasehold on Tetiaroa, a cluster of 12 islands, each less than a mile wide, 38 miles north of Tahiti.

Is he tired of the white sand beaches and 60-foot palms? "Oh, no," Brooks Barton, vice president and western regional director of Previews Inc.--which has the listing, said quickly. "He just wants to put the islands in a trust to benefit his half-a-dozen children. And he's not giving up the island life. He has an arrangement with (actor) Jack Nicholson to share a condo on another island nearby."

Of course, having his own hideaway--being the lord and master or uncrowned king of his own special island--is far different from sharing a condo, even in a Pacific paradise, but this apparently doesn't faze Brando, who will be 61 on April 3. "He loves the atoll," Barton said, "but he feels that he is not utilizing it, though he spends a lot of time down there." Brando also spends a lot of time in his former Howard Hughes stronghold on a hilltop overlooking Beverly Hills.

"He would like some organization or wealthy individual to operate Tetiaroa as a resort hotel or private retreat," Barton added. Brando himself used it as a hotel for awhile. "But he's looking for somebody to improve the structures and make the operation more professional," Barton said.

There's little more now on the heart-shaped atoll than a black airstrip carved out of the jungle and a group of primitive, thatched huts built out of the wood from the trees that were chopped down to make the strip, but Brando is asking $1.5 million in advance and $4,000 a month for the leasehold. Terms are negotiable.

Actor Ron Howard, who played Richie Cunningham for years on TV's "Happy Days," and his investment partners--TV game show producer Daniel Enright and the estate of Jack Barry (Enright's long-time associate and game-show personality who died after jogging last May)--have sold a downtown San Diego office building to a local partnership headed by Peter Fraser for $2.1 million.

Before selling the historic Brokers' Building (at 400 Market St.), the Hollywood group completely restored the four-story exterior, according to Pat Ahern (who represented the sellers through the John Burnham & Co. Commercial Brokerage Division), and the new owners plan to rehab the 40,000 square feet of interior space into a mixed-use office and retail facility. Jell Lubin of Pacific Sunwest Investments Inc. represented the buyers.

What is being dubbed as "the West Coast's first-ever auction of resort and vacation time shares" will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center next Sunday beginning at 9 a.m.

More than 225 time-share intervals in nearly 100 locales in the United States and abroad will go on the block "at savings from 30% to 50%," the promoters--MDR Telecom of Marina del Rey, RE/MAX MDR (international resale time-share brokers) and Piatelli Co. (real estate auctioneers)--claim. The minimum bid will be $500. Many time shares are expected to sell below $1,000 each.

And the intervals (usually for one- or two-week periods) are in some pretty flashy towns--Vail, Las Vegas, Park City, Cancun (Mexico), Majorca (Spain), Nassau (the Bahamas), Lake Tahoe and Palm Springs. There are also some in England, Holland and Portugal.

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