Sinatra Drive Leg Will Open With a Ford

Times Staff Writer

Frank Sinatra opposed this project when it was announced in March, 1982, but a ribbon-cutting, to be attended by former President Gerald Ford, will be held Monday at 2 p.m. to mark the opening of site and home sales and dedication of a road extension leading to a new development.

The road that was extended is, ironically, Frank Sinatra Drive.

The project: The Mirada, where one of the most luxurious hotels in the Coachella Valley, the 238-room, $75-million Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage--overlooking the desert--is due to open in late February.

The rest of the 105-acre project, valued at $100 million, is being developed into estate sites, villas and patio homes, all with access to the hotel's amenities.

Room service, anyone? Sure, for a price. Lots alone range from $310,000 to $1.5 million.

Federated Development Co. and the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. jointly own the hotel, but The Mirada is being developed by Federated, which is represented by several famous faces. Among them: Sid Kibrick's. He played "Woim" in "The Little Rascals."

Other major players in The Mirada are Charles Hurwitz, Federated chairman and a megabuck type out of Houston; Barry Munitz, Federated president who was formerly in an adminstrative role with the University of Houston; Larry Spicer, general manager of the development, and--what do you know?--President Ford, described as a "participant" along with Leonard Firestone, former ambassador to Belgium.

Firestone is also expected at the ribbon-cutting, but Sinatra--who lives in Rancho Mirage--might not be there, though he was invited.

Old Blue Eyes was one of many people who spoke out against the project because of its locale, on a plateau in the Santa Rosa foothills where the Bighorn sheep roam. To assuage these concerns, The Mirada developers gave 350 of the original 495-acre site to the city as a bighorn sheep and wildlife Corridor. (Forty of the remaining acres are undevelopable.)


Koala Blue, that trendy Melrose Avenue clothing store owned by singer Olivia Newton-John, has leased a 2,500-square-foot retail space from GVD Properties at 18009 E. Gale Ave. in City of Industry for a discount outlet. Curtis S. Sanders of L. J. Hooker International represented Koala Blue in negotiating the nine-year lease valued at about $500,000.


Actress Dyan Cannon's Malibu beach home is on the market, and it has what one of its agents calls "one of the largest closets known to man."

The closet is in the 6,098-square-foot house, built on two lots facing the ocean. The home also has a pool, spa, gym with sauna, theater, large kitchen, servants' quarters, an office and a guest apartment.

Cannon moved some time ago to Beverly Hills. Her Malibu home is listed at $3.2 million through Don Richstone, Barbara Moser and Joyce Rey of Rodeo Realty.


Although Sid Kibrick is probably best remembered as a child star, he has been an active real estate developer for years, and he's especially busy this weekend.

Not only has he been getting ready for the ribbon-cutting in Rancho Mirage, but he has been holding a grand opening all weekend for the final phase of his two-phased Desert Shadows RV park for adults only in Cathedral City.

Desert Shadows was one of the first realllllly luxurious RV parks. It has an indoor pool pavilion, outdoor lap pool, sunken tennis courts, clubhouse with an "Our Gang Room," filled with "Our Gang" memorabilia. It even has an activities director!

Spanky McFarland, Kibrick's old friend from their "Our Gang" days, is helping celebrate the opening of Desert Shadows East (the second phase), at 69801 Ramon Road.


Another celebration (and you thought they were over with the New Year?) was held last Tuesday at the site of Forest City Southpark Two Inc.'s $45.1-million Skyline Apartments in the South Park redevelopment area of downtown L. A.

What was billed as "a delicious construction workers' lunch" was held at a "Sky's the Limit" construction party, marking the start of work on the 270-unit, 14-story tower.

Dessert was a cake resembling the planned tower and served on a forklift. How proper!


If living in the kind of splendor that was fit for a movie mogul of the '30s is your aim, here's a house that might appeal to you: It's the Beverly Hills estate of the late Columbia Pictures studio chief Harry Cohn. You can lease it for only $35,000 a month!

The two-acre gated property--with three guest houses and a two-story main villa with a downstairs theater--is for rent through Lynn Barnett with Mike Silverman & Associates, Beverly Hills.

Cohn lived in the nine-bedroom, seven-bath home, built in 1927, for a couple of decades until he died in 1958. Later, the Silverman office sold the house for Cohn's widow, then married to actor Lawrence Harvey, to talk-show host Mike Douglas, who sold it in 1984 to the current owner, a businesswoman.

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