Newsletter: Hot Property: Living in America

Certain individuals seem to attract the spotlight in all walks of life, with real estate being no exception. This week it was the home heroics of a box office star and a splashy purchase by boxing’s biggest draw that delivered a one-two punch of top headlines.

Read on for a pound-for-pound look at the celebrities and sports names who made news this week.

Neal J. Leitereg

Off-market intrigue in the 90210

The great Tom Cruise real estate purge continued this week with the sale of his Beverly Hills home. The acre-plus estate closed off-market for a whopping $39 million — among the priciest home sales in Los Angeles County this year.

The sale comes roughly seven months after Cruise divested himself of a gated compound in Hollywood Hills West for $11.4 million, and it may not be his last. The “Mission: Impossible” star also has a 298-acre retreat up for sale in Telluride, Colo., for $59 million.

Cruise sold his Beverly Hills estate to financier Leon Black for $39 million. (Google Earth | Inset: Getty Images)

A modern knockout

Even in retirement, Floyd Mayweather Jr. is still living up to his “Money” nickname. The boxer, among the highest-paid athletes in the world, recently bought an ultramodern home in Miami Beach for $7.7 million cash.

Built last year, the flashy house scores points with its clean lines, vaulted interiors and floor-to-ceiling walls of glass. A rooftop deck overlooks a swimming pool and a private dock on the Intracoastal Waterway.

Mayweather Jr. paid $7.7 million cash for the home in Miami Beach. (Prestige Lifestyle Co. | Los Angeles Times)

The end of an era on the Westside

It’s crazy to think that in Greater Los Angeles, a hotbed for high-end real estate, we’ve yet to see a home sale of $100 million or more. But that may very well change once the sale of the Playboy Mansion officially comes to pass.

Entrepreneur Daren Metropoulos, the son of billionaire investor C. Dean Metropoulos, is under contract to buy the legendary Holmby Hills estate of Hugh Hefner for an undisclosed price. As part of the sale, Hefner will be allowed to live out his remaining days on the property.

Originally listed for sale at $200 million, the sprawling estate that has for decades served as the playground of the Playboy founder lives up to its billing with such features as a licensed zoo, a vintage screening room and the infamous swimming pool and grotto. The master suite, one of 12 bedrooms, spans two floors in the 20,000-square-foot home.

The Playboy Mansion in Holmby Hills is under contract to sell to the son of C. Dean Metropoulos. (Jim Bartsch)

This house is a two-sport star

Call it a game of catch between two sports stars. Retired basketball player Kenyon Martin was the buyer of the Calabasas home sold last month by former baseball player Jason Kubel.

Martin, who retired last year after 15 NBA seasons, ponied up $2.8 million for the estate that features, among other things, a fenced batting cage with a pitching machine. Throw in a putting green and a resort-style swimming pool and it’s safe to label this home sports-centric.

A rebel in West Hollywood

“Pitch Perfect” star Rebel Wilson has settled into West Hollywood in style with the purchase of a newly built home for about $3 million.

The Australian actress opted for a traditional look in her new digs, which has what can only be described as “Leave It to Beaver” curb appeal. A white picket fence marks the entrance to the 4,400-square-foot home, which boasts a glass-enclosed wine cellar, bi-folding doors and a saltwater swimming pool.

Wilson bought a newly built home in the West Hollywood area for $2.95 million. (Bel Air Photography | Los Angeles Times)

Nerdist bids adieu to home retreat

Chris Hardwick, chief executive of multimedia company Nerdist Industries and host of AMC’s “Talking Dead” show, has parted ways with his home in Hollywood Hills for $3.477 million.

Set on a quarter of an acre above Bronson Canyon, the 1920s home incorporates an original hunting lodge into its 5,100-square-foot design. The rustic lodge was a favorite of Hardwick’s, who used the lower-level portion of the home as a retreat of sorts during his four years of ownership.

Other features of note include a master suite with a terrace balcony, a media room and a lavish center-island kitchen. Walls of windows on one side of the home take in the city skyline and, on the other, canyon views.

An Old Hollywood tale in PacPal

The home where Oscar-winning actor Charles Laughton and his wife, actress Elsa Lanchester, lived during the 1940s is up for sale at $19.995 million.

During their ownership, Laughton and Lanchester hosted acting workshops on the property. The sessions attracted such notable names as Shelley Winters and Marilyn Monroe, the latter of which would later appear alongside Laughton in the film “O. Henry’s Full House.”

A good friend of the couple, silent-film comic Charlie Chaplin, was also known to frequent the 1930s Mediterranean, which has views extending from Rancho Palos Verdes up to Malibu.

The onetime Pacific Palisades home of Oscar-winning actor Laughton is for sale at $19.995 million. (Marc & Tiffany Angeles | Paramount Pictures)

From the archives

In Los Angeles, stars can often be linked through a few degrees of property separation. Twenty years ago this week, Oscar-winning actress Juliette Lewis took the first steps toward a home upgrade by putting her old house in Hollywood on the market for a little over $900,000.

Lewis would eventually decamp to a Midcentury Modern-style home in North Hollywood. That house, after changing hands multiple times over the last decade, is now owned by none other than singer Miley Cyrus.

What we’re reading

— File this one under “haunted”: A Long Island home that inspired “The Amityville Horror” book and films has returned to the market for $850,000, according to Newsday. Fronting a canal, the house includes the infamous boathouse and a boat slip that featured prominently in the book and film.

— New rides aren’t the only big thing coming to Disneyland. Los Angeles Times reporter Hugo Martin brings word that Disney officials have submitted plans to build a fourth hotel at the Anaheim resort. Designed by Walt Disney Imagineering, the 700-room hotel may be up and running as early as 2021.

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