The crown jewel of Holmby Hills, the legendary Owlwood estate - the onetime residence of a string of Hollywood luminaries including Tony Curtis, Sonny and Cher and 20th Century Fox co-founder Joseph Schenck - has sold for $90 million.
The closing immediately puts the Owlwood estate deal in the top ranks of residential sales right alongside the Playboy Mansion, which sold last month for $100 million, setting a record for the largest sale in Los Angeles County history.
People who have roamed the Owlwood estate liken it more to a park than to a residence. The property expands across 10 meticulously landscaped acres that encompass three legal parcels that were bound together. There is a tennis court, a pool, an expansive pool house and a guard tower. A section of the property abuts the Los Angeles Country Club. Anchoring all of this is the main house, a 12,200-square-foot mansion built in 1936 and designed in the Italian Renaissance style by the architect Robert Farquhar.
The new owner is Robert Shapiro, who heads up Delaware-based LLC Sturmer Pippin Investments and is the CEO of Woodbridge Luxury Homes, a real estate development company specializing in buying and selling luxury real estate in the Los Angeles area. Shapiro bought Owlwood from Dawn Arnall, the widow of subprime-mortgage mogul Roland Arnall, who bought the home in 2002.
Ann Dashiell of Douglas Elliman's Beverly Hills office was the listing agent. Adam Rosenfeld, founding principal of Mercer Vine, represented the buyer.
"We walked the property for 10 minutes, and Bob looked at me and said, 'We are going to write an offer,' " Mercer Vine's Rosenfeld told The Hollywood Reporter. Overall, the deal took four months to complete, and Rosenfeld said Shapiro would maintain the integrity of the grounds and the architecture, but would likely do a renovation of the interior.
He added, "In the long run, the value we are going to add to it will be special."