After asking for up to $ 195 million, a Beverly Hills estate once owned by William Randolph Hearst is back on the market for the reduced price of $ 89.75 million following a long bankruptcy saga.
A bankruptcy court recently appointed an administrator to sell the property after being asked to do so by Fortress Investment Group, which said it owed it more than $ 52.3 million in unpaid loans and interest, according to the public archives. A Fortress spokesperson declined to comment.
Longtime owner of the property, attorney Leonard Ross, placed the limited liability company that owns the property in Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2019 in a bid to avoid a foreclosure auction and stay litigation on defaults, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Mr Ross had tried to sell the property on and off since 2007 and tried a number of different price tags on the estate, the highest being $ 195 million in 2016. He also briefly tried using a crowdfunding platform to refinance the house.
On approximately 5 acres, the estate, which dates back to 1927, is one of Los Angeles’ best-known. After Mr. Hearst’s death in 1951, it was owned by actress Marion Davies. President John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis vacationed at the house as part of their honeymoon.
The property was featured in the movie “The Godfather”, including the scene where an enemy of Vito Corleone finds a severed horse’s head in his bed. The property was also recently used as the location for Beyoncé’s visual album “Black Is King”.
The main house measures approximately 29,000 square feet and has eight bedrooms, but there are a total of 28 throughout the property, including the guesthouse and security house, listing agents said.
Designed by architect Gordon Kaufmann, the house is built in an H-shape and features elaborate balconies, arches and colonnades. It has a two-story library with hand-carved woodwork and a billiard room with a hand-carved stone fireplace from Hearst Castle in San Simeon. A more recent addition is an Art Deco nightclub, which includes elements of the former private Los Angeles Touch dining club, which was owned by the late Hugh Hefner.
“People always talk about wasted space like it’s a bad thing, but wasted space is what makes a house great. This house has all of those big, generous hallway spaces that you never see, ”said Gary Gold of Hilton & Hyland, who is listing the property with Anthony Marguleas of Amalfi Estates and Zizi Pak of Rodeo Realty.
Mr. Marguleas said this time that the property was sold. “The seller is serious about selling, he is realistic about selling, so his price is very favorable,” he said.
Mr. Ross did not respond to a request for comment.