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Playboy Mansion expected to go up in value

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Playboy founder Hugh Hefner died at 91-years-old on Wednesday, his company confirmed. As the tributes and debates over Hefner’s legacy continue, the new owner of the iconic Playboy Mansion in the tony Holmby Hills neighborhood of Southern California could enjoy a windfall in the property’s value.

A year ago, billionaire investment heir and former Pabst Brewing Company co-CEO Daren Metropoulos bought the sprawling 5-acre property for $100 million. Once listed for $200 million, the house was purchased for $1 million in 1971 by Playboy Enterprises. The castle-like estate was designed by architect Arthur R. Kelly.

Daren Metropoulos, new owner of the Playboy Mansion. Credit: Metropoulos & Co.

A clause in the deal permitted Hefner to live in the legendary celebrity party house of the 1970s and 1980s until he died. This requirement may have brought down the sales price, say some people close to the deal.

Plus, like a prized book or piece of art, vintage assets tend to go up in value when their creators die. It’s certainly no artwork, but the Playboy Mansion is probably one of the most recognizable real estate creations anywhere in the world — though the party atmosphere associated with it often overshadowed the ugly realities of living there with Hef, as one of Hefner’s former live-in girlfriends Holly Madison revealed in her 2015 book Down the Rabbit Hole.

Metropoulos also owns the property next door to the Playboy Mansion, also purchased from Hefner back in 2009 (the Metropoulos family reportedly attempted to buy the Playboy Mansion around that time for $75 million, but the deal didn’t come to pass, agent Jeff Hyland told The New York Times).

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The Playboy Mansion was initially listed by three of Beverly Hills’ top real estate dogs: Hilton & Hyland’s Gary Gold and Drew Fenton, and The Agency’s Mauricio Umansky.

With the death of Hefner, Metropoulos is expected to proceed with a plan to remake and connect the two properties into the priciest property in Southern California. We’ve reached out to Metropoulos for more information on this and will update when we hear back.

Metropoulos has a knack for makeovers.

In 2014, his investment company sold old-school beer company Pabst Brewing Co. for a $450 million profit. Other iconic brands in its portfolio have included Ghirardelli Chocolate, Hostess (Twinkies) and Bumble Bee Tuna.

In a press release a year ago, Metropoulos said, “the Playboy Mansion is one of the most iconic properties in the world and the crown jewel of Holmby Hills and the platinum triangle.”

The Playboy Mansion has not had its last party.

Email Carl Franzen.