The 3.5-acre Beverly Hills Spanish-style estate built in 1926 was taken over by a California bankruptcy court after its former owner, attorney Leonard Ross, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. He had been trying to sell it for $195 million since 2007 but was unable to find a buyer to take up its high level of debt.
Once the bankruptcy court got involved, the listing price was slashed to $119 million only to be relisted again for $90 million in April, $70 million in June and $50 million in July. Last week, news broke that Los Angeles-based investment company Berggruen Holdings had agreed to pay $47 million for the eight-bedroom, 15-bathroom property in a highest-bidder auction that received multiple offers.
Had it not been for the default property taxes (that will be paid in escrow as part of the contract), the property would have been a much more valuable sale due to its large size and connection to Hollywood history. Publishing tycoon William Hearst and his actress-mistress Marion Davies lived in it until his death in 1951, but it was also the 1953 honeymoon destination of John F. Kennedy’s and wife Jacqueline, a backdrop in the 1972 movie “The Godfather” and the setting for several Beyonce videos.
The 29,000-square-foot mansion is built into an H shape opening onto an 800-foot driveway with a fountain. The chandeliers, stained-glass windows, three glass doors, art deco paneling, nine-foot wooden archway, and outdoor statues were not been included in the price of the sale, court documents revealed.
“We are very excited,” listing broker Anthony Marguleas of Amalfi Estates told the New York Post. “It was an extensive and aggressive marketing campaign.”