When powerhouse showbiz exec Brian Robbins, now president and CEO of Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon, sold a stately L.A. mansion just over three years ago for $19 million in an off-market deal to international businessman Thomas J. Swan III and veteran entertainment industry executive Joe Townley, it was the most expensive home ever sold in the historic and historically affluent Hancock Park neighborhood.
The previous record was set in 2015 when Netflix honcho Ted Sarandos paid $16 million for the estate of now divorced Hollywood royals Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas, while the current record was set last year when Shonda Rhimes sold her 100-year-old mansion for $21 million to real estate mogul Asher Handler.
After three years in residence, the Townley-Swans have put their Tinseltown pedigreed pad back on the market and, with a price of $19.5 million, they are not seeking much profit. Indeed, unless a swarm of deep-pocketed buyers drive up the sale price in a multiple bid situation, when carrying costs, improvement expenses and real estate fees factored in, the couple are likely to lose more than just a few pennies.
All together there are nine bedrooms and 10 bathrooms plus four more powder rooms across a total of almost 13,500 square feet of pristine living space. The elegant four-floor English Country main house dates to 1925 and disperses half a dozen bedrooms and eight bathrooms (and three more powder rooms) over its 11,000 square feet. There are an additional 2,400 square feet between the one-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath pool house, emblazoned with a fun and funky, Palm Beach-y mix of banana leaf and striped wallpapers, and a two-bed, one-bath apartment above the garage.
Many original and/or authentically re-created architectural details ground the home in time, while modern updates ensure a comfortable and luxurious lifestyle. The grand, double-height entrance gallery, with grey and white checkerboard marble floor, and spacious formal living and dining rooms are complemented by a library that spills out to the backyard, while a top-end kitchen opens to a cozy family room. Fit for Hollywood royalty (or tech tycoonery), the primary suite includes two bespoke dressing rooms and two lavish bathrooms, one in grey and the other in crimson. And for movie nights, a plush, candy-apple-red home theater tucked up into the top floor is approached along a corridor lined with trompe l’oeiel wallpaper.
Encircled in mature trees and thick foliage that ensure privacy from neighboring homes, the deep lot allows for expansive lounging and entertaining terraces and an outdoor kitchen complete with pizza oven. A sweep of lawn leads to the crystalline swimming pool; at the rear, a north-south oriented tennis court has been converted to a sport court and faux-grassed children’s playground.
Available through Lisa Hutchins and Ron Holliman at Coldwell Banker Realty and mostly hidden from passersby behind carefully clipped ornamental hedges and beautifully pruned trees, the not-quite-one-acre spread is on the same tree-lined street as the homes of Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne, Mercury Insurance founder George Joseph and actor Max Greenfield.