Almost a year after it was first listed with a $29 million ask, Ron Burkle has sold the Toluca Lake home formerly owned by late comedian Bob Hope for $26 million. And though that’s $3 million less than the chairman and president of The Yucaipa Cos. originally wanted for the place, it’s still $11 million more than he paid for the sprawling estate back in summer 2018.
The deal also ranks as one of the San Fernando Valley’s priciest residential transactions to date, behind only the $30 million transfer of a massive Calabasas spec house back in 2021. The listing was held by Kevin Dees of The Agency; Dees and Sebastian Spader of The Agency jointly repped the buyer. The agents declined to identify the new owner, but public records show the property was acquired by an entity linked to real estate mogul Abraham “Avi” Mayer.
As for Burkle, he saved the Hope house from demolition and undertook an extensive renovation during his almost five years of ownership. Built and designed in the late 1930s by architect Robert Finkelhor, the English traditional-style structure was remodeled with a more contemporary bent sometime around 1960 by another noted architect, John Elgin Woolf.
Walled and triple-gated, the compound includes a main house, guest apartment atop a four-car garage and staff quarters — for a total of 10 bedrooms and 15 baths in over 15,000 square feet of living space. There’s also a restored ancillary structure containing a tennis pavilion, commercial kitchen, security office, conference room and Hope’s personal office.
Especially standing out in the main home is a striking foyer, which flows to a formal dining room and an open, glass-lined living area displaying a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace — one of six in the house. Other highlights include a family room that connects to a gourmet kitchen outfitted with an expansive eat-in island, top-tier stainless appliances and a breakfast nook, plus a catering kitchen, library, wet bar-equipped game room, movie theater, and gym boasting a steam and infrared sauna.
A winding staircase heads upstairs, where six bedrooms include a posh master retreat featuring a seating area, as well as dual dressing areas and baths; and outdoors, the picturesque Art Luna-landscaped grounds span over 5 acres, and host a saltwater pool, along with a barbecue and kitchen setup, one-hole golf course designed by Hope himself, tennis court, and numerous terraces ideal for al fresco lounging and entertaining.
In addition to his just-sold Toluca Lake house, Burkle still maintains several architecturally significant properties throughout California. Among them: a John Lautner-designed mansion in Palm Springs that was also long owned by Bob Hope, as well as Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch, the Greenacres estate in prime Beverly Hills, a palatial clifftop estate in La Jolla and an oceanfront house in the guard-gated Malibu Colony community.
Now an official Montana resident, Burkle’s primary residence is a 22,000-square-foot “castle” built by real estate titan Don Abbey, which sits amid a private 22-acre island right in the middle of Flathead Lake.