…In July 2012 impeccably well-connected Platinum Triangle real estate insider Lenny Lemmetellya snitched to Your Mama that Dawn Arnall, the widow of subprime mortgage billionaire Roland Arnall, quietly made her sprawling Holmby Hills estate known as Owlwood available for $150 million to super-rich buyers who knew the right real estate brokers to call.
The following June (2013) the property showed up as an off-market listing on The Agency‘s website with an undisclosed price tag that several of Your Mama’s well-placed informants whispered was (still) $150 million.
Twice this week Your Mama was told by the Tinseltown pedigreed estate was about to be sold but for much less than the alleged but much tittered about $150 million. One of our informants told us he heard the the deal was going down for $75 million and another told us he’d heard word it was $85 million.
So what does 75 or 85 million clams buy? According to the slim information included with online marketing materials the triple-gated and fully landscaped 10+ acre estate has a newly-built guard house equipped to monitor the entire property, a 12,000-ish square foot Italian Renaissance villa, and a recreation complex with a sunken tennis court, swimming pool and spacious poolside guest house. Several more detached structures include a bank of garages, a greenhouse and a second guest house.
The main house designed by Robert Farquhar and built in 1936 for Florence Quinn, the ex-wife of department store magnate and real estate mogul Arthur Letts, Jr. Subsequent owners include 20th Century Fox founder Joseph Shenk, oil man William Keck, actor Tony Curtis and, briefly in the mid 1970s, Sonny and Cher. Later it was owned by a carpet tycoon and then a flamboyant (and some say shady) Syrian businessman who sold the whole shebang to the Arnalls .*
As has been the case for the last couple of years when a mega-estate goes on the market or goes into escrow there’s some scuttblebutt making its way down the property gossip grapevine that British Formula One racing heiress Tamara Ecclestone might be the buyer. And maybe she is but this property gossip wouldn’t bet the farm on it. Your Mama’s first thought was that maybe it’s billionaire real estate baller Tom Gores who recently and unexpectedly floated his unfinished estate in Bel Air on the market with a $50 million price tag while Peter Propertyseller plus a second anonymous informant told us that they’d heard (but can’t confirm) the buyer might be Richard Weintraub, a Malibu-based real estate tycoon with a well-known thing for high maintenance trophy estates.
Of course, Owlwood being thisclose to be being sold is all just some delicious real estate rumor and gossip at this point, And, even if it is true, we don’t (yet) have a positive I.D. on the deep pocketed buyer who could very well be a rich Russian oligarch, a wealthy Chinese businessman, a Middle Easter potentate, a moneyed African with ties to a despotic regime, or an American hedge fund fat cat with more money than the damn Pope. Or it could be that this is all just a lot of hot property air and that nothing will come of the juicy rumors about Owlwood‘s pending sale. We’ll just have to put on our patience caps and wait and see, right?
*The existing estate comprises what was once three separate estate properties. incorporates a property that once had a large and long ago razed mansion owned by Rudy Vallée, Jane Mansfield and Mickey Hargitay—who famously painted the house pink, and Engelbert Humperdinck. Aerial imagery includes with digital marketing materials indicates that there’s a black-topped parking lot where the Valée/Mansfield/Humperdinck mansion once stood.
aerial photo: The Agency