Over the weekend, Yolanda received a steamin’ hot tip from a fellow we’ll call Whore-atio Alger. Our Mr. Alger left us a cryptic message referencing a secret sale that involves a historic Bel Air estate and a very rich film producer. The tactical Mr. Anger did not reveal the address of the estate or the name of the film producer, but after a scour through property records, Yolanda thinks we’ve tracked down the transaction in question.
In late May (2017), a rather stunning estate in one of lower Bel Air’s poshest pockets sold for $33,900,000 in an off-market deal. The seller was a billionaire Texan named H. Ross Perot Jr. and his wife Sarah (yes, those Perots). The buyer’s name, of course, is not listed in property records. Rather, he took title under cover of a corporate entity that links back to a San Francisco address. However, kiddies, said entity has long been known to be a front for Bay Area-based multi-billionaire film producer George Lucas.
We’re pretty sure anyone reading this already knows who Mr. Lucas is, but just in case: Mr Lucas has been in the big business of show for many decades and is certainly one of the all-time most financially successful people in the industry. He is probably best-known for creating and producing the original Star Wars and Indiana Jones trilogies, but he’s also the guy responsible for American Graffiti and Red Tails.
Now semi-retired, Mr. Lucas has long-resided in the Bay Area, where he lives with his second (and current) wife, businesswoman Mellody Hobson. And although he’s now in his seventies and has never (to our knowledge) owned a home in LA, Yolanda thinks we understand why he might want this place. His new $1 billion museum is gonna be built down here, duh. But enough of our jibber-jabber — let’s discuss the house.
Property records show that Mr. & Mrs. Perot paid just $18,000,000 for the estate in March 2013. Yes, kids, for those of you non-math experts, the Perots nearly doubled their money in just four years. For what it’s worth, Yolanda happens to think that Mr. Lucas overpaid by at least several million dollars for this property. But with a net worth of $5.1 billion, he can afford to spend big to get the place he wants.
Note: the images below are from 2013 and may or may not reflect the current condition/look of the Lucas estate.
Built in 1929 and “renovated to exacting standards”, the Spanish-style stunner lies about a block north of Sunset on a .89-acre lot. Naturally, the house is walled and gated and tucked behind bountiful bougainvillea bushes. The architecture itself has been kept mostly original, with small updates here and there. But all in all, Yolanda thinks this is a stunningly preserved and quintessentially LA piece of Spanish design.
We are not certain who originally built this house, but we do know the property’s most recent owners have been a series of high-profile individuals. Before Mr. Lucas and Mr. Perot, the estate was owned from 2001 to 2013 by renowned film and theater producer Freddy De Mann, who bought it from the late philanthropist Nancy Daly.
A cavernous entryway contains the main staircase, which swings majestically around an old-school wrought-iron chandelier. Elsewhere downstairs is a formal living/family room with a fireplace and lots of comfy chairs.
The kitchen and dining room both sport trendy dark-stained hardwood floors. The latter room has rows of French doors and the kitchen sports top-notch appliances with a small furnace and quaint tilework on a convenient service staircase.
The master suite is certainly fit for royalty with a house-sized bedroom with backyard views, a bathtub-equipped master bath, a walk-in closet, and a sitting room with a carved stone fireplace and bookshelves. According to marketing materials, the property has 5 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms in approximately 10,000-square-feet of interior space spread out over three structures.
Outdoors, the Lucas pad has more original Spanish architectural details plus rolling lawns, palm trees, and a putting green. Tall trees and matures hedges shield the grounds from any would-be nosy neighbors.
A cobalt-blue-bottomed swimming pool adjoins a covered cabana with another fireplace. Behind the structure is a pool house with at least one changing room-slash-bathroom.
As you might expect, Mr. Lucas’s new neighbors include a whole bunch of richie-rich folks like socialite Alexandra Dwek, Microsoft bazillionaire Chris Peters, Northrop Grumman CEO Ronald Sugar, former Yahoo CEO Terry Semel, Indonesian billionaire Edwin Soeryadjaya, and New York-based hedge fund couple Michael Barnes & Lisa Underwood, who live in a house across the street that they bought from Debra Messing, who had bought it from Renee Zellwegger back in the day. (For what it’s worth, Mr. Barnes & Ms. Underwood are widely believed to have outbid none other than Sofia Vergara for their Bel Air mini-estate). But we digress!
Mr. Lucas is a multi-billionaire, and as such he owns and maintains a residential property portfolio well-suited to a guy of his financial means. In addition to his new $34 million Bel Air palace, he also lays claim to a shockingly beautiful oceanfront estate in the Santa Barbara-adjacent city of Carpinteria (CA) for which he paid $19,500,000 back in 2010. The 1.7-acre spread includes 150-feet of sand frontage.
Good ol’ Mr. Lucas got all his Carpinteria neighbors in a tizzy when he quickly demolished the modernist architectural stunner (built in 1981 by Sherrill Broudy) on his Carpinteria lot and replaced with a large-and-in-charge but architecturally ho-hum Cape Cod.
Our boy’s primary residence has long been located in the Bay Area-city of San Anselmo, CA on a colossal compound that stretches over at least 10 parcels. The main house weighs in at a major-mansion-sized 15,159 square feet and there are multiple other house-sized structures on the property. Other features found within the wooded grounds are a pill-shaped swimming pool, a tennis court and a pavilion.
And as any Star Wars fan worth his mettle knows, Mister Lucas also owns the 4,700+ acre Skywalker Ranch in Nicasio, CA. It is here where Mr. Lucas’s filmmaking headquarters are located. The ranch includes a main house where Mister Lucas does not live, an animal filled barn, vineyard, fruit and veggie gardens, an on-site restaurant for employees, a swimming pool and fitness facilities with racquetball courts, a man-made lake, hilltop observatory, 300-seat theater, scads of underground parking and its very own own fire station.
Last but not least, Mr. Lucas coughed up a record-breaking $18,750,000 in 2015 for a penthouse in Chicago’s Park Tower. At that time, it was the most money ever paid for a home in the city.
Why Chicago? Because his accomplished wife — Ms. Hobson — is the President of Ariel Investments, a financial services/money management firm with more than $10 billion in assets under management. Ariel is based in Chi-town and thus Ms. Hobson spends a great deal of time in the city.
As is our custom, we wish Mr. Lucas and Ms. Hobson congratulations and good fortune (not that they really need it) on their big new Bel Air beast. And just so y’all know, the house is located on a street whose name literally means “cup of gold”. That’s appropriate — not just because Mr. Lucas is enormously rich, but because a gold cup has figured into his past films. Duh. Let’s hope Mr. Lucas chose wisely with this house…