The Bel-Air residence of late media mogul A. Jerrold Perenchio has sold for the highest price in California history, about $150 million.
Although the exact number isn’t clear, people familiar with the deal who asked for anonymity because they were not authorized to comment told the Los Angeles Times the closing price was well above the $119.75 million sale of the Manor in Holmby Hills earlier this year.
Priced as high as $350 million as a non-advertised pocket listing, the Chartwell estate centers on a 1930s French neoclassical-style chateau of 25,000 square feet that sits on 10 acres. Also trading in the deal was the former home of President Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy, which sits behind the main estate.
The sale is just the latest for a high-end market that has seen a surge of huge deals in recent years.
Since 2016, Los Angeles has had six sales of at least $100 million or more. Of California’s seven sales of $100 million or more, only one sits outside of L.A. County: the $117.5 million deal for a massive compound in Northern California’s Woodside community in 2013.
Classic television watchers may recognize Chartwell as the home of the Clampett family from the credits of the sitcom “The Beverly Hillbillies” (it was not used in the actual filming of the series). However, in real estate circles, it has long been considered among L.A.’s great estates, according to The Times.
Designed by architect Sumner Spaulding, the limestone-clad estate includes such Gatsby-esque features as a ballroom, scaled formal rooms and a vaulted foyer. The custom wine vault can hold 12,000 bottles. There’s also a paneled dining room.
The 26-room mansion was commissioned by contractor and civil engineer Lynn Atkinson. In the 1940s, it was acquired by Chicago and Los Angeles hotelier Arnold Kirkeby at a cost of $200,000. Atkinson had the home built as a surprise for his wife, a prominent socialite. However, the Atkinsons reportedly never lived in the house.
Often referred to as the “house with the golden door knobs,” the estate became something of a white elephant during Atkinson’s ownership because of its gargantuan tax bill.
Atkinson for years battled with the county Board of Equalization over the assessed value of the house before successfully having its value reduced in 1943 from $165,000 to $70,000.
The new owners face a more modern total. The estate carries one of the highest annual tax bills in the Los Angeles area at $1.3 million. In all, the estate contains 18 bedrooms and 24 bathrooms.