As if Fess Parker hasn't been busy enough developing real estate and announcing possible political ambitions, the star of the old "Davy Crockett" and "Daniel Boone" weekly TV shows also just sold his 11-acre estate in Hope Ranch and bought another there while his wife finished building a second home in the desert.
"My wife just finished building a lovely home in Palm Springs," he said, "It's bigger than two people need, but I think we'll live very comfortably in 5,400 square feet." Actually, it was a remodel, but the house was practically rebuilt. It's on a golf course and has a 180-degree view of the mountains.
In the meantime, the pair sold their Hope Ranch house, "because 13,000 to 14,000 square feet was really too much for two people!" he said with a laugh. "Our two children are grown, we've been there 11 years, and my wife wanted to do something different. She loves warm weather." So she took on the desert project.
They didn't want to leave the Santa Barbara area entirely, though, so they bought a 2,500-to-3,000-square-foot home perched on a cliff at Hope Ranch.
"I looked all over Santa Barbara and Montecito," he said, but he wound up buying another house in Hope Ranch.
It has an unobstructed view of the ocean, about two acres of garden, and a swimming pool. Parker plans to put in a tennis court. "It's a great home for two young seniors like us," he added.
Even at 60, Parker is hardly ready for retirement. He's finally developing the $50-million, 360-room hotel and convention center he struggled to get approved for nine years. He got the go-ahead from voters in a special election last March.
"The hotel is under construction and probably will be completed about a year from Christmas or maybe in Janurary or February of 1987," he said. The project is being built on a 14-acre site that he owns along the ocean on East Cabrillo Boulevard in Santa Barbara.
He is also thinking about running for the U. S. Senate. "I'd be taking on Alan (Cranston) if I succeeded in the primary," he said. He figures he will make a decision by December. "Then it would be solid campaigning, with the primary in June and the general election in November, so I'm giving it very serious thought."
Physicist Mani Bhaumik just completed his dream house in part of a private enclave that was once the 110-acre estate of the late Howard Hawks, who directed such movies as "The Thing" in 1951, "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" in 1953 and "Rio Bravo" in 1959. (Hawks died in 1977.)
Called Bel Air Place, the 38-lot subdivision--off Moraga Drive near the San Diego Freeway--was already home to Laker star Magic Johnson and general manager Jerry West along with other lesser-known people. (Only half a dozen or so lots, held by different owners, remain.)
Cesar Lopez--the same builder whom Bhaumik used--built Johnson's 8,000-square-foot home (which now has an indoor basketball half-court) there about a year ago.
Bhaumik's house is about 8,500 square feet in size with several thousand square feet of Italian marble. Its Corinthian columns, circular staircase, Strauss crystal chandeliers, stained and beveled glass, and Versailles-like gardens and pavilion looked very grand despite the hundreds of people traipsing through during Bhaumik's completion celebration.
He had much to celebrate. Bhaumik came from humble roots in India to attend UCLA on a scholarship. Since then, he has become an executive at Northrop and an apparently successful dabbler in real estate. He took a two-year leave from Northrop to oversee work on his Bel-Air house.
He already owned two houses in Palos Verdes, one in Malibu and another in Pasadena, and is trying to sell all but the one in Malibu so he can keep the one in Bel-Air. After all, how many houses does a bachelor need?
He put the Bel-Air house on the market along with the others but hopes the others sell first, "because it is the epitome of what I love in a home," he said. It's listed with Marie Markeson of Beverly Realty Enterprises at $5.57 million--"the highest-priced house in Bel Air Place," Beverly Hills real estate broker Ron Abrams said. Abrams just sold the last of six houses built there by Spielman-Fond. (It was listed at $3.25 million. Magic Johnson paid $2.35 million.)
P. S. If builder Cesar Lopez sounds familiar, he's the fellow whose Beverly Hills firm, Custom Space Builders, recently demolished the Sunset Boulevard mansion once owned by Saudi Arabian Sheik al-Fassi. Lopez plans to start work next spring on a 15,000-square-foot house on part of the 3.58-acre property and is trying to sell the remaining part, about two acres, through Beverly Realty for $3.5 million.
Incidentally, a rumor was circulating at Bhaumik's party that actress Joan Collins will be the owner of the 15,000-square-foot house.