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Doll House Carries $100,000 Price Tag

August 17, 1986|RUTH RYON | Times Staff Writer

It's being billed as one of the world's most expensive doll houses. Price: $100,000!

Luxury condo developer Dennis A. Herman, who designed it, says it's for the New Yorker who has everything.

He's offering the 10 1/2-room, fully furnished doll house complete with Laura Ashley-style bed coverings, miniature oil paintings and personal computer at his Manhattan condo project at 60 East 88th Street.

Wonder what Patrick Duffy, the actor who played J. R.'s brother Bobby on CBS' "Dallas," has been up to since his TV character apparently died?

Duffy hasn't given up acting. In fact, he made a surprise appearance in the last episode of the season, despite Bobby's apparent demise. But Duffy and his partner, Chuck Varga, are about to build a house at Montana Ranch in Scottsdale that will be one of 12 in an expo next March to benefit United Cerebral Palsy of Arizona. Ground breaking is planned in September.

The house is the first for Duffy and Varga in their newly formed Lifescapes by Patrick Duffy & Associates, a home design and development company, but it's not Duffy's first experience in construction. He said he survived many of his lean years as a struggling actor by working at odd jobs in construction throughout Southern California. He even recently remodeled his Hollywood-area house, expanding it from 3,500 to 9,500 square feet.

Among the reasons Duffy chose Scottsdale for his firm's first project is that Montana Ranch is an equestrian community. Duffy is an avid horseman and owner of American Saddlebred horses. "Dallas" fans probably could have guessed that.

Nothing like having a sit-down dinner on the 15th floor of an unfinished office tower! That's what about 200 people did last week at a party in Westwood hosted by Jerve Jones, president of Jones Bros. Construction, for the L.A. chapter of Executive Women International.

Two's Company (David Shaparro and Dennis Brown) catered the cocktails and supper at the $45-million, Held Properties development, being built--you guessed it--by Jones Bros. Known as Westwood Place, the tower won't be finished until the end of this year.

Zeppo Marx opened a backyard machine shop 45 years ago to aid the war effort, and now the five-acre West L. A. site occupied by the company for years is undergoing redevelopment.

Part of it was sold to the U. S. Postal Service, which plans to build a 20,000-square-foot facility there to serve as the new and expanded Rancho Park Postal Station, and 132,000 square feet of land remains along with 71,000 square feet of manufacturing building space. The remaining, $9.5-million site--at 11214 Exposition Blvd.--is being marketed by the Klabin Co. of Inglewood.

The property was operated until recently by Aeroquip, which bought the site in 1955 from Marman Products Co., the firm founded by Marx.

He was the youngest of Hollywood's Marx Brothers and left the comedy team after their first five films. He started Marman Products in 1941 after a conversation he had with an aircraft executive who told him of the country's shortage of machine shops.

It wasn't such a drastic career change. Marx enjoyed tinkering with machines, sources say, and he even had a home workshop before starting his company.

He was a pretty good businessman, too. By the time the war ended, Marman had 250 employees and had built the Exposition Boulevard plant. Ultimately, Marman had 400 employees making products for aerospace and other industries.

Zeppo Marx was the last survivor of the famous brothers. He died in 1979.

Bob Hope's wife, Dolores, must be happy these days. The newest addition to Eisenhower Medical Center--a $10-million, 87,377-square-foot outpatient care center that will bear her name--is now under construction in Rancho Mirage. It's due to be completed in the fall of 1987.

Bill Moller's Catalina Canyon Hotel had its grand opening, complete with an evening boat ride to the festivities. His Rellom Corp. has been remodeling and expanding (as well as renaming) the 20-year-old, 34-room Paradise Island Inn in Avalon. "To date," he said, "we have opened 54 of our 82 rooms, and we are the only resort hotel on the island offering room service, heating and air conditioning, phones in each room, a swimming pool, spa, sauna and weight room."

L. A.'s Garment District is in for some competition:

Apparel City, an eight-building business park, is being built at 2209 S. Santa Fe Ave. in downtown Los Angeles to house six clothing manufacturers, including St. Germaine and Penny Lou. George Rudes, owner/president of St. Germaine, and Irv Meshwork, head of Penny Lou, are co-developing the $12.5-million project, which will have a helicopter pad, plush retail outlets and a day-care center for employees.

Michael Anketell, a spokesman for the development, said that the project is similar to one undertaken a while back to make New York City's garment district a more pleasant environment. The L. A. project is scheduled to open in November.

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