Since the Beverly Hills Hotel quietly came on the market about two weeks ago, a "feeding frenzy" has developed, said William S. Bahrenburg Jr., president of Morgan Stanley Realty Co., in a telephone interview last week from his New York office, which is marketing the landmark.
"Sharks, whales, blowfish, you name it--they're coming from all over and in all sizes and shapes," he said, referring to potential buyers.
Among these he listed "institutional, Forbes 400-type asset collectors who see the long-term value of a 12-acre resort with access to Sunset Boulevard; a small number of qualified syndicators who recognize that if they buy the hotel before the year's end, they will have the benefit of current depreciation laws; a group of world-class domestic and offshore hotel operators who are not in the L. A. market but want a flagship there, and some other offshore investors, particularly from the Far East."
Interest has been kindled, he said, by the fact that the hotel is a "one-of-a-kind property." "It is an urban resort in a superb location that can't be duplicated because since it was built, the zoning has been changed," he explained. The hotel and its famous Polo Lounge, for decades a watering hole for movie stars and moguls, will mark its 75th anniversary next year. For months, the hotel has been undergoing a face lift.
"Because of its scarcity value, we are marketing it like the Hope Diamond," Bahrenburg said. "We are running an auction, and all offers must be in by late November with closing by year's end." There is no asking price, but estimates of its worth have ranged from $150 million to $250 million.
"It's been owned by the Slatkin family for over 30 years," Bahrenburg said. Much of the renovation has been under the direction of Ivan Boesky, whose wife, Seema, is a Slatkin.
Asked if disputes between the Boeskys, who recently acquired controlling interest, and other Slatkin family members, particularly Seema's sister Muriel, prompted the hotel offering, Bahrenburg replied, "There have been some widely publicized family disputes, but they are irrelevant to the transaction, which is purely tax driven.
"Their motivation for selling is one of the President signing the tax bill. The Slatkin family has held the property for a long time, and there will be many millions of dollars difference (in what the sellers will get) if they sell now as opposed to later, because there will be substantial capital gains."
Frank Sinatra's wife, Barbara, and state Attorney Gen. John Van de Kamp will speak Friday at dedication ceremonies for the $2-million Barbara Sinatra Children's Center at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, where the Sinatras have a home. (They're trying to sell their home in Beverly Hills, because they're spending most of their time in the desert.)
The new 12,000-square-foot Children's Center will provide outpatient psychological services and have a special unit for abused children when it opens Nov. 3.
Rick Pallack, who has designed fashions for some of the snazziest-looking men on TV, is expanding his offices into a building he bought last month next to his Sherman Oaks store at 4554 Sherman Oaks Ave.
The 30-year-old entrepreneur (who started in the business at the age of 9, when he designed some cufflinks and sold several hundred at $2.30 a pair) has been operating out of an 8,000-square-foot medical facility he converted into his store (known as Rick Pallack) after buying the building five years ago. With his acquisition of the office building next door, he is expanding his operation into a total of 14,000 square feet and, as office leases come up for renewal, has the capability of "more than doubling or possibly tripling" his retail space, he said.
He's come a long way in 10 years, since he officially launched his store in a small apartment, but he's not quite ready to build a shopping center to house his men's wear products on a nearby acre he purchased two years ago. "I still have plans for a center," he said, "but I don't have the time to do it right now. So I've put up the property (with a defunct, 15,000-square-foot gym on it) for lease."
Pallack's client roster looks like a Who's Who of Hollywood and sports. "And many TV shows shop in my store" (for the wardrobes of their male actors), he said, listing "Dallas," "Falcon Crest," "Knott's Landing," "Hotel," "General Hospital," "Days of Our Lives," and "Who's the Boss?" among others.
Some of the celebrities he named who regularly shop in his store are: Joan Collins and Zsa Zsa Gabor, who buy--he said--for their husbands; Sugar Ray Leonard, Lorenzo Lamas, David Hasselhoff, Pat Sajak, Billy Dee Williams, Chevy Chase, and Tim Conway.
Such a deal! The 150-room Phoenix mansion built in the early '60s by Pittsburgh oil heir Walker McCune has been reduced from $20 million when it was put on the market five months ago to $9,870,500.
Its current owner, 32-year-old shopping-center developer Gordon Hall (who added 20,000 square feet to the previous 34,000 after he bought it three years ago) "wants to be realistic," said Scott Jalowsky, who has the listing with Realty Executives. Jalowsky was talking about the price.
Hall could possibly include some of the furnishings, Jalowsky said, "and he's open for trades." That means Hall would consider exchanging the house for a rubber plantation, an island in the Bahamas, precious metals or . . . ? That from Phoenix publicist Reuben Noel, who said Hall is considering an offer of $20 million in gems.