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Richard Pryor Buys Bel Air Place Home

November 30, 1986|RUTH RYON | Times Staff Writer

Actor/comedian Richard Pryor has purchased a home in Bel Air Place--that enclave of new, luxurious abodes off Moraga Drive that was once the estate of the late Howard Hawks, who directed such films as "The Thing" in 1951 and "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" in 1953.

Pryor bought his five-bedroom, Santa Fe-style house from builder Marvin Smith. The property has rolling lawns, a sunken tennis court, a one-bedroom guest house next to a swimming pool, a walk-in vault for furs and jewelry and a master suite with bar, fireplace and steam shower. The selling price? Reportedly just under $3.5 million.

Bel Air Place, a 128-acre gate-guarded community of 38 custom-built homes (four remaining to be developed), has some well-known residents besides Pryor. Among them: Laker guard Magic Johnson, Laker general manager Jerry West, KABC talk-show host Michael Jackson, and world-renowned laser physicist Mani Bhaumik, as well as a Persian prince, the Finnish consul general and a plastic surgeon who worked on the face of rock singer Michael Jackson.

Entertainer Sonny Bono has acquired the Riviera Racquet Club, where his Palm Springs restaurant, Bono, is located, for $1.8 million.

That news comes from former newspaper reporter/editor Rodger Hardy in his Desert Real Estate Report, which Hardy just started publishing.

The seller was United Savings & Loan. The property--a clubhouse and tennis courts on North Palm Canyon Drive--had been in bankruptcy as is the adjacent Hilton Rivera Hotel, Hardy said. "A Texas developer has been trying to buy the hotel since last March," he added.

Chuck Norris, former world karate champ-turned actor (He's currently starring with Louis Gossett Jr. in the just-released film "Firewalker"), will help developer Bob Wall (also a former world karate champ) open Wall's Wall Street (of course!) Plaza next Saturday at 1 p.m.

Norris will cut the ribbon with--you probably guessed it--a karate kick. Wall Street Plaza is a 50,000-square-foot neo-Victorian-style shopping center and office complex in Tarzana. Co-developer is Beverly Hills attorney David Glickman.

Priscilla Presley, Lou Ferrigno ("The Hulk") and Russell Hitchcock ("Air Supply") are among the show-biz stars expected to attend a VIP party Friday night to mark the opening.

Lyle Alzado bought a new house for nearly $1.85 million in Palos Verdes about a year ago, but he's only now getting settled in, says Boots Le Baron, who was there to work on some promotional material for the pilot film "Temporarily Yours," starring the former L. A. Raiders defensive end.

Since retiring from football last March, Alzado has apparently been too busy filming in Mexico and other places to get his house in order, but it doesn't really matter. The Sandpipers, a nonprofit philanthropical organization, plan to use his dwelling as its fund-raising Design House April 21-May 17, so the 8,000-square-foot mansion will get the attention of several professional interior designers.

Tickets will go for $8 each if bought in advance, or $10 at the door. (Location to be announced later.)

Marlon Brando's islets in Tahiti have brought a query from Canada, says Beverly Hills real estate broker Mike Silverman.

"Out of the blue," Silverman said, "we received a call from a gentleman in Ontario saying he had $6.5 million in cash and wanted to buy."

Trouble is, the actor's property--about a dozen little islands around a lagoon--is for lease, not for sale. Leasehold is offered at $1.5 million in advance and $4,000 a month. Brooks Barton of Previews in Santa Barbara is representing Brando.

"A problem for the buyer is that Marlon Brando wants to retain tight control over any development," Silverman said, "but I'm still in negotiations."

Silverman recently represented the Hong Kong businessman who sold a Beverly Hills house to restauranteurs Wolfgang Puck and his wife, Barbara Lazaroff.

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