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Quincy Jones Buys Residence in Bel-Air

Hot Property

December 07, 1986|RUTH RYON | Times Staff Writer

Quincy Jones, a composer/arranger/producer who has been called a guru of American pop music, has purchased a home in Bel-Air that has had, appropriately, a musical history.

It was recently rented by the popular singer Julio Iglesias, and before Julio, it was leased to singer Connie Francis. Rents purportedly went as high as $20,000 a month.

Jones previously lived in the same neighborhood and also reportedly chose the house for its view, tennis courts and four bedrooms.

"He wanted a house his kids could come to," an industry source said. "He didn't want a bachelor's pad, though he's getting divorced from his third wife and said he just wanted to be single for awhile. He's in his 50s but has been married almost continuously since he was 19. He has several children." Purchase price? "Close to $3 million."

Speaking of Bel-Air, it has been hopping with real estate activity, including a published report in a prominent Southern California magazine that President and Mrs. Reagan bought a $3.5-million, post-White House residence there.

The contemporary house behind gates on a cul-de-sac would be a great retreat--closer than the Santa Barbara ranch to the Reagans' friends, too. When asked to confirm the item, though, a White House spokeswoman denied that they have purchased the home.

"There have been a lot of people going in an out of the (Bel-Air) house," Bruce Nelson of Asher Dann & Associates of Beverly Hills said, responding to a report that the house is being remodeled for the Reagans, "but the people living in it deny that it was sold, though it could be in escrow." Nelson just sold the house next door for $5 million, then listed it for the buyers last week for $8.9 million.

The houses are just down the street from the Kirkeby Estate, which sold recently for $13.5 million instead of its asking price of $27 million.

At $27 million, the Kirkeby Estate was the most expensive home for sale in the whole United States.

"Everybody was shocked when it went for so much less," Nelson, whose firm was the selling broker, said, "but people shouldn't have been surprised. It was never worth $27 million. They should have asked $19 million."

Like many other mansions built in the '30s in Bel-Air, the Kirkeby estate--known by TV viewers for years as the Beverly Hillbillies' house--needs some fixing, he said. He expects such costs, amounting to millions of bucks on each home, to result in "a lot of teardowns," including some of the biggest homes, during the next few months.

"The enormously wealthy are coming into this (old Bel-Air) market as never before," he said. "A couple of the bidders on the Beverly Hills Hotel were looking for new homes in the $10-to-$25-million category, and there is hardly anything." (As of press time, the name of the buyer of the 74-year-old hotel was yet to be announced, though sealed bids were to be opened Nov. 25.)

Nelson has a listing on one of the few big, new homes in the area. Just completed after three years of construction, the 20,000-square-foot home has a 60-foot-long swimming pool with stereophonic sound, a waterfall and two picture windows--"so you can see the city through the pool," Nelson explained. All this for only $20 million.

Ted Field, TV producer and an heir of Chicago department-store magnate Marshall Field, has generously donated the 1920 stove from the late silent-film star Harold Lloyd's house to the Historical Society of Beverly Hills.

We say "generously" because Field was reportedly offered as much as $10,000 for the stove and some other household items after purchasing the mansion last May.

Winston Millette accepted the gift on behalf of the historical society, and with the help of Rick Putnam of the city's parks and recreation department and Michael Cart, city librarian, the stove was taken to the historic, city-owned Greystone Mansion. Alvarez, Hyland & Young--a Beverly Hills real estate firm--hired a trucking company, and Jeff Hyland, a principal of the firm, said it took four men five hours to move the 8-x-5-foot stove.

"It's been my wish for a long time that the 12 garages at Greystone would be converted to a museum (for historical items)," Hyland said. So far, that is still a dream. The stove is only being stored on the property.

Since the American Film Institute moved out in 1980, Greystone has generally stood empty, despite some well-publicized and ill-fated plans--like turning it into a museum for Frederick R. Weisman's modern-art collection. Greystone is worth at least $40 million, Hyland said. "It is the most beautifully built house in the Western United States with the exception of San Simeon, and we want to see it preserved."

Talk about a "hot property. . . ." Here's one in the commercial arena that should surely qualify, says David Thind of Grubb & Ellis: It's the 10-story, 100,000-square-foot office building at 450 N. Roxbury Drive, Beverly Hills.

Thind and Tim Macker, both senior marketing consultants in Grubb & Ellis' Westside office, sold the building three times in three years. As they tell it, a now-defunct entertainment law firm sold the building in 1984 to Beverly Hills Savings & Loan for $20 million, then the Koll Co. purchased it in 1985 for $22.5 million, and most recently, United Artists bought it this year for $28 million to use as its corporate headquarters.

Why the turnover? The law firm was breaking up, the S&L needed cash, and the Koll Co. sold it for investment purposes. A happy ending for United Artists, Thind said. And a happy three years for Thind and Macker.

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