Mark Hughes, the 31-year-old founder and chairman of Herbalife International (L. A.-based marketer of vitamins, nutritional supplements and weight-loss products), just purchased five acres overlooking the ocean in Palos Verdes Estates, where he plans to build a 15,000-square-foot house, says Joyce Flaherty of Schreiber Realty.
Flaherty has the $12-million listing on Hughes' current home, Liongate, which is in Bel-Air.
Hughes purchased Liongate nearly four years ago, reportedly for $6.9 million, including some furniture, from singer Kenny Rogers, who spent a few years and many bucks remodeling the 1938 home, designed by the late great architect Paul Williams.
Rogers sold Liongate after buying another famous mansion, the Knoll, which he sold in 1984, also after remodeling, to oilman Marvin Davis for $20.5 million.
After buying Liongate, Hughes added a disco, game room, gazebo with elevator, and landscaping. The home has a large marble entry, garden room with green onyx floors and a heated marble floor in one of the two master baths. Outside, it has a tile swimming pool, koi pond, meditation garden and tennis court.
The former Al Jolson house on Mulholland Drive is on the market for $1.25 million.
The popular entertainer lived in the house in the late '40s, and it was depicted in "The Jolson Story," released by Columbia Pictures in 1946.
Jolson, who died at age 64 in 1950, added a bedroom and changed the course of the driveway when he lived there. The house was built in 1942.
It's on a knoll, behind gates, with a guesthouse, pool and city and ocean views.
Miriam Tharpe in the Fred Sands Estates office in Beverly Hills has the listing.
Stephen Shapiro of Stan Herman Associates in Beverly Hills has been involved in real estate transactions that were finalized at such trendy restaurants as Spago and Mortons and now, he says, "I just did a deal at McDonald's."
The papers were signed at McDonald's in Sherman Oaks for a 10,000-square-foot, Trousdale Estates house Shapiro sold to a Washington industrialist for $2.6 million. The seller was a clothing manufacturer.
"It's the house I leased to Eddie Murphy and, before that, to Prince," Shapiro added.
The grande dames of Beverly Hills are all getting face lifts.
First it was the Beverly Hills Hotel, which started getting a touch-up around its famous pool last summer. Its new owners--oilman Marvin Davis and his partners--are still at it, while the landmark celebrates its 75th anniversary this month.
Now comes an announcement from the 59-year-old Beverly Wilshire that it too is getting a fresh look, expected to be completed by its new owners, Hong Kong-based Regent International Hotels, next February.
And the 32-year-old Beverly Hilton just completed a $35-million re-do that shows it's not all play in Beverly Hills. The remodeling includes a facility for meetings and exhibits that has computers, printers, copiers, and secretarial services.
Longtime Hollywood and Bob Hope publicist Frank Liberman says the 1987 status symbol in Beverly Hills isn't a tennis court or a pool table. It's the dumpster.
Why? Because there are remodeling and building projects on nearly every block. Liberman lives in Beverly Hills.
More and more hotels are offering business services, but now a few office buildings are offering a hotel service known as the concierge.
Bruce Merchant, president of the Hammerson Property (West U.S.A.) Corp., tried it out at a company-owned building at 655 S. Hope St. in downtown Los Angeles, and it worked so well that now he's using a concierge at another of the firm's holdings, the old Barker Bros. building at 818 West 7th St.
Joseph Guidice, a spokesman for Merchant, said, "My wife and I live downtown, and we both walk to work. We leave our laundry with the concierge, and when it's done, it's waiting with him for us to pick it up."
The concierge also helps office workers get shoes shined, photos finished and cars detailed. He greets guests and recommends florists and places to eat.