In a ranking of U. S. cities with the most million-dollar homes bought and sold so far this year, wouldn't you think Beverly Hills would be No. 1 if not in the top three? It is, after all, where the most money has been spent so far for a single-family home--$20.5 million. It is where the highest-priced home--$25 million--is located.
But, no, Beverly Hills isn't even in the top 10 in the ranking by publicly traded Imperial Corp. of America, which operates 159 offices across the country through its subsidiaries--Imperial Savings, American Savings of Kansas, Silver State Savings of Colorado and ICA Mortgage.
Malibu and neighboring Topanga Canyon are No. 1, followed by San Diego, Washington, San Jose, Irvine, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; San Francisco, Woodbridge, Conn.; Atlanta and Salt Lake City.
So why isn't Beverly Hills included? One reason, given by Tim Larrick, a spokesman for Imperial Corp.: "This was not a national survey of every thrift institution, but Imperial Corp. of America (with assets of $9.8 billion) is a major player in this type of product; that is, the niche of wealthy people."
Buyers are able to get $1-million-plus mortgages through an Imperial Savings program called "the Professional Loan Series." Imperial did more than $1 billion in "Pro Loan" business last year. The program offers individuals with primary-residence and second-home mortgages up to $5 million each.
In Malibu, to date this year, Imperial Savings issued mortgages on 21 homes valued at more than $40 million.
Oilman/entrepreneur Marvin Davis was waiting for a table at the popular deli Nate-N-Al in Beverly Hills one day when builder Nathan Shapell walked in and, as the story goes, got seated right away. That's when, people say, Davis decided to bring New York's famous Carnegie Deli, across the street from Carnegie Hall, to town.
Jerry Polone has another version. Polone, who represents the owner of the building where the California Carnegie Deli was expected to go, said that Davis decided that a Carnegie Deli was needed in Beverly Hills "because he couldn't get a good corned-beef sandwich in California, and every time he'd arrive in New York, the first thing he'd do is go to the Carnegie Deli for three."
A lease was signed, Polone said, by a corporation set up by Davis--"and it was personally guaranteed by him,"--for the space at 300 N. Beverly Drive, which was occupied by the Red Onion for about eight years until last Tuesday.
Trouble is, Davis and Leo Steiner, owner of the Carnegie Deli, hadn't reached an agreement on terms by last Wednesday.
"We don't know yet what will happen," Burton Monasch, a spokesman for Davis, said. "But there are some discussions going on."
Comedian/actor Tim Conway has found offices for his fund-raising activities as chairman of the Oct. 11 Celebrity Golf Tournament to benefit the United Cerebral Palsy/Spastic Children's Foundation. With the help of Phillips Co. leasing agents, Conway selected space in the new Westlake Town & Country Center.
Another Wallace Neff-designed home is for sale: It's the one built in 1939 for the late filmmaker King Vidor on Summit Ridge, overlooking Beverly Hills. It's the first time the home, on three level acres, has come on the market in years, said Stephen Shapiro of Stan Herman & Associates, who has the $7-million listing. An English company, which bought it and a couple of places in Malibu as investments some time ago is the seller, he added.
Here's a truly hot property: It's 100-plus acres of industrial land about 10 miles from Klamath Falls, Ore., which has wells that "have tested 350 gallons a minute at 224 degrees Fahrenheit," Loch Jones, a Southern California publicist who grew up in Klamath Falls, said. That means 350 gallons of boiling water can be pumped out of the wells every minute, he explained.
"There is a river of hot water under the wells, and the snow around them never sticks, even when the temperature drops to 20 below zero." Jones' dad, Lowell, a retired logger who lives most of the year in the area, said, "When it snows, the place just steams."
Known as the Olene Gap, the property--which was once a dairy farm--could be used by industry that needs a geothermal site with lots of hot property. "God knows, they could use some industry up there," Loch Jones said. "It's a depressed area with the lumber business being down. This site might be good for a brewery." It's for sale with a local real estate office called Barnhisel/Ganong for $5 million.
Still in the Klamath area . . . did you know that over the years, it has attracted several Hollywood luminaries as landowners? Among them: Roy Disney, Kim Novak and the late Andy Devine, who sold his ranch there to George Peppard. Novak's property is next to the Klamath Indian reservation, and Disney owns a ranch with his sister and brother-in-law that has many thousands of acres. Walter Ralph of Ralphs (supermarkets) also owns property up there, and Ginger Rogers has a ranch in Eagle Point, Ore., about an hour and a half drive away.