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Hot Property

Arnaz, Luckinbill Buy De Niro's House

August 02, 1987|RUTH RYON | Times Staff Writer

When Lucie Arnaz played a career woman who attended a bird-watching camp only to find romance with Laurence Luckinbill in the 1980 CBS movie, "The Mating Season," neither probably imagined that seven years later, they'd be feathering their nest in the former Brentwood home of actor Robert De Niro.

Escrow closed last Tuesday on the ranch-style house, which De Niro called home until he went to the Soviet Union to make a film, we hear. He was there in mid-July as the first American to head a jury in a Moscow Film Festival.

The Luckinbills bought the home, built in the early '50s, for $1,275,000. It was described as "a California contemporary with extensive tropical plants, swimming pool, guest house, sauna and views of the city and the ocean."

The Luckinbills were living in upstate New York. The word is that they sold their house there to move to California to raise their family and be closer to Lucie's famous mom. (Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were both at the June, 1980, marriage of their daughter, then 27, and Luckinbill, 47, in an apple orchard in Mount Marron, N. Y.)

Talk about switching coasts! Now we're told that De Niro will call New York home when he's finished doing business in Moscow.

Barbara Hewitt represented the Luckinbills; Ginger Ludwick represented De Niro and his wife. Hewitt and Ludwick are both with the George Elkins Co., based in Beverly Hills.

Another celebrity couple--Cyd Charisse and Tony Martin, who have been married to each other since 1948!--sold their four-story condo in Century City and are looking to buy a house.

With inventory so low, they haven't yet found what they want, so are temporarily moving, we hear, to an apartment on Wilshire Boulevard.

A single woman paid cash for the 3,500-square-foot condo, which sold for close to the asking price of $950,000. It has a private elevator to its own garage.

The Martins lived there for about six years.

Richard Alonso of Century Hill Realty had the listing.

Does AIDS affect real estate sales? Not in the case of Rock Hudson's house, owned for a couple of weeks now by director John Landis. At least, that's what real estate agents involved in the transaction say.

The house sold for $140,000 more than the accepted offer, Carolyn Caputo of the Jon Douglas Co. said. She represented the trust representing Landis. The accepted offer was $2.75 million, but in an overbid in probate court, the buyer paid $2.89 million, she explained.

Jeff Hyland, who shared the $2.95-million listing with Bobbie McCall at Alvarez, Hyland & Young, said, "Normally, in a probate case, the court likes to see a 5% to 10% price fluctuation, and we would like to get 95% (of the list price). So it was right on there. I give credit to the business manager, who held and got his price."

Before Hyland got the listing in June of 1986, the house was listed for a few months at $7.5 million, but the drop from that asking price to his--$2.95 million--had nothing to do with the actor dying in October, 1985, from AIDS, he said. "It was overpriced to begin with."

Rumors earlier this year--that the house would sell far below even the $2.95-million mark because Hudson's death from acquired immune deficiency syndrome scared buyers--actually stimulated buyer interest, he said. "It gave us a push." After that story circulated--in other places than this column--Hyland's firm showed Hudson's house five to seven times a day.

Speaking of rumors, neighbors' fears that the property, four--not five--legal lots, will be subdivided are also unfounded, Caputo said, adding that the surveyors and geologists studying the property were only there for title insurance purposes. As for Landis spending $500,000 on the house, she said, "The house is tired. It's in need of a great deal of work, but nobody knows exactly how much it will cost."

Here's a property that was truly hot: It's the 32,000-square-foot Tarzana Village, developed by Susan Comden and Linda Wasserman of Tarzana Development Co. The $8-million shopping center--at 18711 Ventura Blvd.--burned to the ground during construction in an '86 arson fire, but the project is done now, and most (all but 7,000 square feet) is leased.

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