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Haagen: 'Irwindale Has Many Pitfalls'

August 30, 1987|RUTH RYON | Times Staff Writer

Developer Alexander Haagen, more familiar these days as president of the Coliseum Commission, first broke his silence last Tuesday over the L. A. Raiders' announced move to Irwindale with some comments to this reporter.

Haagen, who clashed with Raiders owner Al Davis over renovation of the Coliseum, had not responded earlier to the move, he said, because he had been in Carmel for a long-planned family gathering. He was in town Tuesday, however, getting ready for a Coliseum Commission meeting Wednesday.

Through Fred Bruning, his Manhattan Beach-based company's chief of staff, Haagen said:

"First of all, and I'm saying this tongue in cheek, if the City of Irwindale made us a similar offer, we'd be happy to build a shopping center in one of their gravel pits. I can't imagine anyone giving $135 million to a developer to put up a shopping center, but if they did, we'd sure take it." Haagen's company has built a number of shopping centers.

Then, Haagen indicated that he consistently has said that he would entertain any of the Raiders' requests, but he feels that if he makes millions of dollars of improvements to the Coliseum, he should be able to talk about extending the Raiders' tenancy past 1991. He said the Raiders weren't willing to talk about that.

The Coliseum only takes in about $3 million a year in revenue, but expenses amount to $4 million a year, he said, and if Haagen agreed to the improvements without agreeing to a longer-term lease, people would blame him for putting the Coliseum into bankruptcy instead of blaming him for losing the Raiders. He called his situation a "Catch-22."

"Anyway," he said with a touch of humor, "Irwindale has many pitfalls."

He termed the Irwindale plan "a chancy deal," because "they can only show that 30% of the debt service is covered by revenues."

And if the deal goes ahead? "The (Coliseum) commission will just have to find an equal or better tenant."

Speaking of renters, Kenny Rogers' lease won't be up until mid-October on the 10,000-square-foot Beverly Hills home he has rented for the past three years, but the popular singer and his family already moved many of their things to Atlanta.

And the Beverly Hills house? It's already being advertised as being available for lease, through Stephen Shapiro at Stan Herman & Associates in Beverly Hills at--$47,500 a month! "I don't know of any other long-term (a year or longer) lease of that magnitude in town," Shapiro said.

If you'd rather, you can buy the home for $7.75 million. And it was built in the early '40s!

So what makes it so great? Says Shapiro: "It has Old-World charm with all the modern conveniences."

Built for the J. C. Penney department store family, the estate has a cobblestone driveway, five garages, two guest houses, a tennis court, and a bar by the swimming pool--all on an acre behind gates.

Saudi Arabian tycoon Adnan Khashoggi (see story about the Burbank Tower on Page 1) had, by one count, 35 homes around the world before he suffered some financial setbacks, but so far, the only Khashoggi reported to be owning homes in the Southland is Essam, Adnan's younger brother.

Essam has been linked to the Beverly Hills house built in 1922 by Charlie Chaplin, though the property is held by a Grand Cayman corporation.

Actor George Hamilton sold the house to the corporation in March, 1986, for $2.5 million, judging by the documentary transfer stamps, but there was talk at the time of the sale that it went for closer to $5 million. Hamilton bought the estate in 1982 for $1.1 million.

Essam bought the house, we hear, for his daughter, who still lives there, although the house has quietly been on the market.

He bought a 50-acre property at Santa Barbara's Hope Ranch for himself in 1980 for $8.45 million, we are told, and since then, built what has been described as "something huge and spectacular." There was already a home on the site designed by prolific architect George Washington Smith.

We just heard a Tom Selleck story from that opening last month of Selleck Properties' neighborhood center in Palmdale.

At a Q&A session with the audience, TV's "Magnum P.I." star was asked if he now planned to live in Palmdale. "It's a tough choice," he said, amused. "Hawaii or Palmdale, Hawaii or Palmdale. . . . "

Poor guy doesn't really have the choice. He's stuck in Hawaii, because that's where "Magnum" will be filmed for its eighth and final season.

Gail Claridge, the interior designer who restored and, this spring, sold a 1936 Bel-Air landmark--one of the first houses to be built on Stone Canyon Road, is at it again, but this time she bought a 5 3/4-acre estate in Tarzana.

Claridge plans to subdivide the property while restoring and expanding the original home, built in the late '30s by screenwriter Ernest S. Pagano, who died in 1953.

The house is already back on the market for $2.95 million through Gloria Katzman of James R. Gary & Co., Woodland Hills, who represented Claridge in purchasing the $2-million property, listed by Bill McNatt.

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