Doing some last-minute shopping and want a really special holiday gift?
How about a new $9-million Santa Fe-style contemporary overlooking the Pacific? It was built by Sam Tuchman, who sold comedian Rich Little another house for just under $5 million a couple years ago.
The new house has massive spaces, fireplaces large enough for roasting an ox, and doors at least 12 feet tall. It has a glass wall off the entry, a sauna and a swimming pool that seems to connect the house to the sea.
Perhaps you'd prefer the 1 1/2-year-old Villa Casablanca, a $11.5-million mansion built on 16 acres for Burton Burton, who invented the Casablanca fan, and his wife.
The pink villa with a tower and balcony, koa floors, 100-foot-long tunnel, wine cellar with two secret rooms, funicular reminiscent of Angel's Flight, polo field, tennis court, an eight-car garage with tile floors and hydraulic system for working on a car was designed with characteristic flair by Jon Jerde, who also designed the Westside Pavilion and Horton Plaza in San Diego.
Or perhaps your tastes are ultra-modern. If so, you might like to buy the $9.75-million home (including furnishings) just completed by Dorn Schmidt, who built the house Johnny Carson bought about three years ago for a Malibu record of $8.75 million.
It's been said that because of its high-tech features, Schmidt's new house, just up the coast from Carson's, has more in common with a submarine or a spaceship than a house.
Schmidt, a technical genius who was once a nuclear physicist, built the house--legally a remodel--with walls of glass facing the ocean and other walls and ceilings of stainless steel. Some walls were done in mirrors or polished stainless steel with etched designs.
The floors and cabinets were made from large slabs of imported granite.
"I also wired stereo throughout the house, even into the shower of the master bedroom and outside by the pool and eating areas," he said.
There are humidity and temperature controls, underground ducting for the air-conditioning system, a central vacuum system, a hospital-quality generator for power failures, and an electrical system with buttons grouped so one button can control or dim several lights at once.
There is also a spa, by the pool, for 12 to 15 people and lots of trees. "We probably spent $1 million on landscaping," he said.
All three houses are in Malibu. The first two are listed with Betty Graham, who is now manager of the Jon Douglas Co.'s two offices in Malibu but was Johnny Carson's secretary when she was 19. (She's done four real estate deals with Johnny during the past three years.) She shares the Villa Casablanca listing with Mary Lu Tuthill and the Tuchman listing with Brenda Prezow.
Schmidt's house is co-listed by Don Richstone and Joyce Rey of Rodeo Realty.
If the sky or beyond is the limit . . . Barbra Streisand's Malibu compound is still on the market, but it's with Fred Sands' realty firm now, and the price has been raised--from $18 million to $19.5 million!
Here's some good news to start off the New Year: Remember Morningside? It's that project in Rancho Mirage, where the models opened in November for 42 homes averaging $1 million. The latest is that 22 of those homes have been sold.
Actor Robert Blake is selling the Hidden Hills home he designed and built four years ago to a prominent surgeon, who wants to remain unnamed, and his wife.
Escrow is due to close Dec. 31 on the four-bedroom, 7,100-square-foot, hunting lodge-style house with a single-story, open floor plan. The house has flagstone floors, beam ceilings, two river-rock fireplaces and a kitchen with cabinets made of tree limbs. The two-acre site also has guest and caretaker's houses. Asking price was $1.83 million.
Rich Jonsson of HomeStar Realty of Hidden Hills is representing Blake, who plans to move from the area, and Kay Cole of the Jon Douglas Co., Sherman Oaks, represented the buyers.
Liongate, the 1938 Bel-Air mansion once owned by singer Kenny Rogers, but most recently owned by Herbalife founder Mark Hughes, was due to close escrow just after press time last week. Oilman Marvin Davis' daughter bought it for $7.75 million. Marvin Davis' Beverly Hills home, The Knoll, was also once owned by Rogers.
The second of two contiguous Bel-Air properties that sold for a total of $12 million since the stock market debacle closed escrow just before press time.
It was the house formerly owned by the late actress/singer Jeanette MacDonald.
Helene Sherman of Jon Douglas Co.'s Beverly Hills office represented a Japanese corporation, which bought both properties: one for $7 million and the other, the former MacDonald house, for just under $5 million. No stranger to celebrity-related transactions, Sherman also represented the seller of the Malibu home, bought months ago by Bruce Willis, co-star of TV's "Moonlighting."
The seller of the MacDonald house was represented by Todd Joy and Wayne Myers of Page/Wingate Realtors. The other house, which sold for $7 million, had been listed with Bruce Nelson of Asher Dann & Associates, who I mistakenly said in an earlier column represented the buyers.
The buyers may build a major estate on the two properties but will lease the former MacDonald house until their plans are firm. Sherman will handle the leasing.