In the spirit of the season, Bob Korda--head of Korda Construction and RPK Development Co.--plans to donate profits from 17 condos he expects to complete Dec. 15 to Aish HaTorah Jerusalem, an international educational organization dedicated to preserving Jewish heritage.
Why? "Because it's a very good charitable organization, and, lawyers work pro bono (publico, for the public good), so builders should also work like that occasionally. Maybe others will follow us."
Korda's construction costs will be covered, he said, "and I'm buying one unit at cost for my in-laws, so you might say that's my fee." Walter Abronson of EDC Architects agreed to design the project, known as Beverlywood Place, for half his usual fee, and Mike Ertzan, a civil engineer, contributed his services at cost, as did electrician Hilton Efune.
A consortium bought the property, at 1506 S. Beverly Drive in Beverlywood, for $615,000, and has already sold 11 of the units at prices from $249,000-$293,000. The Bank of Beverly Hills rebated part of the loan fee.
Korda, head of Korda Construction and RPK Development, is a fourth-generation builder whose father, Joseph, came to the U.S. after losing his first family in the Holocaust. His father is no longer in building, following an illness, but Bob's sister Erika is co-supervising construction, and his nephew, Ron Sentchuk, is the leasing broker, with Naomi Koosed, at Merrill Lynch Realty.
Actor Lon Chaney Jr.'s former home in the flats of Beverly Hills, with a bar hidden behind a floor-to-ceiling bookcase, is for sale at $3.25 million.
Jeff Hyland of Alvarez, Hyland & Young, who has the listing, says the hidden bar was typical for its era. The authentic Mediterranean house--with billiard, formal dining and breakfast rooms as well as a guest house and pool--was built in 1930 during Prohibition. The actor died in 1973.
That recent realtor-organized evening at the Playboy Mansion in Holmby Hills netted more than $135,000 for the Amanda Foundation, which rescues dogs and cats from city shelters. The realtors all work for Jon Douglas Co.
For those concerned about the proposed city moratorium and restrictions on home remodeling and building in Bel-Air, the Hollywood Hills and the Beverly Hills post-office area, don't forget the workshop Monday at 4:30 p.m. at the Steven S. Wise Temple and the public hearing Thursday at 9:30 a.m. at L.A. City Hall.