Los Angeles Clipper DANNY MANNING is buying a $2.9-million house in Hermosa Beach--the highest price ever paid for a home in that South Bay city.
"He was living in a rented apartment in Manhattan Beach and loved the area so much, he wanted to stay," said Michael Selsman, director of corporate affairs for Donald T. Sterling, who owns the basketball team.
"So now that he is a full-time Clipper returning to play in December, he decided to buy there," Selsman said.
The injured Manning sat on the sidelines most of last season, his rookie year, but the 6-foot-11-inch forward is still described as the team's "$10.5-million man" because he is getting $2.1 million annually for five years. His home purchase is an all-cash deal within 5% of the asking price.
Manning's new home, built by local Toyota dealer Bert Skinner a couple years ago, is on a cul-de-sac in the north Hermosa hill section with a panoramic view of the ocean. The 6,500-square-foot villa has 5 bedrooms, 5 1/2 baths, marble floors, a gym, a weight room and vaulted ceilings.
The terraced property, close to an acre in size, includes a large, dark-bottomed pool and a spa, while the beach, where Manning runs daily, is about a mile away.
"The grounds alone, with many picnic tables and umbrellas, feel to me like a Mediterranean hotel," said Bob Todd, owner/manager of RE/MAX Beach Cities Realty, whose Manhattan and Hermosa offices had the listing and helped negotiate the sale.
Escrow is due to close Oct. 1, when the seller's new home a few blocks north will be ready for occupancy.
Singer/songwriter NEIL DIAMOND has sold his longtime Malibu Colony home, with 60 feet of beachfront, to a Beverly Hills couple, who closed escrow in 24 hours.
"Some people just can't wait to get into Malibu," said an industry source familiar with the deal.
Diamond spent many years there while his two sons were growing up, but purchased a home in Holmby Hills after rock slides temporarily closed Pacific Coast Highway, the main route leading to the Colony.
When somebody started building next door to his 4,700-square-foot Malibu house, Diamond decided to make Holmby Hills his permanent residence, sources say, and he purchased a second home in Aspen, Colo.
He was asking $5.6 million for his Malibu home, which insiders not associated with the transaction say sold for about $5 million, and $1.3 million for a lot with a tennis court, which reportedly went for about $250,000.
Carol Rapf of Jim Rapf & Associates had the listings but wouldn't comment.
ALFRED CHECCHI, who heads an investment group seeking control of Northwest Airlines, has leased penthouse offices at one of the highest rates in the Los Angeles area.
An industry expert not involved in the deal estimated the value of the 10-year lease at $7 million, or $39 a month per square foot. Checchi leased the entire 16,000-square-foot penthouse floor of the new 20-story East Tower at developer Donald Bren's Westwood Gateway, at Sepulveda and Santa Monica boulevards.
Tooley & Co. represented Bren, and Grubb & Ellis brokers Peter Best and Jeffrey Cowan represented Checchi.
JOHN KAY, lead singer with the rock group Steppenwolf, and his wife, Jutta, have sold their Hollywood Hills residence and purchased an 86-acre estate with a private lake and a custom-built home just outside Nashville.
They sold their home, in Nichols Canyon, for $6.25 million and paid a little less for their Tennessee spread.
"Jutta had trouble with the smog and breathing," said Joseph Miller at Elite Properties, who handled the Hollywood Hills sale, "but they'll probably come back to visit, because their daughter lives here."
The Kays had been living in the house they sold since they bought it in 1969 with royalties from Steppenwolf's hit record "Born to Be Wild." Kay still tours with Steppenwolf 25 weeks a year, said Miller, but the couple has many friends, including Willie Nelson, in Tennessee.
"An Evening with WALLACE NEFF JR." is planned Wednesday at an Italian mansion in San Marino designed in 1929 by his late father.
"The party is sort of a farewell to the home, as it is for sale (at $8.5 million)," Neff said. "And the owner, Josephine Leslie, and realtors, Coldwell Banker, are honoring my father's architecture." (The younger Neff wrote a book on the subject.)
Leslie restored the 2.25 acres of park-like grounds and 12,000-square-foot-plus residence, built for the James Skinner family of Chicago. "Mr. Skinner had a fortune in Sears, Roebuck stock," Neff explained. Later, the house was owned by the Van Nuys family, for whom the San Fernando Valley community was named.