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Chancellors' Home to Be Sold

March 13, 1991|JOANNA M. MILLER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Bel-Air estate that was home to two California State University chancellors and the site of countless fund-raising events since 1972 will be sold to a Los Angeles investor for $3.61 million, a committee of university trustees decided Tuesday.

David Maimon, 32, offered the highest of 18 bids for the gated 1.8-acre estate. He said Tuesday that he was uncertain whether he would move into the 4,600-square-foot home, sell it as it is, or redevelop the property to build a more elaborate mansion.

"I love this property," said Maimon, an Israeli immigrant who made his fortune in real estate investments in Los Angeles during the last seven years. "I don't think there is anything on the market as big as this for this price."

Last occupied by former Chancellor W. Ann Reynolds, who was forced from office last April, the 38-year-old residence on Stone Canyon Road includes a four-bedroom house, a guest cottage, swimming pool and tennis court.

Trustee James H. Gray, chairman of the committee on the chancellor's residence, said the proceeds from the sale will buy a less expensive residence closer to the Long Beach headquarters of the Cal State system.

"There are probably not two more inconvenient locations to drive between at rush hour," Gray said. Part of the proceeds will be invested in a fund to pay for maintenance of the new Long Beach home, he said.

Approval is expected today from the full board of trustees.

The estate was bequeathed to the state by the family of businessman John Brown Cook in 1972, when university headquarters were on nearby Wilshire Boulevard.

Trustees decided to sell the estate last September after it became the center of a dispute with then-Chancellor Reynolds over costly repairs. Reynolds had approved a $65,000 expenditure to repave the long drive up to the home and build a 50-car parking area near the house.

Although the repair bills were controversial, it was mainly Reynolds' handling of pay raises for herself and top university administrators that forced her from office last year.

Ellis McCune, acting chancellor since Reynolds' departure, has not lived in the estate. But former Chancellor Glenn S. Dumke lived there until he retired and Reynolds was appointed in 1982.

A new chancellor is expected to be named April 4.

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