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HOT PROPERTY

Her New Role: Westside Story

June 16, 1996|RUTH RYON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Grammy-winning singer NATALIE COLE has sold her Tarzana home for just under $1 million, sources say.

Cole is just finishing work on a classic pop album, "Stardust," due to be released at the end of September, and she is writing her autobiography for Warner Books. It is expected to be in bookstores after the first of the year.

Cole, 46, became a star almost as soon as she started singing professionally in college, but her first No. 1 album, "Unforgettable," was recorded in 1991 as a tribute to her late father, singer Nat King Cole.

The title song is a duet sung by father and daughter, although he died when she was 15. The duet was made possible through new electronic techniques. The album won seven Grammys, three for Cole.

She moved out of her Tarzana house months ago and is leasing now on the Westside, sources say. She filed for divorce last November from her husband of six years, producer-arranger ANDRE FISCHER.

Cole had owned the Tarzana house for four years. Built in 1989, the 5,300-square-foot home has four bedrooms, a guest house, library/study, wet bar and butler's pantry.

The buyers are former owners of a chain of Southern California health food stores.

Joe Babajian of Fred Sands Estates, Beverly Hills, and Laurent Louvet of Sands' Sherman Oaks office had the $1.2-million listing, other sources said.

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Tennis star turned TV sports commentator TRACY AUSTIN and her husband, Scott Holt, a commercial real estate mortgage lender, just listed their Rolling Hills home, and it's already in escrow, expected to close in mid-July. The asking price was just under $1.7 million.

"We're staying in this area for our main residence but may scale down here and get second homes in Palm Springs and Colorado," Holt said.

Austin, 32, was born and raised in the Rolling Hills area. She was once the No. 1-ranked woman tennis player in the world and at 14 was the youngest ever to compete at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, which she won twice.

She left the game in 1983 because of a bad back, then returned in 1988 and left again after a car accident in 1989. She made another comeback in 1993 but retired to work as a TV commentator in July 1994.

The couple had their first child, a boy, about six weeks ago. Shortly afterward, Austin was off to cover the French Open on the USA Network. She, her husband and their infant will soon leave home again so that she can report on Wimbledon for NBC, Holt said.

Situated on 2.7 acres behind gates, their Rolling Hills house has a riding ring, pool, cabana and panoramic ocean and city views. Built in 1954, the 2,600-square foot, country-style house has three bedrooms, a guest room and an office.

Austin bought the home three years ago through Raju Chhabria at Shorewood Realtors, Manhattan Beach. Chhabria also has the listing.

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DINAH SHORE's Beverly Hills residence of 30 years is undergoing what architect Gus Duffy describes as a "minor remodel." The couple who bought it in April from the late entertainer's estate called on Duffy to design a way to connect the guest and main houses.

"You had to go all the way outside to get to the guest quarters. So we are connecting the two rooms to the main house by means of a book-lined, two-story mezzanine gallery that feeds onto the backyard," Duffy said.

The new owners, a plastic surgeon and his wife, a businesswoman, bought the 10,000-square-foot, seven-bedroom home, on nearly an acre with a tennis court, for just under $3 million. The home was listed at $4.2 million soon after Shore died at age 76 in early 1994.

A Laguna Beach home has been listed and sold within 40 days at close to $8 million in cash, including furnishings, sources say. The buyer, a business executive, "fell in love with the house, its white-water view and its landscaping, with boulder-type steps down to the cove and beach," a source said.

The buyer is also said to have loved the pool, the quadraphonic sound system, the elevator and the furnishings by the late award-winning designer Stephen Barrett Chase.

The 10,000-square-foot house, built about a dozen years ago, was listed by George J. Pagano and Boni C. Pereira, both of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, Laguna Beach. The buyer was represented by Jill Hanna of the Prudential-Jon Douglas Co., Laguna Niguel.

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