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HOT PROPERTY

Money Can Buy Him Love's Nest

April 01, 2001|RUTH RYON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Paul McCartney has purchased Courtney Love's Hollywood Hills home for about $4 million.

The former member of the Beatles bought the French Country-style house on nearly two acres because he was tired of staying in hotels when in L.A., industry sources said. He and his late wife, Linda, an American, spent many days at their ranch in Tucson but lived primarily in a farmhouse in England.

Before closing escrow a week ago, McCartney was leasing the house which Love had left to film the movies "Welcome to Collinwood" and "24 Hours."

Love, who bought the home from Ellen DeGeneres in 1997, put the four-bedroom, 4,700-square-foot house on the market in February because she planned to spend more time in New York, where she bought a $2.8-million, 4,200-square-foot loft in November. The rocker-actress, 36, plans to keep a smaller home in L.A.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Saturday April 14, 2001 Home Edition Real Estate Part K Page 2 Foreign Desk 3 inches; 72 words Type of Material: Correction
Hot Property--The Hollywood Hills property reported to have been purchased by Paul McCartney ("Money Can Buy Him Love's Nest," April 1) was bought by Mike Walley, who holds title, according to public records. He identifies himself as a London businessman. Realtor Andrea Farber, who represented Walley, said McCartney provided the inspiration for the purchase so that McCartney and other celebrities could lease the house when in town instead of staying at a hotel. McCartney leased the house before the purchase.

The home McCartney bought appeals to celebrities largely because of its seclusion and privacy. Built in 1938 and recently refurbished, it has a long, gated driveway and stone walls. It also has mature trees and a pool.

The British singer-musician, who was knighted in 1997, is one of the best-selling composers and recording artists of all time. He has been recently described as the highest-earning rock star in history, with an estimated personal value of more than $500 million.

His late wife, a millionaire in her own right from her family's wealth, her photography and vegetarian food business, left everything to her husband through a trust, which along with her U.S. citizenship enabled her estate to avoid paying a steep U.K. inheritance tax. She died at age 56 in 1998.

In summer, McCartney, 58, released a recording featuring musical samples of each of the Beatles taken from recording sessions in the '60s. In November, there was an exhibit of his artwork in a New York gallery to promote his book "Paul McCartney Paintings." In March, his "Blackbird Singing" collection of lyrics and poems written between 1965 and 1999 was published.

The largest L.A.-area home sale so far this year has closed escrow at $21 million. The home, in Beverly Hills, was sold to Brentwood-based apartment developer Geoff Palmer.

The house was originally owned by city co-founder Burton Green.

The French Regency-style estate, on 4.25 acres, includes a 16,400-square-foot main house and two guest houses, each more than 5,000 square feet. One has a screening room and two bedrooms, the other has five staff bedrooms and an office. The grounds have a guard house, tennis court and pool.

The main house was built in 1913. In the early '80s, it was owned by Eugene Klein, who made a fortune in several businesses, including film and theater conglomerate National General Corp. He also owned the San Diego Chargers and the thoroughbred Winning Colors, winner of the 1988 Kentucky Derby.

In the mid-'80s, Klein sold the home to Middle East businessman Mouaffak Al Midani, who added adjacent properties to the compound. He held a lavish "welcome home" party there for Nancy and Ronald Reagan in 1989 when they returned to L.A. from the White House.

Al Midani, a native of Syria, owned electric and telephone companies in Saudi Arabia. The home was still owned by his family when it was sold to Palmer.

Palmer, 49, is co-developer of the 658-unit Medici apartment complex at 8th and Bixel streets in Los Angeles. The project, targeting the middle market of downtown professionals, is expected to help rejuvenate the area, although the Assn. of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) has organized protests, saying developers side-stepped a regulation requiring low-income units.

The Beverly Hills compound had been on the market since 1998, when the asking price was $27 million.

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Loretta Swit, who played "Hot Lips" Houlihan on the TV series "MASH" (1972-83), has sold a Malibu condo she owned for about a year for $290,000. Built in 1972, the unit has two bedrooms in about 992 square feet.

The actress, who sold her longtime Malibu home for $1.4 million in 1999, sold the unit because it wasn't large enough for her, Malibu sources said. Her former home, where she lived since the 1970s, is on the water and has two bedrooms in 2,000 square feet.

In December, Swit unveiled the national Safe Steps Home program to control the cat population with spay/neuter programs. An animal lover who has two cats, Swit hosted "Those Incredible Animals" on Discovery in the early '90s.

She has had a one-woman show, "Shirley Valentine," for 11 years and may tour later this year with "Mame," in which she has earlier toured in the role of Agnes Gooch.

Jason Katzman of Paramount Properties, Woodland Hills, handled the transaction.

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Justin Murdock, son of Castle & Cook Chairman David Murdock, has purchased a Beverly Hills home on an acre with a view for $2.4 million. Justin Murdock, in his early 30s, plans to restore the house and live in it.

Built in 1955, it has three bedrooms in about 4,000 square feet.

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