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From One Athlete to Another

November 18, 2001|RUTH RYON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Laker guard Mitch Richmond and his wife, Juli, have settled into a Calabasas home he bought before the basketball season for about $3 million from football star Keyshawn Johnsonand his wife, Shikiri.

Richmond, 36, joined the Lakers last summer. He and his wife were looking at leases but decided to buy instead.

The home he bought was built in May of 2000 by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver and his wife. The Johnsons leased a home closer to town, where they are building a house and running their retail and restaurant businesses.

The Mediterranean-style home that the Richmonds bought has five bedrooms, a game room/theater, a study, an office and a 2,000-square-foot gym in slightly more than 10,000 square feet. The home, in a gated community, also has a pool, spa and pastoral views.

The new Laker, a six-time NBA All Star, played for the Washington Wizards before joining the L.A. team's quest for a third consecutive NBA championship.

Richmond, who has a career scoring average of 22.2 points and finished fifth in the league in free-throw percentage last season (89.4%), joined the Lakers for a chance to win a championship. He turned down more lucrative contracts for a one-year $1-million deal with the Lakers, which he signed in July.

Jordan Cohen at Re/Max Olson Estate Brokerage in Westlake Village represented the Richmonds in their purchase, and Marc Shevin of Coldwell Banker's West Valley office had the listing, real estate sources said.

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An Italian-style home built in 1926 for the late comedian Buster Keaton in Beverly Hills has come on the market at about $30 million.

Developers John Bercsi and Christopher Bedrosian listed the 14-bedroom, 16,000-square-foot-plus home last week after spending 21/2 years renovating it.

When they bought the 1.5-acre property in 1999, it had been for sale for two years. Its most recent owner, actress-radio talk-show host Pamela Mason, who had purchased the home in 1948 with her then-husband, actor James Mason, died at 80 in 1996. An estimated 30 cats had taken up residency. And the house, rented in the '30s by actress Marlene Dietrich and owned in the early '40s by actor Cary Grant, was in such sad shape that there was talk of razing it. Then Bercsi and Bedrosian came along.

Now, with some finishing touches, the home is ready for a new occupant, Bercsi says. The estate, behind gates, includes a main house, a guest house and a pool cabana. The home has a 60-foot-long pool; a gym, a north-south tennis court, a tennis pavilion, three-bedroom staff quarters, a 500-foot-long drive lined with olive trees; a formal Italian garden; rolling lawns, and a motor court with a fountain.

The main house also has a 50-foot-long living room and an up-to-date screening room, where Keaton watched silent films and played billiards and cards with the likes of silent-film stars Tom Mix and Harold Lloyd.

The house has a modernized and expanded, 42-foot-long kitchen with a new range that Bercsi says cost more than his $27,000 car. Keaton's "Quick Meal" range, said to have been used by all of the former residents of the home, was restored and is in an adjacent, secondary kitchen.

And the home has a 2,500-bottle wine cellar; a master suite with his-and-hers baths; treetop views of Beverly Hills and Westwood, and Keaton's secret passageways and rooms along with trap doors, all refurbished.

Loren Judd and Kurt Rappaport of Westside Estate Agency, Beverly Hills, have the listing.

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Supermodel-actress Tyra Banks has sold her Wilshire Corridor condo for close to its $1.2-million asking price.

Banks, 27, put the penthouse corner unit on the market in October. She recently bought a house in the L.A. area, although her primary residence is in Orlando, Fla.

The two-bedroom condo she just sold is in a full-service building built in the '80s. The unit also has a maid's quarters or office; two balconies, French doors and a master suite with two walk-in closets.

The buyer was a local businessman.

Sue Ann Simon and Heather Saginor of Coldwell Banker, Beverly Hills North, had the listing with Mary Brill of Coldwell Banker, Beverly Hills East. Josie Benjamin of Coldwell Banker, Beverly Hills East, represented the buyer.

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Alex Reid, who just won an Emmy for writing the comedy series "Malcolm in the Middle," has sold his home in the Franklin Hills for slightly more than its $499,000 asking price, and he has purchased a mid-century home in Los Feliz for close to $800,000.

The house he sold was described as "retro '60s" in style. It has two bedrooms and city-to-ocean views.

The house he purchased has four bedrooms in about 3,000 square feet.

Reid, 38, is also a producer of the sitcom. He was a writer on "The Brian Benben Show" (1998-99) and was a co-producer of "God, the Devil and Bob" (2000).

Robert Kalin of DBL, Los Feliz, represented Reid in selling his former home, and Michael Rasky of the same office represented the buyer, area real estate sources said.

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