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Reeves plugs into new estate

May 25, 2003|Ruth Ryon | Times Staff Writer

Keanu Reeves, star of the futuristic thriller "The Matrix Reloaded," has purchased a Hollywood Hills home for close to $5 million.

The gated estate was built in the late '80s as an art collector's residence. The home has dramatic city views, high ceilings and massive wall space for displaying art.

There are three bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms in slightly more than 5,000 square feet. The one-story contemporary also has a koi pond, a 50-foot-long infinity pool, a center courtyard and three fireplaces.

Reeves became a box-office draw in the 1990s with roles in such movies as "Speed" (1994) and "The Matrix" (1999). Besides "The Matrix Reloaded," which opened last weekend, "The Matrix Revolutions," starring Reeves, is due out in November.

The actor earned a reported $30 million to return for the two sequels to "The Matrix," which made nearly $500 million. "The Matrix Reloaded" grossed an estimated $93.3 million in its first full weekend at the box office.

Reeves, 38, was born in Beirut, Lebanon, and raised in Australia, New York and Canada.

Richard Ehrlich and Kurt Rappaport, both with Westside Estate Agency in Beverly Hills, had the listing, and Brett Lawyer of Prudential California-John Aaroe, Beverly Hills, represented Reeves in his purchase, sources said.

'Mr. Real Estate' still merits title

Bob Hope, who turns 100 on Thursday, has been known as "Mr. Real Estate" for years because he has owned so much of it.

Hope and his family got the go-ahead in 2001 to build an office/theater complex with a museum of comedy on slightly more than an acre that they own in Burbank, but the project is still just an idea.

"They can file for building permits any time from now through 2011," said Jeremy Ochsenbein, a project planner for the city of Burbank. Project approval was based on plans submitted for a five-story 110,000-square-foot office building, a 20,000-square-foot comedy theater and a 4,000- to 5,000-square-foot museum.

The project involves two pieces of land split by a street that would be vacated. The city already has a Bob Hope Drive.

"Bob and I had a lot in common. He owned the Valley, and I used to drive through it," quipped Frank Liberman, who worked on and off as Hope's publicist for 41 years.

In an as-yet-untitled book he is writing about Hope, Liberman recalled how the entertainer and Bing Crosby got started in real estate in the late '40s. "They co-invested in Texas oil wells, and when the gushers came in, they became millionaires. That money became the basis of their fortunes, enabling them to invest heavily in California real estate."

Hope still has a jar of Texas oil from his first well, and he keeps it in the trophy room of the Toluca Lake home he and his wife, Dolores, bought in 1940 for $35,000, according to Liberman. The home, on 6 acres, has kennels, hothouses, a pool, a pool house, a rose garden and a one-hole golf course.

The Hopes also have a one-hole golf course at their home in Palm Springs. Designed by John Lautner and built in 1979, the modern-style, mountaintop house has a 100-foot-long pool, a billiard room, a dining room that seats 20 and a small chapel, Liberman said.

The 25,000-square-foot house has a domed roof with a skylight 60 feet wide in the middle, he added. "The house is so large that travelers on Highway 111 have mistaken it for a church or a school," Liberman said, but he likened it to "a giant mushroom on a granite outcropping with a spectacular desert view."

He starts engines, heads for Newport

Race car driver Jeff Ward, who has had four Top 10 finishes in six starts at the Indy 500, and his wife, Candice, have listed their San Juan Capistrano home at $2 million. The couple plans to move to Newport Beach to be closer to their children's school.

He built the Mediterranean-style Capistrano house in 1989. In the gated community of Connemara, the nearly 6,000-square-foot villa has a master suite, three other bedrooms, a maid's quarters, a gym, an office/library, and a family room with a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace. There is also a five-car garage and views of the pool, Dana Point Harbor and the Pacific.

Ward, among those mentioned earlier this month as a possible driver in this weekend's Indy 500, was a national champion of the American Motor Cycle Assn. seven times. He was one of the world's greatest motocross champions before switching to cars about 10 years ago, when he was 31. In 1997, he was named rookie of the year after driving in only his second Indy car race.

Fred Albuquerque of Re/Max Real Estate Services, Monarch Beach, has the listing.

Valley home puts spell on Hart

Melissa Joan Hart, star of the seven-season sitcom "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch," has purchased a San Fernando Valley home for close to its $2.7-million asking price.

The home Hart bought has a two-story guesthouse and a tennis court. The recently remodeled home, behind gates, has five bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms in about 5,600 square feet. The home, built in 1950, also has a 35-millimeter movie theater plus a pool and a spa.

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