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Selling? That's complicated

August 16, 2008|Ann Brenoff | Times Staff Writer

MAYBE IT'S because neighbors didn't exactly roll out the welcome wagon when she began filming her new reality TV show at home, or maybe it's because, as she says, she wants to be closer to her kids' school. Whatever the reason, expect the moving van to pull up to Denise Richards' place in Hidden Hills soon. Yup, we likely won't have this Bond girl to kick around anymore.

Richards has listed at $4.25 million the house she bought last summer. For you bean counters, that's about $100,000 less than she paid for it. Eh, bupkis.

This poster girl for the tabloids -- who hosts "Denise Richards: It's Complicated" from her home -- much to the chagrin of ex-husband Charlie Sheen -- isn't saying where she's going. Who can blame her? The woman sneezes and "E!" is there with a tissue.

Her traditional-style 5,600-square-foot house looks to be right out of New England. It has five bedrooms, including a master retreat with a sitting area. There are hardwood and rustic stone floors and a foyer with a sweeping staircase. The gourmet kitchen has imported tiles, stainless-steel appliances and Carrara marble. The home sits on about an acre in this guard-gated community. There is a Pebble Tec pool and spa.

But my favorite photo of the house on its website, hidden, shows one of Richards' dogs lounging comfortably on an oversized white chair. Neither the dog nor the couch is for sale with the house, so why mention it here? Because Richards is known to be quite the animal lover -- another sore point with her Hidden Hills neighbors, some of whom believe one can have too many canine companions.

Dana Olmes of Ewing & Associates, Sotheby's International Realty, Calabasas, has the listing.

The view from Morton's perch

My answer to those who would argue that Los Angeles has no mavens of culture is Peter Morton, the co-founder of the first Hard Rock Cafe and creator of those ubiquitous T-shirts.

Morton -- whose papa, Arnie, was the founder of the restaurant Morton's -- wheels and deals in high-end property no matter the economic climate. He just listed a house in Beverly Hills that he's owned for about two years for $22.5 million.

What makes this property unique among the eight-digit listings is that it will be shown only on clear days, according to the MLS/CLAW. The listing says the "extraordinary" view is from downtown to the ocean. Apparently, they don't really want you looking in the direction of the house, which is being sold for "land value."

The listing offers few details about the property and notes there will be no inspections of the house. This suggests "tear-down city" to those who read realty tea leaves. The two-story house, on 4 acres, was built in 1940, and we personally hate to see the old destroyed for the new. But the basics are: seven bedrooms, eight bathrooms in about 8,000 square feet.

The property has a sterling Hollywood ownership lineage as well. It once belonged to actress Marlo Thomas, who sold it to media mogul David Geffen, who flipped it over to radio tycoon Norm Pattiz, who then sold it to Morton for $18.5 million in 2006. The only one missing may be Elvis.

Morton's (the restaurant) was the subject of Julia Phillips' 1991 book, "You'll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again" -- the premise being that your ability to get a good table there was a barometer of your relative importance in Hollywood.

$4.1 million? Mamma mia!

Chances are, unless you've been living in a cave for the last few decades, Gary Goetzman's work has infiltrated your life.

The Emmy winner ("Band of Brothers") also has produced "Mamma Mia!" (2008), "Charlie Wilson's War" (2007), "The Ant Bully" (2006), "The Polar Express" (2004), "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" (2002) and one of the scariest movies ever made, "The Silence of the Lambs" (1991). And plenty more.

Goetzman and his wife, Leslie, just bought a home in Sherman Oaks for $4.1 million -- close to its June listing price of $4,295,000.

The property is situated at the top of a long, private driveway and has steal-your-breath-away views. It is a gated estate, built in 1954, and was recently redesigned by the seller, the Independent Design Group Los Angeles.

The one-story home is a blend of traditional and contemporary and has a fully integrated audio system, closed-circuit security, an in-home theater with a 14-foot screen, a full Viking kitchen and custom wood flooring. There is a pool, a fire pit and a four-car garage. The home has five bedrooms and seven bathrooms in 6,226 square feet.

Goetzman, 55, is co-founder of the Playtone Co. with Tom Hanks -- and many of his best works have involved the actor-director-producer. There was "Band of Brothers" in 2001 (which could have gone on forever and I wouldn't have tired of watching) and "Philadelphia" in 1993 (which, since I'm donning a critic's hat here, should be mandatory viewing in every high school, right up there with reading "The Catcher in the Rye").

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