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Bel-Air? He's found a loftier place

September 06, 2008|Ann Brenoff

Some people collect stamps, others collect houses. Count Academy Award-winning actor Nicolas Cage among the latter.

Cage just listed his 11,817-square-foot Bel-Air Tudor at $29,999,000 -- and has leased a unit in the downtown Biscuit Co. Lofts with an option to buy. He also is believed to own a mansion in Rhode Island, Anne Rice's former house in New Orleans and a castle in Scotland. There may be a place in Hawaii too, and some more in L.A., but frankly he lost us at $29,999,000.

The Bel-Air home was built in 1940 for $110,000, according to Bret Parsons, author of the recently published book "Colcord Home," about the architect who designed this landmark property. The house has nine bedrooms and nine bathrooms and sits on an acre of land with an Olympic-size pool, a custom wine cellar and a 35-seat home theater. The focal point of the baronial English Tudor is a square tower -- a perfect place from which to practice archery on unsuspecting Fuller Brush salesmen.

The property was once owned by singer Dean Martin, who in 1974 commissioned Gerard Colcord and his associate Liza Kent to add the 2,500-square-foot entertainment complex. The house was on the market in 2006 when Cage listed it for $35 million and was taken off last year. He bought it in 1998 for $7 million.

James Chalke of Nelson Shelton & Associates is the listing agent for this property.

Cage, who lived in the Bel-Air estate only part of the time, now may be parking his bedroom slippers in the 3,500-square-foot penthouse unit of the Biscuit Co. Lofts. That unit had been listed at $4.9 million and is no longer for sale, according to the Multiple Listing Service.

The building, in the hip-and-growing-hipper Arts District, was built in 1925 and adapted for residential use in 2006. The Biscuit has street-level restaurants, a gym and a market. The lobbies and corridors have ornamental concrete, sandblasted brick, copper doors and vintage lighting -- all very cool stuff.

Cage's lease-option penthouse has 28-foot ceilings, exposed brick walls, hardwood floors, industrial-scale windows, Wolf stainless-steel appliances and a wraparound deck. His foray into the neighborhood might make this the new "in" in-town location for celebrities and those who worship the hardwood floors they walk on.

Cage, 44, won an Oscar for his role as a suicidal alcoholic in "Leaving Las Vegas" (1995). He played an eccentric historian in "National Treasure: Book of Secrets" (2007) and appeared opposite Cher in "Moonstruck" in 1987. He also stars as an assassin in "Bangkok Dangerous," which just opened.

Billy Rose and Blair Chang, Prudential California Realty, Beverly Hills, had the listing on the Biscuit loft. Neither could be reached for comment.

$6 million must be music to his ears

Hollywood is propped up by behind-the-scenes players. They may escape notice elsewhere, but in Los Angeles we sit through the movie credits and squint at the liner notes on CD jackets looking for their names. And when one of them sells a house for $6 million, we take note.

Jason Sinay, a respected Los Angeles session musician for Bonnie Raitt, Neil Diamond and dozens of others, sold his 6,253-square-foot home in just 28 days. It had been listed at $6.25 million and is in the Beverly Hills flats, where properties continue to be in demand.

The six-bedroom, seven-bathroom house has an open floor plan. The gourmet kitchen has a breakfast area opening to a family room. There are three large bedroom suites, plus the master suite, on the second floor. It also has a pool.

Mauricio Umansky of Hilton & Hyland, Beverly Hills, was the listing agent. The buyer was represented by Susan Fedder of Coldwell Banker, Beverly Hills.

Film star from '50s, '60s to exit this scene

First, there were Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida. And then there was Luciana Paluzzi -- the third Italian bombshell who crossed the Atlantic to Hollywood. You may remember her as the evil Fiona Volpe, who accidentally took one in the back while dancing with Agent 007 in "Thunderball" (1965).

She fared better in real life, marrying Michael Solomon, former president of Warner Bros. International and co-founder of Telepictures Corp.

The pair have listed their Beverly Hills home for $19,995,000.

The 13,638-square-foot Spanish-style house was built in 1988. There are seven bedrooms and seven bathrooms in the guard-gated Beverly Park compound. In addition to the main house, there is a two-story, three-bedroom guesthouse, plus separate staff quarters, a pool, a spa and fountains galore.

The living room has a sunken bar. There is a library and formal dining room with a butler's pantry. The master bedroom suite has dual bathrooms and custom walk-in closets. The property sits on almost 2 acres.

Solomon is chairman of Vertigo Theme Parks Inc., which is building a 70-acre park near Cali, Colombia, that is to open next year and will feature what is billed as the longest and fastest mechanical ride in the world.

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