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Hot Property: LeBron James buys soap opera creator's Beverly Hills compound

Jack Flemming
·7 mins read

King James has a new castle.

Lakers star LeBron James just bought a Mediterranean-style compound in the Beverly Hills Post Office area for $36.75 million, according to the Multiple Listing Service.

Spanning 2.5 acres, the property was sold by the estate of Lee Phillip Bell, the talk show host and co-creator of “The Young and the Restless” who died earlier this year.

The mammoth deal marks an eastward move for James, who also owns a pair of homes in Brentwood: one he bought in 2017 for $21 million and another he picked up two years later for $23 million.

The new property includes a Mediterranean-style home, two guesthouses, a screening room, swimming pool, pool house and tennis court. The scenic setting takes in sweeping views of the city below.

Approached by a hedge-lined driveway and palm-topped motor court, the primary residence spans 9,100 square feet, with two bedroom suites and seven fireplaces. It was built in the 1930s but updated over the years during Bell’s ownership.

Dramatic skylights brighten a dining room with a fountain, and beamed ceilings top the office and indoor-outdoor living room. Out back, a flagstone courtyard with a fountain descends to the deep-blue pool with a diving board.

The property surfaced for sale at $39 million in April, marking the first time it has been on the market since 1986, when Bell and her husband, fellow soap opera creator William J. Bell, bought it for $2.9 million.

An MVP runner-up this year in his 17th season, James is considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time. A three-time NBA champion, four-time MVP and 16-time All-Star, the 35-year-old led the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers to NBA titles before signing with the Lakers in 2018.

Richard Hilton and Jeff Hyland of Hilton & Hyland held the listing.

Pharrell gets $14 million

Is it a supervillain’s lair? An architectural community college? It’s Pharrell Williams’ ultramodern mansion in the Beverly Hills Post Office area, and it just sold for $14 million.

The huge sale is in fact a loss for the Grammy-winning artist, who bought the striking home from Tyler Perry for $15.6 million two years ago. In the spring, he put it up for sale at $16.95 million.

The striking estate offers a dramatic escape from the city below, covering four gated acres on a knoll off Mulholland Drive. In addition to the dramatic glass-covered home, the grounds feature a series of koi ponds, waterfalls and lawns, as well as a grotto-style swimming pool and a tennis court tucked at the edge of the property.

A 200-foot driveway approaches the home, which spans 17,000 square feet, with 10 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms across three stories. At the center, a sculptural staircase slices through a skylit atrium with indoor fountains and gallery-white walls.

Gold-tinted lights top the chef’s kitchen, and a custom crystal chandelier hangs over the formal dining room. A window-lined lounge tacks on a wet bar and billiards area.

Wood accents and a dramatic fireplace touch up the primary bedroom, which extends to a spa bathroom and architectural office. The space opens directly outside, where landscaped lookouts take in commanding city and canyon views.

A singer, rapper, producer and fashion designer, Williams formed the hip-hop production duo the Neptunes in the mid-'90s and started the band N.E.R.D. later that decade. He has won 13 Grammys. He has also received two Oscar nominations: for his hit song “Happy” and for producing the film “Hidden Figures.”

Kurt Rappaport and Drew Meyers of Westside Estate Agency held the listing. Mauricio Umansky of the Agency represented the buyer.

Actor eyes a quick flip in Hancock Park

It’s shaping up to be a short stay in Hancock Park for Armie Hammer. A year after buying a 1920s Tudor in the historical neighborhood for $4.72 million, the actor is asking $5.8 million for the home.

Tucked into a cul-de-sac, the 93-year-old residence sits right across the street from Wilshire Country Club on a lushly landscaped, secluded quarter-acre lot. Hedged and gated, the grounds feature a private backyard with a massive patio alongside a swimming pool, spa and waterfall.

Ivy, brick and half-timbering bring period charm to the exterior; inside, original details such as arches, moldings and stained-glass windows fill the living spaces. Recent updates include newly stained hardwood floors and fresh paint.

Past the two-story entry, there’s a dramatic living room with beamed ceilings and a wood-paneled dining room. In 6,275 square feet there are seven bedrooms and six bathrooms, including an owner’s suite with a sauna and spa. Hues of rose gold touch up one of the guest bedrooms, and one of the bathrooms is wrapped in retro-green subway tile.

Out back, mature trees shade multiple lounges and dining areas. A cabana with a built-in grill is tucked off to the side.

The great-grandson of oil tycoon Armand Hammer has been acting since the mid-2000s with standout roles in “The Social Network," “The Lone Ranger” and “On the Basis of Sex.” The 34-year-old received a Golden Globe nomination for his part in the 2018 romantic drama “Call Me by Your Name.”

Sheri Bienstock of the Bienstock Group holds the listing.

Selena closes in Studio City

Selena Gomez finally found a fan of her Studio City home. Two years after listing the charming 1950s cottage, the singer-actress has sold it for $2.37 million.

Gomez, who released her third solo album earlier this year, barely eked out a profit on the sale; records show she paid $2.249 million for the property in 2017.

Tucked behind towering hedges, the secluded home draws the eye with a whitewashed brick exterior and column-lined porch. Inside, floors of wide-plank oak and aged herringbone brick switch off across the single-story space.

Skylights brighten the chef’s kitchen, the office has a corner fireplace, and the dining room has two sets of French doors. Elsewhere are four bedrooms and four bathrooms in about 3,400 square feet.

The privacy hedges continue out back, wrapping around a chic space with a lighted patio, lawn, swimming pool and spa. At the corner of the property, there’s a Hamptons-style guesthouse with a living room and yoga studio.

A native of Texas, Gomez has released three solo albums since 2013, with hits including “Bad Liar,” “It Ain’t Me” and “Lose You to Love Me.” As an actress, she starred in Disney Channel’s “Wizards of Waverly Place” before appearing in the films “Spring Breakers,” “The Fundamentals of Caring” and “A Rainy Day in New York.”

Karen Medved of Compass held the listing. Wendy Kjorness of Balboa Real Estate represented the buyer.

Jazz legend’s forest retreat tunes in to the market

Secluded in the Connecticut woods, straddling a pair of intersecting streams, the Zen-like retreat of late jazz legend Dave Brubeck just surfaced for sale at $2.75 million.

Brubeck, who died at 91 in 2012, had the ultra-stylish home built in the ’60s, and it’s still owned by his estate. The musician was inspired by the architecture he saw while touring in Japan, according to the listing, and the influences are showcased across the 7.5-acre estate.

Japanese gardens with fountains and bridges dot the bucolic grounds, and outside the home, there’s a moon gate and shoji screen. Framed in steel beams, the house features a whimsical combination of wood, stone and glass throughout the living spaces.

A stone staircase swirls through the split-level floor plan, descending to Brubeck’s original music studio, complete with 20-foot ceilings, custom built-ins and a clerestory wall.

The retro kitchen opens to a skylit solarium, and down below, an expansive play room with multicolored doors adjoins an indoor swimming pool and spa. Elsewhere are eight bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms, including a primary suite with picture windows that take in views of the tree-filled grounds.

A wraparound porch and flagstone terrace connect the 6,252-square-foot home to the natural setting. Farther out, a bright-red bridge leads to a studio on a small island in the middle of a pond.

A native of California, Brubeck was known for his contributions to the relaxed, subdued “cool jazz” genre through his work as a pianist and composer. His many compositions include “In Your Own Sweet Way” and “The Duke,” and his 1959 album “Time Out” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2009.

Monica Webster of Douglas Elliman holds the listing.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.