In what is considered to be the second largest residential sale in American history, the property of Univision chair Jerrold Perenchio’s mansion, including an 11 acre estate, has finally been sold.
Two years since Perenchio placed “Chartwell” on the real estate market it has been picked up for a cool $150 million, which may sound a lot but is in actual fact only a third of its original asking price – an overly optimistic $350 million.
Known to some as the “The Beverly Hillbillies” mansion, the exact figure of the sale has not been announced, however the property was bought by the Australian-British-American businessman son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, Lachlan Murdoch, whose lower offer has been formally accepted.
The billionaire co-chair of News Corp will have plenty of space to play with. As well as the 11 acres and the mansion, there are a further five properties on the estate, bought over time by Perenchio.
The main mansion is a 25,000-square-foot 1930s French neoclassical style chateau that sits nicely in eleven acres of land. Also included is another property just behind which was purchased from former President Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy.
Picking up its nickname due to it being used in the credits of “The Beverly Hillbillies” sitcom – although filming was never conducted there – the estate has more recently been thought of as one of LA’s greatest properties.
The property was originally designed by architect Sumner Spaulding and although the estate is clad in limestone, there are many Gatsby-esque attractions including formal rooms, a vaulted foyer and the stunning ballroom.
There is also a custom wine vault enabling a wine collector to collate around 12,000 bottles.
Although the 26 room mansion was commissioned by civil engineer and contractor Lynn Atkinson as a gift to his wife – who was an established socialite at the time – it is believed the couple never actually resided in the property.
The property unfortunately became something of a dud decision as the “house with the golden door knobs” gave Atkinson an extremely large tax bill.
In an attempt to reduce this bill Atkinson entered a long disagreement with the county Board of Equalization as he claimed the value of the property had been vastly over assessed and eventually he had it devalued from $165,000 to $70,000 in 1943.
Atkinson was reported at the time as saying that “I can’t live in the property with the taxes as high as they are, and no one else can.”
The issues with the tax bill does not seem to have changed much with the Murdochs now possessing a property which has one of the largest yearly tax bills in the entire Los Angeles area — a reported $1.3 million.
Perenchio passed away at the age of 86 in 2017 and had bought the property for a mere $14 million in 1986. In the 31 years he owned the estate he hired architect Pierre Barbe and designer Henri Samuel to restore the property, creating a cellar to house his private wine collection – one of the biggest in California – and a Versailles-like palace for his established art collection.
He then went on to snap up the Reagans’ home for $15 million in 2016 after Nancy had also passed.
Hidden behind walls and hedges the property is not visible from the street so passers-by cannot view the tennis court, the pool house beside the 75 foot swimming pool, the manicured lawns, or even the stunning water fountain features.
There are also several items that have been created beneath the estate. As well as the wine cellar there is a subterranean garage, allowing up to 40 vehicles space to park. There is also a (not so) secret tunnel that runs from the basement along to the swimming pool.
Perenchio’s estate included many more properties and since his death many have been sold, including a property opposite Chartwell that was utilized as Perenchio’s own vineyard that sold last month for $12 million. He has also had properties in Malibu sold off.
The title of the most expensive property ever sold in America still sits with billionaire Ken Griffin who splashed out a staggering $238 million on a penthouse in New York City’s 220 Central Park South.
Covering an enormous 23,000 square foot and taking over floors 50 – 53 at the city’s skyscraper, designed by Robert A.M. Stern, the property was just one that Griffin picked up over a two year period. He has also bought a $122 million mansion in London, England, which is close to Buckingham Palace, making it one of the most expensive properties ever sold in the capital.
He also owns $58.75 million worth of a condominium in Chicago, a $60 million beach house in Malibu and around $250 million on land in Palm Beach, Florida, where he is planning on building himself a mansion.