Holmby Hills Real Estate

HOLMBY HILLS  LOS ANGELES — A British heiress has closed on her $85 million purchase of a massive Los Angeles mansion built by the late television mogul Aaron Spelling.

22-year-old Petra Ecclestone officially became the owner of the lavish residence on Thursday;  the heiress is the daughter of Formula One sports entrepreneur Bernie Ecclestone.

Spelling’s widow, Candy Spelling, put the 56,000 square-foot house on the market for $150 million two years ago, but ultimately let it go for less.

The home was built in 1990 and is the largest residence in Southern California. It is situated on 4.7 acres in the exclusive Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles.


Holmby Hills is an affluent neighborhood in the district of Westwood in western Los Angeles. It is bordered by the city of Beverly Hills on the east, Wilshire Boulevard on the south, Westwood on the west, and Bel Air on the north. Sunset Boulevard is the area’s principal thoroughfare which divides Holmby Hills into north and south sections. However, Holmby Hills can be recognized by its unique street lamps. In an effort to decrease traffic in the neighborhood, speed bumps have been installed on several key streets.


Holmby Hills, Bel Air, and Beverly Hills form the “Platinum Triangle” of Los Angeles, which houses the United States’ priciest and most exclusive neighborhoods. Nowadays however, this area extends to include theBrentwood Flats. The 2000 Census found that the estate section of Holmby Hills (east of Beverly Glen Boulevard) is the highest income neighborhood in the United States with a mean household income of $780,925. South Mapleton Drive and North Carolwood Drive in Holmby Hills, along with Nîmes Road and St. Cloud Road in Bel Air, are the most prominent and famous residential streets in all of the Platinum Triangle. Many of the estates in Holmby Hills boast panoramic views of the entire Los Angeles Basin. Many high-level entertainment industry executives, such as Walt Disney, Interscope Records founder Jimmy Iovine, television producerAaron Spelling, movie mogul Ray Stark, music and entertainment legend Michael Jackson and Playboy founder Hugh Hefner (whose home is better known as the Playboy Mansion) currently reside or have previously resided in the area.

History of Holmby Hills

The area of present day Holmby Hills was the homeland of the Tongva-Gabrieliño Native Americans, who had a presence in the region for over 8,000 years.

The first European on the land, that present day Holmby Hills, Bel Air, Westwood, and UCLA now occupy, was the Spanish soldier Maximo Alanis, who was the grantee of the 4,438-acre (18 km2) Rancho San Jose de Buenos Ayres from a Mexican land grant issued by Alta California Governor Manuel Micheltorena in 1843.

In 1858, he sold it to Benjamin “Don Benito” Wilson, of early Pasadena development, the second Mayor of Los Angeles, and namesake for Mount Wilson in the San Gabriel Mountains.

In 1884, Wilson sold Rancho San Jose de Buenos Ayres, at 2,000 acres (8 km²), to the nephew of leading pioneer William Wolfskill, businessman John W. Wolfskill, son of Mathus (Mathius) Wolfskill, William’s younger brother. He paid $10 an acre and built a ranch house, near the present-day Mormon Los Angeles Temple.

The actual development of Holmby Hills began when early millionaire Arthur Letts, Sr. purchased 400 acres (1.6 km2) of the original Wolfskill ranch at $100 an acre. Letts, who was born in England in 1862, had made his fortune by transforming a small, bankrupt dry goods business in Los Angeles into the Broadway Department Store empire. He was not only a shrewd businessman, but also a skilled horticulturist; the grounds of his Los FelizHollywood estate were planted in extensive gardens with a wide variety of trees, shrubs, and flowers, and his cactus collection was renowned across the country.

Letts’s master plan for the prime land he had purchased in west Los Angeles was to create a neighborhood of grand estates. He personally christened the development “Holmby Hills,” which was loosely derived from the name of his birthplace, a small hamlet in England called Holdenby. Letts died suddenly in 1923, before he could realize his vision.

His son-in-law, Harold Janss, took over the project, which was billed as “The Ultimate in Residential Estate Development.” Zoning for the community, which straddles Sunset Boulevard, was designed to accommodate large lot sizes, up to 4 acres (16,000 m2). Electric and telephone lines were buried beneath the wide, tree-lined streets to preserve the landscape. Handsome, English-style street lamps, designed exclusively for Holmby Hills, were erected throughout the neighborhood. Among the first mansions built here in the late 1920s was the Tudor-style home of the founder’s son, Arthur Letts, Jr., now the Playboy Mansion.

Due to the Holmby Hills development’s lush landscaping, generous lot sizes, and privacy, from the beginning it has attracted the rich and famous. In the 1950s, Walt Disney built his dream home here, which featured a miniature live steam railroad, complete with 2,615 feet (797 m) of track and a 90-foot (27 m)-long tunnel. Celebrities such as Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Jean Harlow, Lana Turner, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, Gary Cooper, Barbra Streisand, Irene Dunne, Lucille Ball, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Elvis Presley, Jack Benny, Kelsey Grammer, Michael Jackson, Sammy Davis Jr., Sonny & Cher, Nat King Cole, and Marilyn Monroe have all called Holmby Hills their home. Lloyd Bridges and his wife, Dorothy Bridges, also raised their children, actors Jeff Bridges and Beau Bridges, in the neighborhood.

In 2009, resident Michael Jackson suffered a cardiac arrest and died in his home.

The Gilroy Group, a professional team of real estate agents, title reps and escrow officers, managed by Kevin and Melissa under the umbrella of RE/MAX Estate Properties are extremely experienced and knowledgeable in the luxurious real estate market area of  Holmby Hills.

Contact Kevin and Melissa here.


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