Hugh Hefner's company bought the Playboy Mansion in 1971 for about $1.1 million, less than the median price of a home on the Westside today.
“At the time Hef and Playboy purchased the home, it was the largest real estate transaction in Los Angeles history,” Playboy Mansion real estate agent Gary Gold said earlier this year.
This week investor and Twinkie savior Daren Metropoulos, who owns the property next door, said he “closed” on his purchase of the Holmby Hills residence from Playboy Enterprises. He reportedly paid $100 million. Under the deal, Hefner will be allowed to live there until his last day on Earth.
Hef's L.A. pad wasn't the first Playboy Mansion — that was in Chicago. But the estate did help define the bow-chica-bow-wow '70s with its grotto, rare zoo license and private theater. Over its 5 acres, the sprawling compound boasts 29 rooms, a four-room guesthouse, a catering kitchen, a wine cellar, a game house and a tennis court.
This doesn't appear to be enough for Metropoulos, however, who plans to connect the property to his own residence next door as soon as he can.
According to a statement from the mogul's office, “At some point after Mr. Hefner’s tenancy ends, [Metropoulos] intends to reconnect the two estates, ultimately returning the combined 7.3-acre compound to the original vision executed by architect Arthur R. Kelly and its first owner, Arthur Letts Jr., the department-store heir whose father conceived and developed Holmby Hills when it was the Wolfskill Ranch.”
Metropoulos bought his home — which abuts the Los Angeles Country Club — in 2009 and “embarked on a significant restoration,” according to the statement.
The Playboy Mansion property, often used as a virtual nightclub, was originally listed for $200 million. Among those who sold the home for Playboy Enterprises was the Agency's Mauricio Umansky, whom we profiled earlier this year.
Metropoulos' firm flipped Pabst Brewing Company, buying low and selling high as PBR became a popular hipster brand, and it scooped up the once-ailing Hostess Brands, maker of Twinkies.
The circa-1927 Playboy Mansion is hardly a distressed property, however. It's more like a trophy.
“I feel fortunate and privileged to now own a one-of-a-kind piece of history and art,” Metropoulos said. “I look forward to eventually rejoining the two estates and enjoying this beautiful property as my private residence for years to come.”