The Owlwood estate is one of those disappearing storied mansions that define “Old Hollywood.”
Built in 1936 for a businessman by the architect Robert D. Farquihar, Owlwood has had a star-studded roster of owners. Entertainers Sonny and Cher, actor Tony Curtis, Bel-Air Hotel founder Joseph Drown, oil tycoon William Keck and Joseph Schenck, former chairman of 20thC Fox, are included on that list. Just imagine the parties on this 10-acre parcel of land!
Robert Arnali, the founder of the Ameriquest Capital Corporation, combined Owlwood’s three land parcels into one in 2002. One parcel remains vacant to this day; one parcel has a guesthouse and pool; and one parcel has the Italian Revival-style mansion that is center stage today.
The mansion has 12,000 square feet of what is described as “grand public rooms and period details.” Ornate moldings and wood panels line the living room and formal dining room. A huge chandelier centers an oval-shaped sunroom. Nine bedrooms and to bathrooms essentially house family and guests. A two-story grand stairwell winds up to the master suite that contains a fireplace, office and lounge. The chef’s kitchen has been completed redone with state-of-the-art features and appliances.
Rolling lawns, mature landscaping and wrapped hedges surround tennis courts and swimming pool.
Owlwood’s current owner, Robert H. Shapiro, head of the Woodbridge development group, bought the estate in September 2016 for $90M. At that time, the sale was the second priciest ever in Los Angeles County. Only the Playboy Mansion, which sold for $100M, was more expensive.
Shapiro’s Woodbridge development group has been involved with a bankruptcy case since last year when the Securities and Exchange Commission charged the firm with running a $1.22B Ponzi scheme that defrauded 8,400 investors. Last summer, Shapiro listed Owlwood for the price of $180M.
Now the list price for Owlwood is $115M. If the mansion sells for that price, the transaction would surpass the Playboy Mansion sale and make it the most expensive home sale ever in Los Angeles County.