One of Los Angeles’ most famous homes has just had its price reduced from $195 million to $89.75 million due to the ongoing bankruptcy proceedings of its current owner. The current owner reportedly owes more than $52.3 million in unpaid loans and interest. A bankruptcy court appointed an administrator to sell the property that was once owned by William Randolph Hearst, appeared in “The Godfather,” and was the site for a Beyonce music video.
The current owner, attorney Leonard Ross, put the LLC that owns the home into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2019 in order to avoid foreclosure and to put the litigation over loan defaults on pause. Ross has been trying to sell the iconic estate on and off since 2007. The highest price was $195 million in 2016. He even tried to crowdfund to refinance the house.
The estate was built in 1927 and sits on five acres. Hearst lived there until his death in 1951, at which point actress Marion Davies purchased it. President John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis spent part of their honeymoon at the estate.
If the home looks familiar to movie fans, that’s because it was featured in the movie “The Godfather.” Remember the scene when Vito Corleone’s enemy finds the severed head of a horse in his bed?
More recently, the home was the location for Beyonce’s “Black is King” music video.
The main house is 29,000 square feet with eight bedrooms. When the guest house and security house are included, the property has 18 bedrooms in total. The home has a two-story library with hand-carved wood paneling. The billiards room features a hand-carved stone fireplace that was transported from Hearst Castle to Los Angeles. The property also has an Art Deco nightclub that has items from the old school supper club Touch, which was owned by Hugh Hefner.
Ross bought the property, located at 1011 N. Beverly Drive, in 1976 for less than $2 million. He tried to sell it a bit more than a decade later, in 1987, for $25 million. Ross hit bad times in 2010 when five companies he ran filed for bankruptcy due to the crash of the real estate market during the global financial crisis. At the time, Ross reportedly owed about $22 million to Bank of America alone.
Ross tried to sell the house for $95 million around this time. He had no takers so he upped the price to $195 million. He still had no bites, so he lowered it to $135 million. Reportedly, the revolving who’s who of Los Angeles real estate agents have compared the property, and especially Ross’ Art Deco nightclub to a 1980s cocaine den and said the home needs work.
Ross was forced to give up his ability to live at the house due to the ongoing legal proceedings surrounding the property. Now, he’s in a race against foreclosure for the iconic property.