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A Controversial Love Nest

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on February 13, 2008

It’s being marketed as the ulimtate Valentine’s Day gift, 138 acres situated on the highest point in Los Angeles, just above the city’s famous Hollywood sign. It’s the peak just to the left of the sign in the photo.

hollywood sign.bmp

Howard Hughes originally purchased the land and planned to develop it into a private Shangri-La for his then love interest Ginger Rogers. She danced right out of his life though, and Hughes never did anything with the land. It remained in his estate until 2002, when, according to the Los Angeles Times, the property’s current owner, an investor group from Chicago acquired it for $1.7 million. The investor group, Fox River Financial Resources, is listing it now for $22 million.

The land features 360-degree views of the ocean, downtown L.A. and the San Fernando Valley. It consists of five parcels with the potential to develop a single family residence and guest house on each, or a compound spanning the entire property.

Don’t expect it to be an easy sale—even with news today that home sales in Southern California slumped to twenty year lows. The cash strapped city has been trying to scape up enough money to buy the land. Any development is sure to be met with howls of protest.



BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.

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