Fox Corporation chief executive officer Lachlan Murdoch and his wife, Sarah, are paying a speculated US$150 million ($A218 million) for the Bel Air estate beamed on television between 1962 and 1971 as The Beverly Hillbillies mansion – occupied by the fictional Clampett family.
The price smashes the record for a California home set earlier this year when Formula One heiress Petra Ecclestone sold the former Spelling family mansion, The Manor, in Holmby Hills, for US$119.75 million.
Chartwell, 750 Bel Air Road, Bel Air
The Murdoch property, Chartwell, at 750 Bel Air Road, occupies a sprawling four hectare plot.
It hit the market two years ago asking US$350 million before being discounted progressively, most recently in June, to US$195 million.
Between 1986 and 2017, late media mogul Jerrold Perenchio owned the home.
Mr Perenchio paid the estate of hotelier and real estate investor Arnold Kirkeby $13.5 million for it.
Mr Kirkeby reportedly charged the producers of The Beverly Hillbillies US$500 a day to film at it.
The mansion was also the backdrop for a 1960 Jerry Lewis movie Cinderfella.
Mr Perenchio died of lung cancer at Chartwell.
He expanded the holding twice in the 1980s, including by acquiring a neighbouring mansion once home to former president and first lady, Ronald and Nancy Reagan.
Designed by architect Sumner Spaulding, 750 Bel Air Road was built in the 1930s and includes 18 bedrooms, 25 bathrooms and a ballroom.
A 40-car subterranean garage and wine cellar capable of storing 12,000 bottles, are other features.
Outside, the estate offers a tennis court, garden, fountains, 75-foot swimming pool and pool house.
It also includes a guest house penned by architect Wallace Neff (interestingly, Lachlan’s brother, James, lives in a home also penned by this architect in Beverly Hills).
Chartwell sold following a public sale campaign managed by Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices California Properties’ Drew Gitlin and Susan Gitlin, Hilton & Hyland’s Drew Fenton, Gary Gold and Jeff Hyland and Coldwell Banker Global Luxury’s Joyce Rey, Jade Mills and Alexandra Allen.
More details of the house can be seen in this video.
The home is the sixth in LA to sell for more than $100 million.
The record price paid for a residential property in the US was set in January when hedge fund manager Ken Griffin paid US$238 million for a penthouse covering floors 50-53 at New York’s 220 Central Park South skyscraper, which is under construction.
Fifteen months ago we reported about another Australian heir to a media empire, James Packer, spending $US59.95 million on the Holmby Hills mansion once owned by Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman.
Lachlan and Sarah own a high profile Australian home, too
Mr Murdoch, 48, is also the co-chairman of News Corp, which has been run for decades by his father, Rupert, who has residences in New York City and Bel Air – not far from 750 Bel Air Road.
In 2015, ahead of a permanent move to LA from Australia, Lachlan and Sarah spent US$12.5 million a Brentwood home, near Bel Air.
In 2009, the pair paid the French government $23 million for the historic Le Manoir, on Victoria Road, Bellevue Hill, in Sydney’s east.
For years occupied by the French trade commissioner, the home sold at auction against price hopes of $15-$18 million.
Le Manoir’s grounds have been expanded care of the Murdoch’s acquiring neighbouring property.
The hilltop dwelling has also undergone a major renovation and extension.
Members of Lachlan Murdoch’s immediate family are cashed up following the US$71.3 billion sale in March of 21st Century Fox assets to Disney (Rupert’s personal net wealth is estimated by Forbes to have increased from US$8 billion to US$20 billion following this deal).
Other Australian Murdoch property in the press
In September, 2018, we reported about Rupert’s childhood home in North Adelaide hitting the market.
Three months ago Rupert’s sister, Anne Kantor, sold a retail investment in Melbourne’s Church Street, Brighton, for $6.1 million.
In June, an application by a consortium including another sibling, Janet Calvert-Jones, was approved, permitting that a 23-storey office replace airspace of the historic former German Club building at 7-13 Alfred Place in the Melbourne CBD.
The family has retained Cruden Farm – the property patriarch Sir Kenneth Murdoch bought for his then 19-year old new bride, Dame Elisabeth, in 1928.
Ms Murdoch lived at the 54-hectare Langwarrin property on Melbourne’s outskirts until her death in 2012.
It was speculated a couple of years ago that part of Cruden Farm, which is now surrounded by housing estates, could be sold to a developer for more than $50 million.