After an epic $50 million price cut, the legendary Los Angeles estate of late billionaire Jerry Perenchio, in the tony heart of Bel Air and known as Chartwell, is now listed at $195 million. Astronomically high as it may be, the drastically reduced new asking price pushes up on half of the preposterously optimistic $350 million the property was privately shopped at before it was officially set out for sale on the open market last fall (2018) with an apparently still too titanic $245 million price tag.
The talent agent turned money-minting media mogul, former chairman and CEO of the Spanish TV conglomerate Univision, acquired the roughly 6.3-acre main parcel in 1986 for $13.5 million and over the years added several surrounding properties, including one that had been owned by Ronald and Nancy Reagan. All together, the estate’s handful of parcels total almost 10.5 acres. The more than 20,000 square foot main house, a French Neoclassical limestone chateau built on spec in the early 1930s by architect Sumner Spaulding, used in the 1960s for exterior shots as the Clampett mansion on “The Beverly Hillbillies” and redecorated for Perenchio in the late 1980s by internationally esteemed French decorator Henri Samuel, presides over a private idyll with numerous fountains and scads of sculpture amid of immaculate formal gardens and vast sweeps of generously irrigated lawn bordered by punctiliously trimmed boxwood hedgerows.
No interior photographs have been released of the main residence that reportedly contains baronial public rooms, including a dining room wrapped in antique paneling, as well as a 12,000-bottle wine cellar and a palatial ballroom. In addition to the acres of gardens that surely require an extraordinary amount of manpower to properly maintain, not to mention a staggering amount of water, the estate’s sundry amenities include a 5,700-square-foot guesthouse designed by acclaimed architect Wallace Neff, a 75-foot long swimming pool and roomy pool house connected to the main house by an elevator and tunnel, a lighted tennis court and a discreet parking structure described in marketing descriptions as a “car gallery” that will accommodate more than three dozen cars.
Even at the drastically reduced $195 million price, Chartwell is still the highest priced house available on the open market in Los Angeles, well ahead of both Villa Firenze, the extravagant, “Italian village” style spread in the Beverly Park enclave that billionaire couple Steven and Christine Udvar-Házy have had up for sale for nearly two years with no takers at $165 million, and The Manor, Petra Ecclestone’s 56,000 square foot high-glam behemoth in Holmby Hills that’s now priced at $160 million price after it was first saddled with an unrealistic $200 million price tag.
Chartwell is represented by a plethora of Platinum Triangle real estate power players: Jade Mills at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage; Drew Gitlin and Susan Gitlin at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California; and Drew Fenton, Gary Gold and Jeff Hyland of Hilton & Hyland.
Perenchio, who passed in 2017 at 86 with a net worth the bean counters at Forbes pegged at around $2.8 billion, was also a prolific property owner in Malibu, particularly in and around the legendary Colony enclave. Just outside the hallowed gates of the fabled beachside community he maintained a private golf course — in exchange for receiving California Coastal Commission approval for the illegally installed three-green course, an unusual 2004 agreement states the ten-acre property is to be willed to the state after his and his wife’s deaths — and at one point he owned at least a dozen homes inside the gates, including three on the beach.