UPDATE: It was confirmed by the Wall Street Journal that Petra Ecclestone is indeed the buyer of the Spelling Manor. The home closed on July 14 for $85 million—quite a steal compared to the original listing price of $150 million. A spokeswoman was quoted saying that Ecclestone “plans to split her time after the wedding between London and Los Angeles.”
ORIGINAL POST: Ooh-la-la, despite the huge real estate tailspin we are in, could this be the year of humongous real estate deals?
In March, Russian investor Yuri Milner paid $100 million for a French chateau-style mansion in Silicon Valley and today, the Wall Street Journal is reporting the massive “Spelling Manor” has been sold to Petra Ecclestone (photo, left), a 22-year-old British woman who is heiress to the Formula One auto racing empire.
The Milner purchase was reported to be the highest-known price paid for a single-family home in the U.S. and if Ecclestone paid anywhere close to the $150 million asking price for the Spelling Manor, this deal will claim bragging rights as most expensive purchase ever in the U.S.
There is, needless to say, some skepticism about the validity of the purchase. The Real Estalker reports a well-connected insider has a different story that the buyer isn’t Eccelstone but “someone else more wealthy.”
Who is Petra Eccelstone? She is the daughter of Formula One “supremo” Bernie Ecclestone, a Brit and self-made billionaire who built his empire from selling motorcycle parts. He pursued his passion for auto racing — first as a driver, then as a team owner and eventually, he came to head Formula One, which is considered the most prestigious style of auto racing, attracting celebrities and royalty.
Petra is one of Bernie’s and former wife, Slavica Radic’s, two daughters and is described as one of ‘the most spoilt girls in Britain,” in a recent article by the Daily Mail. Not only does Petra most likely have a new $100+ million home in the U.S., but the WSJ also reports that Bernie purchased a six-story house in London’s Chelsea neighborhood for £56 million ($90.9 million) for Petra, who is planning to marry her boyfriend of four years, James Stunt.
The 123-room Spelling Mansion hit the Los Angeles real estate market last September for the lofty price of $150 million. It is owned by Candy Spelling, wife of the late, mega-TV producer Aaron Spelling who amassed a fortune creating such hits as “Charlie’s Angels,” “Dynasty,” “Beverly Hills, 90210,” and “The Love Boat.” The Spellings purchased the property from Patrick J. Frawley in 1983 for $10,250,000. Frawley, who was chairman of Schick razor company, Paper Mate pens and Technicolor, purchased the property in 1964 from entertainer Bing Crosby, allegedly for $350,000.
The Spellings proceeded to demolish the Frawley/Crosby home to build the 56,500-sq ft manor in 1991.
Occupying 4.7 acres, the three-story manor has no shortage of luxuries and includes a 17,000-sq ft attic with a barbershop and salon, rooftop garden, library, double staircase, two-lane bowling alley, service wing with staff quarters, China room, gift-wrapping room, wine tasting room, and parking for 100 cars.
According to a recent interview, the 63-year-old Spelling is downsizing from “The Manor” to a two-story Los Angeles condo she purchased for $47 million last year.