Westside Home Sale Highest Year to Date at Close to $40 Million

| By Ruth Ryon | November 7, 2008 12:02 PM ET

(LOS ANGELES, CA) - The sale of a Beverly Hills-area home for $36.7 million indicates that life is marching on despite the housing meltdown.

"It is the highest (price paid) year to date on the Westside," said real estate broker Cecelia Waeschle, who has tracked high-end home sales in the neighborhood for more than a dozen years.

The asking price was $49 million. The home sold this fall, the Multiple Listing Service reported.

The newly built house has nine bedrooms and 18 bathrooms in 27,000 square feet. The Tuscan-style villa, designed by Santa Monica-based architect Richard Landry, also has a movie theater, a guest house, a large gym, a party room, a sprawling lawn, an 80-foot-long pool, a waterfall, a tennis court pavilion/pool house and a 110-yard par 3 golf hole.

The buyer was Ronald N. Tutor, according to public records. He is president/chief executive officer of Tutor-Saliba/Contractors/Engineers. He helped build Tutor Saliba from a small local builder into one of the country's largest building and civil works construction companies. He also has worked in various parts of the world as chairman and CEO of one of the country's largest building and civil works contractors.

A graduate of USC in 1963, Tutor's whole career has been in the construction industry with the Tutor-Saliba Corp. and its earlier companies.

He is also known for his philanthropy and was recognized for it when a state-of-the art research and instructional complex - the $50-million Ronald Tutor Hall - opened at USC in 2005.

It isn't all good news out there, of course

After former heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield was threatened in June with foreclosure, Johnny Carson's sidekick Ed McMahon was saved from losing his house for a few days by Donald Trump.

Some of the other celebrities who found themselves on lists of possible foreclosures were Jose Canseco, Aretha Franklin, Latrell Sprewell, Michael Jackson, Dallas Cowboys "Pacman" Jones and former NBA star Vin Baker.

Plastic Surgeon to the Stars Lists Casa in Mexico at $5 Million

(SAN MIGUEL, Mexico) - Dr. Richard Ellenbogen, a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon to the stars, once owned a quintessential American home known for its former owners - Ozzie and Harriet Nelson, but now the doctor and his wife, Stephanie, are putting finishing touches on a house they had built in Mexico, and they've listed the casa at $5 million.

The house, South of the Border in the gated community of Candelaria, overlooks San Miguel and the Laja River Valley It has views of  the Guanajuato mountain range, and it has access to an equestrian facility with trails that wind through several parks.

The Ellenbogens worked on their house along with Mexican artisans; architect Manuel Barbosa and designer Greg Lowenstein. The end result was a fusion of styles - Moroccan, Art Deco and Indian.

There are tall glass doors and windows, a fully outfitted theater with leather chairs and sofas; a master-bedroom suite with a Moroccan carved door; seven fireplaces; vaulted ceilings, and his and hers bathrooms.

Stephanie has an office in the home, which also has three guest bedrooms, a solar-heated tile pool with water features and some ponds.

The estate has 8,000 square feet under roof and 6,000 square feet of outdoor living areas. There is a maid's quarters as well as a paved tree-lined circular drive. There are about 100 trees on the grounds - large cacti, mesquite and palms.

"Ozzie and Harriet" was a popular TV show in the '50s, featuring the Nelsons and their sons, Ricky, who became a young rock star, and David. The Nelsons lived in the house even during the run of the show. An exterior of the house was used in the opening shot, which ran with the credits.

Ozzie swam daily in his unheated pool, and he bragged about its health benefits. A later owner added a second floor on one side of the house, but the red and green Christmas-like wallpaper, selected by Harriet for the dining room, remained on the walls long after the family had moved out and the doctor had moved in.

Ricky and David Nelson had spent their teen years living with their parents in the house.  Groups of young girls routinely knocked on the front door to get the brothers' attention.

Ozzie died of lung cancer although he never smoked. Some say he inhaled secondary smoke in bars where his band performed during the 1940s.

Bob Hurwitz of Hurwitz-James Co., Beverly Hills, has the listing in Mexico.

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