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Downsizing in Los Angeles: From Mansion to $47

Million Condo
LOS ANGELES Candy Spelling, widow of the television producer Aaron Spelling, is
After nearly !" years in #he $anor, a %&,%""'s(uare'foot )rench chateau'style ho*e +nown
for its size and e,travagance it includes a wine'tasting roo*, a -owling alley, a silver roo*,
a china roo* and a well'+nown gift'wrapping roo* she says she is ready for the ne,t
trophy property. a condo*iniu*
/0eople say, 1ow can you *ove fro* #he $anor2 #here3s no place li+e it,4 $rs Spelling said,
sitting in the li-rary with leather-ound scripts of every episode of $r Spelling3s shows, fro*
/Charlie3s Angels4 to /5th 1eaven4
6ut a condo, she said, /is no di7erent than a house, *ay-e even -etter4
$rs Spelling is the *ost conspicuous -uyer in an ultralu,ury condo *ar+et that is new in the
sprawl of Los Angeles, where wealth and fa*e have usually spelled out /estate,4 not
apart*ent living 6ut real estate e,perts say a New 8or+'style lu,ury high'rise lifestyle is
creeping into the wealthiest echelons, fed -y trends li+e people loo+ing to own *ore than one
ho*e, foreigners drawn -y the wea+ dollar to invest in Los Angeles, and new residential
-uildings -eing designed -y cele-rity architects li+e 9o-ert A $ Stern, 9ichard $eier and
:ean Nouvel
$r Stern designed #he Century, the ;<"'unit -uilding under construction where $rs Spelling
recently -ought the top two penthouse =oors ;&,%"" s(uare feet for ><5 *illion
#hat3s >!,?<? a s(uare foot, if you3re counting
Los Angeles is -eco*ing a *ore vertical area at all inco*e levels as land for develop*ent
-eco*es less plentiful and tra@c congestion, and now high gas prices, steer *ore people to
cluster around *ass transit stations and *ore co**unity'li+e sections, li+e downtown and
Aest Los Angeles, said Belores A Conway, director of the Casden 9eal Estate Econo*ics
)orecast at the Cniversity of Southern California )or !""& and !""5 in Los Angeles County,
condos sold -etter than single fa*ily ho*es, even as the *ar+et was dipping, real estate data
shows, although sales a-ove >% *illion are still few
Last year, %D percent of new ho*e sales were condos
/#he city is -eco*ing *ore interconnected and growing up,4 $s Conway said /Et3s a *aFor
change in the landscape of Los Angeles4
And co*peting to lure the ultra rich out of their grand ho*es and co*pounds is a new
generation of high'end high'rises, with hundreds of units already under construction or
planned that pro*ise a higher level of services and *ore s(uare footage than the typical
lu,ury condo here, which usually sold for under >;" *illion #he new pa*pering, with prices
to *atch, includes restaurants open !<G5, outdoor entertaining spaces and patrols -y Esraeli'
trained security guards to foil the paparazzi
/Et3s a Held of drea*s,4 said Stephen Shapiro, chair*an of Aestside Estate Agency in 6everly
1ills, which represents one of the new condo properties /6uild it, and they hope they will
#he Century, a proFect of 9elated Co*panies, the developer of the #i*e Aarner Center in New
8or+, sits on three acres of green and o7ers a !""'foot'long entrance driveway, /*editation
ca-anas4 in the gardens, a wine storage and tasting roo* and guest suites for ho*e o@ces or
household sta7 Cnits go for >I% *illion to >;"% *illion and penthouses for >;% *illion to
>!D *illion
Not too far away, #he Carlyle 9esidences, a !<'story crescent'shaped -uilding -y Elad
0roperties, owners of the 0laza 1otel in New 8or+, will have 5? units priced at >!D *illion to
>!" *illion when it opens ne,t su**er A*ong its o7erings are a =oor dedicated to sta7
(uarters and hedges *onitored -y security ca*eras
/#his is Los Angeles, and the paparazzi pro-le* is so prevalent here,4 e,plained :ill
Eisenstadt, a spo+eswo*an for the proFect
At least si, proFects are going up on the west side -etween 6everly 1ills and Santa $onica
alone, including hotels with a residential co*ponent #he $ontage 1otel 6everly 1ills,
opening later this year, has !" condos with hotel services, for >D *illion to >I! *illion
/Ae3ve had so*e terriHc de*and for the*,4 said Alan )uerst*an, founder and chief e,ecutive
of $ontage 1otels J 9esorts /8ou have all the o7erings without the hassles of *anaging a
large estate4
Bavid $ossler, the real estate agent who sold #he Century3s Hrst penthouse last Bece*-er,
for >;% *illion, said the cachet of $r Stern was a -ig draw for his clients, a couple he refused
to identify to protect their privacy #hey had -een loo+ing for a second ho*e in Los Angeles
for two years -ut had not found the loo+s, privacy or views they wanted
Ahen he *entioned a condo, $r $ossler said, /E thin+ they thought E was crazy4
/E told the* a-out the high (uality of the -uilding and the security and the other a*enities,4
he said /#he light went on in their heads #hey said, KEt3s li+e a great hotel suite3 4
)or $rs Spelling, &!, *other of the actors #ori and 9andy Spelling, the draw was -eing a-le to
worry less a-out the up+eep of a house and -eing ready to travel *ore two years after the
death of her hus-and, who was afraid of =ying, she said She is entertaining o7ers in the >;%"
*illion range for her A'shaped *ansion, which the couple -uilt in the late ;D?"s in the
neigh-orhood +nown as 1ol*-y 1ills
/E3* loo+ing forward to seeing the world,4 she said /E3* now single $y +ids don3t live at
ho*e Et3s the ne,t chapter in *y life4
6ut going condo can -e a challenge when your idea of downsizing does not *ean shedding a
dining ta-le for !&, or the private pool and rose garden, all of which $rs Spelling plans to
install in her new digs 1er solution was to co*-ine two duple,es on the <;st and <!nd =oors,
with <,""" feet Fust for the *aster -edroo*
$rs Spelling said she was shrin+ing her sta7 of !" to less than half, three of who* will
continue living with her and her wheaten terrier, $adison She said she was tal+ing to schools
and children3s hospitals a-out donating the contents of the li-rary and *ost of her collection
of $ada*e Ale,ander dolls
6ut other things her china, silver, E*pressionist art, wardro-e, wine cellar, -all cloc+
collection and, yes, the gift'wrapping roo* are nonnegotia-le, she said
/E3* not giving it up,4 she said of the so*eti*es ridiculed wrapping roo* that she calls her
/ho--y and therapy4
/#hat3s special to *e,4 she said /E3ve always li+ed *y pac+ages pretty4
$rs Spelling said she had also -een *indful of her two grandchildren when designing her new
condo, which includes a guest suite and pool ca-ana reserved for their use #he -oy and girl
are -y her daughter, #ori, with who* relations have -een roc+y, or /co*plicated4 as they -oth
have put it L$rs Spelling is co*pleting a -oo+ deal that is not *eant, she said, as a response
to her daughter3s -est seller, /Stori #elling,4 which portrayed her as cold and controlling, and
which she clai*ed not to have readM Bespite ta-loid reports a-out their feuds, and a-out $s
Spelling3s inheriting less than >; *illion fro* her father L$rs Spelling said her children and
grandchildren would inherit all the Spelling *oney eventuallyM, $rs Spelling said she saw her
grandchildren wee+ly
As $rs Spelling e,tolled the I&"'degree views and a*enities of condo life, including a health
clu- with on'call *assage service, she said friends were already telling her /*ay-e this is
what we should do4
6ut so*e developers say the ultrae,pensive condo *ar+et is still a ga*-le
/#he pre*iu* condo *ar+et is unproven in Los Angeles,4 said 0aul 1a-i-i, a developer who
also lectures in real estate at the Cniversity of California, Los Angeles /A*enities are certainly
a draw, -ut are they any -etter than what they already have24
$r Stern, the architect of #he Century, which is going up in Century City, an area with a
shopping *all, *ovie theaters, upscale restaurants and *any entertain*ent o@ces, said
wealthy Angelenos were ready for apart*ent living as long as they got /that outdoor'indoor
type of living4 1e said Californians, unli+e New 8or+ers, felt entitled to space, light and fresh
air, which he translated into spacious roo*s and -ig -alconies
/0eople are ready to live in a *ore ur-an way,4 $r Stern said /#hey3re sic+ of driving
#he -ad econo*y and soft real estate *ar+et do not see* to -e a7ecting the >% *illion and
up housing seg*ent, -ro+ers said #he Century, which will not open until at least the end of
!""D, has sold half of its units, *ostly to locals, said Bavid Aine, vice chair*an of 9elated
Co*panies, the proFect3s developer
Ahile the >!,?<? a s(uare foot that $rs Spelling paid set a record for Los Angeles, $r Aine
said, it was still a -argain -y New 8or+ City standards, where less space in the highest'end
condo*iniu*s can go for thousands of dollars *ore than that
/Et gives you co*fort,4 $r Shapiro, the 6everly 1ills real estate agent, who handles sales of
>!" *illion and over, said of $rs Spelling3s decision /No-ody wants to -e the Hrst one She
sets the pace4