Lachlan Murdoch Pays $150M for Mansion, Sets LA Record

The Clampetts' old place could use some work
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2019 4:17 PM CST
Lachlan Murdoch Pays $150M for Mansion, Sets LA Record
Lachlan Murdoch, left, and his wife, Sarah, arrive for a state dinner at the White House in September.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The most surprising fact about the Bel-Air mansion bought by Rupert Murdoch's son Lachlan might not be the selling price, which is about $150 million. Or the fact that the house, called Chartwell, was used for exterior shots of the Clampetts' place in the credits for The Beverly Hillbillies. The real jolt might be that the 25,000-square-foot, French Neoclassical mansion is a fixer-upper. Real estate agents who have seen the interior said it could use a makeover that might take years and cost tens of millions, the Wall Street Journal reports. Its last renovation was in the late 1980s. That didn't keep it from being the highest-priced listing in the country when it hit the market for $350 million in 2017. Even at the deep discount, Chartwell set a Los Angeles record, and it's the second-highest selling price recorded in the nation.

For his money, Lachlan Murdoch, co-chairman of News Corp., got a 26-room chateau designed in the '30s by Sumner Spaulding that includes a ballroom and a 12,000-bottle wine vault. The 10 acres of grounds include a five-bedroom guest house designed by Wallace Neff, a 75-foot pool, a pool house, a tennis court, gardens, and an underground garage for 40 vehicles. A tunnel runs from the basement of the main house to the pool. The estate of billionaire A. Jerrold Perenchio, who died in 2017, was the seller; he had paid about $14 million for the main property in 1986. The deal included a house behind the estate that once belonged to President Reagan and his wife, Nancy, per the Los Angeles Times. The estate also comes with a $1.3 million yearly tax bill. (Jeff Bezos spent $80 million on condos to combine in Manhattan.)

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