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Celebrity Real Estate: The Estate of the late Bob Hope Lists In Toluca Lake for the First Time Ever

[Update October 8, 2013]: This home was finally listed for sale on September 23, 2013 with an astronomical asking price of $27.5 million. You can view the listing pictures and additional details here

[Original Post]:

The latest rumor to hit the celebrity real estate world is that the estate of the late Bob Hope has listed his long time mansion in Toluca Lake according to The Tolucan Times. Although the property has not hit the MLS, there may be some validity to this rumor because just about two weeks ago, Bob Hope's torus shaped house designed by John Lautner in Palm Springs reportedly became available with an astronomical asking price of $45,000,000 according to the Mossler Properties blog

Its quite possible that the estate and family are winding down assets due to high maintenance costs and upkeep especially if they are no longer being heavily utilized since the passing of Bob Hope in 2003 (age 100) and his wife, Dolores, in September 2011 (age 102). But I could be wrong and this is all speculation.

The Bob Hope estate is spread over 4 parcels measuring 87,120 sqft, 56,628 sqft, 58,370 sqft, and 27,062 sqft for a total of 229,180 sqft or 5.2 acres which is relatively massive with respect to the Toluca Lake area  where a majority of the homes are situated on 10,000 to 20,000 sqft lots. Because of its size, the estate clearly stands out on the map. The main home measures 8 Beds/ 11 Baths on 14,876 sqft built in 1939 which was designed by Robert Finkelhor who also designed the Oakridge Estate for Barbara Stanwyck in Northridge. There are additional buildings on the property but I am not sure of how many, their purpose, and if its included in the total square footage. I have no doubt that this estate has every amenity available but one unique feature that you dont typically see is that the property comes with what appears to be a 250 - 300 yard golf hole which just makes me jealous. Bob Hope was an avid golfer and would typically be seen driving his golf cart around the neighborhood heading to the Lakeside Golf Club just down the street. 
Image courtesy Google Maps
I dont know the history of this property and how it originally started either than what was stated above but I did find one interesting tidbit from the Musuem of the San Fernando Valley.  Mr. Glenn E. Mueller shared with the MSFV site the following:
My folks & I lived at 4348 Ledge Ave. in what's now Toluca Lake, during 1941 to 1951, it was North Hollywood . . .
My dad had an aerial photo taken in 1944 which includes Bob Hope's house on the left. The street running up the top of the picture is Woodbridge and Bloomfield runs "into our driveway." 

The 2nd attachment is when "we" sold the house. Bob Hope bought it to live in while his mansion was renovated. Then he subdivided the three acres we had and sold off the lots. Hope brought his residence property line up to the driveway and behind the four car garage (not 3 as mentioned in the LA Times) which increased his golfing area.

Above images courtesy MSFV
That $70,000 sale price is now going for $2,500,000.00 and that's just for the driveway up behind the house and down the south side of the house to Ledge.  The pool was built in 1946 
Speaking of buying properties, Bob Hope was a savvy and prolific real estate investor that back in 1981 he was the largest private landowner in California according to an interview on NBC Magazine with David Brinkley on March 20, 1981 which also discusses his finances (see interview below).

I dont know all the properties that Bob Hope has acquired over his lifetime but I do know that he loved investing specifically in San Fernando Valley real estate as mentioned in an LA Times obituary for Dolores Hope.  Hope also started the Valley Music Theatre in Woodland Hills that has unfortunately been demolished which was discussed on this blog. 

Based on a quick review of the property records, the Bob Hope estate also owns two properties directly  across from their mansion with one home measuring 4 Bed/2 Bath on 2,760 sqft built in 1932 as well as a 3 unit multi-family home measuring 3 Beds/3 Baths on 2,640 sqft built in 1940. I have no idea when those homes were acquired nor its purpose but maybe they are the homes of the caretakers of the Bob Hope estate. 

Above images courtesy Google Maps
The Bob Hope estate was also wildly popular around Halloween time as Bob would pass out whole candy bars, silver dollars, nose-shaped kazoos, and Frisbees with the a caricature of Bob Hope as explained on the IAMNOTASTALKER blog

If you were hoping to get up close and personal with the estate, that opportunity passed by as their was an estate sale held on the weekend of November 29 -30

Stay tuned for any updates on the MLS listing as well as pictures. In terms of the asking prices, nothing has been rumored and this is a difficult property to value because of its history, size, and uniqueness. Someone could easily purchase and subdivide the golf course and other areas to make room for more mansions in Toluca Lake. But to speculate on the matter, I wouldnt be surprised to see an asking price in the range of $14 to $20 million just going off the recent Bing Crosby estate sale which sold for $4 million and was situated on less than 2  acres but this is all speculation so dont quote me. There is also somewhat of a competition in the area (but cant really call it competition since nothing really compares) with the home of Nile Niami (producer/real estate developer) listed at $7,495,000 and another larger home owned by unknown person at $5,585,000

Toluca Lake is home to many celebrities partially due to its close proximity to the studios and Hollywood. The following list are celebrity homes in the Toluca Lake area discussed on this blog:
  1. Former Bing Crosby estate which sold on December 20, 2011 for $4.020 million.
  2. Former Hillary Duff mansion which sold on July 18, 2012 for $4,651,500.
  3. Jason Priestly who tried to sell his home for $2.1 million and has been off the market at this time.
  4. Erin Daniels (L Word) who recently purchased in June 2012 for $1.5 million.
  5. Jennifer Love Hewitt who recently listed a property for sale and one for lease in August 2012.  
  6. Former Alan Thicke home who sold for $3,525,000 on November 20, 2012.
  7. Haylie Duff (sister of Hilary Duff) which recently listed on October 9, 2012 for $1,799,000.  
  8. Miley Cyrus clan lives in this area. 
  9. Other residents include Ashley Tisdale, Kiefer Sutherland, Andy Garcia, Dweezil Zappa, valley native George Lopez, Brooke Burns, Lindsay Price, Jonathan Antin, Jennie Garth, David Leisure, Nile Niami, the late Roy Disney, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Jonathan Winter, Steve Carell, Kirk Fogg, Markie Post, and the Jonas Brothers to name a few (or several).
You can check out more SFV Celebrity Real Estate here.  

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Marty Mcfly

Anything and everything about the San Fernando Valley. This blog will take you back in time when the valley was covered with dirt and orange groves to a leader in the space race to its current status as America's suburb. Come along and join me on this adventure, I guarantee you have been influenced/impacted by the San Fernando Valley in one form or another even if you have never visited or heard of the SFV.

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