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This mansion in Beverly Hills, built for Bert Lahr -- the Cowardly Lion of "The Wizard of Oz" -- has been home to a plethora of celebrities over the decades. It's now on the market -- to buy for $28.5 million, or to rent for $100,000 a month.
If history repeats itself, this property might just be a gold-bricked road to riches.
The mansion "has been leased nonstop" by A-list celebrities over the past few years, says listing agent Joyce Rey, noting that there are "huge A+ celebrities currently renting" the sprawling Hamptons-style residence. Of course, she can't name names due to pesky confidentiality agreements.
The gated estate is nestled away on just over an acre and "can't be seen from the street," offering the privacy desired by the Hollywood elite. It was built in 1941 by Paul Revere Williams, the first certified African-American architect west of the Mississippi River. Williams built houses for Hollywood stars, including Frank Sinatra and Lucille Ball; and he designed public buildings, including the Los Angeles County Courthouse.
Since the time Lahr lived there, the estate has been occupied by Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith, Betty Grable, Paul McCartney, and Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne. It is currently owned by Guy Attal, president of clothier Fabrizio Gianni. The Frenchman might want to drop his clothing business and consider a career as a real estate mogul, because he bought the home in 2000 for just $2.55 million.
"He bought it at the bottom of the market," Rey says. Although Attal "spent millions" remodeling the home with the help of a Ralph Lauren designer, he has pocketed oodles of dollars renting to celebrities and now stands to clear almost $26 million if the house sells for its asking price.
"It's a constant source of revenue," Rey says.
The house has two master suites, three bedrooms, seven bathrooms, two staff quarters and three powder rooms. For recreation and entertaining, you can enjoy its vintage two-lane bowling alley, movie theater and wet bar. The property also has a two-bedroom guest house. The total size of the two structures is roughly 15,500 square feet. The main house has a three-car garage, and the guest house has its own two-car garage.
Outside, the grounds feature a koi pond, pool, spa, tennis court, sports court, putting green and outdoor kitchen.
And, remember, if you want don't want to commit to buying just yet, you can rent the whole thing for $100,000 a month. (Attal isn't included to dress you, though -- he'll be staying at one of his "several other" properties around Los Angeles, Rey says.
"There's a big demand for short-term rentals around here, and it's much better than living in a hotel," Rey says, noting that the typical stay of an A-list celebrity is three months, roughly the amount of time it takes for a movie shoot.
Oh, if we only had the brain … of Guy Attal, 15 years ago.