Land Next to Hollywood Sign Once Owned by Howard Hughes Up for Sale for $22M

A "for sale" sign is going up next to the Hollywood sign.

A group of Chicago investors are putting the 138 acres of mountaintop property just to the west of the "H" in the Hollywood sign on the market Wednesday.

The Fox River Co. said the property, once owned by Howard Hughes, offers a stunning 360-degree panorama of the Los Angeles Basin and the San Fernando Valley.

The asking price: $22 million.

Hughes once planned to build a love nest there for his then paramour Ginger Rogers. Though their relationship didn't last, the property remained undeveloped and in the eccentric billionaire's trust for decades.

The land, which includes the 1,820-foot-high Cahuenga Peak, was sold to Fox River in 2002 for $1,675,000. It consists of five parcels and homes can still be built on it, the company said in a press release.

Two years ago, city officials and conservationists tried unsuccessfully to raise money to buy the property to make the peak a part of Griffith Park.

Councilman Tom LaBonge, who led the fundraising effort, said building homes on the peak would ruin one of the city's most famous views.

"That mountain should not be cluttered," LaBonge told the Los Angeles Times. "It's good for the psyche of Los Angeles."

"The city should acquire this land," he added.

Griffith Park suffered two damaging wildfires last year amid extremely dry, hot conditions. They included a blaze that broke out in May and burned 800 acres. In March, a fire tore through the hills near the Hollywood sign and burned 150 acres.