Excerpts from the www.latimes.com article:
The biggest home in Los Angeles County is ready for a new nickname: The 56,500-square-foot Manor, dubbed Candyland after owner Candy Spelling, has been sold to another wealthy socialite, British heiress Petra Ecclestone, in an all-cash deal for $85 million.
On the market for more than two years at $150 million as the highest-priced house in the U.S., the 4.7-acre Holmby Hills estate is designed for a life of glamour and grand living to which Ecclestone is no stranger. She is the daughter of self-made Formula 1 billionaire Bernie Ecclestone and former Armani model Slavica, who are divorced. The Ecclestone family ranked 254th this year on Forbes’ list of wealthiest people, with a net worth of $4.2 billion.
The 22-year-old, a beneficiary of the family trust, also is no stranger to property ownership. She already has a Georgian mansion in Chelsea, England, valued at an estimated $90 million.
Ecclestone’s new L.A. digs are about 1,500 square feet larger than the White House. An Ecclestone spokesman was quoted last month in London’s Daily Mail as saying she will be using the U.S. residence only part time.
In her 2009 book “Stories From Candyland,” Spelling tells of her unfamiliarity with the building process: “We didn’t set out to build the largest house…. Because I couldn’t read blueprints, I was often surprised by what was eventually built.”
Spelling’s book recounts how she relied on the instincts of her dogs in helping select an appraiser and later the agents who landed her mammoth listing. Passing muster with her Wheaton terrier Madison were Hilton, Hyland and Sally Forster Jones, who is with Coldwell Banker, Beverly Hills. Hilton appears to have been a particularly fortuitous selection because he and David Kramer, also of Hilton & Hyland, represented Ecclestone in the purchase.
In one respect, the $150-million price tag for the Spelling mansion made the jobs of the listing agents easier. “Rick Hilton and I had no problems with pre-qualifying buyers,” quipped Jeff Hyland of Hilton & Hyland, Beverly Hills, an affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate. “If they or their party were not on the Forbes list, it was very easy to decline the showing.”
Spelling will be downsizing to a 15,555-square-foot condominium on the top two floors of the Century, a 41-story tower in Century City. She got it for $35 million, down from the $47 million she originally agreed to pay when the building was under construction in 2008. That price had included about an additional 1,000 square foot of space, fixtures and other work she opted to do on her own.