At long last, Bob Hope’s UFO house has sold for $13 million, after first being listed in early 2013 with a price tag of $50 million. Having gone through a couple of price cuts over the last three years, the most recent cut lowered the ask to $25 million. But with no comps available, how does one actually price a concrete space ship? Seems that when $25 million was thrown at the wall, $13 million stuck.
The Palm Springs spaceship/volcano house, designed for Bob and Dolores Hope by John Lautner in 1973, needed a buyer with deep pockets who would appreciate its futuristic leanings, had appreciation for architects who think outside the box and are young at heart enough to enjoy a bit of whimsy. The buyer, California billionaire Ron Burkle, co-founder and managing partner of a private equity and venture capital firm, is well known in the Los Angeles area for his connections with the Clintons. Sporting as interesting a persona as the house, Burkle is a prominent Democratic activist and fundraiser.
At 23,000 square feet under the dramatic high undulating roof, the unique house has open spaces in the walls and ceiling which allow daylight or stars to shine through casting shapely shadows into the interior. These curved openings also allow for stunning views across the landscape and mountains while appearing to be nestled comfortably into its well-designed desert landscaping and outdoor living areas. The house also has a spa with greenhouse wall, 6 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, indoor and outdoor pools, a pond, putting greens and a tennis court.
Burkle collects other historic architecture and purchased the Frank Lloyd Wright Ennis House in 2011 and also owns Greenacres that was originally built for silent comedy film actor Harold Lloyd. Patrick Jordan and Stewart Smith of Bennion and Deville Homes were the listing agents and Ron de Salvo of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage represented Mr. Burkle. Even at the greatly reduced closing price of $13 million, the sale has set a record for the highest sale price in Palm Springs beating Lautner’s Elrod House that sold for $7.7 million two months earlier.
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