The iconic ‘My Way’ performer called this midcentury modern house home throughout the 1950s and 1960s.
While a celebrity past can help market a house, it will not help if it is priced ludicrously above market. Now asking for $14.8 million, a seven-acre Illinois estate is still on the market despite numerous slashes from the $29 million that NBA legend Michael Jordan first tried to sell it for in 2012.
As real estate prices go above the $10 million mark, the pool of buyers both with the spending power and interest in a specific property narrows significantly.
Homes that are widely-known as the current or one-time home of a major celebrity also pose additional security challenges that the next buyer may not want to navigate.
A Mid-Century Wonder Built For Frank Sinatra
Even though he died in 1998, Frank Sinatra has a loyal fan base who tracked where he lived at different points in life. One property that most associate with the singer is the eight-acre Byrdview House.
Located in the Chatsworth suburb of Los Angeles, the hilltop estate was a space that famed architect William Pereira built for Chase Bank heiress Dora Hutchinson in 1949. Pereira was a star architect of the day and also built San Francisco’s iconic Transamerica Pyramid.
After moving to New York, Hutchinson started renting it to Sinatra, who in turn used it to entertain scores of famous friends throughout the 1950s and 1960s.
Hollywood lore says that Marilyn Monroe and John F. Kennedy used the guesthouse for their affair while stars like Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin and Ava Gardner all regularly partied there.
The main residence spans 6,661 square feet and sits atop of a hill overlooking both Los Angeles and the mountains around the Chatsworth Nature Preserve. The grounds also has a 50-foot pool, a 2,000-square-foot pergola lounge for outdoor lounging and the aforementioned pool house where some famous guests might have retreated for clandestine meetings.
The lot could, according to local landscaping lot, hold as many as 10 separate homes.
An $8.75-Million Price Cut
When Sinatra passed away, the house went to a new owner and president of local real estate firm Rock Asset Management for $1.54 million. Over the years, it has also been used to film shows like “Mad Men” and “Californication.”
The Byrdview was listed for $12.5 million in 2018 but was later taken off the market and, in August 2021, put back on with a $21.5-million price tag.
Even after years of real estate growth and Southern California’s sky-high prices, the asking price was exorbitant. No one bit and, now, it has been relisted yet again for $12.75 million with Barrie Livingstone of Sotheby’s International Realty and Anthony Giordano of Compass (CMPGF) .
The earlier listing, which was posted with Livingstone and Craig Knizek of The Agency, may be a sign of a popular marketing trick for both historic properties and new spec homes in Southern California.
Not expecting a sale at that type of price tag, agents will sometimes set an elevated price to generate news coverage around the property. This works particularly well with homes that can be billed as “the most expensive” in a given city or region but often leads to prolonged time on the market.
Such was the case when a 21-bedroom, 49-bath hilltop estate that developer Nile Niami said would sell for $500 million ended up selling for $154 million last March.