Hugh Hefner's Playboy Mansion sold to neighbour for record price

Hugh Hefner’s death at age 91 marks a new start for one of the world’s most famous homes.

Although the original Playboy Mansion was a 70-room, French-style estate in Hefner's native Chicago where the magazine was headquartered, Hefner later moved to Southern California where he bought the current Playboy Mansion in 1971 for $1.1 million. 

Built in 1927 in Holmby Hills near UCLA and the Los Angeles Country Club, it is one of  America's most prestigious neighborhoods where celebrities including Humphrey Bogart, Bing Crosby, Walt Disney and Frank Sinatra once lived.

The original owner was the son of Los Angeles Broadway department store founder, Arthur Letts.

The entire Playboy party scene was much more than just the 22,000-square-foot mansion with a built-in pipe organ, wine cellar with secret door and bathhouse.

Near the famous pool is the licensed zoo with Hefner's monkeys, flamingos and peacocks.

Across the street from the mansion is Hefner’s much publicized six-acre party compound called the Bunny Hutch, which included the iconic grotto, a 70-person staff and a 24/7 kitchen that catered to his upside-down schedule. The Bunny Hutch complex was put on the market in 2013 and sold for $17.25 million, according to TopRealEstateDeals.com

In early 2016, the Playboy Mansion was put on the market with a requirement granting Hefner a life estate; he would be allowed to live in the mansion for the remainder of his life.

The asking price was $200 million, a record price for the United States. It sold in late 2016 to his next-door neighbor, 34-year-old investment heir Daren Metropoulos.

The sale price was $100 million – a record sale price for a Los Angeles home. According to Top Real Estate Deals, Metropoulos has said that he plans to combine it with his home next door that he purchased for $18 million in 2009 from Hefner’s ex-wife Kimberley Conrad.

Although the interior of the mansion will have to be stripped out and undergo a total restoration, the site reported Metropoulos has indicated that the Playboy Mansion exterior will remain intact.

The real estate agents who handled the Playboy Mansion sale in 2016 were Mauricio Umansky of The Agency in Beverly Hills and Drew Fenton and Gary Gold of Hilton & Hyland in Beverly Hills.