In L.A.’s Bel-Air Neighborhood, an Italian Villa Sells for $35 Million - WSJ

2022-07-15 20:33:48 By : Mr. Wu Justin

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An estate in the Bel-Air neighborhood of Los Angeles has sold for $35 million, a significant discount from its $49.5 million asking price, according to people with knowledge of the deal.

The seller was corporate-housing magnate Howard Ruby, who lived there with his late wife, the actress Yvette Mimieux Ruby. The Bel-Air property first came on the market for $45 million in April 2021. The price was later increased to $49.5 million because a parcel of adjacent land containing a smaller house was added to the offering, according to those familiar with the sale.

The house was inspired by the architecture of Italy’s Amalfi Coast.

The Rubys traveled the world in search of furnishings for the home.

A library with a central skylight and chandelier.

A bedroom has ceiling frescoes.

The house dates to the 1920s.

Mr. Ruby didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Jason Oppenheim of the Oppenheim Group, who represented the buyer with colleague Mary Fitzgerald, said the purchaser was a California businessperson but declined to name their client. The buyer is planning an extensive remdel of the home, Mr. Oppenheim said.

Named Il Sogno, meaning “the dream” in Italian, the property includes a 1920s-era, five-bedroom mansion designed to look like a villa on the Amalfi Coast of Italy. Inside, the property has a library, a ballroom-sized party room, a wine cellar and a formal dining room. A grand living room has hand-painted beamed ceilings, arched windows and a carved-stone fireplace. One of the bedrooms has frescoes on the ceiling. 

Outside, there is a swimming pool area with built-in seating and fountains.

The Rubys traveled throughout Europe seeking inspiration for the home, and decorated the house with antique rugs, statues, pottery and elaborate upholstery. (The furniture wasn’t included in the sale.) 

The smaller house included with the sale spans about 5,000 square feet with three bedrooms.

From aspirational residences to major commercial deals.

In a 2021 interview with The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Ruby said the design of the main house might not be for everyone. 

“It’s not the style that’s in vogue right now, but someone out there is going to understand it and accept it,” he said. “There’s someone out there who doesn’t want a white box.”

Mr. Ruby founded the serviced apartment provider Oakwood Worldwide. Ms. Mimieux Ruby, who died in January, had been nominated for three Golden Globe Awards for her work in television, including for her role in the drama series “Dr. Kildare.” 

The listing agents were Linda May of Hilton & Hyland, Kurt Rappaport of Westside Estate Agency and Jade Mills of Coldwell Banker Realty.

Write to Katherine Clarke at

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