NBA

LeBron James’ New $39 Million Mansion Once Belonged to Howard Hughes

LeBron James is buying up the Los Angeles area one mansion at a time. The Los Angeles Lakers star’s newest acquisition sits on a modest 2.5 acres but recently listed for a staggering $39 million. He paid close to $3,000 per square foot, but the description of the property and its lineage make it sound as though James is getting his money’s worth.

Brentwood was nice, but Beverly Hills is really sweet

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LeBron James joined the Los Angeles Lakers at the beginning of the 2018-19 season. However, he had already started buying local properties beforehand. In 2015, midway through his second stint with the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, he doled out $21 million for his first Brentwood mansion, a manageable 9,350 square feet of living space.

In December 2017, he put down $23 million on a stunning, two-story mansion with 15,850 square feet of living space. Besides the eight bedrooms and 9.5 baths, it featured a sauna, wine cellar, home theater, cigar room, pool, and outdoor barbecue area.

That would have seemingly been enough for a family of five, but James, 35, is always keeping an eye out for opportunities to spend the proceeds of his four-year, $154 million deal with the Lakers. He found one recently in Beverly Hills after losing out on a property that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos had also been chasing.

LeBron James’ new digs have an interesting history

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Hearing the word “Hollywood” typically triggers thoughts of big-budget movies made on expansive studio lots by actors and actresses pulling down millions of dollars. Lee Phillip Bell made her money in the entertainment field – but on a side of the business that is less frequently considered. Bell and her husband William, who died in 2005, were the creators of The Bold and the Beautiful, Another World, and The Young and the Restless, three of the biggest soap operas in the history of daytime television.

The Bells bought their Beverly Hills mansion, built in 1934, for $2.6 million in 1986. Its previous occupants included actor Charles Boyer, nominated for Best Actor at the Academy Awards four times from 1937-61. Boyer surrendered the property to Howard Hughes in a deal to buy out his contract with RKO Pictures. It’s not clear if Hughes ever lived there, but actress Katharine Hepburn did.

The historic property would fall into LeBron James’ hands after Lee Phillip Bell died in February 2020, and her heirs put it up for sale.

What is LeBron James getting for $39 million?

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LeBron James is going to be moving into a home fit for a three-time NBA champion and four-time league MVP. There are seven fireplaces and a screening room within the 13,000 square feet of living space.

A pool house with two baths holds down one end of the compound. A lighted tennis court sits at the other end. Trees, terrain, and the development’s numerous winding roads help provide privacy from prying eyes.