The $10 million renovation of the Playboy Mansion is still far from finished seven years after Twinkies king Darren Mitropoulos purchased the iconic property from Hugh Hefner.
By David Thompson in Los Angeles for Dailymail.Com
12:21 12 November 2023, updated 12:27 12 November 2023
- Mitropoulos bought the mansion for $100 million in 2016 but allowed Hefner to continue living there until his death the following year.
- He has since completely redesigned the massive estate, and the additions will mean it will have a floor space equivalent to eight average-sized American homes
- The dark side of the drug’s history will be revealed in a book written by Hefner’s widow Crystal – who was 60 years younger than the magazine’s publisher.
The owner of the legendary Playboy Mansion commissioned architect Richard Landry to repair and modernize the mansion, which had been the scene of some of Hollywood’s wildest parties.
Tom Brady, Gisele Bündchen, Rod Stewart, Mark Wahlberg, Sylvester Stallone, Dr. Dre and Kylie Jenner have all used Canadian-born Landry to design stunning homes with zero money.
Businessman Darren Mitropoulos, nearly four years into the major renovation project — estimated to cost at least $10 million — has hired Landry to update one of the world’s most famous homes, which was previously owned by Playboy founder and editor-in-chief Hugh Hefner. .
Mitropoulos said the palace’s legacy “goes beyond its fame” and that “to have the opportunity to serve as its caretaker will be a true privilege.”
The 46-year-old business mogul, who headed companies like Pabst Brewing and Hostess Brands that produces snacks like Twinkies and Ho Hos, bought the 29-room property in 2016 for $100 million — and allowed Hefner to live there until his death at the age of 91. The following year.
“Hugh Hefner was a business visionary, a media giant, and an iconic figure in popular culture, and his legacy will leave a lasting impact,” said Mitropoulos.
Metropoulos, who sold Hostess to jam company Smuckers for $5.6 billion in September, lives next door to the mansion and plans to combine the two properties.
Despite the amount of time already spent on the massive project, DailyMail.com’s exclusive photos of the massive construction site show there is still a long way to go before Metropoulos can move in.
Plans submitted to the Los Angeles Department of City Planning show the mansion’s construction includes a new basement beneath the original building, which is described as a “subterranean addition to a three-story family residence.”
The remodeling of the popular “single family residence” includes partially demolishing the 650-square-foot staff home and building a new 4,400-square-foot addition “that includes a gym and garage.” A separate 1,200 square foot guest house is also being built.
The main house’s residential floor area is 18,000 square feet – eight times the size of the average American home.
Building permits filed with the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety show the property is undergoing an extensive review of the floor plans of the main house, including a guest suite on the second floor.
The work includes “remodeling of the kitchen, family room, bathrooms and powder room” as well as the interior design of the “servants’ quarters.” Many new skylights are being added throughout the structure to add more light to the interior.
This famous residence was a symbol of Hollywood excess, hosting parties with only lingerie-clad female guests jumping into the cave.
Elvis Presley reportedly slept with eight playmates at a time in the house, while John Lennon burned a Matisse original with a cigarette.
Donald Trump even filmed an episode of The Apprentice at the mansion where the contestants met Hefner and his girlfriends.
The mansion also has a sinister past after being caught up in Bill Cosby’s sexual assault allegations.
Judy Huth claimed that Cosby assaulted her when she was 15 years old at Hugh Hefner’s house. Chloe Goins claimed she was assaulted by Crosby at the mansion, but criminal charges in the case were ruled out.
He also had a reputation for being filthy after several former Playboy Bunnies spoke of the dilapidated building and floors littered with dog feces and urine.
In 2011, health officials confirmed that the bacteria causing Legionnaires’ disease had been found at a spa at the Playboy Mansion where more than 100 people became ill.
The Los Angeles County Health Department presented its findings at an annual conference at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. Legionella bacteria also cause a milder illness called Pontiac fever.
The symptoms, which include fever and headache, are the same as those experienced by the Playboy Mansion party-goers.
Hefner decided to sell the property to Mitropoulos rather than leave it to his widow, Crystal, 37, a former Playboy bunny who was 60 years younger than the publisher.
Crystal’s book, Only Say Good Things, due out in January, promises to expose the dark side of life in the palace.
According to the publisher’s blurb, the book will be “a raw, unflinching look at objectification and misogyny at the Playboy Mansion.”
Although everything has changed now under Metropoulos’ ownership, there are additions that Hefner could have approved of — such as a new food truck that will be installed in the main building to conveniently deliver food and drinks to residents on different floors.
The existing elevator shaft is being modified and a new, modern elevator cabin is being installed.
The movie theater will be expanded and a new “golf simulator area” built.
Outside, the existing pool — known as the infamous grotto, where many couples used to meet in Hefner’s day — is being repainted and a new pool cabana is being built.
The back porch deck is also being expanded to allow more space for outdoor entertaining.
To help owner Mitropoulos and his lucky guests relax, the project also includes the construction of a new 42-foot by 23-foot solarium.
Beneath the solarium is a new luxury spa jacuzzi under construction that includes a “cold plunge” favored by celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Lady Gaga, Madonna and the Princess of Wales.
Building permits reveal that workers are also repairing “termite and dry rot damage” to the original wood framing.
Landry, known as the “King of the Grand Chateau,” designed the estate inspired by the 12,000-square-foot French chateau that was Brady and Bündchen’s home when they were together. The 28-bedroom, 32-bath complex was named an “Ultimate Home” by Robb Report in 2011.
Landry also designed a 30,000-square-foot estate for Mark Wahlberg in Los Angeles’ exclusive Beverly Park neighborhood, which he sold for $55 million in February of this year.
And when he called me he said, ‘Richard, I’ve been following you for years.’ ‘I’m so happy now that you can do my house,’ Landry told The New York Times in 2015. ‘What a nice guy.’
Meanwhile, Mitropoulos owns another gorgeous home next door to the Playboy Mansion, and said after Hefner’s death: “I was lucky to know him as a neighbor and friend.” He said the palace’s legacy “goes beyond its fame” and that “to have the opportunity to serve as its curator would be a real privilege.”
The Playboy Mansion sits on five acres next to the Los Angeles Country Club – on Charing Cross Road in the exclusive Holmby Hills neighborhood just off the famous Sunset Boulevard.
Completed in 1927, the house was designed by Arthur Kelly for department store scion Arthur Letts Jr. Hefner bought it in 1971 for $1 million – and the legend of the Playboy Mansion was created.
(Tags for translation)Playboy