Wealthy next-door neighbor buying Playboy Mansion

LOS ANGELES — Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion is about to acquire a new owner — the wealthy businessman who lives next door.

Representatives for Playboy Enterprises and Daren Metropoulos confirmed Monday that Metropoulos’ bid to buy Hefner’s man cave is in escrow.

Both sides declined to reveal the sale price until escrow closes, but a representative for Metropoulos said terms would allow Playboy Magazine’s 90-year-old founder to remain in the mansion for the rest of his life.

The home in LA’s fashionable Holmby Hills was originally listed at $200 million, but local real estate agents said at the time that appeared ridiculously overpriced. A nearby property sold last year for $59 million.

Metropoulos bought his current home next door to the mansion from Hefner in 2009 for $18 million.

The mansion, the scene of countless celebrity-filled parties and innumerable tales of sexual shenanigans, was built in 1927 and purchased by Playboy Enterprises in 1971 for $1.05 million.

It sits on 5 acres and has 29 rooms, including a game house, home theatre, wine cellar, gym, tennis court, swimming pool and four-bedroom guest house.

Metropoulos’ home was built in 1929 and sits on about 2 acres.

“If the purchase closes and at some point after Mr. Hefner’s tenancy ends, Mr. Metropoulos intends to reconnect the two estates, ultimately returning the combined 7.3-acre compound to the original vision executed by noted architect Arthur R. Kelly and its first owner, Arthur Letts, Jr., the department store heir whose father conceived and developed Holmby Hills when it was the Wolfskill Ranch,” Metropoulos’ business, Metropoulos & Co., said in a statement.

“In the meantime,” the statement continued, “he is pleased to continue to have Mr. Hefner as his neighbor and feels fortunate and privileged for the opportunity to serve as a steward of this historic property.”

The 32-year-old executive is the former co-owner and co-CEO of Pabst Brewing Co. and co-owner of Hostess Brands, maker of Twinkies and other popular snacks. With his father and brother, he’s a principal in the family investment firm Metropoulos & Co.

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