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New Agreement, Not Historic Landmark Status, Will Keep Playboy Mansion Intact

The Playboy Mansion’s iconic architectural Gothic-Tudor styled facade will remain the same regardless of who owns the posh pad under a new agreement. 

As a way to preserve the Playboy Mansion, Los Angeles Councilman Paul Koretz and owner Daren Metropoulos have struck a covenant to permanently protect the 14K SF property in the upscale neighborhood of Holmby Hills.

Playboy Mansion
The Playboy Mansion in Holmby Hills

Under the agreement made Tuesday, Metropoulos, the 34-year-old son of businessman Charles Dean Metropoulos, will repair the home’s structure and maintain its original condition while he renovates the property and links it with his home next door. 

A spokeswoman for Koretz told Bisnow the new covenant would remain regardless of any future change of ownership.

In a news release, Metropoulos said he plans to restore the mansion while modernizing and replacing important mechanical systems in the structure.

“I’m extremely passionate about its architecture and look forward to this momentous opportunity to transform one of the finest estates in the country,” Metropoulos said.

Built in 1927 in the 14th Century Gothic-Tudor style, the mansion once belonged to the son of Arthur Letts, the founder of the once-famous Broadway department store. Playboy founder Hugh Hefner purchased the property in 1971 and was well-known for throwing lavish parties. 

Hefner sold the property to Metropoulos in 2016 for $100M. Hefner remained at the Playboy Mansion until his death in September.

Metropoulos has lived next door to the Playboy Mansion since 2009, when he purchased the home built in 1929 with a similar architectural style that also once belonged to the Letts family. 

After purchasing the Playboy Mansion two years ago, Metropoulos had envisioned linking the two properties and creating a 7.3-acre compound, which would be one of the largest estates in Los Angeles.

There were fears that renovating the two homes and creating this massive compound would jeopardize the architectural integrity or facade of the Playboy Mansion, but Koretz’s spokeswoman said Metropoulos never had any intention to demolish any part of the structure.

In November, Koretz filed a motion with the city council to designate the Playboy Mansion as a city Historic-Cultural Monument to ensure that no part of the main residence be demolished. The city council never took any action on the motion.

If the city council had designated the iconic mansion as a historic monument, Metropoulos would face lengthier processing, permitting and review time to rehab the property. 

Under this new agreement, as long as the main structure of the Playboy Mansion is not harmed, Metropoulos would be able to come in and renovate the property much sooner. 

It is unclear if this new agreement has the same benefits as a historic designation, which provides tax incentives for maintaining the property.

“We are pleased that Mr. Metropoulos shares our respective interest in protecting the architectural visionaries of the past that will permanently remain to benefit all lovers of Los Angeles history for years to come,” Koretz said in an emailed statement.