Luxury, celebrity properties emerge in Coachella Valley

Luxury, celebrity properties emerge in Coachella Valley

DOMINIQUE FONG
November 7, 2014 – The Desert Sun

A $39.5 million estate in La Quinta now shines as the most expensive home for sale in the Coachella Valley.

The property sits among an elite group of luxury desert homes offered on the market. Their ranks include architectural mansions and celebrity homes spread across the valley.

The La Quinta home’s price tops that of the Bob and Dolores Hope estate for sale in Palm Springs. Perched on the Southridge hilltop, the John Lautner-designed home is famed for its iconic mushroom-shaped dome roof and rich history. It has an asking price of $34 million.

No expense was spared for the desert’s highest-priced retreat.

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Photo courtesy of Clark Dugger

The property in The Madison Club includes a private driving range, waterfalls, a running stream, pool and spa. Outdoor patios feature firepits, a wood-fire pizza oven, bar and grill ideal for entertaining guests.

“It is as close to having your own private resort as anything that you would see within the confines of a gated community,” said Trae Cassell, a Madison Club agent.

Indoors, the six-bedroom desert contemporary house features expansive windows, imported stone from a Montana rock quarry, a 3,000-gallon aquarium and an underground movie theater.

These unique details make the home well-positioned in what Cassell anticipates will be a strong year for the luxury home market.

“Madison Club had one of our best seasons on record last year,” said Cassell, who believes the trend will continue this tourist season.

Higher-end property sales that sold for $500,000 or more increased 9 percent from last September across the six-county region of Southern California, according to Irvine-based firm CoreLogic DataQuick.

Extravagant home prices have recently gained national attention.

Coldwell Banker Previews International announced this week that it listed the priciest property in the country: a $195 million, 25-acre estate and Mediterranean villa in Beverly Hills.

In the Coachella Valley, a slate of for-sale luxury properties boast stunning designs and connections to famous names.

For instance in Palm Desert, a $24.5 million custom home named Casbah Cove highlights designs that Moroccan craftsmen built over four years. Carved archways decorate halls that open onto a central area and an indoor atrium of king palms.

“Casbah Cove reflects the unique experience of building your dream home within your dream community,” Bighorn agent Jacquie Burns said in an email.

Moroccan tiles and jewel tones accent the 16,800-square-foot, four-bedroom home. And an authentic Moroccan soaking tub, 75-foot black granite infinity pool and retractable glass ceiling add to the ambiance.

Meanwhile, actress Suzanne Somers and husband Alan Hamel want $14.5 million for their sprawling 73-acre estate overlooking Palm Springs.

The compound includes seven suites and houses reachable by a mountainside railway track, golf cart or stairs. The rustic, multi-tiered layout was modeled after the L’Oustau De Baumaniere, an acclaimed estate in Provence, France.

In Rancho Mirage, Oakland A’s outfielder Coco Crisp recently put his home on the market for $2.85 million. The 8,520-square-foot, four-bedroom house sits in the exclusive Thunderbird Cove neighborhood.

Natural stack stones line the entryway, leading into a family room with a bar, soda fountain and icemaker. A transparent fireplace anchors the living room.

Then there are the homes once occupied by historical legends — singer Bing Crosby, actor Clark Gable and rock icon Elvis Presley.

Crosby’s former 6,700-square-foot home in Thunderbird Heights features six bedrooms, carved Moroccan doors, a custom chef’s kitchen and sliding glass doors that overlook the valley. The asking price is $5 million.

In Palm Springs, the former Spanish Colonial estate of Clark Gable and Carol Lombard is on the market for $2.195 million in the Old Las Palmas neighborhood.

Offered furnished, the pink stucco four-bedroom home includes a pool table made for actor Kirk Douglas, vaulted wooden ceilings and iron-wrought chandeliers.

Nearby, a home that Elvis Presley leased during his honeymoon with then-wife Priscilla has a reduced price of $8.5 million.

The four-bedroom hideaway, designed by the firm Palmer & Krisel, is an icon of modernist architecture.

Dominique Fong is a business and real estate reporter for The Desert Sun. She can be reached at (760) 778-4661, dominique.fong@desertsun.com and on Twitter @dominiquefong.

Glance: On the Market

Here are some of the desert’s luxury listings noted for their price, architecture or celebrity connection.

Asking price: $39.5 million

La Quinta estate in The Madison Club

Asking price: $34 million

The Bob and Dolores Hope estate in Palm Springs

Asking price: $24.5 million

Casbah Cove at Bighorn Golf Club in Palm Desert

Asking price: $14.5 million

The Palm Springs compound of Suzanne Somers and Alan Hamel

Asking price: $14.5 million

Palm Springs mansion featuring Moorish architecture

Asking price: $8.5 million

Palm Springs home once leased by Elvis Presley during his honeymoon with Priscilla

Asking price: $5 million

Former Rancho Mirage home of Bing Crosby

Asking price: $4.6 million

Rancho Mirage home of Madeline Redstone, sister-in-law to media mogul Sumner Redstone

Asking price: $2.85 million

Rancho Mirage home of Oakland A’s outfielder Coco Crisp

Asking price: $2.195 million

Former Clark Gable home in Palm Springs