Real Estate

The roots of Los Angeles’ Brentwood neighborhood go deep. The land was part of a former rancho dotted with adobes and cattle until it was divided into individual parcels in the 1880s. The upscale but low-key neighborhood that evolved over decades quickly became known as a place to be in—and away from—the city.

The $26-million gated compound at 499 Halvern Drive is a grand example of having it both ways. The eight-bedroom home with 16 bathrooms sits on almost an acre of land with a terraced backyard removed from the buzz of Los Angeles. Mature trees and a park-like setting add a natural layer of privacy to the home just 16 miles from downtown L.A.

No one craves privacy more than celebrities. Peter Morton, co-founder of the Hard Rock Cafe and creator of the now-shuttered Morton’s restaurant, briefly owned the compound in the late 1990s. Other folks who live or have lived in Brentwood include actor and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, basketball player LeBron James, music mogul Scooter Braun, actors Harrison Ford and Gwyneth Paltrow, and rapper Dr. Dre.

Historic homes stand nearby, including a 1939 Frank Lloyd Wright house, a ranch-style house designed by Black architect Paul R. Williams and a midcentury home by modernist architect Richard Neutra.

The Halvern Drive home, built in 1940, was completely remodeled two years ago. It has a streamlined, contemporary look that takes advantage of natural light and stokes the indoor-outdoor lifestyle, especially for entertaining.

In the main house, rooms with light wood floors smoothly flow from a grand foyer to a spacious lounge and then into a contemporary dining room with a wet bar and wine storage to the living room.

A picture window faces the pool and hot tub and looks out on the hilltop Getty Museum and the foothills. On the upper floor, where four en-suite bedrooms are located, a wall of glass opens to a lounging deck and more vistas.

The lower floor holds three bedrooms, a wet bar, large entertainment area and movie theater. The chef’s kitchen has a two-level stone-top central island with seating for casual meals and picture windows as well as a pantry and more wine storage space.

There are four cottages in the backyard; two serve as guesthouses. One includes a gym with an exercise barre, mirrored walls and bathroom. The other is an office that could become a media room or art studio. A short walk from the cottages to the back of the property leads to a pond, tennis court and turf area that could become a putting green.

The terraced backyard also includes an outdoor kitchen and bar with seating, a large patio with fire pit and outside den, and ample lawns for outdoor entertainment.

Laura Kalb of Hilton & Hyland is the listing agent.


Hilton & Hyland is an exclusive member of Forbes Global Properties, a consumer marketplace and membership network of elite brokerages selling the world’s most luxurious homes.

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