– Bob Hope’s Connection To Friendly Valley

Seems that the comedian, Bob Hope, once owned property where the Friendly Valley Retirement Community now sits.  Perhaps he is the inspiration of the community’s 9 hole executive golf course and the 18 hole pitch and putt.

Enjoy the following News Story telling of Hope’s real estate adventures.

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The Scope of Hope Valley;
A Six Decade Odyssey of Buying and Selling Property

Byline: Alex Roth Daily News Staff Writer

In the years after Bob Hope and Bing Crosby filmed their classic ”Road” pictures, the inseparable friends hiked up to China Flat, a rugged bluff overlooking the San Fernando Valley Calabasas and west to Malibu.

“This is the Beverly Hills of tomorrow,” Crosby boldly predicted to his golfing buddy that day.

Trusting Crosby’s instincts and his own, Hope bought some of that land. And as his career grew, he continued to buy and buy and buy. Land near the ocean, land in the Valley. Land that was empty and flat. Mountainous land with goats and California walnut trees. The way some people collect stamps or rare coins, Bob Hope collected property.

“He’s always been very careful in spotting property,” his daughter, Linda Hope, said in an interview last week.   “He’s always had a real good nose for it.”

Long a place where Hollywood’s famous have chosen to live, the Valley and outlying areas also are where many entertainment celebrities have chosen to invest, and among them Hope is one of the first, best known – and one of the biggest.

In the days when the Valley was farmland and chaparral, Leslie Townes Hope gobbled up huge swaths, always with an eye for a profit. The 95-year-old comedian has since sold much of his holdings, except the Toluca Lake estate he has owned since 1939. Yet even today, Hope’s fingerprints remain all over the Valley because of astute decisions he made decades ago.

A comprehensive list of what Hope has bought and sold over the past six decades is impossible to reconstruct, but his real-estate dealings have included Jordan Ranch, a 3,050-home development being built in eastern Ventura County; part of Universal Studios, a deal that made him a 600 percent profit; a Las Virgenes sludge farm; and a Thousand Oaks nature preserve.

For a short period, an entire community bore his name. There still is a street in Burbank named after him. And down the road he owns a small plot on which Hope’s wife has talked about building a new museum for the veteran entertainer and other famous comedians. With an assessed value of $1.8 million, it might be the most valuable Christmas-tree lot in America.

In Santa Clarita,t Hope once owned property that’s now the site of the Friendly Valley Recreational Association, a 1,247-home senior residential community.

His legacy also includes hundreds of acres of some of the most beautiful open space. The irony is that Hope’s priority was business, not the environment. When Hope looked at empty land, he tended to see golf courses and expensive homes. But by the time he decided to liquidate much of his real-estate portfolio, interest groups wouldn’t permit development without significant concessions – usually in the form of huge swaths of land.

“Right now the Las Virgenes Valley has a certain beauty and integrity,” said Dave Brown, a former chairman of the Calabasas Planning Commission. “That probably wasn’t Bob Hope’s intention but that was the effect.”

For the entire Story on Bob Hope and his real estate investments in the San Fernando Valley and surrounding areas, click HERE.

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For a tour of this great Friendly Valley Community and the homes which are currently FOR SALE, please feel free to call LeeAnn Bell at 661-309-2364

LeeAnn Bell, REALTOR(R)
BRE License #01260650

Below is what one client had to say about working with me:
“You were right there available at all times to meet me and you always found a quick answer to questions.  Your ability to explain matters simply was excellent.”
– Bob M.