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L.A.'s compounds getting bigger as the wealthy buy adjacent properties

June 13, 2010 | 11:22 am

Buffer zone

L.A's super-wealthy, seeking even greater privacy, are increasingly buying adjacent properties as a buffer zone around their mansions.

On the Westside, the growing list of compound owners includes movie industry titan Terry Semel, financier and producer Tom Gores and corporate housing kingpin Howard Ruby, founder of Oakwood Worldwide.

Divorcing Dodgers owners Frank and Jamie McCourt maintain two compounds, one in Holmby Hills and another in Malibu.

"If you don't have a neighbor anymore, you create more privacy," said Kurt Rappaport, co-founder of Westside Estate Agency, with offices in Beverly Hills and Malibu.

Not that the "buffer" homes are vacant. Some house family, friends, guests or staff. But these aren't mother-in-law cottages or little guesthouses like the one Kato Kaelin holed up in at O.J. Simpson's old place in Brentwood: Think multimillion-dollar mansions -- next door, behind or even a few doors down.

Read the full story here.

-- Lauren Beale

Photo: A huge retaining wall stretches along Nimes Road in Bel-Air, one of the Westside communities where wealthy homeowners seeking privacy are buying adjacent properties to create their own residential compounds. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times