Luxury at $700 a square foot

The day of multimillion-dollar high-rise housing is here. A soon-to-be-built condominium complex one mile west of posh Beverly Hills has two penthouses for sale for $7 million apiece, which, the developer says, is the highest in the world. But should that price tag be too stiff, the "cheapest" unit now available comes in at a cool $925,000 for 2,900 square feet.

Ground is expected to be broken in April for the $90 million, 21-story, 67 -unit Wilshire House on Wilshire Boulevard midway between Beverly Hills and Westwood Village. Completion is slated for late 1981.

Despite the time lag, 24 reservations -- with deposits -- flowed in within 10 days after a routine sign was posted at the site on Jan. 20, followed by a formal announcement Jan. 27, says Jody Sherman, president of Pierce Management Company, the developer.

The reservations are firmed up with a 15 percent deposit, explains Mrs. Sherman.

Figuring the sole lowest-cost unit (already taken) went for $750,000, the lowest deposit is $112,500. Funds go immediately into certificates of deposit with the interest going to the buyers, assures Mrs. Sherman.

Most purchasers indicate they will be paying cash to wrap up the transactions , she adds. Among them are executives in the insurance business, airlines, and real estate. Most now live in large-size homes in adjacent Beverly Hills as well as the Holmby Hills and Bel Air sections of Los Angeles.

Facilities and services for occupants include a helipad, outdoor gardens with 40-foot swimming pool and recreational facilities, uniformed doorman, valet parking, security guards backed with a security system, and three levels of subterranean parking to accommodate 185 cars.

Entrance is through a 2 1/2-story lobby which will feature a 15-foot-high cascading waterfall. Each of four elevators opens directly to a unit's entrance.

Fifteen floor plans range from 2,600 to 10,000 square feet. The smallest unit has two bedrooms.

Optional services include a maid, plant care, secretarial, masseuse, and pet walking.

With two, three, or four units to a floor, the condominiums are located on corners, affording two or three views. They include up to three fireplaces, formal dining rooms seating at least 20, and oversized master-bedroom suites coupled with sitting rooms.

Cost of the 10,000-square-foot penthouses works out to a hefty $700 a square foot.Despite the tab, they are attracting interest, says Mrs. Sherman. One early candidate is a Palm Springs businessman who indicates he will soon make a deposit.

For the $7 million, each of the penthouse buyers will get the top floor, 12 -foot-high ceilings, and "more opulence and more facilities, including parklike terraces," asserts the developer.

"Each of the seven bedrooms," Mrs. Sherman adds, "has its own sitting room and the master bedroom is 29 feet long." Other features include 8 1/2 baths, a 20-foot enclosed solarium, recreation room, and separate guest suite.

Adding a little frosting to the package, Mrs. Sherman promises each of the penthouse buyers will receive, with her compliments, a new Rolls-Royce automobile with personalized registration plates.

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