The Malibu oceanfront estate of Max Palevsky, a pioneer in the computer industry and a founder of computer chip giant Intel, has come on the market for $55 million, which is a lot of computer chips no matter how you store it.

Palevsky died in May at 85. He had quite a trajectory.

In 1957, Palevsky joined Packard Bell Computer Corp., a division of Packard Bell. A few years later, he and about a dozen colleagues set off on their own and formed Scientific Data Systems, intending to build computers for small and medium-size businesses that were being ignored by giants like IBM. Their instincts were on the money, quite literally, and in 1969, Xerox bought the company for $1 billion. Palevsky took some of his newfound wealth and financed a small startup company in Santa Clara. That startup became Intel – today’s largest producer of computer chips in the world. Something like this happened to me once, too, only I woke up.

Palevsky first ventured into politics in the 1960s, supporting liberal Democratic issues and candidates. His support for Tom Bradley helped propel the L.A. city councilman into the first of his five mayoral terms. Later, Palevsky adopted campaign reform as his pet issue and raised money for John McCain in the 2000 presidential primary.

Palevsky embraced the arts and crafts movement in the early 1970s. His extensive collection of furniture and Japanese woodcuts was donated to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

And this being Los Angeles and all, he invested a bit in Hollywood as well. He helped finance “Badlands” in 1973 and produced the 2005 remake of “Fun With Dick and Jane.”

Despite his groundbreaking work in the computer industry, Palevsky wasn’t thrilled with the influence his computer technology had on our culture. He wrote with some lament in a museum catalog essay in 2005 about “the hypnotic quality of computer games, the substitution of a Google search for genuine inquiry, the instant messaging that has replaced social discourse. …”

Truth is the man never owned a cell phone or computer. And now we know why: If you had views like the ones from the house his estate is selling, you wouldn’t be spending your time looking at a computer screen either.

The estate, which isn’t in the MLS yet, sits on 6.5 acres on a bluff above the ocean. The main house has 11,300 square feet of living space and the 260 feet of sandy beach below are accessible by a private staircase from its bluffs location. There are seven bedrooms, including master suite and maid’s quarters. The master suite has two fireplaces and a large office. There is a detached guesthouse with a bed, bath and kitchen. The 1975 home has a pool and lighted tennis court. There is a large kitchen with a butler’s pantry and breakfast room; the home has a wine cellar. A spa and fire pit sit out on a promontory on the bluffs overlooking the ocean and the home has a formal dining room, family room and all the amenities you’d expect of real estate in this price bracket. But I suspect that it is not equipped with Wi-Fi.

Jack Pritchett of Pritchett-Rapf Real Estate, Malibu, and Chris Cortazzo, Coldwell Banker International Previews, Malibu, share the listing.

Landscaping Masterpiece

There’s an old saw in real estate circles that goes something like this: While architects may design magnificent nests for others, when it comes to their own homes, they do a fly-by. That is so not the case for the 3,367-square-foot Mediterranean home of architect Robert “Buzz” Yudell and his wife, noted architectural colorist Tina Beebe.

Yudell, one of the principals of Moore Ruble Yudell Architects, has listed a Malibu home for sale at $4.5 million that has been written about many times in magazines including House and Garden, Elle Decor, Sunset Magazine and Martha Stewart Living. The three-bedroom home sits on 1.3 useable acres. The master suite in the main house has three rooms, including a tower office, a sleeping room and a large library office. The property, not visible from the road, has a detached 1,025-square-foot one-bedroom guesthouse that is currently used as an art studio; there is also a 60-foot-long swimming pool, an olive orchard and a fruit orchard that included a citrus grove.

Susan Monus, one of the listing agents, is a master baker and has already made a key lime pie from the fruits of this property’s harvest.

But more needs to be said about the gardens and landscaping here – it’s one of those blends of building and landscape that many attempt but few succeed at. This one’s a success. There are vine-covered entrances, rose-entwined pergola, a grape arbor, herb gardens, and 1,450 square feet of covered decks and patios. The home was built about 20 years ago and is as close to Tuscany as you get without boarding a plane.

Yudell has been named repeatedly to Architectural Digest’s list of top 100 architects. He led the project design on a broad array of residential and civic projects including buildings at UC Santa Barbara, UCLA, MIT, Caltech and the Santa Monica Public Library.

Monus shares the listing with Bob Rubenstein, both of the Coldwell Banker Point Dume office in Malibu.

What’s Cooking?

You’d expect to find a good kitchen here. After all, Mike Dobson is co-owner of Red O – a hot new eatery on Melrose – and the Ma’Kai Lounge in Santa Monica. He’s listed his West Hollywood home for $13 million.

Located above the Sunset Strip in the prestigious “bird” streets, the four-bedroom, five-bathroom estate has walls of glass in every room and views from downtown to the Pacific Ocean. The home was constructed with the latest green materials and is about as high-tech as you can get. The home features hardwood and slab limestone floors, Venetian plaster, exotic wood-paneled ceilings and walls, LED lighting and Dornbracht bath fixtures. This is one of those “seamless” indoor-outdoor homes with sliding walls of glass. I love those places, but always wonder how many birds join you for dinner or sacrifice themselves for a shot at your bouillabaisse.

The main level of the home includes a built-in bar with temperature-controlled wine storage for 200 bottles, a kitchen with cabinets by European phenom Valcucine and professional appliances by Gaggenau. The master suite, all 1,800 square feet of it, has a study, custom European closets, a master bath with a hand-carved solid limestone tub and a large spa-quality steam shower, and a sitting room with separate bath. The three additional bedroom suites are each on their own level. The outdoor space includes covered and open patios, a fire pit, a built-in barbecue, an infinity pool and spa, and rooftop deck.

Dobson and co-owner of both restaurants, Rick Teasta, once worked together at the old Red Onion restaurant on the Westside. When they formed their partnership and went into business for themselves, they chose the name “Red O” in homage to their meeting grounds.

The property is co-listed by Ben Bacal of Homeology LA, Keller-Williams Hollywood Hills; Aaron Kirman and Jeeb O’Reilly of Hilton & Hyland, Beverly Hills; and Jade Mills of Coldwell Banker International Previews, Beverly Hills South office.

Ann Brenoff can be reached at abrenoff@yahoo.com

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