Comedian and car collector Jay Leno, who has been frequently spotted at the Audrain Automobile Museum in Newport, Rhode Island, will likely be spending more time in the New England town, having bought a collection of oceanfront apartments there.
The former host of NBC’s “Tonight Show” bought four of five condominiums at the Seafair mansion on Ocean Avenue via a limited liability company, Mavis House LLC, for a total of $13.5 million, property records show.
Mr. Leno, 67, signed some of the documents that were filed with the City Clerk’s office on Nov. 30. Also, Mavis happens to be his wife’s first name.
A rep for Mr. Leno didn’t respond to a request for confirmation and comment in time for publication.
Rumors began to surface early last month that the funny man, who grew up around two-and-a-half hours away in Andover, Massachusetts, was eyeing the property.
Listing agent David Huberman of Gustave White Sotheby’s International Realty declined to comment on the sale.
The combined home Mr. Leno purchased offers 15,181 square feet of interior living, spread across 14 bedrooms and 14 bathrooms. It comes with a private beach, tennis court, an infinity pool, terraces, gardens and fountains, according to a previous listing.
Sitting on nine acres of land at the southernmost tip of Newport, the property boasts 270-degree views of the Atlantic Ocean and has a six-car garage for Mr. Leno, who has been hosting CNBC’s hour-long show “Jay Leno’s Garage” since his “Tonight Show” tenure.
The seller of the four condominiums, per public records, is Richard Bready, former chairman and chief executive of manufacturer Nortek Inc. He couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.
It’s unknown whether Mr. Leno will try to procure the remaining residence in the historic mansion, which is owned by H. Larue Renfroe, owner of the Providence Bruins hockey team, and his wife, Lynda. The three-bedroom condo was once listed for $3 million, but is no longer available, listing records show.
The Seafair mansion was built in 1936 for Verner Zevola Reed Jr., a Denver mining heir, who served as vice president at Chase Manhattan Bank and a U.S. ambassador to Morocco from 1981 to 1985.
In modern days, the mansion hosted a fundraiser for former president Barack Obama in 2014 and a birthday party in 2003 for Mr. Bready, with celebrities such as Elton John among guests, according to the Providence Journal, which first reported the sale.
Newport is home to many Gilded Age mansions built for the wealthiest American families, including the Vanderbilts, Astors, and the Widener family in the early 20th century, many of which are now used as museums.