The buyers of former president Richard M. Nixon's La Casa Pacifica estate are three Orange County businessmen who plan to build single-family dwellings on much of the property if the city council and the California Coastal Commission approve.

Purchasers Donald Koll, Gavin Herbert and George Argyros said Wednesday that 5.9 acres will be kept intact and made "available for private residency."

The purchase price of the 28-acre estate, part of it owned by the Nixons and part by the former president's friend, Robert Abplanalp, was not disclosed.

A spokesman announced May 25 that Nixon had sold the property and that the former president and his wife would move to a $650,000 home nearby.

The names of the purchasers of La Casa Pacifica, known as the Western White House during the 5 1/2 years Nixon was president, were not disclosed at that time.

The house has been a subject of controversy since its purchase by the Nixons in 1969.

Questions were raised as to the exact ownership of the property and the fairness of the assessed value placed on it for taxation purposes. Controversy also arose over millions of dollars worth of improvements paid for by the federal government. The Secret Service and the General Services Administration claimed that most of the improvements were needed to protect Nixon.

Conceivably, the land - exclusive of the lushly landscaped 5.9 acres on which the Nixon house, garages and guest house are located - could accommodated about 120 houses.