Monday, December 9, 2013

Michael Strahan To Acquire Large L.A. Mansion

BUYERS: Michael Strahan and Nicole Mitchell Murphy
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $16,000,000*
SIZE: 15,600 square feet, 9 bedrooms, 11 full and 3 half bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: In case any of y'all celebrity real estate-o-philes haven't heard, retired professional pigskinner turned turned wildly popular morning chat show host Michael Strahan—he took over for Regis Philbin in the fall of 2012—and his long-time fiancĂ©e Nicole Mitchell Murphy—she's a former model, reality television denizen, and the ex-wife of Eddie Murphy—have been on a serious real estate whirligig the last few years.

In April 2011, after a four year long slog, Miz Mitchell Murphy finally unloaded a 9,200 square foot Spanish-y mansion in the guard-gated Oaks community in Calabasas, CA for $5,515,000, a pocketbook plundering two million dollar loss against the $7.5 million she paid for the place in 2006.*

In November 2009, not long after he and Miz Mitchell Murphy were engaged, property records show the gap-toothed former defensive end shelled out $5 million for a 10,000-ish square foot faux-Tuscan macmansion in L.A.'s tony Brentwood area that he/they sold in March 2012 for $6,150,000.

A few months later the couple coughed up $7.9 million for a 1926 Mediterranean tear down in the super-prime lower Bel Air area. It's not clear if Mister Strahan and/or Miz Mitchell Murphy ever moved in—we think not—but what is clear is that they flipped the property less than a year later for $11 million in an off-market deal to mid-priced handbag mogul and bone fide real estate baller Bruce Makowsky for $11 million. (Mister Makowsky, according to the sorts of sources who know these sorts of things, razed the residence.)

Since Mister Strahan tapes Live! With Kelly and Michael in New York City it's no surprise he and his betrothed have peeped some spacious and immoderately expensive apartments for them and however many of their combined nine children—she has five children with her ex-husband and he has four, two from each of his previous two wives—live with them. So the gossip goes, the couple recently looked at but passed on a 5,500 square foot, multi-winged duplex penthouse on the Upper West Side that was previously toured by actor Bradley Cooper and is currently listed at $20,000,000, reduced from $24.9 million and down considerably from its original asking price of $29 million.

Back on the west coast, as per celebrity gossip juggernaut TMZ, the couple lease an opulent, Neo-classical/semi-Italian villa in Beverly Hill's guard-gated and (in)famously ostentatious Beverly Park enclave. The house is owned, as it turns out, by none other than the aforementioned purse pasha Bruce Makowsky who owns at least two other mansions in Beverly Park. However, hunties, the unmarried couple will soon decamp Beverly Park and head back to Brentwood where they are—according to our impossibly well-connected informant Peter Propertyseller—in contract to acquire a big and brand new residential behemoth listed with a fat $17 million price tag.**

Listing details show the freshly finished, 15,600 square foot center hall neo-Colonial style mansion, tightly wedged onto a walled, double-gated, and high-hedged shy acre that backs up to a thickly treed ravine, was designed by Harvard educated, CalArts-trained, and Santa Monica-based residential architect Winston Brock Chappell. There are, as per digital marketing materials, 9 bedroom suites and a total of 11 full and three half bathrooms on three luxuriously-appointed and elevator-serviced floors.

Guests are surely meant to be impressed into silence and awe by the cavernous foyer and voluminous adjoining formal living room that both have 20-foot boxed wood ceilings, black glass chandeliers, and French white oak floors stained a deep and dark chocolate. Main floor spaces also include a roomy but hardly huge formal dining room (below, top), a compact den with built-in entertainment center (above, lower right), and a fully-paneled library with flat-screen surmounted fireplace and French doors. The bodily evacuation and maquillage reapplication needs of guests are accommodated in a pair of convenient, party-friendly powder rooms. Somewhere there are, as per listing details, two guest/family bedrooms with private bathrooms on the main floor.

Less formal, main floor family quarters orbit around an open-concept great room comprised of an informal dining area that overlooks and opens to the back yard, a fireplace anchored family room, and an all-white center island kitchen fitted and kitted with snow white cabinetry, slab marble counter tops, and top-quality appliances.

The fully-finished basement offers two more bedrooms (suitable for less-favored family members, guests or live-in domestic staff) plus a windowless lounge area. Other basement-level creature comforts include: a windowless game room with billiard and poker tables; an also windowless 20-seat screening room with tiered seating and a 15-foot screen; a fitness room with attached bathroom, dry sauna, and steam room; and a 1000-bottle temperature-controlled wine cellar and tasting room equipped—like the paneled library upstairs—with a costly air filtration system for efficient removal of cigar (and other) smoke. Other notable features in the basement designed to impress and entice the rich and/or famous are a cedar-lined storage room for furs, gowns, and tuxedos as well as a separate walk-in safe for cash, jewels, and other valuable.

The upper level master suite occupies a wing of its own with separate sitting room, a vaulted ceiling and fireplace in the bedroom, a private terrace, and dual walk-in closets and bathrooms, at least one of which as a free-standing soaking tub and direct access tot he pergola-shaded private terrace that overlooks the backyard and thickly treed canyon behind. Four more guest/family bedrooms on the upper level each have private bathrooms and walk-in closets and there are, as per digital marketing materials, two additional guest/family bedrooms on the main floor.

The usable, flat area of the back yard isn't particularly large for a home of this magnitude and expense but it is jam packed with mansion-type amenities: deep, stone-tiled verandas; a long and narrow patch of grass that wraps around the side of the house; a 59-foot long swimming pool and inset spa; and an open-air pavilion replete with pool bath, fireplace, wet bar, integrated ceiling heaters, and an outdoor kitchen/barbecue set up.

*F.Y.I., the non-celeb buyer caught a classic and an almost immediate case of The Real Estate Fickle and sold the six bedroom residence a year later for $6.5 million to douchey, Lambo-driving rapscallion, Justin Bieber.

**Peter Propertyseller told Your Mama that he heard through the Platinum Triangle property gossip grapevine the deal was going down for $16 million but the transaction has yet to be completed and/or recorded so the sale price—and the actual transaction itself—are still just some good ol' fashioned celebrity real estate rumor and gossip, at least until you read about it in one of the more respectable property gossip columns.

listing photos: The Agency

Friday, December 6, 2013

Big Sean Buys Valley View House in Hollywood Hill

BUYER: Big Sean
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $1,675,000
SIZE: 4,500 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: One of the Bizzy Boys at Celebrity Address Aerial recently let Your Mama know that an up-and-coming and well-connected, 25-year old hip hop recording artist from Detroit who goes by the stage name Big Sean shelled out $1,675,000 for a freshly rehabbed and sparsely faux-quoined, mullett-style mock-Med residence in the Hollywood Hills.*

Well, children, we're not afraid to admit that Your Mama had never heard of this Big Sean person but it didn't take too many clicks or clacks on our handy-dandy lap top computer to discover that he's not really very big—he's merely 5'8" tall and supermodel slender—and that he's newly engaged to actress Naya Rivera who, in case you don't recognize the name, plays sassy and sexy Latina lesbian Santana Lopez on Glee. Our travels across the internets also turned up the official video for Big Sean's newly released single, Fire, that features pop music's favorite twerking and tongue wagging hellion Miley Cyrus who—if Your Mama can be permitted to critique out of our element—does an impressively effective job in her portrayal of a slutty video vixen who really knows how to sit  on top of a humongous hunk of dramatically back-lit marble. Anyways...

From the street B.S.'s new house looks like a rather mundane if carefully groomed and compact single-story residence. However, children, the house, perched on a wicked steep lot with a San Fernando Valley view in a not-so-glam section of the Hollywood Hills above the Cahuenga Pass, drops mullett-style two more floors at the back to encompass five bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms in about 4,500 square feet on three, elevator-free floors.

A low front wall, newly planted privet hedges, and a sliding electronic driveway gate define the tight, stamped concrete driveway that does double duty as an extremely low maintenance and water conserving all-concrete front yard. Carved wood pillars and a shallow portico signify the entrance to the residence on its uppermost floor through double front doors that open to a foyer the size of a small living room. A pony wall** is about all that separates the foyer from the only slightly larger "formal"living room where single-pane French doors open to the front yard/driveway and a gas fireplace was wedged—uncomfortably by our persnickety estimation—in a corner between two windows.

The simple, over-the-counter moldings and espresso-toned wood flooring in the foyer and living room—the sort of wood flooring that Your Mama would bet both our long bodied bitches, Linda and Beverly, are the engineered type—continue into the formal dining room that has an almost magnificent, not quite square picture window with canyon and San Fernando Valley views.***

The (possibly engineered) wood floors switch to stone—or stone-like—tile in the spacious, center island kitchen. The tile on the kitchen floor looks to Your Mama a little too—uhm—identical to the stone tiles that demarcate the chimney breast in the aforementioned corner gas fireplace in the "formal" living room. The kitchen, equipped with white, double raised panel cabinetry decorated with fluted pilasters, ebony counter tops of unknown material, medium grade stainless steel appliances, and, over the sink, a double-wide greenhouse-style bay window, adjoins a convenient breakfast room off of which open a laundry room and attached two-car garage.

In addition to a small guest/family bedroom with hall bath access, the middle level has a pair of master suites, both with private sitting rooms, small private terraces, walk-in closets, and attached bathrooms with tumbled travertine (or maybe limestone) tile work. Presumably, the master with two walk-in closets, a corner fireplace, and bigger bathroom is meant to be the main master. Incidentally, the corner fireplace in the main master bedroom was treated with the same stone or stone-like tile as the fireplace in the living room upstairs. Listen, children, Your Mama loves us some decorative unity in a home, but all this matchy-matchy mottled beige stone or stone-like tile looks to us like it was bought in a hurry, in bulk, and at a discount from a big box home improvement center. Then again, what do we know? Maybe that is some kind of rare, artisinal travertine, or whatever. Could be. Probably isn't but it could be, right? Anyhoodles, poodles....

One more glute-busting floor below there's a central, wet bar-equipped family/media room flanked by two reasonably sized bedrooms that share a three-quarter bathroom off the the family room. Your Mama imagines Mister B.S. converted or will convert part or all of this lower level to a recording studio.

Outdoor space is limited to the all stamped concrete front yard/driveway and a series of petite, slate-tiled and wrought iron railed balconies that effectively cantilever over the canyon off the rear facade and offer up long if slightly tree-obstructed views out over the eastern reaches of the San Fernando Valley.

Avid celebrity real estate watchers may recall that Mister Big Sean's fiancee, Naya Rivera, has been on a bit of a real estate streak herself. In June (2013) she sold a renovated residence in a Beverly Hills (Post Office) canyon for $1,930,000 and, a few months earlier, paid $2.6 million for a 1930s clapboard-sided traditional at the far western edge of L.A.'s Los Feliz area.

So, children, will these two, like so many other newly wedded rich and famous before them, sell their houses and buy a new, neutral one or will one move into the other's bachelor or bachelorette pad? Pins and needles, pins and needles...

*For the record: Big Sean actually bought his new house several months ago but we didn't know a thing about it until a couple days ago.
**Has we ever complained to the children about how an ill-placed pony wall makes Your Mama crave a damn nerve pill? Well they do. Anyways...
***Oh, how Your Mama wishes that window were square.

photos: David Charmaine for John Aaroe Group

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Ryan Tedder Acquires Modern-Minded Micro-Compound in Venice

BUYER: Ryan Tedder
PRICE: $2,850,000
SIZE: 3,551 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 5 full and 2 half bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: We recently received a covert communique from a wise and well-informed little birdie we'll call Polly Wannacracker who snitched to Your Mama that Grammy-winning singer/songwriter/producer Ryan Tedder and his college sweetheart wife, Genevieve, quietly shelled out $2.85 million for a newly built and modern-minded micro-compound the geographic heart of Venice, CA, just off the spendy and trendy shopping and dining strip along Abbott Kinney north of Venice Boulevard.

Mister Tedder, as we were informed by Miss Wannacracker, fronts OneRepublic, a multi-platinum pop rock band that's had a couple of radio-friendly hit ditties including 2007's Apologize. However and agueably, the 34-year old Oral Roberts University graduate is at least, if not more successful and well respected by his professional peers as a songwriter and producer for pop music superstars like BeyoncĂ©, Jennifer Lopez, Natasha Bedingfield, Ellie Goulding, Kelly Clarkson, and Carrie Underwood. Mister Tedder worked with British supernova Adele on her seminal (and sensational) album 21—he co-wrote the ever-so-catchy but humorously cutting ditty Rumour Has Ita collaboration that earned the relatively new father of one a Grammy Award in 2012. It was recently announced in the tabs and trades, we discovered in our cursory research, that Mister Tedder signed on for a no-doubt highly lucrative gig on The Voice as the popular televised singing contest's first in-house songwriter and producer.

Property records and other digitally accessible resources show the newly constructed, two-building micro-compound, a boxy configuration of glass, concrete, steel, and horizontal wood cladding, was designed by sustainability-minded SoCal architect Matthew Royce. We gathered from our perusal and parsing of listing details that the 3,551 square foot, two-story main house has three to four bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms. A architecturally matchy-matchy but fully detached, two-story structure at the extreme rear of the property postage-stamp size urban lot, where it backs up to a slightly grungy alleyway, offers generous additional living space.

A commercial style aluminum and frosted glass front door set under a shallow overhang opens directly into a lofty, multi-purpose living space with high ceilings, exposed structural elements, polished concrete floors (that Your Mama hopes are radiantly heated), modern art-friendly white walls, and floor-to-ceiling glass sliders that slip effortlessly into the walls to create a seamless transition from the house to the landscaped central courtyard that both divides and unites the main house from the back house.

The kitchen has custom walnut cabinetry, a three or four stool center work island snack counter, a full-height pantry and a somewhat unfortunately located adjoining half bathroom. A separate room tucked discreetly beyond the main living area was sparely staged as an office but, due to its private bathroom, is easily converted to a guest or family bedroom.

A floating tread staircase leads to the upper level where the industrial-edged polished concrete floors of the ground floor give way to a much more intimate, luxuriously rustic, and drop-dead dee-voon wide-plank French oak. Each of the comfortably-sized two guest/family bedrooms on the upper floor have direct access to a private bathroom.  The sun-flooded master suite, also on the second floor, has floor-to-ceiling glass panels that slip into the walls and, for all intents and purposes, quickly converts the bedroom into a sea-breezy sleeping porch. There's also a good-sized walk-in closet and the attached bathroom has a glass-enclosed shower stall and an free-standing egg-shaped soaking tub set in front of a floor-to-ceiling frosted glass panel that opens into the wall and exposes a tiny private terrace.

The staircase, which manages to be be both weighty and light at the same time, continues up to a spacious but mostly undeveloped roof terrace (above top, left and right) with wrap around views of jagged roof tops and swaying palm trees.

The aforementioned, detached and self-contained flexi-use structure at the back of the property offers another 1,000 square feet of open-concept space, as per listing details, and is fitted and kitted with more (and still delicious) wide-plank French oak floors; more disappearing walls of glass; a simple but fully-equipped, walnut-cabineted kitchen; a sun-flooded, full-height loft; and 1.5 chic-ly utilitarian poopers, a full one upstairs and a roomy powder room downstairs. The sizable structure would make a pretty sweet guests house, a super-luxe and super-sized—ahem—man cave, a not particularly private rental unit or, as Your Mama imagines more likely with Mister Tedder, a professional quality at-home recording studio.

Mister and Missus Tedder divide their time between Los Angeles and the somewhat unlikely but hardly podunk Rocky Mountain city of Denver, CO, where according to property records and other online resources they own a gated, four-lot mini-estate in a small gated enclave in the affluent Belcaro neighborhood, a state-of-the-art recording studio, and a BBQ joint.

listing photos: Pardee Properties