Mandeville Mystery 2: Shawn Levy Sells to Trent Reznor for $16 million

Well spank Yolanda’s booty because Ms. Windsor Smith is on fire right now. The lady is killin’ it. Seriously.

You’ll recall we only just jumped on the bandwagon and discussed the Mandeville Canyon hacienda that British crooner Chris Martin sold to hedge fund impresario (and fellow Brit) Maurice Salem and his wife Danielle. That sale was a top secret, off-market deal. Blah blah blah.

Unbeknownst to Yolanda, there was another even bigger sale that went down just as secretly in the same area. Directly next door to the Martin-now-Salem residence, there’s a much larger hulking beast of a mansion. Records show that property sold for a very A-list $16,650,000 just two days prior to Mr. Martin unloading his home. Again, the house was never on the market and the buyer and seller are both shrouded behind mysterious trusts.

We’re not sure if all that is coincidence or not. It’s just kinda interesting that two celeb-owned houses right next to each other would sell for big dollars off-market in the very same week, ain’t it? Or is it just us?

The sellers of the tennis court estate were Shawn & Serena Levy. In case you didn’t know, Mr. Levy is the guy who directed and/or produced a whole bunch of critically-slaughtered but money-minting films such as Night at the Museum, The Pink Panther, and Cheaper by the Dozen. Those films – and other ones just as crappy – have raked in a dumbfounding $2 billion+ at the global box office. Flabbergasted? We are too.

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“Laughing and galloping all the way to the bank.”

Mr. Levy and his wife, who have four young daughters, paid $13,125,000 for the house in June 2010 and then hired everyone’s favorite “lifestyle architect” Windsor Smith to do up the premises real glitzy and shit. Yes, Ms. Smith is the same gal who did up Mr. Martin’s pad. Another strange coincidence. Well, not really. Ms. Smith lives just a few doors away in Mandeville Canyon and has done up about half her neighbors’ houses for them. Lady runs this neighborhood. But we digress.

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The Reznors.

The spendy buyers, Yolanda just happens to know (for a fact), are musicians Trent Reznor and his wife Mariqueen Maandig. And it’s not such a surprise that they’d want a bigger house, as Ms. Maandig just gave birth to the couple’s third child less than 6 months ago. Remember, what’s one of the Big 3 D’s – the main reasons why people buy and sell houses? Diapers.

For those of you who might be shocked that Mr. Reznor has nearly 17 million bucks to drop on a house, well, don’t be. In addition to his long-running music career – he’s the sole member of the seriously-influential band Nine Inch Nails – he also has a highly-lucrative job composing film scores. Most of the films he has scored, such as The Social Network, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and Gone Girl, have become major commercial successes. And you can all be assured they’ve earned Mr. Reznor many millions of bucks, in addition to the Golden Globe, Grammy, and Oscar awards he collected. And finally, let’s not forget Mr. Reznor is also an Apple employee. He’s apparently been given a “major role” in redesigning the company’s Beats music service.

The walled and gated house borders Mandeville Canyon Road; however, just like Mr. Martin’s house next door, the driveway is conveniently accessed via a discreet side lane. It’s also located in what is the community’s priciest pocket. Yolanda thinks the lower Mandeville area – that is, houses closest to the mouth of the community and Sunset Boulevard – are generally the most expensive because the lots tend to be larger than in upper Mandeville. And they also have easy access to the rest of Brentwood, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, etc. You won’t have to spend 10 minutes haulin’ ass just to get down to Sunset from here.

Depending where you look online, the house contains 9,512 or 9,564 or 10,252 square feet of living space. There’s also either 6 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms, or 6 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms. We’re not sure what’s with all these discrepancies, but we’d wager the detached guest house might have something to do with them. Let’s just say that the compound contains a total of about 10,000 square feet with 6 bedrooms and at least that many bathrooms. At least all sites agree the property sits on 1 flat acre. Whew.

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We don’t find the structure itself pretty, at all. At least from the outside. Despite a rather charming vine-shrouded pergola out back, it can’t disguise that the 1947-built sprawler looks like a rambling, jumbled mess – at least to Yolanda’s eyes. However, once indoors things start getting more interesting.

According to the July/August 2013 Veranda cover story, the house is centered around a backyard garden, and there are two great rooms – one at each end of the structure. Both have those wonderfully high-arched ceilings like you see in the photos below.

One of the great rooms contains the estate’s kitchen. There’s a very white center island/work station with bar-style seating, a top-of-the-line range that we think may be one of those hideously expensive La Cornue burners. There’s also a very black backsplash and a Sub-Zero glass-fronted refrigerator that definitely costs more than your average new Civic.

Okay, we may shock the few of you who care, but Yolanda actually loves this room and the whole setup and color scheme. Maybe it’s our OCD acting up again, but the bright white and unfussy lines make our soul heave an inner sigh of relief. We even like the unvarnished and distressedwood beams, although we feel we’d like them more were they stained a black or deep brown.

The one thing we really don’t like is that pot rack. Your Mama at Variety knows what we’re talking about here. Our dislike isn’t so much for the potential decapitation risk but rather for the asthetic quality or lack thereof. Those things always seem to look tacky and ugly no matter how nice and shiny your pots and pans are. Ugh. Just put all that crap away.

Oh, and what’s with all those stacked shelves? Looks cool but just a little flukey, no? You’re gonna have to call the fire department every time you wanna use your big Inca-inspired snack platter for a little friendly get-together. And let’s hope no one is in the kitchen when The Big One finally makes its grand appearance.

Sorry. But we do love the whitewashed brick adorning the massive fireplace and chimney. Delicious.

The house has no formal dining room. The Levy family, always on the go, decided they didn’t need or want one. So they turned the space into a “music room”. We’re sure Mr. Reznor and Ms. Maandig will get plenty of use out of this. The master bedroom is not particularly large, especially considering the size of the house, but it’s got high ceilings and a teeny tiny birdcage-like chandelier that looks hilariously out of place.

A few of Yolanda’s designer friends make fun of Ms. Smith. They say things like she’s not a “real” designer, she overcharges for cheap and fake ass veneer crap, it’s all superficial. Stuff like that. But you know what? We like this house. We’d happily live here in a heartbeat. Call Yolanda superficial all you like.

Let’s move on. Astute real estate watchers may recall that Mr. Reznor also owns 4,000-ish square foot residence in Beverly Hills Post Office that he snapped up for $4,187,500 way back in 2007.

In April 2015, the house popped up on the open market with an asking price of $4,495,000 but was removed from the MLS after a month or so. Records indicate Mr. Reznor still owns this house, but we don’t think he has lived here in some time. Yolanda has a suspicion it may be currently leased out.

But wait! That’s not all.

Yolanda admits we were quite surprised when we discovered that Mr. Reznor also owns a home in Malibu, just a wee bit up in the foothills above the celebrity-packed Point Dume area. If this house looks vaguely familiar, it’s probably because it’s been reported here, there, and everywhere that the property is owned by Jakob Dylan. That’s not the case. We have learned (and two other knowledgeable hoes have seconded) that the real owner of this perfect bachelor boy beach pad is actually none other than yo’ boy Trent Reznor.

We think the reason for the confusion may be partially caused by the fact that Mr. Dylan has owned multiple houses in and around Point Dume. Plus he and Mr. Reznor also share the same business manager. Anyway, whatever the situation, Mr. Reznor was the one who paid $4,250,000 for the house in 2011 and put it back up for sale in August 2015, asking an optimistic $7,250,000. After several big pricechops and at least one failed escrow, the property remains available with a $5,995,000 pricetag. Wanna buy Mr. Reznor’s Malibu house? Get out your checkbooks and get your booties out to Malibu. Homeboy is motivated.

Yolanda bribed a cute second-grader to do some calculating for her (we don’t do math, beotches), and we’ve discovered that the three multi-million dollar homes Mr. Reznor currently owns in LA cost him a grand total of $25,087,500. And that’s before any renovation fees, taxes, etc are taken into consideration. Mr. Reznor is obviously a very rich man – richer than most folks in Hollywood, it would seem.

So there you have it. Happy new house to you, Mr. & Mrs. Reznor. Maybe you can even invite Yolanda over for a drink. We can throw a killer house warming party for y’all, too. Best believe. But sorry, it won’t involve blood, guts, or pigs. Yolanda always keeps these things kosher.

1 Comment

  1. Damn, your writing style is fucking obnoxious

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