We devote a substantial amount of time and energy to writing about the biggest and baddest residential real estate deals out there, blah blah blah. Because of that, well, there’s a whole blimp-load of smaller and quieter (but still interesting) transactions that even the hard-working lass Yolanda never gets around to discussing. It’s not that they slip under our radar. It’s just that when Yolanda writes, she tends to be long-winded and flowery ol’ gal. There aren’t enough hours in every day for our style to accomodate all the semi-interesting transactions out there.
Eventually, after lingering in our subconscious for a few weeks, these unconsummated tales get packed up and placed in a big, top-secret vault in a deep, dark dungeon inside a massive mansion in a heavily-fortified but otherwise location-undisclosed enclave.
Today that’s all changing. Briefly. We’ve spoken to our generous sponsor (and everyone’s favorite Beverly Park resident!) Larissa Sabadash, and she’s agreed to unbolt the vault and let a precious few of those old, previously forgotten stories out into the light of day. The vault is buried within her hidden dungeon within her forbidding monster mansion within the exuberantly-secured Beverly Park enclave, you see.
So today, kids, we’ve got a whole bunch of blurbs here, and we’re going to see how many Yolanda can run through before we’re late for our nighttime mani/pedi session. Fasten your safety belts. And if you don’t want to read about this “old news”, check back another day. Yolanda’s feelin’ nostalgic.
1. The house that Modern Family built… and took away
Way back in June 2012, a 1-acre vacant Santa Monica parcel overlooking the high-priced Riviera Country Club clandestinely sold for $8,600,000. The mysterious blind-trust-shielded buyer immediately set to work constructing a mansion that property records show demanded an outlay of many more millions of bucks. The glassy new structure was completed earlier this year (2016).
Though rumors initially flew that the rich folks behind the construction were Judd Apatow & Leslie Mann, that was not the case. Turns out the fellow who bought the property to build his new home will (most likely) never have the opportunity to live there. You see, the property is owned by Modern Family co-creator Steve Levitan and his estranged wife Krista.
The Levitans’ marriage went kaput rather spectacularly about six months ago. Mrs. Levitan, who has accused her husband of domestic violence and won a restraining order against him, has been living in the just-completed Santa Monica showplace. Mr. Levitan, bless his heart, was banished from his dream house before he got a chance to step through the damn front door.
Unfortunately, publicly-available details of the new structure are practically nil, but we do know it’s about 10,000 square feet in a “Modern Farmhouse” style. But anyway, poor Mr. Levitan! Well, he’s still got large homes in Brentwood Park and on Malibu’s not-so-Broad Beach, so don’t cry too hard for our boy.
2. Michael B. Jordan buys Van Nuys starter house
“I may not be in an A-list location yet, but I’m definitely not shy about showing off my luxury chops,” should be the mantra of this architecturally-challenged house in LA’s San Fernando Valley. We think this aspirational place is perfect for its new owner, increasingly-in-demand actor Michael B. Jordan.
The 29-year-old Mr. Jordan is probably best-known for his roles in films such as Fruitvale Salon, Fantastic Four, and Creed, in addition to his substantial amount of television work. And he’s got no shortage of plum future projects in the pipeline.
Anyway, it was Mr. Jordan who — through his “Empire Trust” — paid $1,726,000 for this house last August (2015). Though the property was marketed as being in Sherman Oaks, we think this area is actually more like Van Nuys, long a particularly unglamorous but gentrifying locale in the heart of the Valley.
The spec-built mini-mansion — it’s rather ridiculously described in marketing materials as a “MAJESTIC BRAND NEW MONTECITO SPANISH-CONTEMPORARY,” whatever that is — has 4 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms in 4,672 square feet. To be fair, there’s also a lot of nice features like the pool, spa, three-car garage, 18-foot ceilings, “European” oak wood floors, high-end appliances, and a wee tiny bit of front yard.
“PRIME LOCATION, LUXURY AT ITS BEST” says the listing. We’ll take their word for it. Mazel Tov, Mr. Jordan.
3. Rosario Dawson walks the borderline
Outspoken Bernie Sanders supporter Rosario Dawson paid $1,850,000 last September (2015) for a two-story mock-med 1990s crib that’s literally right on the border of Marina Del Rey and Venice. That could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your point of view.
For a famous person like Miss Dawson, it seems a very strange choice. Come on, there’s a damn stoplight right at your front door! Not only that, there’s a darn bike path right behind the house! Wow. Miss Dawson must not care much about celeb-style privacy. Go on with your bad self, gurl.
But anywho. There’s a whole lot of beige and not-particularly-expensive finishes within the residence, which contains 3 beds and 2.5 baths in 2,562 square feet. The real value of the nearly-$2 million residence comes from the proximity to neighborhood amenities. It’s just a quick skip (okay, more like a semi-quick jog) from Venice’s always-trendy Abbot Kinney, the boardwalk, and some decent beaches.
4. Shakim Compere spends big in Calabasas
So, never heard of Shakim Compere? Don’t worry. Neither had Yolanda. But this dude is loaded.
Not only has Mr. Compere been Queen Latifah‘s BFF since high school, they’re also successful business partners. With Ms. Latifah, our Mr. Compere owns Flavor Unit Entertainment, a film- and TV show-producing company that possesses an exclusive licensing agreement with Netflix. He’s also has quite the extensive IMDB listing, for what it’s worth. And he won an Emmy in 2015 for co-producing Bessie, which stars — who else? — Queen Latifah.
Mr. Compere’s hustle enabled him to pay a serious $6,700,000 for a 9,349 square foot mansion in a luxurious but rather remote Calabasas gated community this past February (2016). FYI, this is not “The Oaks”, that guard-gated community where all those Kardashian morons live. This is way out in the hills. Actually, it’s probably closer to Malibu than it is to the “main strip” of Calabasas.
It’s a fancy place, no doubt. There’s all the normal bells and whistles you’d expect, plus an infinity pool, koi pond, tennis court, golf greens, and hiking trails all over the property’s 16 acres of land.
But Yolanda’s gotta let the truth be told for a moment. Man oh man, that is one unfortunate mug on this poor baby. House looks like it got a Bieber-style beatdown courtesy of the ugly stick. We’re just saying.
5. Jon M. Chu buys WeHo starter house
The central West Hollywood/Beverly Grove area has recently seen a massive influx of oft-cookie-cutter new spec builds, which is why we appreciate 1939 Traditional flip. Though many if not most of the original details have been scrubbed out over time, it’s still refreshing to see the ol’ gurl’s original bones still happily rattling around, right?
The corner-lot residence sports a classy and classic sunken living room with original crown molding, wainscotting, and fireplace. The kitchen gets way more mod with Carrara marble countertops, wide-plank French oak flooring, and high-end Viking appliances. Upstairs are four bedrooms and three baths.
Out back there’s your expected pool/spa, a dog-run-sized grass patch, two small terraces, and a detached 2-car garage. The garage and home combined sport a big-enough area of 3,763 square feet.
The house’s new owner is director Jon M. Chu, a guy best-known for directing a bunch of highly-lucrative films Yolanda ain’t never seen. These include Step Up 3d, Justin Bieber: Never Say Neverand G.I. Joe: Retaliation. Mr. Chu forked out $2,715,000 for the .15-acre corner lot property.
6. Perez Hilton buys in WeHo, too
Our Mama over at Variety actually already discussed this one, but since we just dissected his BFF Jon M. Chu, we figured we should probably give Mr. Hilton a whirl, too.
On the same exact day that Mr. Chu closed on his first home, another house a few streets away sold for $2,900,000 (the buyer also used the same real estate agent as Mr. Chu) to a different blind trust. This time, our mysterious multi-millionaire purchaser was a guy named Mario Lavandeira, better-known as gossip maven Perez Hilton.
The corner-lot abode has a 3,915-square-foot, fully-renovated 1926 Spanish-style main house. Indoor features include lustrous dark wood flooring, original tiles, and a done-done-done kitchen. There’s also an unusually-large-for-the-neighborhood 1,000-square-foot guest house. We have no idea what Ms. Hilton will use this for. Maybe a gallery for all those jizz-photoshopped pictures he’s (in)famous for posting? Yikes!
7. Rob Dyrdek’s cousin is also a multi-millionaire, apparently
Fame by association pays well, as Chris “Drama” Pfaff can tell you. After guest-starring on his more-famous cousin Rob Dyrdek’s MTV show, he started his own successful clothing line and forked out $2,975,000 for this Hollywood Hills East house last year. However, maybe he gets bored easily or is looking to make a quick buck because the residence is for sale again, asking $3,200,000.
The contemporary casa sits hard up on the street with a low-profile, gated front facade. Looks can be deceiving, though, ’cause the thing drops down mullet-style to two stories out back. There are views of the San Fernando Valley, an infinity-edged pool, and even an damn basketball court (that looks desperately in need of a resurfacing).
8. Toni Braxton sells to neighbor Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith in The Oaks
After less than two years of ownership, formerly bankrupt star Toni Braxton has sold her multi-million dollar home in Calabasas’s exclusive “Oaks” guard-gated community. She didn’t do badly on the sale, either. Records show she paid $2,900,000 for the .39-acre property in 2014 and managed to unload it for $3,400,000 this March (2016).
The buyer’s identity is concealed behind something called “TDE Music LLC”, but Yolanda happens to know that the new owner is a prolific rap music producer named Anthony Tiffith. Strangely enough, Mr. Tiffith already lives in The Oaks — in a much larger home he purchased from Eddie “Piolin” Sotelo for $6,700,000 in 2014.
We’re guessing Mr. Tiffith might use Ms. Braxton’s former residence as a rental property or as housing for a less-financially-fortunate family member.
Other Oaks residents include Khloe Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian, Katherine Jackson, and Toni Braxton’s sister Tamar and her richie-rich hubby.
Disclaimer: Larissa Sabadash does not actually sponsor Yolanda’s hot mess of a blog. As far as we know, she’s never laid eyes on this thing. She also most likely does not keep a list of old celeb-related real estate stories in her vault. We also don’t know if she actually has a vault or a dungeon, for that matter. But she probably does. This is Beverly Park we’re talking about, after all.