For whatever reason, Yolanda always gets clicks up the wazoo whenever we write about Calabasas. So here’s a fun little ditty for all you ravenous, real estate-obsessed valley girls (and boys).
Calabasas — as most of y’all should already know — is one of LA County’s newest and most affluent cities. Many of the homes here are Tuscan or French-influenced McMansions and sit within gated communities. Indeed, there are so many gated communities in Calabasas that Yolanda cannot count them on all our fingers and toes. Thus, while the area is somewhat far-flung — at least an hour to Hollywood or Downtown LA with traffic — it’s become coveted by privacy-seeking celebrities, particularly celebrities of the professional athlete variety. Which brings us to this house.
Built in 1996, the boring original structure was thoroughly renovated and expanded in 2014, resulting in the architecturally ambiguous (but very fancy) mansion y’all see above. Let’s call it a contemporary-minded Mediterranean villa.
In May 2017, The Honest Company CEO Nick Vlahos paid $4,550,000 for the property, but only stayed one short year before unexpectedly flipping out. He eventually received $4.7 million, a $150,000 profit before realtor fees, taxes and closing costs.
The happy new homeowner, it turns out, is NFL superstar Aaron Donald.
Mr. Donald has been a professional defensive tackle since 2014. Over the past five years, the Pittsburgh native has been selected to five Pro Bowls, won the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and was twice named as the AP Defensive Player of the Year. Unsurprisingly, he is consistently ranked as one of the NFL’s top defensive players (per our pal Mr. Wiki Pedia).
All five seasons of Mr. Donald’s NFL career have been spent playing for the Rams, first on a $10 million initial contract followed by an unprecedented $135 million contract extension (signed in 2018) that was the richest defensive deal in NFL up to that point. Ka-ching!
On the personal front, Mr. Donald is still a very young man (age 27). He is unmarried but has two young children — one boy, one girl — with Jaelynn Blakey, his girlfriend since high school. We’re sure they will enjoy the big, family-sized Calabasas funhouse.
But before we get to dissectin’ the house itself, let’s check out the immediate neighborhood. Our Mr. Donald’s digs are located within the Oaks, basically the gated community to rule all other Calabasas gated communities. Divided into two sections, the hilltop enclave is the most expensive, most exclusive, most braggadocious address in town. And it’s got the community center, security team and fitness studios to prove it. The Oaks ain’t just another fancy-pants gated neighborhood — it’s a whole lifestyle.
Heck, the community even sports its own glossy “social publication” — called Inside the Oaks — a monthly lifestyle magazine compiled by Oaks residents exclusively for Oaks residents.
Anywho, prices in the regular Oaks section — where all the “ordinary” rich people live — start at $2 million for the smallest homes and top out in the $5-6 million range. Residents there include actress Katie Holmes, radio host Big Boy and ex-cop turned FBI informant Kevin Hackie.
But all the mega-rich folks reside in The Estates at the Oaks, which is a gated community within the Oaks – yes, visitors must pass through two gates to reach the homes there. Homes in the Estates are bigger and fancier than those in the Oaks. Prices have topped $10 million and residents include drummer Travis Barker, NBA star Paul Pierce, rap music mega-producer Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith, Morphe cosmetics mogul Linda Tawil, two of the Kardashian sisters and Michael Jackson’s mama Katherine.
Mr. Donald’s $4.7 million casa, as y’all might have guessed, is located in the regular Oaks. We imagine he could easily afford an Estates place, but it seems our boy doesn’t want or need to spend that much moolah. Yolanda respects that. But we digress.
The 7,036-square-foot manse is privately situated up a long driveway shared with two other homes (both owned by non-famous folks). In addition to ample driveway parking, there’s a four-car garage — perfect for Mr. Donald’s $130,000 Revero Karma electric vehicle.
A sprawling foyer is intended to impress guests and the pizza delivery boy (or girl). Immediately to the right is the formal dining room; to the left is the fireplace-equipped living room.
Those allowed upstairs will find four bedrooms. The master suite sports somewhat unfashionable wall-to-wall carpeting, and there’s also a double-sided fireplace smack-dab in the middle of the room. Looks kinda hokey to Yolanda, but we’re sure it provides some nice heat. Just try to avoid trippin’ over it in the dark! We hope Mr. Donald isn’t a sleepwalker.
Back downstairs is plenty more razzle-dazzle, like a great room that combines the kitchen — check out its commercial-grade appliances and dual islands — with the family room and gaming/lounge area. Just beyond is an enormous patio with bar, BBQ and outdoor fireplace.
The ample backyard includes a broad swath of lawn and sports court, while the oversized pool has a trendy Baja shelf for sunbathing and a concrete surround. Although the .9-acre lot isn’t exceptionally huge, the property abuts open land — so this place feels fairly epic in scale.
Tech-savvy readers will also appreciate the “smarthome” automated features — all the HVAC, plumbing and lighting controls can be operated from an iPhone. Even if you’re halfway around the globe.
Before selecting his new Calabasas casa, Mr. Donald bunked up in a Thousand Oaks (CA) gated community. Just in case anyone was curious, that large tract house is owned by pharmaceutical bigwig Martin Van Trieste, CEO of Civica RX.