Curbed – Week in Review: LA’s Unaffordable Rental Scene, Huge Fashion Dist Project

April 19th, 2014

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[It's an Easter miracle! The widening, ramping and closing of the 405 Freeway ends next month]

This Week’s Top Stories: Work is set to start this Spring on making 6 of LA’s sort-of okay streets into Great Streets, whatever that means. Feel like renting in a bit of old Hollywood history? Then Craigslist has a deal for you, as units in the Alto Nido apartments, made famous in Sunset Boulevard, are now available starting at $ 1,150. LA seems to have a bit of a catastrophic rental crisis going on which is dramatically impacting median income renters, but help may be on the way with the introduction of a new State bill to add a fee to document recording that would help fund more affordable housing. If you’re not one of those poor unfortunates with rental problems, why not download the Goop City Guide app and experience a carefree day in LA like Gwyneth. A rendering-reveal of the 20-year long makeover of the Fashion District is promising 945 new housing units, a nice hotel, and some pretty sweet development that will transform the neighborhood. Long before the malls and the freeway arrived in town, Woodland Hills was a quaint little development scheme known as Girard, named after the developer Victor Girard. Gentrification’s ugly march into Boyle Heights has begun with the neighborhood’s first stand-alone Starbucks taking root.

Curbed LA

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The Real Estalker – Robin Williams Sells L.A. Pied A Terre

April 19th, 2014

SELLER: Robin Williams
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $ 869,000
SIZE: 1,3,18 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Some of y’all may have already read in The Wall Street Journal this week that award-winning comedian and actor Robin Williams* will re-list his 650+ acre vineyard property in Napa and Sonoma Counties with a new and lower asking price of $ 29.9 million. (Yes, puppies, the estate straddles the county line so it’s in both counties.) Mister Williams previously had the luxuriously fitted estate with its titanic 20,000 Tuscan villa on the open market back in August 2012 with a significantly higher and (apparently) optimistic $ 35 million asking price.

According to Your Mama’s research, re-listing his baronial estate in Northern California isn’t the only recent shuffle Mister Williams has made to his residential real estate portfolio. In February of 2009 Mister Williams, via trust, paid Gossip Girl co-creator/writer/producer Stephanie Savage $ 857,500 for a modest pied-a-terre in Los Angeles’ historic and leafy Bronson Canyon.** Last September, to little or no hoo-ha or hullabaloo, the property popped back up for sale with an asking price of $ 939,000. Within six weeks the price dropped by $ 40,000 and in late January, according to property records, Mister Williams sold the house to a non-celebrity for $ 869,000.

Digital marketing materials show the 1920s Storybook Tudor*** retains many of its original architectural features and measures in at just 1,318 square feet with two bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms plus what listing details rather describe as a “unique screening room.” More on that “screening room” in a moment.

A charming brick stairway curves up from the street to a steeply pitched portico where an arched front door opens into the tiniest of tiny vestibules. It’s just one or maybe two steps through the tiny vestibule to the pleasingly voluminous living room with original wood floors, a raised and angled ceiling, and a period fireplace. A perfectly lovely set of arched, multi-pane French doors at the far end of the room lead out to the home’s primary outdoor living space, a walled and shady-looking red brick terrace.

In the dining room, two steps up through an archway from the living room, built-in book cases surround a street-facing bank of windows. Next door, in the efficiently petite and not particularly special kitchen, listing photos show humble white cabinets with glass fronted uppers, white ceramic tile counter tops, stainless steel appliances, and—curiously—parquet pattern flooring. The parquet pattern floor inexplicably extends into the main floor powder pooper and Your Mama fears all that parquet might be some sort of laminate material.

A a slender stairway ascends to the upper level where two bedrooms—one with an excitingly vaulted ceiling, share a squeezy but thankfully sky-lit bathroom with dark tile floors and white ceramic tiles in the combination tub/shower.

As mentioned above, listing details point out a “unique screening room” where a carpeted platform consumes more than half the floor space and makes it impossible for anyone taller than a toddler to stand up. Presumably one is expected to crawl up onto the platform and then, minding one’s tender noggin, fold oneself into the day bed in order to watch a movie? Gurl, pleeze. Just put a big ol’ t.v. in the living room and call it a day. We don’t know what some people are thinking, children. We understand that some people do not like to have their living room dominated by a television. And we get that. We feel your pain. But this is a small house and sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. For chrissakes, Your Mama feels our blood all hot up in our eyeballs with claustrophobia just looking at a picture of that room and we can assure y’all we would most certainly require a nerve pill and a stiff gin & tonic to muster the courage to wedge our fat ass up in there just to look at the damn boob-toob. We’ll say it again because we think it’s important: Put a damn t.v. in the living room and call it a day. Okay? Okay.

Mister Williams, now married to his third wife, graphic designer Susan Schneider, also owns a six bedroom and 7.5 bathroom bay front home in the über-affluent community of Belvedere-Tiburon. Your Mama’s research shows Mister Williams purchased the large and luxurious if architecturally nondescript, 6,517 square foot single-story residence in the latter days of 2008 for $ 4,050,000.

*Mister Williams has been awarded 1 Oscar, 2 Emmys, 4 Golden Globes, and 5 Grammys.

**For the record: Your Mama can not say with certainty this house was occupied by Mister and Third Missus Williams. It’s possible it was purchased for one of Mister Williams’ several young adult children. Certainly, there’s precedent for this. In the fall of 2007 Mister Williams, again via trust, paid $ 1,010,000 for a sunny one bedroom and two bathroom duplex condo with private roof terrace in Brooklyn’s hipster haven of Williamsburg. The condo was later deeded over to his eldest son, Zachary, who subsequently sold in May, 2010, for $ 1.1 million. (As it turns out the top-floor condo is currently on the open market with an asking price of $ 1.695 million.)

***Is that what this house is? A Storybook Tudor? Anyone? 

listing photos: Keller Williams
The Real Estalker

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4 Sale – 898 Temple Ter #223, Los Angeles, CA 90042, $248,000 2 beds, 1 bath

April 19th, 2014

2 beds, 1 bath, single-family home in Los Angeles, CA – Monterey Hills
Trulia Real Estate Search – Los Angeles

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Curbed – On the Racked: LA’s Best Denim Shops, Stylish Clothes for Fashionable Children

April 19th, 2014

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[Image of Joe's Jeans via Natalie Liao/Instagram]

CITYWIDE: Here’s a handy guide to the best denim shops in LA. Favorites include Rag & Bone on Melrose, Self Edge on La Brea and Denim Refinery in DTLA.

BEVERLY GROVE: COS has opened it’s highly-anticipated pop-up shop inside Opening Ceremony. Take a tour of the temporary space below, which features minimalist-cool items for men, women and children for less that $ 300.

CITYWIDE: Looking for places to shop for stylish kids clothes? There’s a map for that. Top picks include TenOverSix on Melrose, Catimini in Beverly Hills and Bel Bambini on Robertson.

Curbed LA

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4 Sale – 5962 Northside Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90022, $237,268 2 beds, 2 baths

April 18th, 2014

1461 sqft, 2 beds, 2 baths, single-family home in Los Angeles, CA – 90022
Trulia Real Estate Search – Los Angeles

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Curbed – DevelopmentWatch: Developers Wanted for Historic Core’s Dreary South Spring Street

April 18th, 2014

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One of the most dreadful wastes of space in the Historic Core could be filled in with a new skyscraper, reports Brigham Yen. A Downtown real estate broker is marketing the parking lot at the northwest corner of Eighth and Spring to developers, hoping they will construct something big—the picture is an imaginary rendering as no developer is attached at the moment. New Downtown Brokerage is offering entitlements that expire in four years but can be extended another two; in the marketing brochure for the space, the 39,000 square foot parking lot is described as “one of the last remaining development sites in Downtown Los Angeles” (considering DTLA’s innumerable surface parking lots, that claim is a laugh). Even though The Chapman Lofts and Terroni are steps away, this part of Spring is pretty much a wasteland, especially compared to a few blocks north, an area that teems with restaurants, bars, and street life.
· Downtown LA Parking Lot Next to Chapman Lofts at 8th/Spring Looking for High-Rise Developer [BY]

Curbed LA

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The Real Estalker – Composer Bryan Tyler Buys Glassy Digs

April 18th, 2014

SELLER: Jack Corwin
BUYER: Brian Tyler
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $ 7,975,000
SIZE: 7,614 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Your Mama is not sure how much we can add to the already interminable discussions and commentary about this horizontally inclined mansion—tucked privately down a gated driveway in an out of the way enclave off Mulholland Drive in the Hollywood Hills—with all its much dissed and drooled over melodramatic glassy-glassyiness. So, with an uncharacteristic attempt at brevity, Your Mama will try to stick (mostly) just to the facts.

Digital marketing materials we dug up and the cavalcade of property gossip tongue wagging that went on when the property, with its super-flash glass-walled garages and glass-walled living spaces, was originally listed in May 2013 for $ 7.9 million. By the end of the year the price tag had ballooned to $ 8.5 million. Raising the price can and will seem rude and entirely counter-intuitive to some not savvy to the highways and alleyways of high end real estate but—skeptics take note—clearly somebody knew what they were doing because the sleek and architecturally lascivious residence sold at the end of March (2014) for $ 7.975 million to—as per the ever-vigilant real estate yenta Yolanda Yakketyyak—prolific film and television producer Brian Tyler.

Mister Tyler and his slender frame and movie star hair are little known to Joe and Josephine Public but his musical compositions certainly are not. His impressively long and robust resume includes original scores for a whole lotta big budget sci-fi action adventures: Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, The Expendables, the 2008 reprise of Rambo, and the original Fast & Furious (2009) as well as Fast Five and the upcoming Fast & Furious 7. Along with a few high-profile film gigs on his plate Mister Tyler currently does the music for the Sleepy Hollow and Hawaii Five-0 television series. He’s busy, children, and just because you ain’t never heard of him don’t mean he’s not a Showbizness powerhouse who can afford an $ 8 million house with what must be staggering window washing bills.

The existing house sits on a .85 acre parcel that was once part of apparently pervy silver screen big hunk Errol Flynn’s Mulholland Farm estate. So the scuttlebutt goes, Mister Flynn’s long ago razed party pad had a casino room and a leather padded bar tended by a bald Russian exile he kept on full time retainer. A secret door in the bar opened into a tiny, triangular room with a two-way mirror into the restroom, presumably so Mister Flynn and his voyeuristic pals could watch people pee and Lord only knows what else. Good grief. Some people have such kooky proclivities. Anyways…

A much larger chunk of Mister Flynn’s Mulholland Farm estate was sold to Helen Hunt in 1997 who custom built a huge Mediterranean mansion she sold in 2002 to its current owner Justin Timberlake who lives there—as far as we know—with his pillow-lipped actress wife Jessica Biel. We can’t vouch for the veracity but a gated compound at the far end of the enclave is believed by some property gossips and other celebrity property watchers to be owned by Tom Cruise who—rumor has it—bought and rehabbed the property to be used as some sort of Scientology retreat or some such nonsense.

The title chain for the property presents itself with some frustrating murk but Your Mama’s research shows the property in question was purchased in 1980 by singer-songwriter Ricky Nelson. The property was sold to developer in the later 1980s who, we’re pretty sure, built the previous iteration of the current house and sold it in 1997—for a reported $ 1.85 million—to car-collecting financier Jack Corwin. The previous iteration of the existing residence was built in 1987, as per the L.A. County Tax Man, but it was Mister Corwin who transformed whatever residence was here into the exuberantly lit, multi-level glass-walled extravaganza that it is today.

Digital marketing materials and reports from the time it was listed on the open market show there are five bedrooms and seven bathrooms in 7,641 square feet. A few of the sybaritic residence’s more impressive features include a sprawling, multi-level living room lounge that looks like it could be the lobby of a swanky boo-tique hotel, a state-of-the-art media room, a gym—rich Angelenos prefer not to sweat in public, and the aforementioned pair of glass-walled garages that will accommodate and display up to nine cars. More private quarters include a private guest bedroom suite, a separate guest house, and a spacious open plan master suite with a multi-level platform with three-sided fireplace, integrated tub, and glassed in steam shower.

A series of planted terraces extend off the glassy rear of the residence and step down to a massive, foliage-ringed terrace with large swimming pool and separate, slightly elevated spa. A glass wall in the main living space on the other side of the house looks out to a grassy courtyard over-looked by the ass-end of one of the two glass-walled garages. Did we mention the walls of the garages are all glass? We did. Okay then…

listing photos: Hilton & Hyland
The Real Estalker

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