Real estate bulletin: a notorious castle exchange of hands

Welcome back to the real estate newsletter, where a crazy first week in May was marked by two bizarre house listings, two massive megaproject announcements, and an intriguing new possibility for one of the country’s most legendary estates. come to the market.

Tyrese Gibson’s home in Woodland Hills features a prop from a movie, while an infamous Alhambra house features a dark past. Known as the Chateau des Pyrénées, the estate was where record producer Phil Spector shot actress Lana Clarkson to death in 2003 after a drunken night in Hollywood. After years in the market, he finally found a buyer.

In Los Angeles’ Arts District, a new proposal hopes to transform an 1890s cold storage factory into a $ 2 billion complex with housing, offices, stores and a hotel. Hollywood is also receiving a substantial post-pandemic plan, as a real estate developer filed plans with the city for a new movie studio on Santa Monica Boulevard with five sound stages.

A high-profile divorce could have big implications for a handful of high-profile properties. Depending on how the separation battle between Bill and Melinda Gates unfolds, their trophy home in the Seattle suburb of Medina – a $ 130 million, 66,000 square foot mansion with a trampoline room among amenities – could potentially surface for sale.

While you’re at it, visit and love our Facebook page, where you can find real estate stories and updates throughout the week.

Murderer’s castle on top of a hill

The castle known as the “Chateau des Pyrénées” sits on 2.5 hectares in the Alhambra.

(Richard Hartog / AP)

The Alhambra’s most famous house, a castle-like property where the late record producer Phil Spector shot Lana Clarkson to death in 2003, has been sold for $ 3.3 million.

Spector, the erratic and disgraced producer behind the “Wall of Sound” recording technique who died in January, paid $ 1.1 million for the French chateau-style mansion in 1998, telling Esquire magazine at the time that he had bought “a beautiful and enchanting castle in a city where there is nowhere to go you shouldn’t go.” A neighbor compared him to a feudal lord among the serfs.

The fateful day arrived five years later, when Spector was arrested after Clarkson, 40, was found shot dead in the mansion’s marble lobby. In court, Spector’s driver claimed that Spector walked out of the back door of the house moments after the shooting with bloody hands and said, “I think I killed someone.

Known as the Chateau des Pyrénées, the manor house’s dramatic style lives up to its infamous history. Turrets and spiers protrude from the roof, and inside, hand-painted stencils, crystal chandeliers, and mirrored walls create a scene straight out of an Agatha Christie thriller.

A successful list

The Mediterranean-style property includes a backyard with a movie screen, a swimming pool, and a giant Transformers replica.

The Mediterranean-style property includes a backyard with a movie screen, a swimming pool, a street sign, and a giant Transformers replica.

(Carsten Schertzer)

Gear abounds in LA’s luxury rosters, but only one comes with a giant replica of Bumblebee, the heroic Transformer robot from the blockbuster movie franchise. The Woodland Hills home is owned by Tyrese Gibson, who put it on the market for $ 3.5 million.

Gibson, the singer and actor who starred in three “Transformers” movies as well as the “Fast and Furious” franchise, paid $ 1.385 million for the property ten years ago, according to the records.

He completely personalized the yard during his stay, installing a street sign marked with “Voltron Enterprises Pkwy”, the name of his limited liability company, as well as a neon sign of the company logo above. the swimming pool. The Bumblebee replica, which can be purchased with the house, anchors the space.

$ 2 billion megaproject

Fourth and central aerial view at dusk.  Master planning and project architecture by Studio One Eleven.

Fourth and central aerial view at dusk. General planning and architecture of the project by Studio One Eleven, with right turn by Adjaye Associates.

(Studio One Eleven / Adjaye Associates)

The blows inflicted on businesses during the pandemic have darkened the streets of downtown Los Angeles and threaten long-term changes in office life, but builders are pushing ahead with major plans believing the city still has plenty of room to spare. maneuver as times improve. , writes commercial real estate journalist Roger Vincent.

An 1890s Arts District cold storage plant would be replaced with housing, offices, a hotel and stores in a proposal unveiled by Denver developers. Priced between $ 1.5 billion and $ 2 billion, the resort would rank among the largest commercial real estate developments in Los Angeles in recent memory.

Continuum Partners has initiated the city’s approval process for a 10-building project that includes a residential skyscraper on Central Avenue and 4th Street, a historically industrial district dotted with bustling art galleries, apartments and restaurants that has become increasingly attractive to tech and entertainment companies, including Apple. TV, Sony and Warner Music.

Hollywood gets a new studio

Render of the proposed Echelon studio on Santa Monica Boulevard in St. Andrew's Place in Hollywood.

Render of the proposed Echelon studio on Santa Monica Boulevard in St. Andrew’s Place in Hollywood.

(Bob Hale / RIOS)

Although the pandemic has emptied white-collar offices, sound stages have been a hot ticket as entertainment production continues to rise, writes Roger Vincent.

In this context, plans have been filed with the city for a complex called Echelon Studios, which could help meet growing demand for facilities as the industry eases restrictions on the COVID-19 pandemic. Once production is back to full swing, companies should step up to meet the need for content in theaters and on new streaming services.

Sound stages “have been in short supply for a long time,” said real estate developer David Simon. “The occupancy rate has been above 95% for the past five or six years, and looking forward to seeing no slowing demand.”

Simon wants to build Echelon Studios on the site of a long-closed Sears store and parking lot built in 1951 on Santa Monica Boulevard, west of Highway 101. Plans call for a studio with five sound stages and support facilities, including offices and space for production base camps where trucks, equipment and trailers of actors are placed.

Billion dollar divorce

The 66,000 square foot mansion is valued at over $ 130 million and growing every year

The 66,000 square foot mansion is valued at over $ 130 million and accumulates an annual tax bill of over $ 1 million.


With Bill and Melinda Gates’ divorce bomb still ringing, the process of sharing the fourth greatest fortune in the world.

In addition to 242,000 acres of farmland, the couple own a series of mansions across the country that they’ve been compiling for three decades, including homes in Washington, California, Montana and Florida.

Their most impressive estate is in the Seattle suburb of Medina. Valued at over $ 130 million, the high-tech mansion – dubbed Xanadu 2.0 – spans 66,000 square feet and accumulates an annual property tax bill of over $ 1 million.

Depending on how the divorce proceedings unfold, the futuristic smart home – which has a 60-foot-long swimming pool, library with secret doors, and a trampoline room – could potentially surface for sale.

What we read

As if record demand and limited supply weren’t enough, driving up house prices, a shortage of wood adds to the chaos, CNN reports. Lack of lumber makes it more expensive to build an average new single-family home by $ 36,000, and it has gotten to the point where builders are reporting the theft of lumber and other materials at construction sites.

Discover Sky Pool, the world’s first floating pool. Suspended 115 feet in the air between two towers of London, the 82-foot-long water-filled bridge was built in Colorado, transported to Texas and then shipped across the sea to give Londoners a more aquatic way to experience the city. Architectural summary has the details.

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About Joseph Hedrick

Joseph Hedrick

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