Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Mid-Week Pick Up Sticks: Akon

We first heard about it from the fellow at the always well-researched San Fernando Valley Blog but it was celebrity gossip juggernaut TMZ who revealed a couple weeks ago already—and Your Mama completely missed it—that uni-named R&B/hip hop entertainer and producer Akon dropped $1,950,000 for a concrete and glass contemporary in the sort of unlikely and hot as Hades Los Angeles suburb of Woodland Hills.

Listing details show the 4,028 square foot two-story house was built in 2004 on nearly half an acre with five bedrooms and six bathrooms. At the time Mister Akon purchased the modern-minded residence there were smooth concrete floors throughout the main floor living spaces—most or all of the bedrooms appear to have been carpeted—with a high-ceilinged and sky-lit open plan living/dining area with built-in wet bar, a roomy family room, and an industrial-inspired center island kitchen with commercial-grade appliances.

Akon—born in St. Louis, MO, of Senegalese ancestry with the stunningly lengthy birth name Aliaune Damala Bouga Time Bongo Puru Nacka Lu Lu Lu Badara Akon Thiampaid—quickly brought in a team to transform the suburban residence into a series of Miami Beach-y boutique hotel lounge-like spaces melodramatically bathed wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling in overlapping layers of blue and purple light.

Mister Akon unveiled the newly rehabbed house in all it's nightclubby—ahem—glory when he hosted his own 40th birthday bash there a few weeks ago and those wily gossip hounds at TMZ managed to get a hold of some post-reno photos. And, children, y'all should listen to Your Mama and go have a look-see at Akon's vision of luxury living. Gurrrl, please. It's all very swah-vay and Las Vegas libidinous—right there in sleepy Woodland Hills!—but, Lowerd have mercy, children, do some people really want to live up in a goddamn VIP section of a nightclub? Not this property gossip, thank you very much.

The tiger-owning R&B/hip hop entertainer and producer appears to be a neophyte real estate baller and owns, according to the always informative and well-researched San Fernando Vally Blog and The Bizzy Boys at Celebrity Address Aerial, at least four or five houses in the Atlanta area. They include a faux-quoined mansion in Alpharetta on 4.6 acres bought in early 2008 for $1,65 million and a big (ugly and ostentatious) 15,000 square foot mansion on 13 acres (above) with 10 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms in Sandy Springs, GA, that was purchased in February 2007 for $2,685,000

listing photos (Woodland Hills): Rodeo Realty
aerial image (Alpharetta): Bing

Mid-Week Pick Up Sticks: Eva Mendes

The long-legged blonde gal at Trulia Luxe Living let all us celebrity real estate watchers and gossips know that drop-dead gorgeous actress Eva Mendes sold her starter home just above L.A.'s Sunset Strip for $1,278,630, $9,630 over the asking price.

Moletastic Miss Mendes—who may or may not be engaged to drop-dead gorgeous actor Ryan Gosling—purchased the house with her former man-mate, George Gargurevich, for $584,000 in late 2002. (They split in 2010.)

Listing details show the 1,732 square foot hillside house—the long-legged lady at Trulia Luxe Living called it a "dramatic and downright funky Mid Century home"—has three bedrooms and two bathrooms. There are glittery city views, walls of glass, and several decks that allow for an easy-breezy, classically SoCal indoor-outdoor lifestyle. There's a half-sunken 1970s-style hot tub and built-in banquette seating on the main, lower level deck. Somewhere there's a tiny, raised planter garden area and, below the main deck, a fully secured and very on-trend chicken run.

We're not sure exactly who occupied this house the last few years—Bueller? Bueller? Anyone? Bueller—but Your Mama's research on the internets indicates Miz Mendes or maybe Mister Gargurevich decamped long ago to a much more impressive and celebrity pedigreed 1920s Mediterranean villa in the Los Feliz area that was purchased in April 2008 for $3,219,000 and previously owned or occupied according to The Movieland Directory by Red Hot Chili Pepper Chad Smith, comedic actor Paul Rudd,* and Jules Asner, wife of Steven Soderbergh. Listing details from the time of the purchase show the gated and high-hedged property has a 3,779 square foot residence with four bedrooms, four bathrooms, a swimming pool, and a celebrity-style screening room.

*Some online resources indicate the Los Feliz property in question was purchased in 2008 by Paul Rudd and that would make him the current owner since 2008 was the last time the property changed hands. And maybe he does own it. We're honestly not quite sure at this point but we're working on that. We do have access to digital resources that say Miz Mendes owns the home and, as was noted by the long-legged gal at Trulia Luxe Living, Mister Gosling was recently photographed smiling and peeking over the gate and one of Your Mama's better connected sources, Mirakle Mike, told us Miz Mendes has lived in the Los Feliz house in question for quite some time. Make of all that what you will.

listing photos: Nourmand & Associates

Mid-Week Pick Up Sticks: Shirley MacLaine

Hollywood's favorite Oscar-winning New Ager Shirley MacLaine listed her 7,450 acre Plaza Blanca Ranch property outside of Santa Fe NM because, she told the property gossips at The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), she wants to spend more tim in Santa Fe where she bought a house six years ago.*

So the scuttlebutt goes her psychics advised the wonderfully whackadoodle 79-year Tinseltown veteran to list the high desert spread for $30,000,000 but after some numerology hocus-pocus she opted for $18 million because 1+8=9 and nine is some sort of magic number. Anyways...

Miz MacLaine purchased the property, about an hour's drive north of Santa Fe, 20-ish years ago and made many improvements. The approximately 9,000 square foot main house has separate guest quarters and a 4 bedroom underground apartment. There's also a caretaker's cottage, a yurt, a swimming pool, two ponds, a horse barn and various other ranch-related buildings, and a hill top stone spiral that she told the WSJ helps to '"listening to your inner guidance."' (Nutty as that may sound to some, Your Mama could use a good listen to our own internal compass about now but, anyways...)

*Your Mama's research shows the crystal caressing Miz MacLaine's spacious, multi-winged Santa Fe residence sits on nearly five gated acres about 3.5 miles north and east of the Palace of the Governors in downtown Santa Fe and was purchased in mid-2005 for an unknown amount.

listing photos: Sotheby's International Realty (via Daniel Nadelbach for the The Wall Street Journal)

Mid-Week Pick Up Sticks: Anderson Cooper

First he put it up for lease it for the 2014 summer season at a rate of $150,000. We don't know if there were any takers but now, as the busy real estate beavers at Curbed revealed, CNN silver fox Anderson Cooper listed one of his two, multi-acre creek front properties in the little lauded Hamptons community of Quiogue (NY) up for sale with an asking price of $2.999.

Mister Cooper acquired the five bedroom and 5.5 bathroom shingled ranch-cottage on 2.4 acres in late 2011 for $1.7 million. The seller was the widow of Oscar-winning screenwriter Budd Schulberg who wrote the iconic 1954 film On the Waterfront starring Marlon Brando.

What Your Mama wants to know is why Kathy Griffin doesn't buy the damn house just to annoy her the well-born serial giggler b.f.f. (Don't act like you can't afford it Miss Griffin, ever-body knows you clawed your way from the D list to the B list and you got more money than half of Hollywood, okay?)

listing photo: Douglas Elliman Real Estate