Call it instinct or just having enough cash to throw around when something takes your fancy, but architecture savvy actor Diane Keaton, an experienced flipper of high-end historic homes, didn’t hesitate to snap up an historic adobe in Tucson’s Bario Viejo neighborhood in 2018 for $1.5 million. After an extensive makeover, as first reported by Realtor.com, the unique property is back on the market for $2.6 million.
Originally built in 1900, the characteristically long and low Sonoran row house was purchased in 2014 for $330,000 by food writer Kathe Lison and her husband Chris Cokinos. The couple spent the next four years on an in-depth renovation that transformed it into a stylish three-bedroom and 2.5-bathroom home. There is also a separate one-bed/one-bath guesthouse with full kitchen, as well as two bonus rooms ideal as a home office and/or art studio. All together, the compound spans almost 4,700 square feet of living space.
“[Keaton]’s renowned for her style and her sense of architecture,” Lison told the Arizona Daily Star in 2018. “The house is my child. I couldn’t have parted with it to just anyone. It sort of feels like handing off the baton a bit. She’s going to be able to take that house and do even more amazing things with it.” And, certainly, the Oscar winner has an impressive track record of turning a handsome profit on her revitalized restoration projects.
Though the exterior of the single-story flat-roofed building has the long and lean look of a traditional schoolhouse, office building or government housing, there’s a lot to love about the surprisingly homey property. The living quarters, both inside and out, are both fashionably spare and eminently comfortable. With a rustic desert-chic aesthetic, Keaton’s sophisticated upgrade honed the interiors’ subtle details and added an oversized swimming pool that makes the property an ideal vacationgetaway for overworked city types or locals simply looking for an resort-inspired residence.
Exposed wood beams and ceiling fans with dark slate floors keep things cool, while cozy southwestern-style furniture and overhead lighting keep a local flavor in the 36-foot-long combination living and dining room where a row of clerestory windows fills the room with natural light. Elsewhere, herringbone-style brick flooring and mud-plastered walls add warm rusticity by bringing the outside inside. The bedrooms are sparse, with minimal furniture, exposed brick walls and wood beams; the kitchen is simple and modern with trendy dark-grey cabinets and sleek appliances; and the main bathroom features a vintage double-sink vanity, an open shower and a claw-footed tub. High-walled and partly tree-shaded courtyards extend the living space to the outdoors, and an open-air cabana alongside the pool provides a shady respite from the desert sun.
No doubt local agents have kept a close eye on the renovation, hoping Keaton’s Hollywood pixie dust might, even amid a pandemic, fuel a wave of price hikes in the up-and-coming neighborhood. Let’s see if Keaton’s amazing rehab nabs her lofty ask.
The property is listed with Nick Labriola at Long Realty.