David E. Kelley and Michelle Pfeiffer, married a quarter of a century and, hence, one of Hollywood’s more unusually enduring pairs, are asking $29.5 million for their sprawling estate in the rustic and wildly prosperous unincorporated Northern California community of Woodside, about 35 miles south of San Francisco. As our celebrity real estate compatriot Yolanda Yakketyyak reported, the Hollywood power couple, who unsurprisingly maintain a much more modestly proportioned if still prodigiously pricey pied-a-terre in L.A.’s Pacific Palisades, purchased the two parcels that comprise the 8.67-acre spread in two separate transactions about four years apart, the first in 2004 and the second in 2008, for a combined cost of $20.6 million.
Secured by gates and sequestered amid lush gardens down a long driveway at the tail end of a pin-drop quite cul-de-sac, the main house, an ivy-covered semi-Tuscan villa that dates to the early 1940s, has four bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms in 6,379 square feet. A handful of ancillary structures that together span 3,158-square-feet, per marketing materials, include three studio apartments for guests or staff, each with kitchen and bathroom, a detached office/guest house with full bathroom and a gym and office with another half bathroom.
It’s a long but picturesque walk from the motor court to a landscaped courtyard with fountain and the turreted front of the main house. Elegant but casual and decidedly traditional interior spaces include a tremendous, multi-level Great Room with a variety of seating areas, an imposing carved stone fireplace large enough for a medium-sized child to stand in, a billiards table and an elevated library/media lounge. Three gently arched French doors open the room to a multi-level stone-paved terrace surrounded by verdant plantings with an outdoor fireplace and a classic, cedar hot tub. Three en suite guest or family bedrooms on the upper floor are joined by a master suite that provides a sitting area, fireplace, French doors to a private rooftop deck, two spacious walk-in closets and a marble bathroom with two-person steam shower.
Deep porches with retractable awnings shift the living space to the outdoors and overlook vast swathes of deeply irrigated and perfectly mown lawns bordered by thick foliage and mature specimen trees. The property also includes a small apple orchard and several fenced and deer-protected vegetable gardens. Positioned a good distance from the main house in a park-like setting, the estate’s leisure and recreation amenities include a swimming pool and spa sunk into a sunny, grassy meadow next to a tennis court along with extensive equestrian facilities that include an octagonal 10-stall barn that dates to the 1920s plus a small turnout and paddock and a riding arena. The property also includes a well for water, an exceedingly desirable and valuable feature in water starved California, especially when you have acres of lawn to water, as well as a backup generator for power outages.
Woodside, in the high-tech heart of the Silicon Valley with a median household income that surpasses $250,000 per year and a median property value that soars to $2 million, has long been an attractive locale for corporate heavy hitters, professional athletes, high earning artists and entertainers — Margaret Keane, Shirley Temple Black, Neil Young and Joan Baez among them — and, of course, titans of the tech industry. Steve Jobs was in the beginning stages of building a low-slung minimalist mansion in Woodside at the time of his death in 2011 — his widow Laurene Powell Jobs continues the project — and Larry Ellison has spent a rumored $200+ million to build an authentic, 23-acre village-like 17th century Japanese palace around the fastidiously landscaped shoreline of a man-made lake.
In Los Angeles, the Pfeiffer-Kelleys, he an 11-time Emmy winner whose current slate of projects includes “Big Little Lies” and “Goliath” starring Billy Bob Thornton, and she a three-time Oscar nominee nominated for both an Emmy and a Golden Globe this year for her portrayal of Bernie Madoff’s wife Ruth Madoff in the Robert De Niro starring mini-series “The Wizard of Lies,” maintain a residence in the posh Pacific Palisades area they scooped up in the fall of 2016 for $8.15 million. The just over 3,200-square-foot residence, a stylishly updated 1940s ranch house with four bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms, sits behind a dense and almost comically tall hedge on an elevated parcel of almost half of an acre where it’s licked by salty ocean breezes and has a peek-a-boo, through-the-trees view of the ocean over Santa Monica Canyon.
The couple, also linked to a 340-acre, boat and helicopter accessible compound at the ruggedly scenic mouth of the Bute inlet in a remote corner of British Columbia that came up for sale last year and remains for sale at $28.8 million, previously owned two neighboring estates along Oakmont Drive, arguably one of the best, most coveted residential streets in Los Angeles. In anticipation of their relocation to the Northern California spread that they now have for sale, both properties were sold in 2005 to different buyers for a total of $27 million. The larger of the two estates was sold to Disney’s extraordinarily well-compensated CEO Bob Iger and the smaller of the two homes, a 3,867-square-foot single-story Paul Williams designed residence now in a sorry state of disrepair, is currently available as a restoration and/or development opportunity at $16.95 million.
Listing photos: Alain Pinel Realtors