The skyrocketing popularity of the once-unfashionable Studio City area means that prices have gone up, up, up. That increase in both trendiness and wealth has brought a massive wave of not just regular rich folks but also ballin’ celebrities to the mostly-hilly neighborhood. In just the past couple years, buyers in the area have included Bruno Mars, Clayton Kershaw, Chloe Moretz, Joel McHale, and Gavin Rossdale. And just this year, the $7 million sale price barrier was broken not once but twice, a feat that had never before been accomplished.
If you aren’t getting a clear picture, let’s just say that homes in this area continue to fly off the proverbial shelves. So quickly are they going that Yolanda nearly missed yet another celebrity stealthily buying in the neighborhood.
A wee birdy contacted Yolanda late last week and snitched that they believed a big spread high in the Studio City hills near Mulholland Drive had been purchased by an anonymous celebrity. Records show the two adjacent parcels were both sold in June (2016) by two different non-celebrity sellers in two separate transactions to the same buyer: a mysterious entity called “Mulholland Estates LLC”.
At first, Yolanda thought the buyer may be some sort of foreign potentate or business mogul. Typically, celebrities tend to favor blind trusts and shun LLCs. But on closer inspection, Yolanda noticed that this particular LLC happens to link to a New Jersey-based business management firm well-known for handling the finances of many successful folks in the music industry. Their clients include Sia and Moby, just to name a couple.
It should be noted that despite the coincidental LLC name, these properties are not located in or even near the guard-gated-yet-crime-plagued “Mulholland Estates” community much further to the west. Some of the homeowners out there include Charlie Sheen, Paris Hilton, Sydney Holland, Vanna White, Slash, and Christina Aguilera. But we digress because this story really has nothing to do with those folks, does it?
Well, kiddies. After a spat of exhaustive research, Yolanda can tell y’all that the secretive new owner of this celeb-style compound happens to be a lady named Elizabeth Woolridge Grant, better known the world over as Lana del Rey.
Grammy-nominated Ms. del Rey grey up in New York and is a graduate of the prestigious (and expensive) Kent School in Connecticut. For what it’s worth. In case you didn’t know, she has released three full-length studio albums since 2012, all of which have debuted within the top two positions on the U.S. Bilboard album chart. Her first CD — Born To Die — has to date sold over 8.5 million copies worldwide and was the fifth best-selling album in all of 2012.
Ms. del Rey is also very popular on the touring circuit, where many of her live performances sell out instantly. And if somehow you recall the alleged shitshow that was Kimye’s wedding, you may know that it was Ms. del Rey who was the official wedding singer. Despite numerous reports that she was paid $2.8 million for her performance, she has adamantly maintained that she performed for free, as a favor to the attention-hogging newlyweds. That tale sounds a little unlikely to Yolanda, but who knows. Maybe Ms. del Rey just has a very charitable spirit.
The smaller property — it contains a small house and a smaller guest house — sits on a 1.9-acre lot accessed from a long and narrow lane off legendary Mulholland Drive. The modest structures, which total 2,829-square-feet and were built in 1936, sport a total of 3 bedrooms and just 2 water closets.
It should be noted that the listing states the property is actually located in the Beverly Hills Post Office area, and technically the house does indeed have a coveted 90210 zip code. But being that it’s on the north side of Mulholland, well, that’s essentially Studio City so that’s what we’re calling it.
A spacious but unattractive black-topped motorcourt provides parking for up to seven seven vehicles, and there’s also a two-car detached garage. The most striking feature of the mini-estate is perhaps the surprisingly-large free-form swimming pool with flagstone terrace surround and a wooden bridge leading to a silly “island” in the middle of the water. Numerous almond, fig, guava, lemon, lime, orange and tangerine trees also dot the property. A hammock swings between two huge eucalyptus trees. Views from the very private mini-compound take in the surrounding mountains.
Inside the single-story main house, there’s a decidedly dated kitchen with an ancient range that looks rather cool to Yolanda. There’s also a spacious living room with fireplace, office/library crammed with real (!!!) books, master bedroom with window seat, and one spare bedroom. Off the master bedroom there’s a partially-covered wood deck.
The two-story guest/staff house has an additional bedroom, a study, and a kitchen with low-grade appliances.
Anyway, Ms. del Rey paid $2,100,000 for the house through her LLC back in early June. Just eleven days later, she baller-style forked out another $3,770,000 for the larger and much more impressive house next door.
Once featured as the Wall Street Journal‘s “Home of the Month“, the two-story, flat-roofed structure was also originally built in 1936 but extensively renovated and updated by the previous owner.
It should be noted that this 2-acre property is not accessed from Mulholland Drive like the other but rather just before a hairpin turn on a very busy canyon road. Thus, this house is saddled not with a 90210 zip code but rather Studio City’s much less famous (but still pricey!) 91604 number. Yolanda wonders if part of the reason Ms. del Rey purchased both properties is not just for the complete privacy it affords her, but also because she now has the ability to extend the driveway from Mulholland all the way to the big property at the rear. Will she close off the access point from the busy canyon road? We would not be the least bit surprised.
Thankfully for Ms. del Rey’s ears, the house is impressively sited on a prominent 2-acre knoll, high above the noisy (and often traffic-choked) road below. A butt-busting flight of stairs leads to the front door, which in turn opens to a wow-inspiring double-height open living area. There’s the kitchen on one end, the family space in another, dining set, and a loft space opening to a double staircase. The kitchen has granite countertops, high-end appliances, and a backsplash rather unusually made out of stainless steel tiling.
Measuring approximately 5,500 square feet, the rectangular structure contains 6 bedrooms and the same number of bathrooms. Broad, flat, well-watered lawns surround the structure. There’s also a four-car garage along with a huge amount of off-street parking — Yolanda would guess the estate can accommodate at least a dozen vehicles. The height of the home gives occupants within a big, wide view of a large chunk of the San Fernando Valley. And let’s not forget the infinity-edged swimming pool.
By our tabulations, 31-year-old Ms. del Rey now possesses well over $11 million in residential real estate. In addition to her recently-purchased 3.9-acre Studio City compound — which cost her a total of $5,870,000 for you math-challenged folks — she also has a $2,500,000 red-brick house in LA’s historic Hancock Park neighborhood that she acquired back in August 2013.
The 4,762-square-foot thing was built way back in 1925 and sits on a .39-acre parcel. It was here where, back in 2015, some looney-tune decided to become Lana’s unofficial housekeeper and actually moved into the house for a few days while Ms. del Rey was elsewhere. After becoming bored in her “borrowed” house, the kooky Kelly then decided to take not one but two of Ms. del Rey’s unattended Jaguars out for a joyride and managed to get them both impounded. Ms. Thang was, naturally, slapped with a couple felony charges and hopefully deposited in the nearest psyche ward.
Then there’s Ms. del Rey $3,000,000 oceanfront home on Malibu’s Pacific Coast Highway, which she purchased in March 2015.
It was at the Malibu house — also in late 2015 — where a different but obviously also cray-cray fan decided it would be a wise idea to move into Ms. del Rey’s garage. Luckily, Ms. del Rey was again not present at the home when all this went down. Anyway, this poor fool may be even dumber than the last one, because all he (allegedly) managed to nab from the house was a book. Not a car?! Hmmm. Not that Yolanda is espousing these fanatics, but as we always say: if you’re gonna go bad, you better go big too.
So before we close this chapter, let’s all hope and pray that Ms. del Rey invests in some private security or — at the very least — a working alarm system for her Studio City places. Good grief, lassie!