Only in Los Angeles, kids.
A nearly 100-year-old, showbiz-brushed home in the Hollywood Hills has been sold by an artistic Saudi royal to a pair of hit-making songwriters and music producers for $3.5 million, a tetch over the last ask of $3.495 million.
Built in 1924 and set close to the street behind a high wall and secured gates on a steeply sloped parcel of just over a quarter acre, the four-story home was once the eclectically appointed bachelor pad of cerebral comedian, actor, writer and podcast host Chris Hardwick, founder of the digital entertainment conglomerate Nerdist Industries.
Hardwick purchased the 4,205-square-foot home in 2012 for $2.05 million, had it for sale on the open market in late 2015 and early 2016 at $4.05 million, and finally sold it in May 2016, in an off-market deal, for $3.477 million to a corporate concern connected to 30-something-year-old Princess Reem Al Faisal, a noted photographer and art gallery owner, and one of the 15,000+ members of the Saudi royal family. The princess is a granddaughter of Saudi Arabia’s late King Faisal and her father, the late Prince Mohammed bin Faisal, was a pioneer in the Islamic banking industry. (It’s unclear when Princess Reem last occupied the property but it hasn’t been for at least a year or two; the house was publicly listed as a rental in late 2020 at a rate of $10,500 per month.)
The new owners, per tax records are Grammy nominated writer/producing duo Denzel Baptiste and David Biral, both in their late 20s and together known professionally as Take a Daytrip. First nominated for a Grammy in 2017 for their work on 6LACK’s album “Free 6LACK,” they’ve since written and/or produced a handful of hit singles, most notably Travis Scott and Kid Cudi’s “The Scotts,” and Lil Nas X’s NSFW chart toppers “Industry Baby” (featuring Jack Harlow) and “Montero (Call Me by Your Name),” the latter of which received a handful of 2022 Grammy nominations, including in the hotly contested Song of the Year category.
With views that sweep over the city from the downtown skyline to the Pacific Ocean, the home features comprehensive home automation and security systems, lustrous hardwood flooring, Venetian plaster walls, in-ceiling speakers and, on the main-floor living, numerous skylights. There are four and possibly five bedrooms and three and a half baths, according to listings held by Pam Lumpkin at Compass, who also represented the buyers in the transaction.
The main floor, on the uppermost level, is conducive to casual entertaining with a easy flow between several rooms that include a huge living room with chunky minimalist concrete fireplace, a separate dining room, a den with lofted lounge area, and a gourmet kitchen with breakfast room. The main floor spaces surround three sides of a courtyard terrace with pretty views across the canyon.
One flight down are a couple of bedrooms and a bathroom along with the primary bedroom, a sprawling suite composed of a private bath with steam shower, a walk-in closet with built-in distressed wood dressers, an adjoining room that can easily be used as a study, gym, nursery, and a spacious patio with serene and leafy cross-canyon views.
There’s a gym, a bathroom, and a giant log-cabin-like entertainment space that’s original to the house on the next floor down, and a separate art studio on the lowest floor. Paths zigzag over the sloped and wooded backyard that falls away below the house. Marketing materials suggest there’s room to add a pool.
The princess, who is said to maintain homes in Paris and Jeddah, has long maintained a pied-a-terre in Los Angeles. She previously owned an 18th-floor condo at the star-stacked Sierra Towers building in West Hollywood that she bought in 2008 for $3.5 million and later leased to Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne, who despite it being a rental had it done up by flamboyant decorator Martyn Lawrence Bullard. The condo was sold in 2013 for $2.4 million, and it does not take one of the Saudi royal family’s brainiac bean counters to calculate it was a stunning (but presumably easily weathered) $1.1. million loss, not counting carrying costs, improvement expenses and real estate fees.
As for Hardwick, who has largely disappeared from the public eye since he was accused of abuse in 2018 by an ex-girlfriend — two investigations failed to confirm the allegations, he’s now married and soon to have a baby with newspaper heiress-turned-model-turned actress Lydia Hearst, of the Hearst family. The parents-to-be nowadays preside over not just one but two notable estates on L.A.’s east side. In 2015, the year before she and Hardwick were married in a star-studded ceremony officiated by actress Jaime King, Hearst shelled out $11 million for a historic estate in a plum pocket of L.A.’s Los Feliz neighborhood, and in 2018 Hardwick ponied up $5.25 million for an also historic but down-on-its-heels estate of nearly three-acres in the less gentrified Eagle Rock area.