When the Woolsey Fire ripped through the Santa Monica Mountains in late 2018, it charred nearly 100,000 acres across Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, compelled the evacuation of nearly 300,000 people, and destroyed more than 1,600 structures, many of them private residences. Three people died.
Kim Kardashian’s house was spared when the raging conflagration was stopped at the perimeter to her sprawling Hidden Hills compound — she and her now ex-husband Kanye West hired private firefighters to protect the estate — as was the Malibu home of her ex-stepparent Caitlyn Jenner. The fire showed no mercy, however, for the homes of numerous other entertainment industry stalwarts who live and maintain homes in and around Malibu. The home of Miley Cyrus and then boyfriend Liam Hemsworth was left in ashes, as were those of Robin Thicke, Neil Young, Kim Basinger, and Gerard Butler.
Another of the homes in lost to the Woolsey Fire belonged to veteran music industry executives Michael Plen and Catharina Masters Plen. Not exactly household names, the Plens have worked for decades with dozens of top names in the music industry. A veteran of several record labels (the maestro of music marketing and promotion served as Richard Branson’s SVP of Promotion at Virgin records for 17 years, from 1986-2002, Michael helped shepherd the careers of countless legends, including David Bowie, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, R.E.M., Roy Orbison, Billy Idol, Pharrell Williams, and the Sex Pistols, while Catharina managed artists like John Paul Jones of Led Zepplin and Robert Fripp of the prog-rock band King Crimson.
As was reported in The Hollywood Reporter at the time, the Plens and their son “escaped unharmed with only some clothes, family photos and hard drives.” Everything else inside their traditional two-story home in the Malibu Park neighborhood, in the rolling foothills above Zuma Beach and Point Dume, was lost. All that remains today is a white wrought-iron fence, a sweep of brick-lined concrete that was once the driveway, and a hole in the ground where the swimming pool was.
Four years later, after commissioning the local firm Dawson Architects to produce plans and renderings for a spacious new house to be built on the almost 1.5-acre property, the Plens have decided to sell up and move on. The vacant, ready-to-build property is set to hit the market at $15 million; approved plans for a new home transfer with the property.
Situated on an elevated lot that sits above a sweeping curve, with unobstructed ocean, coastline and sunset views, approved plans for the new, stone-accented residence include five bedrooms in 6,140 square feet over two floors. Renderings show a combination living and dining area anchored by a full-height stone fireplace. There are stunning horizon views through a bank of windows that fold open accordion style at the front of the house, while a similar bank of windows opens the room to the backyard.
Marketing materials indicate there are two bedrooms that could serve as the primary suite, one on the main floor and another upstairs with a balcony overlooking Zuma Beach. Approved plans also call for a pool and a 714-square-foot three-car attached garage with a 212-square-foot attic space.