Despite stifling summertime temperatures and often traffic-jammed commutes to LAX and Beverly Hills, more and more celebs with the financial wherewithal to live in the most prime
and temperate parts of Beverly Hills, Bel Air or Brentwood opt instead for gated communities in the affluent, far western suburbs of L.A.’s San Fernando Valley — where cool sea breezes do, thankfully, sweep over the mountains in the evenings. Take, for example, the Estates section of the guard-gated Oaks development in Calabasas. Certainly the multi-acre parcels appeal to celebrity space-cravers, but so do the second set of secured gates that deny entry to all the merely well-to-do riff-raff who reside in the less fancy areas of the vast development.
Retired professional basketballer Mitch Richmond was an early settler. He bought a 2.28-acre parcel in 2004, on which he custom built a single-story sprawler of nearly 13,000-square-feet that’s currently listed at $8.495 million. Other high-profile peeps to pioneer the Estates include Britney Spears — she rented the so-called Chateau Suenos mansion in 2009 — and Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker, who bought his 9,253-square-foot faux-Tuscan spread with his former beauty-queen wife (and now former Missus Barker) Shanna Moakler for $9.5 million in early 2007. Jay McGraw and his former Playboy model wife, Erica Dahm, reside in an 11,127-square-foot mansion — listing details described it as a Tuscan villa — on three-plus gated and landscaped acres that property records reveal was actually purchased by his famous father Phil in January 2011 for $6.575 million.
Earlier this year, newly single Khloe Kardashian coughed up $7.2 million in an off-market deal for Justin Bieber’s 9,214-square-foot micro-compound that he bought two years earlier for $6.5 million from Eddie Murphy’s ex-wife and Michael Strahan’s former fiancee Nicole Murphy. Just a month earlier, Khloe’s older sister Kourtney and her hammy husband Scott Disick coughed up $7.45 million for an even bigger 11,746-square-foot behemoth they bought from former pro footballer Keyshawn Johnson. (The Disick-Kardashians recently decamped the Estates for the preposterously pricey Montage hotel in Beverly Hills because — they allege — the house is infested with mold. Johnson says it wasn’t when he lived there, and if it is now, it’s their problem. Anyhoodles…)
As it turns out the Kardashians aren’t the only celebrity siblings shacked up in sisterly proximity in the Estates. In April 2013, Tamar Braxton and Vincent Herbert paid $10.5 million for a big ol’ mansion at one end of the enclave, and the following January (2014), Toni Braxton shelled out about $3 million for a roomy but significantly smaller 5,500-square-foot home at the other end.
In April, rapper Tyga forked over $6.7 million for a 9,279-square-foot mansion with seven bedrooms and 10 bathrooms. A few years go, Katherine Jackson — Michael’s mother and legal guardian of his three minor children — decamped the Jackson family estate in Encino for a 12,670-square-foot rented mansion in the Estates with seven bedrooms and 11 bathrooms that property records show she quietly purchased in June for an undisclosed amount