It looks like uni-named entertainment industry supernova Pharrell, an 11-time Grammy winning singer-songwriter-rapper-producer, budding fashion mogul and multimedia entrepreneur, has a snazzy new house to hang his over-sized and arguably overexposed Vivienne Westwood Buffalo hat. Tireless real estate yenta Yolanda Yakkettyyak swears — and property records circumstantially suggest — that the many hat wearing entertainment industry hyphenate made an under-the-radar purchase one of the more drooled over, award-winning and prolifically published contemporary residences in all of Los Angeles.
LOCATION: Los Angeles, Calif.
PRICE: $7.14 million
SIZE: (approx.) 4,415 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 5 full and 2 half bathrooms (total)
The $7.14 million purchase price, showbiz news junkies will note, is just shy of the $7.3 million dollar judgment recently handed against Pharrell, T.I. and Robin Thicke over the marked similarities the threesome’s spectacularly catchy and wildly successful “Blurred Lines” pop song bears to Marvin Gaye’s 1977 disco ditty “Got to Give It Up.” Anyways, the gate and guarded mini-compound in question was designed for its 1.55-acre ridgeline parcel — about as high above Laurel Canyon as one can get — by acclaimed and immensely skilled L.A.-based architect Hagy Belzberg. Property records show Mister Belzberg and his wife sold the property in late 2009 for $5.9 million — at that time a record-setting price for Laurel Canyon — to a mysterious corporate entity that Yolanda says she’s quite certain is controlled by a low-profile but immensely wealthy Russian-born mining magnate.
Listing details and other online resources aren’t very specific about the square footage of the aggressively contemporary mini-compound that’s comprised of two separate pavilions, but the L.A County Tax Man pegs it at 4,415, a figure that seems to this property gossip a bit low when the guesthouse is included. Whatever the case, it’s a full flight up from the motor court to the all-glass front door that opens to a terrazzo-floored entrance area that steps down to an unconventionally shaped and entirely glass-walled living room with extra high ceiling, wrap-around canyon, sky and city lights view and a stainless steel floating fireplace hung at or near the center of the room. When opened, ceiling-height glass doors on opposite sides of the room facilitate passive cooling. The adjacent kitchen was crisply executed with dove grey cabinetry, snow-white quartz countertops, a center island with four-seat snack and beverage bar, a full suite of sleek Euro-style stainless steel appliances and unobstructed vistas through oversized windows. An adjoining dining space has a full wall of built-ins that incorporates open book shelves, enclosed storage cabinets and a large, wall-mounted flatscreen for all those holiday family dinners when no one has a damn thing left to say to each other.
And as best as we can parse from a cross-analysis of a handful of digitally accessible listings, the almost entirely glass-walled main house has four or possibly five bedrooms and four full and two half bathrooms. At least two of the guest/family bedrooms in the main house have direct access to the swimming pool through floor-to-ceiling glass sliders as does the ample master bedrooms that’s joined by a deluxe bathroom with floating vanities, a glass-enclosed shower stall and a free-standing soaking tub set in front of a wall of floor to ceiling windows. Separated from the main residence by a courtyard-style motor court, a self-contained two-story guesthouse encompasses a living/dining space with double-height ceiling and massive wall of windows, a kitchenette, one bedroom and a bathroom.
Solid walls of glass make for seamless visual and physical transitions to the carefully considered outdoor living spaces that include a dining deck with built-in barbecue station and, separated from the house by slender concrete walkway and an as nearly as svelte strip of lawn, an infinity-edge lap pool with integrated spa and powerful views over Laurel Canyon toward the neon lights of Universal Studios and the CityWalk complex. One of the property’s most photogenic elements is a roomy terrace atop the garage and just off the front door that acts as a viewing platform for films and other projections that can be shot over the motor court onto the southern wall of the guesthouse.
Our research shows Pharrell continues to own a 9,106-square-foot gated mansion on a private waterfront peninsula in Virginia Beach, Va., that he picked up in late 2001 for $1.85 million. At the same time in March 2007 the stylish multi-disciplinarian dumped a 23rd floor penthouse in Bal Harbour, Fla., eight and some miles north of South Beach, for $8.45 million; he dropped $12.525 million — or $13.95 million, depending on where on the internets one looks — for a nearly 9,100-square-foot triplex penthouse on the 40th, 41st and 42nd floors of the Bristol Tower Complex just south of downtown Miami. Avid celebrity real estate watchers well know Pharrell has unsuccessfully had his contemporary art-filled penthouse on and off the market for several years at a variety of prices from $16.8 million all the way down to $10.9 million. The five bedroom and seven bathroom aerie, which has a professional-grade theater, a private rooftop swimming pool and a 2014 tax bill of more than $127,000, was removed from the open market in early February of this year when it carried a pricetag of $10.999 million.
listing photos: The Agency