BUYER: Russell Simmons
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
SIZE: 5,979 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 7.5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Looks like music, apparel and interweb tycoon Russell Simmons has himself a phat new crib in Tinseltown. According to the ever so well informed real estate yenta Yolanda Yakketyak, Mister Simmons—along with a spiritual guide or yoga master or something*—recently moved into a 1930s era two story Spanish style casa just above the Sunset Strip that he picked up last month for $5,877,500.**
Listing details Your Mama dug up on the internets show the walled, gated and high-hedged residence has five bedrooms and 7.5 bathrooms in 5,979 square feet of completely renovated interior space that includes at least three fireplaces (plus one more outside), loads of custom wrought iron work, scores of vintage light fixtures, scads of (inlaid) tile and stone flooring and a richly panelled 1,500 bottle wine cellar and tasting room hidden behind a secret door.
Listing photos from the time of the sale show the residence all done up in a mostly earth-toned and unspeakably generic day-core that screams of the handiwork of Staging Lady in a Pink Toyota. Howevuh, hunties, Your Mama fully expects the house will soon be filled to the brim with modern artwork and the sorts of carved wood and stone Buddhas and other religious iconography for which every real estate gossip in the world knows Mister Russell has a serious decorative thing (see listing photos for his perennially for sale triplex penthouse in Manhattan).
The front entry and circular stair hall lead to a formal living room with stone tile flooring, a stone-manteled fireplace, large windows with green, garden view and a (partially) coffered wood ceiling from which hang vintage light fixtures. The floors switch to dark hardwood in the formal dining room where an over sized arched window also has a verdant garden view.
The wood floors continue into the center island eat-in kitchen that’s expensively equipped with two-toned slab marble counter tops and high grade commercial style stainless steel appliances but switch again to an inlaid stone tile in the airy adjoining family room that also has a vaulted ceiling with exposed wood beams, a second stone mantel fireplace and (at least) six sets of French doors that allow the room to spill effortlessly out to the various and private outdoor living areas.
There are, according to listing details, a total of four upstairs bedrooms. Three family/guest bedrooms have private attached bathrooms (and at least one has direct access to a covered balcony) and the roomy, wood floored master suite has another fireplace, vaulted ceilings with heavy duty exposed wood beams and trusses, a large walk-in closet, a “spa-like” bathroom and a private balcony.
In addition to the swimming pool and elevated spa, the lushly landscaped backyard also includes a vine-covered arbor that leads to a secluded outdoor lounge area with massive tile-accented outdoor stone fireplace.
A quick perusal of property record reveals that some of Mister Simmons’s new neighbors in Lala Land include a handful of successful Showbizzers who include Emmy winning writer/producer Jenny Bicks (Sex and the City, Men in Trees, The Big C); movie producer Charles Roven (The Dark Knight, Man of Steel, Twelve Monkeys); film, television and stage writer/director Roger Kumble (Pretty Little Liars, Cruel Intentions, Pay or Play); and up-and-coming producer and Hollywood scion David Katzenberg (Beetlejuice 2, The Hard Times of RJ Berger, Survivor).
Mister Simmons must really dig this neck of the (West) Hollywood Hills because not only is this not only the first time he’s owned a house above the Sunset Strip it’s not even the first time he’s owned a house on the very same street on which his new house is located. He and his ex-Missus Kimora Lee Simmons briefly owned a 5,818 square foot Mediterranean mini-villa just 1/3 a mile farther up the street that online resources show they bought in August 2005 for $5,250,000 and sold in August 2007 for $5,655,000.
Although Mister Simmons publicly stated he planned to keep his 3.67 acre estate in the tony seaside enclave of East Hampton (NY) that he scooped up in late 2007 for $1,521,564, property records and previous reports suggest he quietly sold the 7 bedroom and 5.5 bathroom traditional—the site of his annual Art for Life fundraiser—in January of this year (2013) to an as yet unidentified buyer for its full $6,995,000 asking price. Maybe he decided to downsize in the Hamptons? Or, maybe upsize? Hello? Bueller? Bueller? Anyone? Bueller?
Mister Simmons continues to own a sprawling, quadruple exposure triplex penthouse in Manhattan’s Financial District (FiDi) he’s had on and off the market for more than a decade at prices ranging from eight to twelve million clams. At one point, so the stories go, Sean “Puff Whatever” showed some real estate interest in the deluxe apartment but never moved forward with a purchase. Current listing information shows the 7,175 square foot penthouse has four bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms (plus an additional staff bedroom and bathroom), 12 foot ceilings and a sweeping, vertigo-inducing sky-lit main staircase, two kitchens, three terraces on two floors that total 3,500 square feet of planted and fully furnished outdoor space, a meditation chamber, a small screening room and more Buddha statues and figurines than Your Mama has fingers and toes.
The children will recall the lavish living lefty liberal hip-hop honcho took a stomach-churning $3.5 million loss (not counting carrying costs, improvements and real estate fees) in February 2011 when he and his blingy model turned fashion designer ex-wife, Kimora Lee Simmons, finally unloaded their ostentatiously opulent 35,000 (or so) square foot mega-mansion in the bucolically suburban community of Saddle River, NJ. The still convivial former couple first listed the palatial, Euro-style pile way back in 2007 with a wildly optimistic $23,888,000 price tag but, after four years on the market with ever decreasing price tags finally agreed to sell the lavish spread for $10,000,000 to an unknown corporate entity with an address that—for what it’s worth in interest to anyone—links directly back to an multi-specialty ambulatory surgical facility in Clifton, NJ.
*Don’t nobody bother to ask Your Mama how Yolanda knows Mister Simmons is shacked up—or. more likely, temporarily bunking with—with his yoga master or spiritual guide or whatever because we can’t tell you.
**Mister Simmons’s recent acquisition above the Sunset Strip isn’t a complete surprise to celebrity and real estate gossips since he told the New York Post back in August (2012) that he planned to relocate to the West Coast in order to spend more time with his two daughters and get more involved with the film and television industry. The property was purchased, natch, through a somewhat cryptically named trust that features the initials of both his daughters—Ming Lee (ML) and Aoki Lee (AL)—and links back to a New York City address associated with Mister Simmons and his Phat Farm business.
listing photos: Coldwell Banker