Thursday, November 8, 2012

Cee Lo Green Downsizes Sunset Strip Rental

Since at least March 2011 rapper, songwriter, music producer and televised singing contest judge Cee Lo Green* (The Voice) leased a 4,200-ish square foot residence just above the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, CA owned—as it turns out—by actor, race car driver and indie pop rock band drummer Frankie Muniz (Malcolm in the Middle, the Agent Cody Banks franchise).

Howevuh hunnies, according to our always so freakishly well-informed friend and aide-de-camp Lucy Spillerguts Mister Green recently decamped Mister Muniz's updated 1941 traditional for a smaller, more contemporary crib in the so-called Bird Streets 'hood** high above the Sunset Strip.

Listing information Your Mama teased out of the interweb shows the house in question, tucked privately into the top of a quiet cul-de-sac, was last listed as a fully-furnished lease in early September (2012) at $18,000 per month. Of course, we don't know what the agreed upon rental price actually is and/or if the house was let completely, partially or un- furnished.

Property records show the current owner—well-known L.A.-based interior designer Darryl Wilson—paid $1,500,000 for the Bird Street nest in April 2007. The seller? None other than chisel-chinned hairdresser to the stars, beauty industry entrepreneur and occasional reality t.v. star Jonathan Antin (Blow Out, Shear Genius).

Marketing materials and online listings from when Mister Antin first heaved the house onto the market in March 2007 with an asking price of $1,699,000 show the single story mid-century residence measured 1,423 square feet with 2 bedrooms and 2.75 bathrooms.

As interior designers are inclined to do, Mister Wilson gave the post and beam contemporary a full face lift, nearly doubled its size and returned it to the open market in February 2011—according to documentation thoughtfully provided by Our Fairy Godmother Above the Sunset Strip—with a puffy price tag of $3,200,000. The sleekly angled dwelling now has 3 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms in about 2,700 square feet.

The open plan main living space has stunning, matte-finish hardwood floors and a new-fangled retro-style wood paneled wall that gives a strong over-note of Scandinavian dry sauna that's effectively downplayed by the myriad of artworks hung salon style. The slightly pitched and heavily beamed ceiling is counter-balanced by long banks of floor-to-ceiling windows and glass sliders in the living, dining and cooking areas that toy with the eyeball's perception between indoors and outdoors.

A slight, angled kink to shape the living/dining space injects a Cubist's kind of movement to the room that opens on one end to a compact and more intensely and awkwardly angled but expensively finished and equipped sky-lit kitchen. At the other end, through a door set into the paneled wall, there's direct access to the window-wrapped master bedroom with city views. The attached master bathroom isn't particularly large but it does have a daring, kneecap to ceiling window behind the shower and tub that injects a toe-curling sexual tension into a room typically used for far more mundane—and even ugly—but necessary purposes such as flossing, dipilitating and evacuating.

The glassy rear fa├žade spills out to a compact but well organized, stone-paved courtyard-like terrace with plunge-sized swimming pool, elevated spa, bathroom-less but boob-toob equipped poolside cabana and a spectacular, over-the-shrubbery view beyond the towers of Century City towards LAX and the Pacific Ocean.

Mister Antin and his former wife Sescie moved from his former Bird Streets bachelor pad to a much more child-friendly, 2,800-plus square foot ranch style residence in the upscale enclave of Toluca Lake that they bought in April 2007 for $1,980,000. We're not exactly sure when the couple went their separate ways but we do know that they unsuccessfully attempted to sell their Toluca Lake ranch house in November 2009 when it was listed for $1,999,000. In 2011 they tangled with Mister Foreclosure and in January 2012 the property was taken off their hands by a mysterious corporate entity.

Mister Muniz is well known among celebrity property watchers and real estate gossips as a relatively frequent shuffler of the cards in his property portfolio. He once owned a house just above the Sunset Strip he sold to Halle Berry in 2005 for $5,995,000 and in 2004 he spent $4,650,000 on a low-slung modern on Blue Jay Way that he sold the following year for $3,900,000.

In the early days of 2006 Mister Muniz dropped $3,499,000 for the Sunset Strip house that, until recently, was rented by Cee Lo Green but is now back up for sale at $3,195,000 and is also listed to lease at $14,000 per month. As best as we can tell Mister Muniz also owns a faux-Tuscan mini-mansion in Scottsdale, AZ he bought in May 2008 for $2,782,000—and made available for lease in November 2011 for $7,250 per month—as well as a much more contemporary four bedroom and four bathroom crib in Phoenix, AZ that he picked up in August 2010 for $2,650,000.
 
listing photos: John Aaroe Group / Darryl Wilson Design

*A Texas woman that Mister Green has dated on and off since early in 2012 claims the entertainer drugged and sexually assaulted her after they had dinner in July in downtown L.A. Unnamed sources tole the celebrity gossips at TMZ "both took Ecstasy and stayed up all night," and that "the woman fabricated the story because she's involved with someone back in Texas who got wind she was in L.A. with Cee Lo and she was just covering her butt." Make of that what y'all will.

**The Bird Streets are so-called because, obviously, all the streets are named after—you got it—birds.