Monday, July 15, 2013
Mario Van Peebles Sells His Hollywood Hills "Tree House"
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
SIZE: 4,225 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 3.75 bathrooms (total)
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Listen, kittens, as happens most mid-summers the celebrity real estate pickins are a mite slim so instead of something glorious and aspirational being bought or sold by an A-lister we have instead an exhausted looking micro-compound in the Hollywood Hills owned by actor/director/producer Mario Van Peebles who (re-)listed the property over the weekend with an asking price of $1,519,000.
Property records show the well educated fifty-something year old former politico—he earned a degree in economics from Columbia University and worked for former New York City mayor Ed Koch in the late 1970s—picked up the nearly half acre property way back in October 1989 for $875,000.*
Online resources reveal Mister Van Peebles has been trying to dump his hippy-dippy mini-compound in the Cahuenga Pass area of L.A. since at least October 2012 when it popped up for sale with an asking price of $1,675,000. The property was briefly taken off the market in early 2013 before it reappeared with a new and lower asking price of $1,550,000. The price eventually fell to $1,495,000 before it inexplicably jumped back up again to its current (and final) asking price of $1,519,000.**
Nestled into a sylvan hollow at the tail end of a shared driveway below comedienne Kathy Griffin's airplane-shaped house, Mister Van Peebles secluded micro-compound—current listing details call it a "hidden gem" and a "TREE HOUSE"—comprises, as per listing details, an approximately 3,500 square foot main house with three bedrooms and three bathrooms plus a (rather homely) guest house.
Double wood front doors that look like something out of a Dungeons and Dragons player's fervid real estate fantasies open to the main living areas that include a living room that features a free-standing red brick fireplace with an—ahem—artsy, free-form mantel and hearth; a vaulted, exposed wood ceiling with a ribbon of sky lights; and a full wall windows that looks out to a dining terrace shaded by mature trees and girdled by scrubby vegetation. Your Mama's not even going to mention the hodge-podge day-core—if it can be called that—or the funky statuary because, well, that just seems like the right thing to do.
The floors switch from wall-to-wall gray carpeting in the living room to narrow gauge wood planks in the dining area that's open to a woefully dated kitchen where the painted gray lower cabinets are topped with gray grouted white ceramic tile that continues up the walls all the way to the ceiling and wraps around four—count 'em, four!—greenhouse-type windows.
The main floor master suite has a corner fireplace, a pitched exposed wood ceiling, and a bank of windows that open to the outdoors plus a godawful row of three differently sized and unevenly spaced windows. The fully carpeted room is furnished sparely and somewhat bizarrely with little more than a rope swing—that's right, buckaroos, there's a damn rope swing in the middle of the room—and a rugged, Earth Mother-worthy bed that looks to be hand-crafted of driftwood and other reclaimed woods.
Listing photos show one of the guest/family bedrooms has a vaulted exposed wood ceiling and wood-framed glass sliders flanked by a couple of downright depressing knotted up curtain panels that make Your Mama's decorative heart skip a beat, and not in the good way. We're not sure if the guest house is detached or a separate wing of the main house but listing photographs show it has gray wall-to-wall carpeting, a raised hearth brick fireplace, at least one glass block window, a complete but compact kitchen, and a private bathroom.
The L.A. Times property gossip gal reported last year that Mister Van Peebles and his New Age-y wife Chita Sukhu, own another home in the Los Angeles area. Thanks to an assist from The Bizzy Boys at Celebrity Address Aerial we've learned that Van Peebles-Sukhu residence, acquired in the early days of 2007 for $1.3 million, is located in the affluent and largely uncelebrified View Park-Windsor Hills neighborhood, one of the wealthiest predominantly African American communities in the United States. Property records show the Van Peebles-Sukhus also maintain a secluded mountain retreat in the Big Bear Lake area that was purchased in 1999 for $170,000.
*Property records show Mister Van Peebles also owns two adjacent parcels that form a long narrow strip but it's not clear to Your Mama if they were included in his 1989 purchase and/or if they're included in the current offering.
**Online listings show a sale is pending.
listing photos: Keller Williams