Friday, August 9, 2013
Pop Music's Max Martin Buys Fabled WeHo Compound
SELLER: Beverly Coburn
LOCATION: West Hollywood, CA
SIZE: 5,637 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms (total)
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: With some clever deductions (via property records) and whatever other semi-magical resources available to the inestimable real estate yenta Yolanda Yakketyyak we've learned that a fabled compound on the border between West Hollywood and Beverly Hills was surreptitiously acquired in mid-March 2013 for $3,720,000 by wildly successful songwriter and producer Max Martin.
Max Martin may not be a name that resonates with the nosy army of celeb-obsessed gossip glossy readers but Your Mama promises that even people who live under rocks have heard one or more of the slew of pop music mega-hits the Swedish-born Mister Martin penned, co-penned and/or produced over the last 15 or so years for a who's who of main stream pop/country/rock super stars.
In the 1990s he wrote As Long As You Love Me and Quit Playing Games (With My Heart) for the Backstreet Boys as well as several seminal ditties for Britney Spears including ...Baby One More Time and Oops!...I Did It Again. For American Idol first season winner Kelly Clarkson he wrote the Grammy-winning song Since U Been Gone and he co-wrote That's the Way It Is for Céline Dion
For better and/or worse, depending on your point of view, he's the man largely responsible for writing (or co-writing) a handful of smash hits for bubble gum pop queen Katy Perry, including but not limited to I Kissed a Girl, California Gurls, and Teenage Dream. He's also the man who foisted Taylor Swift's number one revenge anthem We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together on the pop music listening public. He's also credited with co-writing songs for (to name a few) Usher, Adam Lambert, Pink, and R&B/pop wünderkind Justin Bieber.
For his efforts Mister Martin has won ASCAP's Songwriter of the year six times—including in 2011, 2012 and 2013—and earned a fortune that allows him to live a high style lifestyle that, in addition to the West Hollywood compound he just bought, also includes a low-slung single-story mid-century modern ranch residence in the terribly trendy and hideously expensive Trousdale Estates area of Beverly Hills that he quietly purchased in April of 2011 for $3,450,000.
Property records show Mister Martin purchased the three-unit corner compound from Beverly Coburn, the first wife of legendary Oscar winning actor James Coburn. It appears ex-Missus Coburn—who was married to Mister Coburn for 20 years and divorced in 1979—picked up the property in late 1989 for $1,643,000. It had previously been owned by Turkish-born polyglot interior designer Kalef Alaton.
So the stories go Rat Pack crooner Frank Sinatra kept a crash pad in the compound in the early 1960s. Other Showbiz residents of note include Hollywood pioneer Darryl Zanuck's bi-sexual mistress Bella Darvi and trick golfer turned B-movie bombshell Jeanne Carmen. Miz Carman ran with a fast and glamorous crowd that included Tinseltowners and mobsters and she was famously tight with Marilyn Monroe who twice inhabited one of the smaller units. Miz Monroe first lived here 1953-54 and then again in 1961, after her divorce from Arthur Miller and shortly before her untimely but hardly surprising death in August 1962. Here's a short video of photos of the voluptuous and gorgeous but deeply troubled starlet both inside and outside the compound.
Your Mama's research shows the 1950s modern gated compound—once five and now three units—was first listed on the open market in the fall of 2012 with an asking price of $4,750,000. Just after the first of the year the price was reduced to $4,250,000 and then again to $3,950,000 before Mister Martin (née Karl Martin Sandberg) came along and snatched it up for $3,720,000.
The largest of the existing three units, a spacious two-story space with just over 4,000 square feet, has two bedrooms, two full and two half bathrooms, and five fireplaces. Listing photos show an outdated but certainly functional kitchen and a multi-chamber living room that stretches—are you ready for this, butter beans?—a staggering 100 feet long. There are terra cotta tile floors with concrete inlays and numerous floor to ceiling windows that open to the an interior courtyard. One of the larger apartment's two bedrooms is located on the lower floor with private attached bathroom and a sinuously sculptural spiral staircase winds up to the master suite that includes a bathroom large enough to accommodate a sitting area.
A relatively roomy second floor studio over the five car garage—it's almost 650 square foot as per property records—offers a library/bedroom, kitchenette, high ceilings, fireplace, and a bigger than expected awning-shaded terrace. There's also a 925 square foot one bedroom and one (or 1.5) bathroom apartment built around an atrium that includes a living room, bedroom, small office, kitchen, and a fireplace.
Yolanda heard Mister Martin plans to use the compound as a writer's retreat or pop music hit factory or some such thing, which makes perfect sense, but Your Mama really hopes that before he invites his posse of pop princesses over for all-night writing sessions he does aways with all those Buddhas and religious iconography. What is it with all these Tinseltown types who stuff their homes with Buddhas and other religious figures? Seriously, children...What's the deal with that?
listing photos: Hilton & Hyland