Young Megan Ellison is one of the few interesting film producers working these days (her company Annapurna Pictures has worked on The Master, Zero Dark Thirty, andSpring Breakers) and the daughter of Oracle chief Larry Ellison, from whom she has picked up the practice of buying real estate in bulk (Dad owns an enormous percentage of Malibu’s Carbon Beach and most of the island of Lanai). From 2008 to 2011, she put together a three-house, very glassy compound up in the Bird Streets, paying a total of $32.6 million. Two of the houses were brand new and one “had a down-to-the-studs renovation in the mid-Aught[s],” according to Real Estalker. Now she’s sold them and the new owners will all tear them down. (Just the kind of disposable real estate thing drove Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman from the neighborhood.) Anyway, in August, Ellison sold one house to Gateway cofounder Ted Waitt for $20.5 million, and last month she sold the remaining two to Ashley Tabor, son of British bookmaker Michael Tabor, for $26.25 million. That’s a total of $46.75 million, basically just for the land, much of which is too steep to actually build on. Anyway, Ellison is supposedly looking for a new house “in the $20 million range,” as well as office space in Venice.
After nearly a year, the house where George Harrison wrote “Blue Jay Way” (on Blue Jay Way, natch, in the Bird Streets) has sold. Harrison was renting the house in 1967 and one night found himself waiting for friends to arrive; they’d lost their way in the foggy night. His landlord had left a Hammond organ and so he sat down to write the haunting little song that ended up on The Beatles’s Magical Mystery Tour. The house came on the market in April 2012 asking $4.599 million; it comes with three bedrooms, a screening room, a pool and spa, and a library. According to Redfin, it sold last week for $3.8 million.
1567 Blue Jay Way
Curbed LA February 2013
There is some crazy stuff possibly brewing up near the top of the Bird Streets in the Hollywood Hills, on the “mostly flat pie shaped promontory with unimpeded panoramic canyon, city and ocean views” known as the Crown. The ever-reliable Real Estalker hears that a Walmart heiress named Sybil Robson Orr (her father was the brother of the late widow of cofounder Sam Walton) and her entrepreneur husband Matt Orr have bought up two of the three properties on the Crown and are planning to raze and rebuild a new compound.
Back in 2011, someone–allegedly the Orrs–paid $19.5 million for a Mediterranean mansion on a little over an acre in the middle of the Crown (they bought it from Russian arms dealing heiress Daria Zhukova). Then, last August, they supposedly paid $17 million for the house on the neighboring .66-acre parcel (it was once owned by Lionel Richie, but they bought it from motivational speaker Grant Cardone).
Now the word on the Bird Streets is that they plan to tear down both houses, take out the swimming pool and tennis court on the smaller property, reroute the driveway, and start all fresh. Even RE is a little shocked: “If there is any veracity to these whispers and rumors, Mister and Missus Orr coughed up a hair raising $36,500,000 for a pair of parcels that combined come to just 1.73 acres.” And with that kind of money flying around, plus a prestige piece of land, they’re sure to be building something completely bananas.
One last interesting footnote: the third property on the Crown is the old Ricardo Montalban estate, which sold in November 2010 and was completely remodeled into a glassy spec house. That house sold last year in the biggest residential sale of 2012, for $38.98 million … and the buyer is still unknown.
Jennifer Aniston is a capricious one when it comes to real estate, but one of her most unexpected moves was renting this house in the Bird Streets last summer. She had sold a modern Hal Levitt-designed house in Trousdale Estates in July 2011, supposedly moved to New York, then bought a modern A. Quincy Jones-designed house in Bel Air only six months later. (Meanwhile, while that’s being remodeled, she’s moved into a highly modified Hal Levitt rental in Trousdale Estates.) The woman likes modern! But last August, in between all that New York/A. Quincy Jones stuff, she and boyfriend Justin Theroux rented this rather un-modern two-bedroom, two-bathroom in the Bird Streets. The house has built-ins, multiple fireplace, vaulted ceilings, a pool and spa, a deck, and a garden. It was on the market starting in January last year at $3.299 million, then chopped to $3.099 million, and finally pulled when Aniston rented it out. Today it’s back with an asking price of $2.995 million.
1441 Oriole Dr
Despite being in her mid-20s, movie producer Megan Ellison, like many of her billionaire-heir peers, has already bought many lifetimes’ worth of real estate. In 2008, the daughter of Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison kicked off a property spree that would eventually total $32.85 over three mansions in The Birds (a Los Angeles neighborhood with avian-named streets), one of which just hit the market. Built in 1963 but eventually “designed”—as in, extensively remodeled to the point where the original bones are nearly nonexistent—by ultramodern architect Steve Hermann, the chic, glassy pad has three bedrooms, four bathrooms, 13-foot-high ceilings, a layout that wraps around a sweet-looking pool and spa, a bonkers-looking master bath, and utterly spectacular views from all vantage point. Ellison bought the place for $12.6M and is hoping to turn it for $15.5M, but that’s not to say she wants out of sight, out of mind: she owns the place right next door and another nearby. What something a tad less expensive? Daddy’s equestrian estate is also on the market.
9258 Nightingale Dr
The Hollywood Reporter declares that the Bird Streets–the very fancy area above the Sunset Strip where the streets have names like Oriole, Thrasher, and Nightingale–is hotter than ever. Larry Flynt and Leonardo DiCaprio have lived there for years, but there are lots of new (rich) neighbors coming in (including two Friends– Matthew Perry just bought, Jennifer Aniston just rented, although she also owns an investment property nearby). There are currently 15 houses for sale in the neighborhood, with asking prices ranging from $1.25 million to $18 million, and seven houses for rent. Here are a few other things you might not have known about the Birds:
- True Grit producer Megan Ellison owns two neighboring houses built by designer/developer Steve Hermann. She also “owns a third adjoining residence and has spent nearly $33 million to acquire the properties. Her dealmaking has been the subject of great speculation as residents wonder about her plans for the compound; she declined comment.”
- A Keller Williams agent who repped the seller in the Perry sale, “says homes that are considered teardowns can fetch as much as $7 million if the lots offer ’10 out of 10′ views.” Furthermore, the houses with views reach prices per square foot “typically achieved only in neighborhoods such as Malibu’s Carbon Beach.”
- The Bird Streets have a community group called the Doheny Dining Club. It’s an open group, founded in 2008, that meets about twice a year for “progressive dinners.” The DDC’s founder says “We didn’t think this was the kind of community that wanted to get to know their neighbors…But it seems that everybody wants that.” The only member confirmed in the story is celebrity divorce attorney Laura Wasser.
- One of the Bird Streets most famous spots, the Blue Jay Way house where George Harrison wrote “Blue Jay Way” in 1967, is now a rental. According to Redfin, it last sold in 2009.