Friday, October 17, 2014

Celeb R.E.: System of a Down's Shavo Odadjian Lists Woodland Hills Home

Image courtesy Coldwell Banker
Back on October 10, 2014, the always informative Lauren Beale at LA Times Hot Property revealed that Shavo Odadjian of the rock band System of a Down has listed his Woodland Hills home for $1.1 million on October 9, 2014.

Odadjian was born in Armenia but raised in Los Angeles where (possibly in the Glendale area) he attended the Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian school in Hollywood where his bandmates also attended school but at different times due to age gaps. Odadjian is easily recognizable for his signature braided beard. 

The home measures 5 Beds/3.75 Baths on 3,424 sqft on a total lot size of 0.25 acres built in 1964. The listing description states:
Must see it to believe it! Celebrity-owned and featured in the LA Times' "Hot Properties" section. South of the Blvd. gorgeous and recently refreshed turn-key 5 bedroom home. Gourmet chef's kitchen with vaulted ceilings, skylights, fireplace, stainless steel appliances, including Viking Range, trash compactor, and warming drawer. Formal living room with skylight and fireplace. Formal dining room with pass-through to kitchen. Over-sized family room large enough for a pool table and lounge area includes a wet bar. Master suite on main floor, with vaulted ceilings, walk-in closet, jetted tub and separate steam shower. 4 additional bedrooms upstairs, including 2 with vaulted ceilings. 2 full baths and built in cabinets upstairs as well. Entertainer's backyard with sparkling pool with spa, outdoor kitchen, hot tub and fire-pit. Beautiful mountain views from the front and rear. Excellent schools.
Odadjian purchased this property on June 28, 2002 for $690,000 and looks to make a profit of $410,000 not factoring in taxes, commissions, renovations, and carrying costs.

Images courtesy Teles Properties
In addition to the Woodland Hills home, Odadjian also owns a Burbank home (shown above) up in the hills overlooking the airport that was purchased on January 18, 2012 for $1.5 million which might explain the reason for listing the Woodland Hills home. The home measures 5 Beds/4.5 Baths on 4,200 sqft on a total lot size of 9,688 sqft built in 2001. The listing description states: 
Property Description: This elegant 5 bedroom, 5 bath room home located in the Burbank Hills is situated at the end of a cul-de-sac on one of the most desirable streets in the Hallston community. In addition to its' premium location, it also has one of the premier lots with spectacular unobstructed views of both the city lights and the mountains from the very private backyard. There is a spacious covered patio, a fire pit, gazebo and water feature for fine entertaining. This home has beautiful finishes including a pattern of inlaid stone from Italy in the entry. The entry ceiling has been painted to replicate the pattern on the floor. When the sun shines through the windows, it highlights the finishes on the walls and the beautiful woods that have been used throughout this home. Entertaining is easy with the chef's kitchen open to the family room, flowing outside to the patio and gazebo. No expense has been spared in the kitchen which includes stainless steel appliances, a Viking 5 burner cook top and built in ovens and microwave. Enjoy the views from the master bedroom, bathroom and expanded balcony. The loft, connecting the additional three bedrooms and two bathrooms is the perfect place to relax. This home has it all, views, privacy and elegance.
Image courtesy Bing Maps
And as a bonus, Odadjian's parent's (possibly where Shavo himself spent time) home (shown above) is also located in Burbank not too far from his new home which measures 6 Beds/4 Baths on 2,932 sqft on a total lot size of 8,013 sqft built in 1939. This property was purchased for $232,000 on July 28, 1994 which happens to be the year when System of a Down started to actively perform and the Northridge quake. 

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Celeb R.E.: Ghostbusters' Janine aka Annie Potts Lists Tarzana Spanish Retreat

Images courtesy The Agency
Back on September 22, 2014, the fine folks at Zillow Blog revealed the actress Annie Potts has just listed her Spanish retreat estate in Tarzana for $6.495 million on September 19, 2014. Potts may not be a household name but she is definitely recognizable having played roles as the adorable "Janine Melnitz" in Ghostbusters I and II (I feel like watching that movie now, loved the reference to the SFV in II), "Iona" in Pretty Pink, "Mary Jo Jackson Shively" on Designing Women, and a whole host of other roles in TV and film. 

The home measures 5 Beds/5.5 Baths on 6,481 sqft on a total lot size of 1.47 acres built in 1934. The listing description states: 
This Spanish Hacienda style home built in 1934 offers incredible indoor/outdoor living opportunities, original period details and absolute privacy in an ideal location. Its rustic clay tile roof shelters a 2-car garage, traditional plaster walls and surrounding patio areas. Inside, floor and baseboard pavers run through an oversized family room with a fireplace and a custom stained glass wall looking onto a lush backyard. This family area flows into a formal dining room with large windows and its own fireplace, and on to a gourmet kitchen with high-end appliances. The master bedroom boasts a fireplace, master bath, spacious walk-in closet, attached master study, private patio and lap pool. 4 additional bedrooms feature hardwood floors and 3 are en suite. A separate guesthouse features an additional bedroom, bathroom and living area. The back of the home opens to a spacious yard with a covered loggia, living and dining areas complete with an outdoor kitchen and a resort-style pool.
Potts purchased this estate on June 16, 1998 for $1,845,000 which if sold at today's asking price translates into a massive gain of $4,650,000 which doesnt include taxes, commissions, carrying costs, and any renovations. Just to put things into perspective, this home is the second highest offering tt the time of writing this post. Not sure if Potts made significant improvements since her purchase but the almost triple sized profit is amazing. So amazing that I am suspect if it will sell that high. Only time will tell. Hate to see a legend leave the SFV as Potts has expressed her desire to move back to NYC because she is spending more time over there. 

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

BTTF# 25: Irv Robbins (from Baskin-Robbins 31 Flavors) Ice Cream Cone Shaped Pool in Encino

Irv Robbins in left image courtesy NY Times, Original Robbins Snowbirds Ice Cream in top right image courtesy Amoeblog, and 31 logo in bottom right image courtesy BR
Welcome aboard the Delorean! 

Marty McFly here to take you on a special journey to explore the former home of Irvine "Irv" Robbins' (from Baskin-Robbins 31 Flavors) ice cream cone shaped pool located at 17116 Adlon Road Encino.  The Delorean has the required plutonium plus some random garbage in the Mr. Fusion reactor ready for this trip. The time circuits are set to sometime in the 70's (actual date for the construction of the pool unknown) and the flux capacitor is......fluxxing. The engine is running (not stalled this time) so we need to hurry. Hang on, as the ride can be a little bumpy as we travel back in time.

Baskin-Robbins 31 Flavors was created in 1953 with the merger of brother-in-laws, Burton "Burt" Baskin and Robbins' ice cream shops.  Baskin started Burton's Ice Cream Shop in 1945 in Pasadena while Robbins' Snowbird Ice Cream opened in 1946 in Glendale which offered 21 flavors. After the merger, the new company adopted the 31 Flavors concept as well as the formerly recognized 31 logo and brown and pink color themes. By the mid 1960s, Baskin-Robbins had grown to 400 stores throughout the US and became international in the 1970s with stores in Japan, Saudi Arabia, Korea, and Australia. The company was sold by its founders in 1967 to United Brands for $12 million (the equivalent of $85 million in 2014). Today, the company boasts 7,300 locations worldwide with 4,800 internationally in 50 different countries which claims to be the largest chain of ice cream specialty stores. 

Burt Baskin passed away of a heart attack at the age of 54 on December 24, 1967 in his Studio City home and unfortunately wasnt able to see the company expand. However, Robbins continued to work for the company for 11 more years and retired in 1978. Robbins passed away at the age of 90 on May 5, 2008 at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, CA. 

Now back to the pool, Robbins was known for owning an ice cream shaped pool that I have struggled to find. I even went so far as to contact Robbins' grandson, Ocean, who had no clue because it was before his time.  But thanks to the Rich Krugel and the good folks at the West SFV Then and Now Facebook group, that mystery has now been solved. Unfortunately, there are no historic pictures available that I could find. Ocean did mention that the Robbins' family and home was featured in a 90's National Enquirer article but no luck finding that so far. 

A 1976 People magazine article gives a small glimpse into the life of Robbins and his love for all things ice cream: 
Irvine Robbins wakes up at 7 a.m. and swims 20 laps in his ice-cream-cone-shaped pool in Encino, Calif. He does 15 minutes of calisthenics that includes 31 sit-ups. "I was heading toward 40," he explains. "But the hell with it. Thirty-one's a good number." 
Thirty-one isn't exactly a random number for Robbins. He is the man behind Baskin-Robbins ice cream and its 31 flavors, a company he founded 31 years ago. His devotion to the product is stupendous. Sometimes after his morning exercises, he eats cornflakes with banana ice cream on top. Then he drives to work in a beige Mercedes with "31-BR" license plates. As chairman of the board, he will see his company expand this Bicentennial year to a total of 1,776 Baskin-Robbins stores in the U.S., Canada, Japan and Belgium. 
The ice cream cone shaped pool can be found at 17116 Aldon Road in Encino (this address was confirmed by a March 12, 1968 Van Nuys News article). The home measures 3 Beds/6 Baths on 4,230 sqft on a total lot size of 0.40 acres built in 1964. The online property records dont go back that far but I believe Robbins purchased this home brand new and had the pool built by well known pool designer Ken Bourguignon who had also designed pools for Wilt Chamberlein, Hugh Hefner, and John Derek (based on an LA Times article). I am not sure when Robbins sold and for what price but this home is currently owned by Barry and Heidi Goldberg who purchased on December 14, 1983 for $435,000 which may have been purchased from Robbins but that is speculation so dont quote me. 

Image courtesy Bing Maps
Image courtesy Google Maps
The good news here is that the pool still remains and was never demolished which I had initally feared. This pool adds to the SFV's list of unique pools including the Liberace Piano shaped pool in Sherman Oaks, the Elvis impersonator heart shaped pool in Northridge, Eric Davis (baseball) #44 pool in Woodland Hills, and the Barry Minkow "Z" pool in Woodland Hills. 

You can view more SFV BTTF and history here


Irv Robbins - Wikipedia

Burt Baskin - Wikipedia

Baskin-Robbins - Wikipedia

Ice Cream, You Scream, They All Scream For....and Irv Robbins Is the Man with 430 Flavors by S.J. Diamond on March 8, 1976,  People Magazine 

Irvine Robbins, 90; co-founder of the Baskin Robbins Ice Cream Empire by Valerie J. Nelson on May 7, 2008, Los Angeles Times

Irvine Robbins, Ice Cream Entrepreneur and a Maestro of 31 Flavors, Dies at 90 by Dennis Hevesi on May 7, 2008, New York Times

Baskin Robbins Corporate Website (History page)
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Monday, October 13, 2014

Celeb R.E.: Bret Michaels of 80's Rock Band Poison Buys in Calabasas

Image courtesy Sotheby's International Realty
Gossip juggernaut, TMZ, broke the news on October 12, 2014 that Bret Michaels, of 80's rock band Poison, purchased a Calabasas mansion back on March 31, 2014 for $3,050,000 and is currently renovating the place to make it rock worthy. 

The home measures 5 Beds/5.5 Baths on 6,797 sqft built on a total lot size of 0.38 acres built in 2006 located in the exclusive guard gated The Estates at the Oaks which is home to many other celebrities. The listing description states: 
Sophisticated Reserve Plan 3 on one of ?The Oaks most sought after prime cul-de-sac locations. Showcasing grand scale with vaulted ceilings, and a spacious floor plan at just under 7,000 square feet, this exceptional property offers 5 bedrooms, 5.5 baths, formal living, dining, office, relaxing courtyard and wine cellar. An open Chef?s kitchen with massive center island, granite counter tops, custom cabinets, breakfast nook, and small desk/work area to complete the space. This estates master suite goes above and beyond to pamper any homeowner with open sitting area, dual walk in closets, and double sided access master bath. Relax and unwind from a busy day on the master balcony overlooking unmatched grounds. Expansive rear grounds afford spacious grassy areas, large pool and spa with water features, barbecue area, covered loggia, side garden, and multiple seating enclaves ideal for year round entertainment.
Image courtesy Bing Maps
In addition to the Calabasas home, Michaels also owns a Scottsdale, Arizona home (shown above) that was featured in MTV cribs in 2008. This home has an unknown number of beds/5.5 baths on 6,324 sqft on a total lot size of 5 acres built in 1994. This estate was last purchased on February 9, 2006 for $2,205,000 at the height of the real estate bubble. 

Image courtesy Bing Maps
Prior to the Arizona home, I believe Michaels lived in another Calabasas (closer to Malibu) home (shown above) that was possibly rented but I cannot confirm. I vaguely remember this because I recall seeing this home also featured in an episode of MTV cribs that stood out because it had a dirt racing track in the backyard which I thought was the coolest thing ever. My memory is foggy so I am not able to confirm the MTV cribs episode.  This home measures 5 Beds/4 Baths on 4,866 sqft on a total lot size of 2.85 acres built in 1989 and was last purchased on May 25, 1995 for $1,050,000. Dont quote me on this location as I could be wrong. 

Image courtesy Bing Maps
However, I can confirm that Michaels previously lived in Sherman Oaks (shown above) from 1990 to 1997. This home measures 4 Beds/4 Baths on 3,282 sqft on a total lot size of 7,259 sqft  built in 1956. Michaels purchased this property on January 9, 1990 for $685,000 and sold at a loss on January 3, 1997 for $530,000. This property was also nearby the Nikki Sixx Heroin Diaries home discussed here

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Van Nuys Blvd and Vanowen Street Circa 1950s in Van Nuys Postcard (2)

I have already posted this postcard before but purchased another not realizing in a better condition. You can see the first purchase here

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Sunland-Tujunga Postcards

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Sunland Strip Mall Postcard

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Tujunga Aerial Postcard

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Commerce Street in Tujunga Postcard

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Monday, October 6, 2014

Former Daily News HQ To Become Mixed Use "Live Work" Complex Being Appealed

Top image courtesy Hollywood Locations, bottom image courtesy Google Maps
Somehow I completely missed this one but the ongoing plan to develop every single piece of property in the Warner Center area into a high rise continues with this latest development. The former Daily News headquarters (DN occupied since mid-1980s to 2008) which later became the Hollywood Locations studios at 21221 Oxnard Street is currently being planned by Associated Estates Realty Corporation of Ohio to build the following: 
  1. Phase 1, a six story mixed use building with 379 dwelling units including 101 Work-Live units totaling 470,182 sqft on 4.5 acres. There will be 701 parking spaces on the first and second floors with 21 of those spaces located on an 8,500 sqft temporary surface parking lot. 
  2. Phase 2, Demolition of the temporary parking lot and the construction of a 9 story commercial and office building with 7,900 sqft of ground level retail space and 63,100 sqft of office space. 
The Daily News first broke this story on June 14, 2014 and stated that the office vacancy rate in the West SFV is 15.5 % so I wonder what will happen to this statistic when the rest of the Warner Center projects are completed. Ironically, the two mighty industries that previously occupied this building, newspapers and location filming, are on a serious decline and the only thing that can replace it is more housing instead of manufacturing. At some point, all these people living in Warner Center need a place to work. This property was last sold by the Los Angeles Daily Journal Publishing Company to Hearst Communications of San Francisco for $29,000,000 on June 21, 2007. 

Seems like there is someone out there with a concern as Mitch Carson of the Neighborhood Planning Support, Inc is appealing this project, however, it looks like the planning commission will deny the appeal and continue with the Director of Planning's original determination.

Oh and dont worry about the traffic especially with the nearby Fry's Electronics Warehouse.

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