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Celeb R.E.: 80's Electronics Mail Order Founder Drew Kaplan Lists Custom 80's Tarzana Home Overlooking Braemar Country Club

Images courtesy Cap Equity Realty
Although not a household name or celebrity by any stretch of the imagination, Drew Kaplan, the legend behind DAK Industries electronics mail order catalog, has listed his custom Tarzana home on January 2, 2014 for $2,495,000 and is still available. 

This home has not had much interest possibly because of the unique design and layout. This isnt he first time Kaplan has listed the home as he first attempted back on June 1, 2003 with an unknown price, again on October 30, 2011 for $2,750,000, and again on April 24, 2013 and July 10, 2013 for $2,495,000. So maybe fifth time is the charm?

DAK was founded by Drew Kaplan in 1966 in his UCLA dorm room. He became wildly successful that he later left UCLA after 5 years without earning a degree and went into business full time setting up shop in North Hollywood and later moved to 8200 Remmet Avenue Canoga Park CA. Kaplan's fascination with gadgets would become his specialty that would  fill his 68 page catalog mailed across the country to millions of other gadget freaks. Kaplan was solely responsible for creating the advertising texts that would fill up to 1,400 words of text per page (see images below). Kaplan would also use his sense of humor to describe product descriptions like a computer modem as quoted below:
Sex Education 1A. You need to determine whether your computer's . . . connector is male or female. If you look at the picture above, you'll note that . . . connector has holes going in it. It's a female. If it had copper pins sticking out, it would be a male. Now wasn't that simple? So, if yours is female, order our male cable and modem program. . . ."
He was a private man who kept to himself and avoided the media. He would hole up in his home most of the time single handedly producing around 5 catalogs per year. By the late 1980's, DAK was a $120 million-a-year business with around 400 full time workers. DAK Industries was once called the "L.L. Bean of consumer electronics" by the Los Angeles Times. However, by 1992, DAK Industries filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection due to the sudden loss of an $18 million line of credit. Kaplan admitted it was his fault and the company was liquidated in 1994. Kaplan took the next 4 years off but returned to the world wide web in 2000 with DAK 2000 which is still in business today and selling great products. Kaplan recently retired from the business and handed over the ranks to his two closest friends while he enjoys his love of scuba diving. 
Image courtesy
Image courtesy When Skippy Loved Mallory
Image courtesy
The home measures 6 Beds/6 Baths on 10,659 sqft on a total lot size of 2.19 acres built in 1981. This home is rather unique with many 80's designs and features remaining. Probably most surprising is the large  indoor entertainment area including jacuzzi and pool. The listing pictures also reveal Kaplan's business operations in what appears to be the garage. The home clearly shows that Kaplan personally customized this home for his personality as well as business needs. I wonder if he still has any vintage electronic gadgets remaining. Lastly, the best part (at least for me) is overlooking the 5th hole of Braemar Country Club. The listing description states: 
Perched atop the hills of Tarzana, and located at the end of a cul-de-sac, this architectural home is truly one of a kind and a rare opportunity to own an remarkably unique property. Entertain in style overlooking the 5th hole of Braemar Country Club w/ gorgeous mountain views. Extremely private, the ideal spot for a live-work-swim lifestyle. Relaxation at its best, swimming laps in the indoor pool or lounging by the spa is always a delight, regardless of time of day or weather. Custom built w/ incredible attention to detail w/ bespoke woodwork throughout including built-ins, skylights, & wine cellar. Occupying the entire second floor the master suite is the perfect retreat w/ vaulted ceilings, private patio, double walk-in closets, workout area, & spacious master bath w/ sauna. With approximately 1,200 SF of sound proofed home office space this home is perfect for an artist in need of a recording or photography studio in the home. An unforgettable property for an exquisite lifestyle.
Hopefully, Kaplan is not leaving the SFV as I hate to see a legend leave. 

You can view more SFV Celeb. R.E. here

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Marty Mcfly

Anything and everything about the San Fernando Valley. This blog will take you back in time when the valley was covered with dirt and orange groves to a leader in the space race to its current status as America's suburb. Come along and join me on this adventure, I guarantee you have been influenced/impacted by the San Fernando Valley in one form or another even if you have never visited or heard of the SFV.

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