Berry Gordy Lists Century City Crash Pad

SELLER: Berry Gordy, Jr.
LOCATION: Century City, CA
PRICE: $1,995,00
SIZE: 2,200 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Your Mama heard word from a kindly informant—let’s call her Fannie D. Flames—who lets us know via covert communique that veteran music industry éminence grise Berry Gordy, founder of the seminal Motown record label, put a two-unit combo condo he owns at the snazzy (if somewhat geriatric), I.M. Pei-designed Century Towers complex in L.A.’s Century City on the open market with an asking price of $1,995,000.

Mister Gordy, a vibrant and eternally youthful octogenarian, a confirmed vegan and, back in his virile heyday, a prolific spawner—the man has eight children with six women including a daughter with Motown Highness Herself, Diana Ross,* may have acquired the mid-floor unit as far back as 1993 but we’re really not sure since—in all honesty—the murky property records have this boozy property gossip a bit bamboozled.

Naturally, we queried Miz Flames as to why Mister Gordy needed with a condo in Century City when he already owns a multi-acre estate just five miles to the northwest and she told us, “It’s a crash pad.” We don’t really know what that means, “a crash pad,” or why one needs a damn crash pad just five miles from home but far be it from Your Mama to make any damn sense of the wacky real estate ways of the rich and/or famous.

Current listing details show Mister Gordy’s Century City—ahem—crash pad is a combination of two units that span 2,200 square feet with three bedrooms and 3.25 bathrooms. A careful perusal of the the floor plan included with digital marketing details, however, shows Mister Berry configured his Century City combo condo to have just one bedroom and there are, in functional actuality, 3.5 bathrooms. A second (potential) bedroom is outfitted as an office and a third (potential) bedroom appears in listing photos as some sort of sitting room/chess playing chamber. Should the buyer care to, both rooms are quickly and inexpensively converted back to bedrooms.

Listing photos show empty walk-in closets in the master bedroom that suggest—but do not exactly prove—Mister Gordy and/or whomever else occupied and/or made temporary use of this apartment has done decamped. You Mama hopes that along with his apparel he also took his fabulous day-core because let’s be honest, dandelion greens—the monochromatically beige place show in listing photos is about as thrilling as a 280-page dissertation on toenail clipping practices during the Renaissance.

A small foyer with inlaid stone tile floor and free-standing curved volume (that may or may not contain a coat closet) opens directly into a loft-like (if low-ceilinged) open-plan living space that is more than 40 feet long and 30 feet wide with a couple of wide expanses of floor-to-ceiling windows with unobstructed eastern views towards the Sunset Strip and Hollywood Hills.

The contiguous “formal” living and dining areas have travertine (or some other sort of stone) tile laid at a 45-degree angle while the also contiguous but more casual family room area and kitchen have dark chocolate colored (faux) rusticated wide-plank wood floors. There’s (an inexplicably) coffered ceiling in the family room area along with a wall-wide built-in entertainment unit with flush-mounted wide-screen television.

A long, double-wide island with 3-4 stool snack counter separates the family room area from a nicely- if generically-equipped and entirely earth-toned kitchen fitted with medium-grade appliances, ordinary looking although probably custom and expensive brown cabinets, and dark speckled light beige granite counter tops with a tumbled travertine back splash.

Double doors open to a small entry vestibule in the master bedroom that includes an adjoining private sitting room, private veranda, two fitted walk-in closets, and a meretriciously glitzy, wall-papered bathroom with double-sink vanity, separate crapper cubby, and a separate bathtub and shower set up.

Residents of the guard-gated, twin towered residential complex pay high HOAs—Mister Gordy’s are $2,873 according to listing details—for full-service amenities that include 24-7 security, doormen and concierge services, valet parking, two tennis courts, an outdoor swimming pool and sunbathing deck, a resident’s only fitness center with Finnish sauna, a small putting green, and extensive grounds that include landscaped gardens, flat lawns and at least one civic-sized fountain.

A short list of some of the notable folks who have resided in the Century Towers complex includes Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Mister Gordy’s fifth baby momma Diana Ross, Karen Carpenter, Burt Lancaster, and Platinum Triangle real estater (and Million Dollar Listing cast member) Josh Flagg. Mister Flagg, who recently moved to a Spanish bungalow just above the Sunset Strip that he acquired last year for $1.6 million from Tinseltown scion David Katzenberg, sold his high-glam spread last year for $1.3 million. As far as we know, his sassy and savvy nonagenarian grandmother, former fashion designer and polyester pioneer Edith Flagg, remain in residence in the penthouse of one of the towers. The other penthouse is owned, so our resources and research reveals, by Dani Janssen—widow of famously luxe living actor David Janssen—who is well known in Showbiz circles for her annual, invite-only and triple a-list attended post-Oscar party.

As we mentioned earlier, in addition to his Century City crash pad that he’s now got up for sale, Mister Gordy owns a three-parcel gated estate in Bel Air that Your Mama’s calculations on our bejeweled abacus indicate spans just over four acres and includes, as per the L.A. County Tax Man, a nearly 10,000 square foot main manse with thirteen bedrooms and nine bathrooms. Property records suggest Mister Gordy also owns a much less substantial adjoining achored by a 5,203 square foot residence.

*Mister Gordy’s youngest son, Stefan Kendal, is more popularly known as the clown clothes wearing and afro-maned Redfoo of the Grammy-nominated hip-hoppy electropop duo LMFAO as well as the romantic paramour of (crazily screechy) professional tennis queen Victoria Azarenka.

listing photos and floor plan: Douglas Elliman

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  1. Anonymous says:

    A friend, who once lived in Downey…?
    That’s such a coincidence.

  2. Rosco Mare says:

    Thanks Anon 6:03

    A friend, who once lived in Downey, clarified that the Japanese -style garden was destroyed when the property adjoining the existing house was redeveloped about 6 years ago. The Carpenters lived in the existing house, but their studio on the parcel next door was demolished for new construction. The Carpenters were photographed professionally in the garden. A subsequent owner, originally from Cuba, was not aware of the Carpenter’s fame, which is not uncommon. Most entertainers are unknown outside their home markets. My comment is not written as criticism.

  3. Anonymous says:

    To Roscoe Mare..I was paper boy for the carpenter’s former house’s new people who are probably American! I drive by there alot and this house is still here. I don’t remember for sure if it had a Japanese-style garden but it is definitely not a Japanese-style house if memory serves. I’m sure Barry Manilow had a Japanese house. You might be confusing old rock star houses ;)

  4. Anonymous says:

    I wonder who was the lucky person that got to dispose of Walt’s miniature railroad in the back yard.

  5. Mr DHH says:

    I apologize for being off subject(but in the same area almost).Mama did you see on the agency website the old Walt Disney
    house (redone) on North Carolwood.4
    acres 35000 square feet-has a price now.90 million dollars.It is not listed in the MLS but has a price.
    North Carolwood is not flat like say
    South Mapleton.Boys and girls start the number crunching (Singleton House on Delfern,Spelling Manor,etc) and figure out how off is off?

  6. Rosco Mare says:

    I like the layout, and LGB is right in that this place could be dynamite.

    Didn’t know Karen Carpenter lived here. Now I will be a little sad when driving past it on Ave of the Stars because her voice came straight from heaven.

    I remember reading that the Carpenter’s Japanese -style garden in Downey was slated for demolition by a foreign buyer who knew nothing about them. Anyone know if this happened?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Fuck pad is how they used to call these places back in my day.

  8. Sandpiper says:

    Definitely a man ahead of his time. Nothing but admiration. Therefore, I will ignore the wallpaper boarder.

  9. Anonymous says:

    To this day, I think of Karen Carpenter every time I drive by these towers. Loved Karen – but not so much all of the dolls she had in her condo. Thanks for making sure KC was noted.

    Wallace Ridge

  10. Anonymous says:

    No way to start out a Monday Mama

  11. lil' gay boy says:

    It doesn’t look like it’s been decorated since I. M. Pei walked away, shaking his head…Early Hyatt Regency.


    But the floor plan is not half bad; one could make something of it. And as the geriatric residents shuffle off this mortal coil, the incoming new blood might just revive this complex — provided they reduce the number of handicapped parking spots & numerous ramps…

  12. Anonymous says:

    Garish, gaudy and gold. Such bad taste.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps Crash Pad is another word for “Safe House” – something I hadn’t heard of until a friend mentioned it.

    It’s a place where guys can go and fool around with their girlfriends/hookers – think Jack Lemmon in The Apartment!

  14. Anonymous says:

    An HOA monthly fee of $2,875? Crazy….this is not NYC.

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