YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Many denizens of suburban Los Angeles, CA have a thing for master-planned gated developments where the streets are lined with startlingly similar semi-Mediterranean-style tract houses sold with varying but usually limited degrees of customization. Although Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter feel these communities too often have a soul-less cookie cutter vibe, for many they represent a long lusted after acquisition of the so-called “American Dream” of home ownership.
That “American Dream” gets an extra layer of Vaseline over the lens when a quasi-custom tract home sits behind electronically controlled security gates and the juices of desire really get flowing when the security gates are operated by on-site security personnel who are not, in the vast majority of cases armed, which means that the only real responsibility of these security gate operators is to flip the switch that swings the gates open, smile nicely, wave residents and their guests on through and to call the real damn po–po if there is any real trouble.
The pinnacle, the apex, the real estate climax–if you will–of these master-planned communities are exclusive gated enclaves within gated developments where homes are typically larger, more highly customized and far more expensive than most others in development. Not only do these enclaves carry the cachet of exclusivity but they also provide an extra layer of (real or imagined) security. Out in L.A.’s hot as Hades northwestern suburbs, nestled into the rolling hills of Calabasas, CA one of those highly-prized double-gated enclaves is called The Estates at The Oaks of Calabasas.
Since its inception, the The Oaks has been popular among those with a penchant for privacy, the desire for security and the deep pockets to pay for those things. Current residents–or at least current property owners–include Rage Against the Machine’s Brad Wilk, right-leaning San Francisco Giants pitcher and Woodland Hills, CA restaurateur Jeff Suppan, tattooed rocker Travis Barker, “Dr.” Phil McGraw’s son Jay and his wife Erica Dahm of the famed nude modeling Dahm Triplets.
Eddie Murphy’s ex-wife and baby momma Nicole has had her large and lavish spread up in The Oaks up for sale since August of 2007 when she put it on the market for $9,995,000. In December of 2010–after at least two deals swirled down the real estate terlit–Miz Murphy made another of many karate chops to the asking price, which brought the price tag down to a substantially lower $5,950,000. As of the 18th of March, ex-Missus Murphy’s 9,214 square foot mansion is once again in escrow. That sounds like it should be some relief to the financially-strapped ex-Missus Murphy but when Your Mama digs a little deeper into the property records we discover that ex-Missus Murphy–who took a one time payout of $15,000,000 when she divorced Eddie Murphy–purchased the property in May of 2006 for $7,500,000. We don’t even need to flick a single bead of our punctilious and bejeweled abacus to see that even with an unlikely full-price sale, that’s a pecuniary gut-punch of more than 1.5 million buckaroos to her already depleted pocketbook. I-chee-why-why!
Until early 2011, The Oaks‘ most internationally prominent resident was pop music icon Britney Spears. In early 2009–or maybe it was late 2008–Miz Spears leased a 10,300+ square foot architecturally mixed-up faux-French Provincial-mock-Tuscan Farmhouse/Spanish Hacienda style sprawler in The Oaks called Chateau Sueños. The single mother of a couple of young boy recently packed up her two tater-tots and high-tailed it out of Calabasas to the celebrity-choked and guard-gated equestrian community of Hidden Hills, CA where her new neighbors include Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, lesbo-rocker Melissa Etheridge, Bruce Jenner and Kris Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony who only recently acquired a 17,000 square foot mansion in Hidden Hills but Your Mama heard (but can not confirm) through the celebrity gossip grapevine already want a different house.
Just as Miz Spears packed up her moving truck in The Oaks another crew of internationally well-known residents unpacked theirs and prepared to set up house. For the last thousand years or so the Jackson family homestead–we’re talking the Michael Jacksons, puppies–was Hayvenhurst a privately situated estate on Hayvenhurst Avenue in Encino, CA that Big Daddy Joe Jackson bought in the early 1970s. In the early 1980s ol‘ Joe got himself into a bit of a financial pickle and his youngest son Michael helped to bail him out and bought bought Hayvenhurst. A full-scale renovation, directed by the increasingly eccentric Michael Jackson, added “a Japanese koi pond, a movie theater, and a six foot-tall Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs diorama.”
It was here, to Hayvenhurst, that thousands of hysterical and teary fans flocked after Michael Jackson died of an overdose of Propofol inside the lavish confines of a rented estate in the Bel Air area of Los Angeles in the June of 2009. It was also to Hayvenhurst where Michael J’s three children–the seemingly sweet and charming but somewhat ridiculously named Paris, Prince and Prince II–were taken after their father’s death and where their care was turned over to Michael’s agéd mother Kathryn who had become the queen of that castle in the late 1980s when Michael moved to to his (in)famous Neverland Ranch in Los Olivos, CA.
Unexpectedly and somewhat mysteriously Big Momma Kathryn Jackson recently piled her trio of young wards into her Rolls Royce–we just imagine she has a Rolls, we don’t really know what sort of car she drives or is driven in–and decamped Hayvenhurst for a large leased mansion inside the gates of The Estates inside the gates of The Oaks of Calabasas.
Listing information Your Mama acquired with an helpful assist from our always helpful pal Babbling Babette shows the 7 bedroom and 10 pooper palace had been on the market with an asking price of $10,995,000. The very same listing information indicates a lease was signed around the middle of November 2010 at a hefty rate of $26,000 per month.
The mock-Med mansion was built, according to listing information, in 1988 and includes a main house that spans 12,670 square feet and a guesthouse/pool house with another 633 square feet. Listing info also shows the 5-car garage has 1,548 square feet and that there are 2,671 square feet of covered patios and balconies.
The iron and glass front doors open into–surprise–a double-height entry with limestone floors and two curving staircases. The living spaces include a double-height formal living room with hickory wood floors, fireplace and glass doors that slide back into the wall, a formal dining room and an open plan gourmet kitchen and family room area with another fireplace and more glass doors that disappear into the walls. There are also a paneled study/library, custom theater room, a loft/game room, a wine room with refrigerated booze storage space and wet bar.
The mansion’s seven bedrooms include a massive master suite with fireplace, sitting area, dual bathrooms, private patio and a gigantic custom-fitted walk-in closets. The fully customized but very, very beige mansion is equipped with a steam shower, sauna, elevator and a Crestron home automation system that–presumably–controls and operates the window treatments, lighting, security, heating, cooling, sound and audio-visual systems.
The large house sits somewhat tightly on .88 acre grounds that include the aforementioned guesthouse/pool house, swimming pool, spa, expansive terraces, a putting green–blech!–and a view of the master-planned community and surrounding mountains over the roof tops of the recently built mansions that line the street below.
One wonders if Big Momma Jackson is gearing up to sell Hayvenhurst or she’s just going to turn the compound over to the various members of the always-expanding Jackson family that continue move in and out of the house like it was a damn hotel.
listing photos: Prudential California Realty