BUYER: Josh Hutcherson
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
SIZE: 1,861 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Nineteen year old tween and teen heartthrob Josh Hutcherson—now appearing in the disturbing and dystopian film (franchise) The Hunger Games—may not yet be old enough to imbibe booze on the legal up and up but the Kentucky born and bred Showbiz up-and-comer’s already got the dough-re-mi to drop $2,500,000 on a sexy, gated and well-secured crib tucked into a star-studded pocket L.A.’s Hollywood Hills.
Young Mister Hutcherson has toiled in Tinseltown since he was just knee high to Tom Cruise’s knee with roles big and small in almost three dozen films and television programs. In addition to his starring role in the aforementioned The Hunger Games franchise, J-Hutch’s long resume includes (but is far from limited to) RV, Bridge to Terabithia and at least two Oscar-nominated movies, American Splendor and the more recent The Kids Are All Right.
We first heard the scuttlebutt about Mister Hutcherson’s real estate activities late last week from a source who identified his (or her) self as Terry Tellsitall. Property records do show a transaction, just as T.T. told us they would, but they show the property acquired through a trust. We immediately picked up our bedraggled princess phone and dialed our superlatively plugged-in pal Lucy Spillerguts who quickly seconded Terry’s celebrity real estate motion. All y’all can make of that chain of events what you will.
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Mister Hutcherson’s newly acquired, teenage bachelor pad in Los Angeles is well known in real estate circles as The Tree House due to its sylvan roost in a thick sycamore grove near the tippy top of Laurel Canyon. The 2 bedroom and 2 bathroom house is even better known in celebrity real estate circles for its rapid succession of famous owners. More on that in a moment.
Listing information doesn’t list the square footage of the relatively compact but airy interior spaces—the Los Angeles County Tax Man puts it at 1,861 square feet—but does make some hay about the 2,500 square feet of seamless outdoor living space outfitted with an “incredible movie lounge, dining/barbecue space, and multiple seating areas perched in the trees” plus integrated sound, projection and security systems.
Interior features include polished concrete floors, a living room with fireplace and pitched wood ceiling and a dining room with vaulted wood-beamed ceiling and over-sized glass doors that merge the room with the the exterior living areas. The narrowness of the sleek, galley kitchen gets off-set by a high-pitched wood-beamed ceiling with clerestory windows and wood-framed glass doors. At least one of the two bathrooms has an over-sized shower with built-in bench and two huge panels of glass that probably make for a fine showering experience except for when Juan the gardener shows up unexpectedly at shower time.
Now then, let’s jump back to the low-key but high-quality residence’s celebrity history. The house—a small California ranch originally built in 1951 and discreetly-sited on .43 hillside acres set well below the street behind remote-controlled gates and a high fence that may (or may not) fry a fingertip were anyone be moronic enough to try to put a fingertip on them—was one of several contiguous properties owned in the mid-Aughts by real estate serial compound-creating comedienne cum chat show queen Ellen DeGeneres.
As a slight but amusing celebrity real estate aside…Miz Degeneres bought the centerpiece of her current compound in Beverly Hills—the one Ryan Seacrest just snatched up for $37M—from Will & Grace co-creator Max Mutchnick in 2007 for nearly $30,000,000. In April 2003, according to property records, she purchased the centerpiece of her former compound atop Laurel Canyon from the same Mister Mutchnick for an undisclosed amount. She sold off the Laurel Canyon compound in parts with the main house and grounds going in 2006 to SNL alum turned money minting movie star Will Ferrell for an undisclosed amount. (It was last listed for $9,900,000.)
Anyhoo, Miz DeGeneres acquired The Tree House in March 2004 from flamboyant and now deceased furniture designer Guy Levalley Chaddock. She paid $1,275,000 for the tree-shrouded residence.
A quickie face-lift that gave the classically Californian ranch a distinctly Zen-modern make-over was followed by the swift onset of what we call The Real Estate Fickle and Miz DeGeneres flipped The Tree House in April 2005 to noted film poster designer and producer David Weissman who coughed up, according to property records we peeped, $2,100,000.
Mister Weissman also quickly caught a case of The Real Estate Fickle and in June 2006 sold The Tree House for $2,300,000 to a trust known to be affiliated with Australian actor Heath Ledger, at that time shacked up with girlfriend, baby momma and three-time Oscar-nominated actress Michelle Williams. In January 2008 Mister Ledger tragically turned up dead of a drug overdose in a rented loft apartment in downtown New York City and six months later the executors of Mister Ledger’s estate sold The Tree House for $2,500,000 to a Miami (FL)-based concern connected to a man named Gerardo Celasco. As it turns out, that happens to be the very same name accomplished equestrian and volleyball player turned tight-bodied actor Adrian Bellani (Passions, Moneyball, RPM Miami) was born with.
Mister Celasco/Bellani, also quickly stricken with screaming case of The Real Estate Fickle, first attempted to sell The Tree House just four months after signing on the deed’s dotted line. In September 2011 Your Mama discussed the property when it was (re-)listed for $2,995,000. A couple of price cuts followed and in February of this year (2012) it briefly popped back up on the market with a $2,595,000 price tag before young Mister Hutcherson came along and snapped it up for $2,500,000.
Given it’s frequent turnover of high-profile owners, anyone want to guess how long young Mister Hutcherson hangs on to his new house before he too catches an incurable case of The Real Estate Fickle?
Several years ago, when Mister Hutcherson was just 16, he opened the doors to his family’s primary residence in Union, KY for the Cribs cameras. At that point he was holed up in a bedroom in the basement where custom-built, floor-to-ceiling shelves stored and displayed his rather extensive sneaker collection.
Mister Celasco/Bellani, as a final aside, also owns the 2,267 square foot house next door to The Tree House he bought from—you got it—Ellen DeGeneres back in September 2007 for $1,995,000. Although the updated and upgraded 1964 contemporary was on the (open) market in both 2009 and 2010, property records show the chisel-chinned Mister Celasco/Bellani still owns the property.
listing photos: Rodeo Realty