BUYER: Matthew Perry
LOCATION: Malibu, CA
SIZE: 5,500 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Veteran sit-com star Matthew Perry is well known amongst property gossips like Your Mama for his relatively fickle relationship with high-priced properties in Los Angeles and Malibu. The real estate activities of the four-time Emmy-nominated t.v.s star are usually discovered and discussed in short order in all the celebrity-related property gossip columns. However, children, it turns out Mister Perry has made at least one big ticket addition to his property portfolio in recent years that, until it was sorted out by the tireless real estate yenta Yolanda Yakketyyak and backed up by the mysterious but always reliable Lucy Spillerguts, has gone entirely under radar.
Back in October of 2011, Mister Perry, by way of an acronymic trust, surreptitiously shelled out $12,000,000 for a newly and fully rehabilitated beach front house on much-coveted stretch of sand in Malibu, CA. Iffin he was so inclined, lucky Mister Perry and his lucky beach going house guests could scramble across the often treacherously trafficked Pacific Coast Highway and quickly amble over to the no frills but deservedly popular Malibu Seafood market and cafe for a tuna burger and fries (or whatever).
Just in case any of y’all think it at all strange that Mister Perry can afford a twelve million dollar house at the beach not to mention the no-doubt exorbitant annual maintenance costs associated with owning a twelve million dollar house at the beach…It’s not. Mister Perry and his Friends co-stars earned $1 million per episode for the last two, 22-episode seasons of the wildly popular program. That’s $44 million in just two years, not counting an additional endorsements or appearance fees he may have earned. And that’s not counting the $30+ million he took in the previous two seasons when he and his cast mates pulled down three-quarters of a million per episode. The five Friends stars also received syndication royalties for the last five of the show’s ten seasons and even a person who doesn’t know a damn thing about the ins and outs of Tinseltown knows that there’s hardcore amounts of money to be made in the syndication of a unusually successful sit-com like Friends.
Sure, you might well say, his reasonably busy post-Friends career has lacked traction: The drama Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip was canceled after just one season; The comedy Mister Sunshine lasted a measly two; And his most recent sit-com, Go On, was axed in May (2013) after a single, 22-episode season. However Your Mama thinks we can all be assured—or at least we assume without any proof whatsoever—that Mister Perry’s post-Friends compensation packages, while only short-term, were reasonably substantial. Maybe not Friends substantial but still enough that when added to his still growing pile of Friends money allows him to buy and sell multi-million dollar residences—por ejemplo, a twelve million dollar house on the beach in Malibu—with an almost alarming alacrity.
Property records show Mister Perry’s beach house was purchased in the latter days of 2009 for exactly six million clams by Malibu-based polymath entrepreneur Scott Gillen.* Cigar smoking Mister Gillen, who bills himself on his polished website as a “director, builder, thinker, creator,” took the existing, rag-tag residence down to the studs and re-built the thing with his carefully calibrated signature industrial meets organically modern manner.
Listing details from the time of the most recent transaction show the two-story house, which presents to the casual passerby on the street-side as little more than a fairly nondescript row of garage bays and an un-fussy entry gate, has four bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms in about 5,500 square feet of space. Because, at higher tides, the surf sometimes washes up under the cantilevered structure, listing photographs were able to be shot in such a way that the house appears to almost float dreamily on the ocean like a well-appointed boat.
An extra-wide sandblasted glass and metal front door opens from a small entry courtyard into an airy, sun-bathed foyer with a steel-framed and wood-treaded staircase. The foyer melts into the loft-like main living/dining/cooking space where there are generous expanses of art-friendly gallery white walls, chatoyant golden brown wood floors under foot, and a muscular—if low seeming—exposed wood beam ceiling over head. A somewhat inconveniently located fireplace stands between the living/lounge area and the dining area that do, however, share an approximately 40-foot long wall of floor-to-ceiling glass panels that disappear in to the walls. When pushed open the entire living area merges seamlessly with the slender, glass-railed balcony and is quickly bathed in the relentless sound of the pounding surf and infused with the damp, salt-misted sea air.
The center island kitchen has solid, custom-crafted wood cabinetry that looks to Your Mama like teak or maybe walnut or some other wood that can stand up to the humidity of its sea side location. There are fresh white solid surface counter tops, a simple white subway tile back splash, and top-quality stainless steel appliances that include a glass-fronted—not to mention atrociously pricey—commercial-style fridge/freezer that makes Your Mama go all jelly-kneed with ice box desire and envy.
We’re not sure how the three guest/family bedrooms are arranged or what amenities they might be fitted with but we do know that the master suite occupies prime position on the second floor where it takes full advantage of its situation with another forty-ish foot long bank of glass panels that smoothly slide back into the walls. When open the roomy full-width master suite, comprised of separate but adjoining sitting room and bedroom, is converted to a luxurious veranda/sleeping porch with a dreamy or, for some, potentially sea sickness producing prow-like view over the Pacific. The spacious attached master bathroom has a floating vanity, a glassed in shower stalled lined with (what appears to be) white subway-style tiles, and a separate egg-shaped soaking tub.
Of course, we don’t know a shoe horn from spoon so Your Mama has no idea what, if any, alterations Mister Perry may have made to the house. For all we know—and we know nothing—this place has been radically re-realized since Mister Perry acquired it almost two years ago.
Such are the real estate customs of countless rich and famous Hollywooders, since he became a rich and famous sitcom star Mister Perry has bought and sold a slew of high-priced homes in Los Angeles and Malibu. Many of his purchases and sales overlap and it gets a little confusing so put on your thinking caps, butter beans, pour yourself a mind-clearing gin & tonic and see if you can follow along. If you think it might help, make a a ven diagram of overlapping transactions on some scratch paper.
In 1995, in the dewy dawn of his Friends fame, Mister Perry paid $590,000 for a not-quite-2,000 square foot house on a quiet cul-de-sac near the tippy-top of the celeb-saturated Outpost Estates ‘hood in the Hollywood Hills. He unloaded the two bedroom and three bathroom house in 2001, according to property records, to an L.A.-based attorney for $820,000 but not before, in June 1999, at that apex of his Friends fame, he forked over $2,925,000 for a glassy, 8,000 square foot mid-1970s modern nestled discreetly into the tail end of another quiet culd-de-sac in the now terrifically trendy and ludicrously costly Trousdale Estates area of Beverly Hills. He hung on to the Trousdale Estates pad for more then five years when he sold it the fall of 2005 for $6,100,000. The sleek, city-view house has had several owners since then, the current owner being Fuze Beverage co-founder Lance Collins who, accoriding to property records, snatched the house up in October 2010 for $10,280,000.
A few months before Mister Perry sold his Trousdale Estates mansion in 2005 he made two, not quite simultaneous purchases that combined came to nearly ten millon dollars. In April (2005) he shelled out $3.2 million for a 1,600+ square foot high-floor condo crib at the star-studded Sierra Towers complex on the border of West Hollywood and Beverly Hills. He first attempted to rid himself of the glass and terrace wrapped 2 bedroom and 3 bathroom apartment in 2008 for $4.5 million but didn’t actually manage to unload the place until September 2011 when property records show it was sold to a not-famous person for $2,850,000.
At just about the same time he bought the city-view in West Hollywood he forked over another $6,550,000 for a concrete and glass contemporary perched on a steeply sloped 2.5-ish acre hillside lot with a sweeping coastal view in Malibu’s guard-gated Serra Retreat where some of the rustically swanky enclave’s other famous former residents include Mel Gibson, Britney Spears, and Kelsey Grammer. In October 2011, Mister Perry pushed the four bedroom and 5.5 bathroom residence in the Serra Retreat on the open market with a rose-tinted $13.5 million price tag. In March of the following year (2012) the house was taken off the market and, much to Your Mama’s surprise, is currently operated as Perry House, a seven-bed sober living facility for men with the dough to afford such luxurious recovery circumstances. In May (2013) Mister Perry, who long suffered from his own addiction issues and has been to rehab twice (that we know of), was awarded the Champion of Recovery award on the White House lawn for his efforts at bringing awareness to addiction. So bravo for that. Seriously. Anyways…
A few months before property mad Mister Perry paid $883,000 for a perfectly ordinary corner property just off Laurel Canyon Boulevard in Studio City (CA) in July 2008, he coughed up $4,475,000 for a boxy, two-story contemporary set on a ridge high above the Sunset Strip. He off-loaded this house just this last February (2013) for $4,685,000 to, as per the property records Your Mama peeped, long-haired e-commerce mogul Michel Mente.
In August 2011, about a year and half before he sold his house above the Sunset Strip to the e-commerce guy, Mister Perry laid out $8,650,000 for a sleek, sexy, and recently re-built residence on a short cul-de-sac near the top of the so-called Bird Streets neighborhood above the Sunset Strip where all the streets are named—you got it smarty pants—after birds. The approximately 4,000 square foot residence, crisp and rigorously clean-lined yet fearlessly libertine and even a little bit louche, was described in marketing materials as inspired by the ground-breaking Pierre Koenig’s iconic and still terrifically modern Case Study House #22 (a.k.a. the Stahl House). One feature that the iconic Stahl House doesn’t have that sort of sums up Mister Perry’s quintessentially Tinseltown bachelor pad in The Birds is the state-of-the-art nine seat cinema in the basement fitted with a two-inch thick Perspex window that peers into the underwater depths of the zero-edge swimming pool where a person can paddle privately—and preferably in the buff—with a mesmerizing carpet of twinkling lights laid out below.
Presently then, in quick summation, Mister Perry’s $25 million-plus property portfolio currently contains the Case Study-inspired Sunset Strip house, the sober living facility in Malibu’s exclusive Serra Retreat, and the twelve million dollar beach front house. What Your Mama thinks matters none but we still think Mister Perry’s small but impressive collection of homes might benefit from a wee pied-a-terre in the New York City like, say, this sassy, 17th floor number in a full-service post-war building in the West Village.
*Mister Gillen has directed more than 100 commercials for the likes of Mercedes, Mini Cooper and the Viagra Racing Team. He executive producted and directed two seasons of a reality program called Build or Bust as well as a single, six episode season of Set Up. He’s customized a handful of vintage cars and motor cycles and spec-built at least half a dozen luxury properties in Malibu and Pacific Palisades.
listing photos: The Levin Group