BUYERS: (allegedly) Beyoncé and Jay Z
LOCATION: New Orleans, Louisiana
PRICE: (last listing) $2.6 million
SIZE: 13,292-square feet with multiple units
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie may want to dump their historic mansion in the Big Easy’s French Quarter, but the kids at Curbed hear that entertainment industry superstars Jay Z and Beyoncé just might have shelled out a few million clams for the so-called La Casa de Castille, a hulking, 13,292-plus-square-foot Spanish Baroque-style converted church mansion in the heart of New Orleans’ Garden District.
The former house of worship, built in the 1920s as the Westminster Presbyterian Church and later the home of Ballet Hysell, was first put on the open market in September 2013 at $2.5 million. The price jumped the following October to $2.6 million, and the sale price appears to have been suppressed or removed from every property record database we know to look. (For the record, the kids at Curbed discovered — as we later did — that the property was quietly sold in early January to a corporate entity that links back to a Los Angeles address associated with Parkwood Entertainment, Beyoncé’s management company.)
There are actually four self-contained apartments within the hulking structure, including a mansion-sized owner’s residence of more than 9,800 square feet that encompasses the long-ago desanctified sanctuary and has four bedrooms and four full and two half bathrooms. Ceilings soar to 26 feet in the main living space, where the walls are lined with towering arched windows. The altar is now the dining room, and the master suite, replete with sitting area, two-room bath and a dressing area, is located on the third level in what was once the choir loft. Three one bedrooms apartments of around 1,000 square feet apiece are located on the ground floor, have separate side-street access and retain some original architectural details. There does not appear to be a great deal of outdoor space besides a hedged-in front garden and a green roof with trellised deck and meandering pathways.
Though Mister Z and Miz Beyoncé preside over a great and growing fortune that some reports say is in excess of a billion dollars, they maintain an almost comically slender property portfolio for people of their prodigious means. There have long been rumors they’re on the hunt for a trophy home in Los Angeles — the scuttlebutt goes they were outbid late last year for a 23,000-square-foot modern mansion above the Sunset Strip that was sold for $70 million to Swedish Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson — but as far as this property gossip knows, they only private residence they currently own is a massive duplex penthouse in lower Manhattan purchased by Jay Z in the fall of 2004 for $6.85 million.
Listen, chickens, not that we have any real inside intel on the matter, but if Your Mama were the betting type — and we’re not — we’d wager this church-mansion was likely purchased for use as a recording studio or by/for Beyoncé’s younger sister Solange, who has only lived in New Orleans at least part-time for the last couple of years — perhaps in a French Quarter rental — but also co-owns a fairly new fashion and lifestyle boutique in the French Quarter called Exodus Goods. Quite frankly, it just doesn’t seem quite up to snuff for the yacht-loving globe trotters. But, of course, what do we know, right?
Listing photos: via Zillow