BUYER: Jared Leto
LOCATION: Los Angeles, Calif.
PRICE: $5 million
SIZE: (approx..) 50,000 square feet, 8 bedrooms, 12 bathrooms
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: While cinephiles and celebrity watchers around the world gave their rapt attention to the giddy, jewel-encrusted showbiz extravaganza that was the 2015 Golden Globes last night, Yolanda Yakketyyak’s French manicured fingers dutifully tapped out a covert digital communiqué to let Your Mama know that actor, musician and budding documentary filmmaker Jared Leto quietly and via trust shelled out exactly $5 million for an off-market purchase of an historic former military compound in L.A.’s Laurel Canyon.
According to publicly accessible property records, the compound in question last traded hands in 1994, when it sold for $750,000 to artist Mark Lipscomb and attorney and former judge John Ladner, who is well known in the sorts of circles who know these things for his work with philanthropic oil heiress Aileen Getty. Some of the children may recall Miz Getty sold her multi-residence compound in the Hollywood Hills in the spring of 2013 for $11.2 million to candy-colored pop star Katy Perry, but we digress…
The Laurel Canyon compound, often referred to as the Lookout Mountain Laboratory and/or the Lookout Mountain Air Force Station, was originally built in the early 1940s and was used until the late 1960s as a military film studio where, among other classified projects, a small army of filmmakers and photographers with top security clearance made training films and documented military research on atomic bomb tests.
The once mysterious but now much-gabbed-about property, far more factory than residence in its exterior appearance, has been and off the market at a variety of prices since 2010: It was originally listed at $6.3 million and in early 2012 was relisted at $5.75 million. In late 2012 there were loads of reports the military installation turned colossal and colossally quirky private residence had been leased to a corporate concern that planned to use the sprawling structure(s) as a high-end rehab facility where up to 18 people would pay about fifty grand a month to work through their addiction issues.
We’re not sure if the fancy rehab facility plans ever came to fruition, but digital marketing materials and other online resources Your Mama teased out of the interweb suggest the behemoth, warehouse-like industrial compound, inconspicuously located on a narrow canyon street behind imposing gates and towering hedges on just about 1.7 acres, has more than 50,000 square feet of multilevel interior space. Listing details show a total of 8 bedrooms and 12 — ahem — creatively tiled bathrooms, and this bleary-eyed property gossip counted several kitchens and at least half a dozen living and dining spaces, both intimate and baronial in size. Listing photographs also show a sculptural spiral staircase, vast and meandering, concrete-floored art galleries, a theater space and a capacious soundstage utilized as a painting studio and gallery. In addition to a blacktop motor court at the front, outdoor living and entertaining spaces include a tiled courtyard outside the soundstage/painting studio and a slender backyard with several decks and stone terraces plus a lagoon-style swimming pool nestled into a steep hillside.
The Oscar-, Golden Globe- Independent Spirit- and SAG Award-winner, a dedicated vegan and social media entrepreneur who has largely taken a break from Hollywood since the critically acclaimed 2013 film “Dallas Buyers Club,”‘continues to own a 4,000-square-foot-plus house in the Cahuenga Pass area of the Hollywood Hills that our research indicates he picked up in March 2006 for $1.65 million.