Late last summer, amid much hubbub and industry side-eye, Jeff Kwatinetz relaunched the Firm — a media production and talent management concern he co-founded in 1997 that quickly folded after he left in 2008 — and the occasionally polarizing showbiz veteran soon celebrated with the $4.4 million off-market acquisition of a three-story residence along L.A.’s Venice canals. The seller, according to property records we peeped, was high-powered entertainment attorney John Branca, a co-executor of Michael Jackson’s estate. Since the multimillion-dollar deal went down on the down low, we didn’t turn up any current online marketing materials, but according to the L.A. County tax man and listings from the time it was purchased by Branca in 2012 for $2.75 million, the nearly 3,500-square-foot residence has five bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms. A loft-like, open-concept living/dining and kitchen space on the middle level is joined by a ground floor family room outfitted with kitchenette, semicircular bar and a wide wall of glass sliders that open to a canal-front terrace with built-in grilling station and snack bar. The top floor master suite opens to a private, canal-view balcony with hot tub, and another top-floor patio has a corkscrew staircase that curls up to a rooftop terrace which provides a 360-degree view.
Kwatinetz previously owned a three-story, oceanfront contemporary near Malibu’s Topanga Point that he snatched up in June 2006 for $5.95 million and sold at a loss in June 2015 for $5.75 million. As for Branca, this property gossip presumes he hightailed back it to his nearly 12,000-square-foot manse in the Beverly Park enclave that he bought in 1993 from Canadian film and television director Sidney Furie.