YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: Pioneering electronic musician, savvy part-time architecture blogger, and passionate vegan restaurateur Moby, the proud proprietor of Little Pine, a modern-edged and dare we say delicious no-meat-on-the-menu boîte in the L.A.’s boho-chichi Silver Lake community, has not so quietly and according to property records coughed up $3.4 million for a prominent residence in the affluent Oaks neighborhood in the Los Feliz section of Los Angeles. Just a few doors down on the same street from a slightly smaller semi-Tudor-ish residence that the six-time Grammy nominee picked up in September 2014 for $2.9 million, the new residence, dubbed in online marketing materials as “Red Oak Manor,” was built in 1926 and spans 4,644-square-feet with a total of five bedrooms and six full and two half bathrooms.
Just inside the front door an amply proportioned formal living room has narrow gauge honey blond wood floors, a chunky carved stone fireplace opposite a bowed bank of multi-pane windows, and dynamic groin vaulted ceiling while the more traditionally flat-ceiled and crystal chandelier-lit dining room has French doors and a second carved stone fireplace. The eat-in kitchen, roomy enough and well maintained, seems a mite out-of-date decoratively speaking and a wall-to-wall carpeted family room, with a downright wacky, wood-paneled ceiling articulation, spills out to a 1,500-square-foot, partly awning shaded terrace that overlooks the kidney-shaped swimming pool and spa that’s unconventionally and, let’s be honest, butter beans, unfortunately located in the front yard. The residence’s five bedrooms include a master suite with another carved stone fireplace plus two bathrooms, a whimsical children’s suite with custom built-ins and a sky-lit loft accessible via a retractable ladder, two additional guest bedrooms with steeply-pitched vaulted ceilings clad in bleached wood planks, and a main floor staff room outfitted by the sellers as an office with built-in desks and cabinetry.
For more than a decade the uni-monikered Moby, real name Richard Melville Hall, has been a property gossip column staple on both the east and left coasts. In 2005, on a bit of a whim and with real estate stars in his eyes, the artsy-fartsy downtown dweller shelled out $4.5 million for a spectacular if somewhat preposterous four-story penthouse apartment located in one of the two towers that top the elegant El Dorado co-operative apartment house on New York City’s Central Park West. Alas, uptown living in an apartment that required near constant stair climbing wasn’t the former teashop owner’s cup of residential tea and in the summer of 2007 the penthouse was put up for sale at $7.5 million. After at least one buyer was rejected by the building’s board, the quirky quadruplex was finally sold in August 2008 for $6.7 million to a not-famous fellow who lost a bundle when he re-sold in June 2010 for $4.625 million to a Wall Street financier. Moby sold off his long-time downtown digs, an imaginatively configured, multi-level loft-like one-bedroom in the Nolita neighborhood, in May 2014 for $2.05 million, a good bit more than its $1.95 million asking price.
As far as this property gossip know, Moby’s first foray into the west coast real estate scene came in early 2008 when he and a platonic gal pal, fashion maven Stacey Bendet, together paid $2.95 million for a John Elgin Woolf-designed villa above the Sunset Strip that was once home to silver screen stud Errol Flynn and later owned by inestimable high-camp comedian Paul Lynde. First listed over the summer of 2010 at just under $3.5 million, the house finally sold at a bit of a loss in June 2013 for $2.85 million and, as it turns out, the celeb-pedigreed property is back on the market at $4.395 million, a huge amount less than its original asking price in April 2015 of just under six million bucks. In March 2010, just before he and Miz Bendet set the Sunset Strip house out for sale and clearly with a strong yen for something kooky and grand, Moby splashed out $3.925 million for the legendary Wolf’s Lair compound located along a gated ridge high above Beachwood Canyon and the Hollywood Reservoir. In late 2014 Moby surreptitiously sold the famously and marvelously idiosyncratic estate in an off-market deal for $12.4 million. Rumors ran rampant the buyer might be reclusive graffiti artist Banksy but real estate yenta Yolanda Yakketyyak swears on her husband’s paid-in-full life insurance policy the buyer was actually British born and Switzerland based banking heir and international financier Nathanial Rothschild.
Listing photos: Sotheby’s International Realty