Monday, February 23, 2009

Weeds Creator Jenji Kohan Gets a New Nest

BUYER: Jenji Kohan and Christopher Noxon
LOCATION: N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $4,000,000
SIZE: 5,919 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 4 bedrooms
DESCRIPTION: On of the great trophies of Los Feliz, this Med. estate occupies its own pvt, 3/4 acre+ walled park. Find your dreams here: provenance (Huntington est arch., Bixby and Chandler families for over 60 yrs); privacy (matures ground); style (impeccably restored orig interiors); amenities (updated systems, chef's eat-in-kitchen, grand master suite, swimmers pool, guest cottage, studio); condition (move-in) and real value.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Both Your Mama and our ever-faithful compatriot Lucy Spillerguts have been watching this historic Los Feliz lovely for some time, since early January when we received a juicy but unsubstantiated tip from someone named Mister Eminem that that actor Vince Vaughn's new girly-pal was pressuring him to purchase The Bixby Estate in Los Feliz.

But alas, as it turns out, it was not Jennifer Aniston's ex-lover and his new lover who scooped up the historic estate just weeks after it was listed, but rather a couple of successful scribes named Christopher Noxon and Jenji Kohan. For those who may not recognize their names, Mister Noxon toils as an author and free-lance journalist and has written in-depth articles for publications such as Playboy, Los Angeles magazine, Salon.com and The Huffington Post and Miz Kohan belongs to a budding Tinseltown tee-vee dynasty. Not only is she the creator, producer and writer for the Emmy nominated and Golden Globe winning program Weeds with the marvelous Mary-Louise Parker and the practically perfect Elizabeth Perkins, she's also the sister of David Kohan who, along with Miss Max Mutchnick, created the super-successful and award winning money-minting machine that is Will and Grace.

Property records now show that Mister Noxon and Miz Kohan scooped up The Bixby Estate, located in the heart of the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles, for an even-steven $4,000,000. The children might be interested to know that the sellers of the N. Vermont Avenue property only purchased the three-quarter-plus acre estate in August of 2005 for $4,200,000. A few flicks of the well worn beads on our bejeweled abacus reveals that after the considerable real estate fees were paid the sellers surely lost several hundred thousand smackers.

Also, and somewhat interestingly, the well-provenanced property was listed at $3,995,000, which means that if property records are accurate (and they better be), the Noxon-Kohan couple coughed up $5,000 over the asking price, something that just isn't happening all that much in Los Angeles anymore.

Listing information and previous reports on the property reveal the dignified Mediterranean manse was built in 1919 and designed by an architect named Elmer Grey, who happens to be the same fellow responsible for The Huntington Art Gallery in Pasadena and the Beverly Hills Hotel in, natch, Beverly Hills. The Bixby Estate was commissioned by and built for a man named Stafford Bixby who was part of the Long Beach Bixbys who in the mid to late 1800s owned and ranched much of the land that is now Long Beach. At some point, according to listing information, the property was transferred to someone in the Chandler family (of the L.A. Time Chandler family) but honestly puppies, Your Mama does not know (or care much) which one. Since the whichever Chandler owned the place, there have been several other owners.

Listing information indicates the "L" shaped main mini-mansion measures 5,919 square feet and includes 5 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms. However, a fast perusal the floor plan shows three principle bedrooms and 2 full and 2 half bathrooms in the main house, plus a staff bedroom and bath tucked back behind the laundry room. The grounds also include a detached guest house with a fireplace and private pooper.

The front door, flanked by two stone carved Chinese-looking lions opens to a lovely paneled entrance hall with a double set of French doors leading to the bougainvillea lined rear terrace. To the right is a graciously proportioned and paneled 33-foot long living room that stretches the entire width of the house from front to back. Beyond the living room are a home office with fireplace and an informal study/family room with an oddly located attached half-bathroom, a wood beamed ceiling, arched built in book niches and a couple of fantabulous arched French door windows that open to the rear and side terraces.

To the left of the entrance hall is the paneled and decent sized dining room with still more French doors leading to outdoor spaces. Behind the dining room are the home's service areas which include a breakfast area, a large center island kitchen, another half bathroom, the back stairs, a large laundry room and staff bedroom and bath.

Upstairs, two well-proportioned bedrooms each feature walk in closets and share a bathroom. The massive master bedroom measures a commodious 18-feet wide and 30-feet long and includes a wood burning fireplace and a small private terrace overlooking the front yard which provides a perfect and private spot for Mister Noxon and Miz Kohan to smoke a little weed before bed, should that be an illegal activity they enjoy. Beyond the bedroom is the large master bath where a large bathtub is surrounded by paned windows and a fashion fanatics dream of a walk-in closet that measures approximately 400 square feet and features a bank of paned windows for natural light.

The fully walled and secured grounds include a gated motor court at the rear of the property where the above mentioned guest house is located as well as another diminutive detached building perfect for a home office, art studio or hookah lounge and a detached 2-car garage with a terlit stuck up in the corner so that Driver need not ever stink up the poopers in the main house. Tucked into a private rear corner of the property is a wonderfully simple rectangular swimming pool surrounded by trees which will probably drive the pool man crazy, but provide a nice amount of shade from the blistering SoCal summertime sunshine.

Property records show the couple's previous home on N. Normandie Ave, which records show was purchased in December of 1996 for just $520,000, is close enough to their new one that they could probably push many of their belongings over in a few shopping carts borrowed from the nearby Ralph's grocery store on Hollywood Boulevard.

33 comments:

Belvoir said...

It's really lovely,I think. Nice proportions, it seems to have sort of a graceful patina of age, in the best sense. I get a good vibe.
I don't know LA well- is $4mil reasonable? It seems a bit of a bargain, for the provenance and aesthetics. But I just don't know, probably about right.

Anonymous said...

Love the landscaping.

Tree ferns in the front and the bougainvillea in back look great.

pch said...

Old school Los Feliz. Very nice.

bentley said...

Nicely proportioned rooms. I love that the austerity of the paneling and beaming are offset by what seems like a lot of light streaming in through all the windows.

Avg Joe :[) said...

The Sky Is...

5k over asking?

Oh.

Anonymous said...

My friend used to own this house and hosted many amazing parties there. the house is so "old money" glamorous. But the grounds are really what this estate is all about.
anyway my friend damon sold this to the people who are taking a loss, I assure you damon didn't take a loss as he always makes a killing in real estate.

Always one of my favorite houses.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of tee-vee dynasties... Christopher Noxon's sister is Marti Noxon, executive producer of Buufy, Angel and more recently, Private Practice. Over the past couple of years, she's also been a consulting producer on Grey's Anatomy and Mad Men.

The Preppy Pauper said...

Well Realestalker fans, we'll have to save our bitchy comments for another day, because this place is da' gorgeous!

No spec built McMansion, no matter how ornate, can match the charm and patina of this beautiful property. It's so great to see previous owners respecting the provenance of this grand old lady!

Kissyface said...

Local word is that the seller did not WANT to sell this house, but HAD to sell because he lost a big, big bundle when the USS Madoff went down. I'm glad he wasn't hit TOO hard in the house sale after taking that blow from Madoff. Still, it was a loss.

I've been in this house several times, and the house and grounds are wonderful. But there are some minor flies in the generally perfumed ointment: The house really lacks any truly "grand" space inside. That's OK, and its consistent modesty is pleasant. But if you're paying $4 million, isn't it nice to have at least one, well-done (not absurdly over-the-top) "gee whizz" space? An entryway? The living room? SOMETHING? I know, that's subjective ... but ...

Then there's the basic fact that the house is on Vermont Ave. That's really a lovely street. The ancient, giant trees alone are mind blowing. But the traffic coming from any Greek Theater event (every weekend in warm weather) is pretty awful. Of course, this house has its driveway on the side street, not Vermont.

angeleyes said...

Flat out stunning, everything I could ask for in terms of character architecture, size, grounds, privacy, and security. One of the rare places I read about that I'd want for myself if I lived in California, and a relative bargain compared the many others I wouldn't want at much higher prices. Perfection, thanks so much Mama.

Hippie Canyon said...

This is, doubtless, one of the most beautiful homes. So beautiful, in fact, that I would gladly take it despite the fact that it is in Los Feliz (personal thing, really). Sadly, I'm short the $4M doll-uhs. Even more sad is that someone like Bernie Madoff destroyed so many lives when he could have just as easily helped. Yes, I know... many will say BFD! Their rich, they'll survive. And they will, in many cases. But we can't forget the NPOs that were destroyed thanks to Madoff. Thereby effecting the lives of many people similar to me, and a whole lot like many people I've known. Let us all thank the SEC/Bush/The GOP/etc for deregulating the market while simultaneously passing out blindfolds and booze (which isn't half as fun as it sounds, trust me!).

angeleyes said...

Great comment Hippie Canyon, and couldn't agree more about Bush. The recently released annual historians ranking of presidents placed Bush 10 presidents below Nixon. Still too good for him, but I'll take it.

brooklawn dr said...

Totally awesome home. So livable. Take this over the 2 other Bel Air bohemmeeeths anyday.

Simply wonderful.

Babe Parish said...

love the flora and fauna- cool vibe - all in all well played jenji, well played.

Babe Parish said...

p.s. fauna due to the deer in the 'hood.
k
bye

elmer grey said...

I'm feeling the gush of love and admiration from all you chillun but I wish I had had a better site.

Anonymous said...

Everything looks like it's supposed to look - simply gorgeous.

Viva! said...

The paneling, the light, the pool, the landscaping, the tile roof, the little fountain, the pink stucco...very glamorous.

I Love It.

Anonymous said...

Love it!

Just curious - How much does a creator/EP/writer generally earn from a cable show?

Anonymous said...

yes I'm jealous...A freelance journalist and producer of a Showtime show can afford a $4M pad? hmmmm.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the Madoff debacle, my neighbor, a retired engineer, just put his home up for sale after living there for 30 years. He had his entire retirement savings with Madoff. By no means was the guy rich and now he's broke and soon to be homeless. Very sad.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't much care that there isn't a wow space in the interior as I would be living in the gorgeous portico/patio/pool area year round. Looks like heaven.

Anonymous said...

ive been to this house for a few parties that they gay couple who had it before this seller.. the place is stunning. but one of the guys told me that the house is cursed and every couple that has lived there ends in divorce/split up. including the previous buyers, the gay couple and the owner that just sold...and many more that owned before...

Anonymous said...

Cursed............than must explain the bargain price.

Anonymous said...

The owners need to stop hiring hot pool boys. No more divorces. Problem solved.

Anonymous said...

I would rather spend $4mil in Hancock Park/Windsor Square than live on Vermont Ave.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful place. Some new furnishings and a bit of decor, perfect.

Kissyface said...

I just double-checked, and the best word is that sale of this house was NOT caused by a divorce.

Yes, it is often been said that houses are moved by the "Three D's" - Death, divorce and debt. Here, according to people who spoke specifically and at length with the sellers about the sale, the reason was that the sellers lost essentially ALL of their money in the Madoff scandal and HAD to sell. They thought they were rich, and then, with one telephone call, they were broke. I suppose "sudden insolvency" fits under "debt."

Now, when people lose essentially all of their money, divorce often FOLLOWS the insolvency. So these sellers may be getting divorced (I have no knowledge about that one way or the other). But VERY reliable word is that the sale of this house was not CAUSED by a divorce; it was caused by Madoff-induced insolvency.

Anonymous said...

I didn't say that "divorce/split" made them sell the house....

I know for a fact that the guy who bought this place bought it for/with his longtime girlfriend. and like every couple that has lived in this "cursed" house, they SPLIT up..

I didn't say that was the reason he is selling, I did hear he lost his money, poor chap, but due to the Curse of the Chandler mansion he also lost his LOVE...

The house is cursed....ask anyone whose ever lived in it.

Kissyface said...

Of COURSE you didn't say that "divorce/split" made them sell the house....! What you DID say is there for all to see.

I wasn't CONTRADICTING you, I was CLARIFYING the objective facts. I'm sure what you say is completely correct.

There, now. Can I have a great big kiss?!

Not Average Joe :[) said...

My cardboard box is cursed. I hear voices all night. Sometimes I hear scratching noises inside. Once I caught a small rat. It tasted like chicken or what I think chicken used to taste like before I lost all my money and my mind.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful place.

Paul said...

This house is used as Esteban's house in Weeds. See end of Season 5, #5