Friday, February 25, 2011

Real Estate Round Up: Courtney Love

We probably should just leave this alone but we just can't resist ourselves a wee bit of Courtney Love's special brand of I'm-a-rock-star-crazy, especially when it comes to her peripatetic real estate ways.

In late 1997 Miss Love reportedly bought a house in Beverly Hills, CA for about $3,000,000 from the then recently out-of-the-closet comedienne Ellen Degeneres. In 2001, having already bought a condo in New York City, Miss Love sold the Bev Hills house to British superstar Sir Paul McCartney. It was here at this house that Mister McCartney's former Beatle band mate George Harrison died in 2001.

Miss Love subsequently settled into her fourth floor loft in a newly converted and super-luxe warehouse building 0n cobble stoned Crosby Street in New York City's SoHo 'hood. She paid $2,647,500 for the 4,123 square foot sprawler located in the same swank boutique building where fashion-forward high-heel wearing musician Lenny Kravitz recently sold his duplex penthouse for $12,750,000 to multiple Grammy winner Alicia Keys and her music producer baby daddy and huzband Swizz Beatz.

Anyhoo, as is often the case wherever Miss Love goes, hilarity and chaos reigned supreme during her tenure on Crosby. There are scads of stories and scandalicious reports of antics and bizarre behavior that included a bewildered Miss Love peering into car windows and cadging cigarettes from pedestrians on the street in front of the building. One tenant told the press a story about nearly tripping over an obviously panty-less Miss Love who had, ironically, spilled panties out of her suitcase and all over the floor of the building's attended lobby.

The irrepressibly lubricious Miss Love sold the 4,123 square foot loft, according to Streeteasy, in March of 2006 for an even-steven five million big ones. New Your City über-agent Wilbur Gonzalez told Jennifer Gould Keil at the NY Post in late December 2010 that when Miss Love vacated the premises she left scrawlings on one of the walls in the kitchen that included the telephone numbers of Elton John and Michael Jackson. She may be as batty as three bees in a tornado and sometimes get so drunk she can't pull up her own socks but, chickens, this Miss Love is still a goddam celebrity with a little black book that would make even the most jaded star fucker swoon with envy and self-loathing.

Miss Love landed back in Los Angeles in the mid-naughts. For some time she's said to have lived on Alpine Drive in the flats of Beverly Hills, in the Hollywood Hills house once owned by Natalie Imbruglia and for a some time she lived near the Sunset Strip in a rented Mediterranean-style mansion on a gated street just below the recently rehabbed Beverly Hills residence of t.v. and movie actress Jennifer Aniston who, the real estate children surely know by now, has (allegedly) engaged Platinum Triangle super-broker Jade Mills to shop her 9,000+ square foot extravaganza off-market for more than forty million bucks.

During an impromptu August 2009 interview with a reporter from New York magazine conducted in a public toilet at NYC's Sunshine Cinemas, Miss Love revealed that she and her teenage daughter Frances Bean Cobain were fixin' to decamp Tinseltown for The Big Apple. This was just months before the legendarily mercurial mommy lost legal custody of young Miss Cobain who inherited a substantial fortune from her famously deceased rock star father Kurt Cobain.

We don't claim to know of all of the unlucky locations where Miss Love has bivouacked since heading east to New York City in late 2009 but we do know that she shacked up for a short time in a posh parlor-floor pad in the Chelsea Mansion, a Greek Revival-style townhouse on West 20th Street where the five modestly-sized but well-serviced apartments rent for $15,000 per month or more.

After leaving the Chelsea Mansion, Miss Love and her recently suspended twitter account alighted in the tourist swamped shopping mecca of SoHo where she set up house rockstar-style in a suite at the chic and celebrity-friendly Mercer Hotel. At least once she's appeared in all her boozy glory in the hotel's chi-chi lobby and given an extemporaneous concert, behavior that some speculated would not have been tolerated had she not been (allegedly) shtupping handsome Andre Balazs, the hotel's jet-setting owner and former man-friend of Uma Thurman.

Since at least the beginning of August 2010 (see item #3), Miss Love began to twitter and tell press people about her burning desire to acquire the four-floor West Village townhouse that model turned actress Mila Jovovich then had on the market for $7,500,000. There was a lot of noise made on the matter, mostly by by Miss Love, including a tweet in late November that stated that she'd finally secured the lease to the townhouse. But alas, it was not meant to be if it ever was at all. Just two short weeks after Miss Love's tweet of real estate delight, news broke that Ms. Jovovich's townhouse had actually been sold to IMAX Corp. CEO Rich Gelfond.

Miss Love reportedly left for London, tail tucked between her real estate legs, in late 2010 and speedily fell into the arms and home of contemporary art dealer and gallery owner Henry Allsopp who, in her own words, "saved" her from her own damn self and to whom she has, reportedly and shockingly, signed over power of attorney of her assets.
All of this brings us to the latest news on Miss Love's ongoing, ever-present and always entertaining real estate whirlwind. Either Mister Allsopp and Miss Love have parted ways personally (and professionally) or Mister Allsopp has approved the reported (and alleged) lease by Miss Love of a four-story townhouse in New York City's West Village (above). A tipster recently told the fine folks at Curbed that Miss Love has finally settled on a townhouse and signed a lease for a quaint, quirky, sophisticated and fully-renovated 25-foot wide 4-story townhouse on West 10th Street. No word on what's she's actually paying but the house was last on the market fully furnished with a $28,000 per month price tag.

The house had been for sale on and off since May of 2009 with an asking price as high as $8,800,000. Property records shows the sellers were a couple of gentlemen, one of them a former banker and the other the much lauded and applauded nice gay, decorator Steven Gambrel. In all seriousness and with all due respect, Miss Gambrel really knows how to work a room over and as such the townhouse was featured in the January 2009 issue of Elle Decor. The buyer, who records reveal paid $7,640,000 for the totally turned out townhouse in early October 2010, is listed as a business entity that connects to an address in Chicago as well as to at a ritzy residence in Coconut Grove, FL that happens to be currently on the market with an asking price of $9,800,000. Make of that what you will.
The glossy black front door of the Greek Revival-style townhouse from the early 1800s opens into a wide entrance hall with a sexy curved staircase straight ahead and, immediately to the right, a small reception room with lusciously lacquered steel-blue walls and smartly over-scaled and unvarnished herringbone-patterned antique wood floors. The fireplace in the intimate reception room is the first of six in the house. Up half a flight from the entrance all and concealed door hides a service and guest wing that includes laundry facilities, three-quarter bath and an itty-bitty bedroom papered in an over-sized and beyond bold red, blue and yellow ikat pattern.

The curving staircase sweeps up another half flight to a 25-foot wide living room that has Tiffany blue walls, heavy moldings and fireplaces at each end. Off the short hall that connects the stairs to the living room are a study/bedroom, wet bar, stereo cabinet and powder pooper.

On the top level a petite guest room has a fireplace and private hall bathroom and the master bedroom has another fireplace and attached facilities. Closet space is slim but there's a large custom-fitted and windowed dressing room that helps to make up for that shortcoming. Any guest of Miss Love's who stays in the upper level guest room will surely be treated to seeing their 40-something year old train wreck hostess parade back and fourth between the bedroom and the dressing room.

Half way down the stairs from the entrance level to the basement kitchen glass doors open to a tiny but charming terrace. The unfortunately all-but-windowless lower level has a massive fireplace flanked by a cozy sitting area and an eat-in kitchen outfitted in a sophisticated style that marries contemporary cabinetry and high-tech appliances with original architectural details like the exposed (and painted) brick walls that act as a bumpy back splash and give the room some historical gravitas.

We really haven't any idea if Miss Love has leased this townhouse or not but for a woman who herself often cries poverty to the press, she sure does manage to scrape together the do-re-mi to live in pretty pricey and damn luxe circumstances, don't she?

More mouth-watering photos of the townhouse can be found on the website of the quite accomplished designer Steven Gambrel.

photos: Corcoran
floor plan: Halstead via Curbed


Anonymous said...

So Kurt says: Courtney meet Karma. And she won't be kind.

(If it is indeed to this twit signed over power of attorney.)

SusieQ said...


You have got to get those links you post to open up another window--I hate leaving your site when I sit down for a good dose of real estate reading.

The photos Steven Gambrel have up are amazing. What is worrisome to me (even though I don't have the 9 mil asking price) is what will Ms. Love do to the lovely house. Hopefully, not scrawl on the walls.

Love the site, Mama.

Housey said...

SusieQ, just put your mouse over the link, right click and then click on Open In New Window.

lil' gay boy said...

Courtney's former Los Angeles abode, where George Harrison shuffled off this mortal coil, is nothing if not über-secluded, is it?

Love, love, love, her brand of crazy; I too can number myself amongst those off whom she grubbed a butt, in the middle of the day too ––– I was so caught up in the conversation I was having I didn't realize who she was until she staggered off, my slack-jawed companions staring glassy-eyed at her retreating figure. Gotta love her; as for her Twittering, well, not so much; but then I have always failed to see its appeal ––– as an IT professional I wasn't able to employ it effectively in my work, and most Twits I've known have an almost pathological need to be in constant touch with anybody...

I must say she has always demonstrated a certain real estate savvy that belies her image ––– this woman knows architecture. Despite the dearth of closets & lack of an elevator, this townhouse is beyond scrumptious. I lust after that living room with twin fireplaces, the waterfall shower head in the master, the powder room with the teal subway tile & the book-lined wet bar ––– even the vest-pocket-sized back terrace. Please pardon my drool; even the windowless kitchen is very 21st century Gosford Park.

SusieQ, darlin' a simple right click (Mac or PC) will open a new window for you; my trusty iPad does it automatically, but I know whereof you speak (but I see I'm repeating what Housey has just told you).

Anonymous said...

Can someone explain to me how a person who has led such a shambolic life for as long as Love has, can have the dough to buy and sell or rent expensive properties? Is she equipped with big trust funds, or what?

Mama'sBoy said...

Let me take a stab at your question, Anonymous: she is the widow of Kurt Cobain, whose name will forever make a lavish living for her. Even if she did sign away her fortune she'll be fine.

Thanks Mama, I just LOVE these real estate rollercoaster rides! Love it and thanks for the care you put into the crafty links that make these stories even more delicious...

Anonymous said...

LGB - I believe the term you're looking for is "Idiot Savant"

And 6:41 - I will explain this to you after you tell me why Paris Hilton gets paid to show up at parties, why anyone gives a rat's ass about Lindsey Lohan, and what possible reason could exist for giving ANY of the Kardashians a TV show.

Welcome to the U.S.A.

Anonymous said...

"Is she equipped with big trust funds, or what?"

Cobain is the worlds highest earning dead musician [I'm guessing No2 since Michael Jacksons death]

Anyway, when he passed away Courtney inherited the publishing rights to most of Nirvanas back catalog. In 2007 she apparently sold 25% of them for around $50M+ & then last year she was offered $160M for the remainder. So, even though she doesn't appear to work all that much & is a total hot mess she is incredibly well off. Well, at least on paper.

I'm so waiting on her reading this blog & posting a reply through an Ambien/Xanax/Adderall haze! Ambien/Xanax! That would be amazing!

Anonymous said...

For those who asked about the current state of the townhouse, Love hired the LA based firm of Woodson and Rummerfield to re do her RENTED pad.

Anonymous said...

Well, I hope the 're-do' firm doesn't mind waiting to get paid! Waiting until they've had to leak it to the press that courtney refuses to pay them! Karma will get her yet again, just wait for it....

FonHom said...

I had a spell of deja vu all over again looking at the pics. In the 80s I dated a much older bohemian guy who lived in one and a half floors of a strikingly similar TH on W 12th. The LR was half the width, but the MBR, reception room and kitchen/dining are virtually identical.

The 12th St. lower level had access to the garden via a few steps up to a small patio and another couple up to the garden, which was about twice the size of this one. Heaven. This LL could probably be reworked for more light and a better view of the garden.

The floors and doorways of this TH look like it may once have been broken up into separate residences. Kudos to Steven Gambrel for preserving as much as possible. Love it!

Anonymous said...

Speaking of people being paid to show up at parties, did that begin with the Duke and D. of Windsor, or were people doing that before them?

Anonymous said...

Big story in the this Saturday's New York Times about Alphonse Fletcher, who is suing the Board of the Dakota coop in NYC claiming racial discrimination, a dispute referenced by Mama several weeks ago.
One of the most interesting tidbits in the piece is that although he was well known to be an a list and out gay man in New York with a long time partner that he lived with at the Dakota , he actually married a woman in 2007 and now has a child with her.
So I guess he no longer had the grounds to claim discrimination based on sexual preference as well.

StPaulSnowman said... weekend wrap-up. Mumzie must be working with her stylist to get Oscar ready.

Rachel Vanderveen said...

What a hilarious piece! I love your style! I will now be subscribing! Geez, this gal is a nut-ball! I just feel bad for her little girl. She's going to turn out just as crazy as mamma!

Anonymous said...

You have got to get those links you post to open up another window--I hate leaving your site when I sit down for a good dose of real estate reading.doral real estate