Anjelica Huston's Venice Home Sells for $11 Million
The live/work compound, known as The Fortress, sells to an unnamed buyer.
This story first appeared in the April 11 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Anjelica Huston has finally unloaded her Windward Avenue compound in Venice Beach for $11.15 million. Designed by her late husband and sculptor Robert Graham, the five-parcel property features a three-story, 11,000-square-foot artist’s studio with sweeping, top-floor ocean views, as well as a 3,800-square-foot home and a zen garden. Graham, who acquired the property in the mid 1980s, designed and built both the studio and residence. Rumor has it that Huston only agreed to live in the bustling section of Venice Beach if Graham put an 8-foot-wall around the entire property, which lends itself to the cut-off compound feel.
Huston originally listed the property after Graham died for $18 million. Over the years and successive price chops (it was last listed at $11.9 million), various potential buyers included producer and real estate ace Megan Ellison, who was in escrow on it late last year after her $47 million Bird Street sell-off. In 2012, Huston reportedly accepted a $12 million offer on the property that would have turned it into a private club. Like Ellison’s offer, it fell out of escrow.
Now an unnamed buyer has finally sealed the deal. “The client is an architectural purist who appreciates the buildings the way they are,” says real estate agent Daniel Pickart of Pardee Properties, who represented the buyer. “While so many other deals fell through on this listing, we were able to convince the sellers that we needed a longer escrow and time to really go through the complexities of the property. This kind of property could never be built now. It’s truly exceptional.”
While Pickart declined to comment on how the owner plans to eventually use the property, some industry insiders say that Venice’s evolution as an app-magnet for Silicon Beach may come into play: Whisper, the anonymous gossip app that is currently headquartered in a residential section of Santa Monica, is rumored to be a potential tenant in the deal.
“The Venice real estate market really caught fire about two years ago, which is when we came on as the listing agent,” says Gregory Bega of Sotheby’s International Realty, who represented Huston along with Mary Kay Nibley of Rodeo Realty. “This property is extremely unique and we needed someone who really wanted to take the whole compound and not morph it into something completely different and we’re happy for that.”