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On the heels of his very public divorce from Amber Heard, Johnny Depp has decided to part ways with his five-penthouse condo spread inside one of downtown Los Angeles’ most iconic buildings — the Eastern Columbia Building. The asking price for the entire portfolio is $12.78 million.
It is a highly unusual spread. There are a total of five condo units, four of which are two-bedrooms with an additional one-bedroom, all nestled atop the art-deco structure famed for its four-sided clock tower, now a centerpiece in the revival of downtown L.A.’s Broadway district. When Depp started purchasing the units back in 2007, the area was a far cry from the hip, bustling destination for music fans and foodies that it is today.
Other than adding a few doorways that connected several of the units, the layouts of all the apartments were left as is. Three connected units served as living and entertaining space and the other two were used as an art studio and a guest suite, according to Kevin Dees of Partners Trust, who is the listing agent along with his colleague Nick Segal. This being L.A., even the listing agent has some notoriety — Dees is the son of the legendary disc jockey Rick Dees.
The sprawling condo is just one of many residences owned by Depp; while he rarely was sighted there, residents were tickled that such a high-profile actor had opted for a residence in downtown L.A. With its signature turquoise hue and gold leaf tiles, the building’s opulent grand lobby and tower have been featured in a number of movies including Zero Dark Thirty and Transformers. It also served as the opening setting for Selena Gomez’s 2015 music video for her song, “Same Old Love.”
“It’s inspiring being in the space,” Dees told The Hollywood Reporter. “It is one of the most architecturally significant buildings in L.A. and one of the finest examples of art deco in L.A. and maybe even in the United States.”
When Depp bought a unit there the area was basically a ghost town. But now Ace Hotel is a half-block away, the Swedish fashion label Acne Studios has a 5,000-square-foot store and designer eyewear shop Mykita is opening this week just a few steps away from French fashion label A.P.C.’s retail store. One resident recalled seeing Depp’s longtime friends and creative partners Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter (before those two divorced) traipse through the lobby; though Depp was rarely present, Heard frequently could be seen with her two teacup terriers, Pistol and Boo — the same pups that found themselves at the center of an international row when she brought them into Australia with her last year.
Depp is getting out just as a major development battle is brewing. In August, the L.A. Department of City Planning approved developer Trammell Crow’s plan for a 305-unit residential tower known as the Alexan, which would be built directly across the street from the Eastern Columbia Building, obstructing the views of a number of current units in the building (according to Dees, none of the five units that are for sale would be obstructed by the Alexan development). An organization calling itself the Society for the Preservation of Downtown Los Angeles formed last year to oppose the development.
Dees said the penthouses also are available for purchase individually. News of the listing was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
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Jeriana San Juan