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The concept of sanctuary (as a structure, as a salve, as the self) figures greatly into multidisciplinary artist and singer Solange Knowles’ work. Now, two of the spaces she owned — one secular, one spiritual — have officially been sold, after brief presences on the real estate markets in California and Louisiana, respectively.
Knowles first purchased a 1,360-square-foot loft at 6253 Hollywood Boulevard, which is surrounded by a constellation of stars on the Walk of Fame and views of the iconic Pantages Theatre and Capitol Records buildings, in 2007. On April 5, after just two weeks on the market, the two-bedroom, two-bathroom space was purchased by an out-of-state buyer for $725,000. It was originally listed for $799,000 by Daniel Banchik and Amy Dantzler of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties, the agents who held the listing.
“This was a quick close,” Yvonne Neustadter, owner of The Property Lab brokerage who represented the buyer in the deal, tells THR. “It’s pretty typical that sellers will come down on the price if it’s a quick closing and there’s not a loan involved.”
According to Banchik, the listing was remarkably popular. “We had quite a bit of activity on it and did quite a few showings, more than I had expected … in that building, [units] typically don’t sell as quickly as this one did.”
Neustadter’s client was initially looking for smaller properties, but Knowles’ aesthetic choices apparently won the buyer over. And in an era of countless listings online, smart, unique styling decisions (particularly when well-photographed) have the ability to make a space stand out. “It was just so tastefully done,” Neustadter says. “Not just the décor but some of the other finishes she did [too].”
A sampling of these striking, Solange-driven updates includes a walk-up Japanese soaking tub, a modular velvet sofa and concrete-plastered floors. “Instead of just having concrete on the floor, she did some kind of special plastered paint on [top] … I’d never seen that before,” Neustadter says.
The two-story loft, which 36-year-old Knowles purchased at age 19, was featured on the cover of Apartamento Magazine‘s 30th issue late last year. In her interview, she shared some of the inspiration behind her custom designs and what the space has meant to her over the years.
“I was a single mother and was looking for a building with a sense of safety when I found this loft space in Hollywood. I felt really connected to its ‘20s art deco architecture, its exterior and all of its original mouldings and details,” she said at the time, adding: “It’s been one of the most constant, grounding things in my life.”
Knowles has been known to split her time in Louisiana and New York as well, but the singer revealed that she moved back into her former Hollywood loft during the recording of her widely celebrated third studio album A Seat at the Table, which was released on Sept. 30, 2016. “The neighborhood had evolved so much,” Knowles told Apartamento. “There was more of a scene, a real Hollywood pulse there.”
That pulse can be attributed, in part, to the branding of this area around Hollywood and Vine as Los Angeles’ “Vinyl District,” thanks to the proliferation of recording studios and music history along and in between these intersections. “Last year, it was quiet in Hollywood … the urban areas like Hollywood and downtown L.A., where I specialize, really took a hit with COVID,” Neustadter says. “But for this area in particular, I’m seeing quite a bit more activity than I normally [would] … the area’s just becoming more popular, and people see the value. They want an area that’s more artsy and filled with entertainment and cool walkability.”
Adds Banchik: “[Viewers] loved the light, and the fact that you’re right there in the heart of Hollywood but it still felt very zen and peaceful in the unit … I think the buyer was excited, it was a nice transaction.”
The Gothic Art Deco-style building was built in 1929 and designed by architect Aleck Curlett (who is also responsible for the Irving Thalberg Building at MGM). In 2007, the Palisades Development Group completed a $50 million renovation of the building, converting the office tower’s units into 60 live/work lofts. “This is something that is a big attraction for people because so many people are working from home now,” Neustadter says. The buildings’ amenities include a 24-hour security guard and rooftop deck with a fire pit. It’s also protected under the Mills Act, which lowers the property taxes in exchange for the restoration and preservation of historic structures — making it “a really great value” at $725,000, according to the broker.
“It was priced appropriately, which I think is another reason it moved so quickly … [Solange] and her business manager really discussed it and wanted to sell it,” says Banchik, who has worked with Knowles’ business manager on properties before but not the singer herself — until now.
“There’s only a handful of buildings in L.A. that offer this [tax relief] and a lot of them happen to be in downtown L.A.,” Neustadter says. “But in Hollywood, I’m not aware of any other building that has the Mills Act, especially something that is more high-end.”
Though loft units have successfully sold here over the years (and others are currently listed), Knowles’ ’70s-inspired, third-floor, organic modernist space was particularly attractive, hence the quick sale. “The primary bedroom was definitely the showstopper for this property too,” Neustadter says. “It’s a loft, and it’s very open concept, but this one, in particular, is more open concept than I’ve traditionally seen with these lofts. In the primary bedroom, the tub and the double vanity is all open to the bedroom.”
One of Knowles’ other former properties, a 19th-century church located in New Orleans’ Garden District, recently sold for $950,000, according to Nola.com. The 7,975-square-foot, two-bedroom, four-bath structure sits on a 0.16-acre parcel and was formerly used as the creative headquarters for Saint Heron, Knowles’ multidisciplinary creative studio. The singer will reportedly continue to live part-time in her French Quarter apartment.
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