April 8, 2013 at 9:24 AM ET
This week in celebrity real estate, Kevin James listed his longtime residence, while Gwen Stefani’s former Spanish-style home and The Notorious B.I.G’s childhood apartment hit the for-sale market.
Kevin James Selling Encino Estate to Play at the Beach
While returning to his fictional hometown in the “Grown Ups 2″ trailer, Kevin James is giving up his longtime residence in Encino, Calif. The actor is asking $5.49 million for the massive estate after purchasing it for $3.2 million in August 2003.
James and wife Steffiana de la Cruz appear to be beach-bound. After dropping $18.5 million on a new home in Delray Beach, Fla. last October, the couple have decided to ditch their pool and spa on nearly 2 acres at 16230 Bertella Dr., Encino, Calif. 91436.
Measuring 11,291 square feet, the home is described by listing agent Mark Rutstein as having “a true, resort quality.” An entire wall in the dining room has been converted into a floor-to-ceiling wine rack. As for a place to bathe, the home has a spa-quality circular stone shower adjacent to a tranquil covered patio.
Other over-the-top amenities include a state-of-the-art movie theater, gym, chef’s kitchen and posh dressing room. The backyard also offers expansive views of the valley and mountains beyond.
Gwen Stefani’s Former Spanish Cabana Hits the Market
She may be known for drawing inspiration from Japanese culture and fashion, but Gwen Stefani’s former home exemplifies the Spanish detailing characteristic of California architecture in the 1920s. The Los Angeles estate just hit the market for $5.195 million.
“The grand 2-story entry welcomes you into nearly 5,000 square feet of living space,” real estate agent Tracey Clarke writes in the listing description. Without feeling pretentious, a sense of Colonial grandiosity continues into the living room, with a 25-foot ceiling and french doors leading into a large courtyard patio.
The current owners renovated the property, located at 2566 Aberdeen Ave., Los Angeles, Calif. 90027, while aiming to maintain its historical and architectural integrity. As a result, the home is filled with tasteful vintage details such as a cabana bath, turquoise-tiled fountain and arched passageways.
According to property records, Stefani purchased the home in January 1998 for $1.375 million and sold it in April 2007 to “That ’70s Show” co-creator Mark Brazill for $4.795 million.
Brazill didn’t last long in the 4-bedroom, though, selling the property for a loss of nearly $1 million in October 2008. The current owners are trying to avoid a similar fate, asking four times more than the median Los Feliz home value.
Notorious B.I.G.’s Bed-Stuy Childhood Home for Sale
Everyone gets their start somewhere. For rapper Christopher Wallace, better known as The Notorious B.I.G., it all began in 972 square feet on the edge of gang-ridden Bed-Stuy. Today, the historic Brooklyn neighborhood is hipster central: artsy but not over-the-top cool. And Wallace’s former 3-bedroom is no exception, just hitting the market for a pricey $725,000.
The rap legend nicknamed “Big” because of his weight at age 10 reportedly worked as a bag boy at Met Food around the corner from the eight-unit limestone building. He began selling drugs at age 11, and by the time he was a teenager, “Biggie Smalls” was a rapper who had already seen the inside of a jail cell.
A few years ago, the apartment was renovated to update the kitchen from its original 1906 construction, while preserving the home’s traditional style. An east-facing living room with large windows leads into a defined dining area with a coffered ceiling. Crown molding and hardwood floors are also reminders of the home’s historic roots.
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