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Hollywood Flocks to the Bird Streets Neighborhood

Despite the recession, Hollywood’s elite is flocking to the showbiz enclave above the Sunset Strip known for its amazing views and pricey homes.

Up on Blue Jay Way, construction workers are busy at excavation sites where multimillion-dollar houses are being built. The bird streets neighborhood is one of Los Angeles’ most exclusive and sought-after enclaves and it is known for its stunning views and extreme privacy. As it became more popular during the real estate boom of the past decade, prices soared. Thought property values declined during the economic downturn, the fact that the neighborhood only has a few hundred properties, it still remains pricey and in serious demand among Hollywood producers, actors and moguls.

Residents in the neighborhood, named after its many avian-themed streets, include movie stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Jodie Foster and Keanu Reeves; musician Herbie Hancock; talk show host Byron Allen; producer Megan Ellison; Hustler publisher Larry Flynt; and Sunset Tower Hotel owner Jeff Klein.

Over the summer, FRIENDS star Matthew Perry and Gateway Inc. co-founder Ted Waitt purchased homes in the neighborhood, singer Christina Aguilera sold a four-bedroom home for $4.65 million and Jennifer Aniston and boyfriend Justin Theroux signed a deal for a rental costing nearly $17,000 per month.

Luxury home developer Steve Hermann, who has built several residences in the area said, “Five years ago it was hot, but it wasn’t as hot as it is today. There is no disputing this is one of the most valuable areas in the city.”

Those who know the area well, like Hermann, say the neighborhood’s superior “jetliner” views of the city and its proximity to the Sunset Strip make it more desirable than other tony hillside enclaves like Outpost Estates or parts of Bel-Air. Residences with superb views fetch among the highest prices in L.A> on a per-square-foot basis.

In addition to views and a star-studded list of residents, the bird streets neighborhood is not without its sense of community. Hollywood divorce attorney, Laura Wasser, who has represented Angelina Jolie and Christina Aguilera, said, “It’s a really nice feeling in a city where there is much more anonymity than you would really like.” There is a Doheny Dining Club where an open group meets roughly twice a year for progressive dinners that have drawn up to 50 people. It was founded in 2008 and it draws in actors, producers, lawyers, doctors and such.

In the bird streets, there are currently 15 homes for sale with an average price of $5.92 million. The prices range from $1.25 million to $18 million. There are currently 7 home for rent in the neighborhood with an average price of $17,071 per month.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

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New York February / March 2014
New York February / March 2014