For Sale: Perfect Party Pad -- Convertible to a Workspace
By Catherine Sherman
Photographer Richard Franklin's memorable home -- that featured a stripper pole in the shower and a two-story disco -- has gone through major changes since he listed it in 2012. According to the home's new listing agent, Nathaniel Pitchon-Getzels of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, the home at 2189 Sunset Plaza Drive, Los Angeles, looks different depending on the time of day and type of photo shoot. Since 2012, the stripper pole has been removed from the shower, and the once-bare disco walls now showcase Franklin's photography.
"The truth about me is that I am much more conservative than I appear on the outside," Franklin explained. "I don't buy into the culture we live in today, but you wouldn't know that looking at my house." You also wouldn't know that by looking at his photography. An English investment banker-turned-glamour photographer, Franklin has used the home -- currently listed for $6.75 million -- as the backdrop for his elaborate (and NSFW) photo shoots.
"The disco is really a serious studio," he said. "But instead of what you would expect to find in a studio -- white walls and paraphernalia -- I put up lots of lights and play fun music ... so I can draw from different moods."
Franklin has also gotten more serious about attracting a buyer. "The agent who listed the home in 2012 said some inaccurate things about the house," Pitchon-Getzels said. "At that time, Franklin was dabbling with the idea of whether to sell or not. He was still having fun doing shoots."
When Franklin purchased the home 23 years ago, it had two levels and a loft. After he started pursuing photography as a career, he got permission to build a studio -- the disco room -- one level below the house. It was a tremendous engineering feat, he says, because the home is on a steep, 60-degree slope. Without the help of an architect, Franklin added a casino, home theater and bathroom with a huge walk-in shower on another floor. In total, the home has six levels even though the height limit for single-family homes in LA County is 35 feet.
"The city permitted me for more than the zoning max," he explained. "But, I did it within the rules as much as I could. I was determined to work out of my home."
Franklin doesn't like shooting photos in other people's homes because he says it limits his creativity. He also doesn't have any assistants. "I work alone," he said. "I've taught myself things."
That isn't to say people haven't tried to work with Franklin or use his house. Sean "Diddy" Combs and other celebrities have asked to host A-list parties in his studio. Reality TV show "Project Runway" also reportedly asked to house models in the home, offering $60,000 a month in rent. Franklin turned them all down.
"It's too high of a risk to have those people in my house. I am not interested in being in the repair business. I reckon someone like Charlie Sheen could do $20,000 damage on his own," he said.
Franklin is selling the home because, after nearly a quarter decade, he's ready for a new canvas.
"He wanted to build a dream world, and he's done that," said listing agent Nathaniel Pitchon-Getzels of Berkshire Hathawy HomeServices. "He wants a place to create new art."
Pitchon-Getzels is confident he can sell the home, but he says it will attract a unique buyer who wants this type of house and can afford it. The estimated mortgage payment is $26,385 a month, assuming 20 percent down on a 30-year-fixed loan.
"It's too much for some people," he said. " ... But I specialize in unique properties that are a hard nut to crack for a lot of agents. I'm ready."
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