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Crazy Rich Asians director unloads pastoral California estate for US$5 million

By James Mcclain 25 April, 2024

Jon Chu sold his Calabasas-adjacent estate for about US$1.3 million more than he paid for the place 3.5 years ago

About six months ago, Hollywood producer/director Jon M. Chu dropped US$11 million to buy Halsey’s lush estate in the semi-remote mountains between Malibu and Calabasas. So it’s hardly surprising that the prolific filmmaker—he’s best known as the director of the 2018 blockbuster Crazy Rich Asians—has now sold his old house, a smaller but likewise gated and lush estate in the same general neighbourhood as Halsey’s former spread.

Tucked into the unincorporated region known as Monte Nido, the nearly 11000sqm ranch is about as quiet and secluded as any property in the greater L.A. area, set at the very end of a hidden cul-de-sac accessed via a whimsical wooden bridge. Screened behind stone walls and big gates, the estate features a Craftsman-style main house originally built in 1954, per tax records. Painted a rich henna colour with teal trim, the nearly 446sqm structure packs in five bedrooms, lustrous pine floors, and numerous custom upgrades.

The house sold for just a hair under US$5 million, a healthy jump over the US$3.7 million Chu paid for the place just over three years ago. Per records, the buyer is an LLC linked to New Jersey-based real estate developer Robert Paulus.

aerial view of Jon Chu's house
The bucolic property is secreted away behind gates and ancient trees. Photo by Google Earth

On the main level, the house offers an airy living room accented by massive wooden ceiling beams, triangular clerestory windows, a stone fireplace, and two sets of glassy French doors leading to the gardens. Likewise, the formal dining room also sports French doors of its own and a vaulted ceiling, while the adjoining kitchen has a distinctly 2000s flare with speckled granite countertops, plus custom cabinetry and top-of-the-line Wolf and SubZero appliances.

There’s also a huge den with enough space for large-scale events, and somewhere lies a so-called “bonus den,” with wood-panelled walls and big picture windows, that could be a home office or library. For social-distanced exercising, Chu and his wife Kristin (née Hodge) will enjoy a private gym. Upstairs, the master bedroom includes a cinematic wraparound wall of windows with views of the oak tree-studded grounds, and shoehorned into one corner of the room is a unique circular banquette-style lounge, perfect for curling up with a good book. For its part, the master bath is somewhat dated but offers dual vanities, redwood cabinetry, and a built-in soaking tub overlooked by skylights.

But the real star of the property show are the sprawling, ultra-private grounds, which contain native plantings, a canopy of mature oaks, fields of California poppies, and a fruit/veggie garden with plum, peach, and apricot trees. Various play and picnic areas line the trail to the far rear of the property, where there’s a large swimmer’s pool set into a stone patio, plus a BBQ and spa. Elsewhere on the lot is a detached five-car garage, plus off-street parking for several more vehicles.

Chu, 41, was born and raised by a Taiwanese mother and a Mainland Chinese father in California’s Silicon Valley. Before “Crazy Rich Asians,” he was perhaps best-known for directing the second and third instalments of the critically-panned “Step Up” film series, in addition to directing Justin Bieber’s lucrative 2011 and 2013 concert films.

This story was first published on Robb Report USA