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Katy Perry’s plan to buy an Eagle Rock mansion for Catholic priests falls through

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The house is now up for grabs, asking $5.6 million

View of Bekins Estate
The enormous Bekins Estate sits on a three-acre lot at 1554 Hill Drive.
Photos by Geoffrey Yale, courtesy Partners Trust

An unusual real estate deal involving pop superstar Katy Perry, the Catholic Church, and the former home of early moving industry mogul Martin Bekins appears to have fallen through.

Last year, plans were filed with the city to convert an enormous nine-bedroom mansion in Eagle Rock into a religious retreat for Catholic priests. As the Glendale News Press reported in November, a limited liability company connected to Perry planned to purchase the home on behalf of the Los Angeles Archdiocese in order to make that happen.

But now those plans have fallen through, and the enormous estate is back on the market—just in time to shatter the neighborhood’s new sales record.

Built in 1925, the 8,896-square-foot residence was commissioned by Martin Bekins, who founded the Bekins moving company with his brother, John, in 1891. For a while, it was the largest moving company in the world, and several of the company’s distinctively showy storage facilities still dot the Los Angeles landscape.

The home retains much of its period charm, with elegant hardwood floors, crown moldings, patterned ceilings, built-in seating, leaded glass, and multiple fireplaces. It sits on a three-acre lot with neatly landscaped grounds that feature a swimming pool and spa, terraced gardens, fountains, a detached kitchen, and a large greenhouse.

The asking price for the estate is $5.595 million, which is more than twice the price of a five-bedroom midcentury modern residence that sold for $2.1 million earlier this month, becoming the most expensive recorded home sale in the neighborhood.

It’s not clear why plans for the religious retreat fell through, but a representative for the Archdiocese tells the Eastsider that obtaining necessary entitlements from the city to undertake the project “seemed unlikely.”

Perry, meanwhile, won a key court victory earlier this year over a group of elderly nuns claiming ownership of an impressive Bernard Maybeck-designed former convent in Los Feliz. The legal decision should clear the way for Perry to purchase the property from the Archdiocese for a reported $14.5 million.

Front entry of Bekins Estate
living room with fireplace
Formal dining room
Swimming pool and spa