The Hollywood Reporter turned out an exhaustive report on the Church of Scientology's Hollywood real estate holdings this week, a portfolio that numbers 26 buildings. According to the article, seven historic properties in the L.A. precinct owned by the church are worth a whopping $300M, including the iconic blue compound that houses Scientology's West Coast headquarters (above). For all the controversy surrounding the religion's leadership, they're reportedly both shrewd real estate investors and thoughtful stewards of landmark architecture. That real estate savvy must have trickled down to the membership.
? A-lister Tom Cruise, who is probably the most widely recognized Scientologist in the world, purchased this Beverly Hills mansion in 2008 for $35M. There's not much on about the size, but the stone estate did have enough space to accomodate 250 guests for a housewarming party!
? Actors seem to flock to Scientology. If we're being cynical, they're chasing something like Tom Cruise's success. Well, That 70s Show star Danny Masterson might not have achieved Cruise-like levels of fame and fortune, but he's not doing so badly in his role as real estate investor. Masterson bought this Tribeca penthouse for $1.43M back in 2002, then sold it for $3.25M this year, netting himself a tidy profit.
? When actress Kirstie Alley—who struck mega-fame in the popular 80s sitcom Cheers—went hunting for her dream house, instead of emptying her bank account to find something to her liking in L.A., she took her hard earned dollars to Wichita, Ka. In her hometown, Alley scored the house of her dreams and still had plenty left over for a self-directed decorating. These pics are from Oprah's '09 visit.
? She might appear on TV, but the owner of this Washington, D.C. ranch house is no actress. Fox News' Greta Van Susteren lives at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac , in a house that overlooks the botanical bounty of Rock Creek Park. Quite the getaway from the hectic day-to-day of a news anchor. Her husband, John P. Coale, is a self-described "ambulance chaser" who is also a Scientology devotee.
? Socialite Peaches Geldof, daughter of musician and political activist Bob Geldof, may have orchestrated one of the greatest housing schemes of all time. After her father kicked her out of the house at age 18, Geldof finagled a deal with London's ritzy Mayfair Hotel that allowed her to pay a reduced rate for her suite (above), so long as she was photographed outside the hotel. That measly task saved her an estimated $82,000 in hotel bills.
· Scientology's Hollywood Real Estate Empire [Hollywood Reporter]
· Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes throw big house warming party [Sawf News]
· That ’70s Loft: Danny Masterson Doubles His Money in Tribeca [NYO]
· Go Inside Kirstie Alley's Kansas Home [Oprah]
· Greta Van Susteren's House [Virtual Globetrotting]
· Booted out by dad, but Peaches Geldof lands in five-star luxury [Daily Mail]