Driving across the country from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles as a starving musician, Bret Michaels knew he had found the place he wanted to be.
“I grew up in western Pennsylvania and still love it to this day," Michaels said, "but my soul opened up passing through the Southwest on the way to California.”
The spiritual pull — a combination of scenery and good weather, Michaels said — has kept the rock star of Poison fame tied to Southern California ever since. And, even as he puts his Westlake Village home on the market, he has no plans of leaving anytime soon.
Michaels, who is listing the home for $4.495 million, said he was planning to move back to his old neighborhood of Calabasas and was eager to start a new home project.
“I love the Calabasas and Westlake Village areas,” Michaels said. “I’m at this point in my life where enjoying some of the views and developing a new property is going to be great.”
Homes have always been a family affair for Michaels, his wife and two daughters. From the interior to the exterior, the rock-star family transformed their former home in Calabasas and did the same with the Westlake Village estate.
“We worked really hard to change the flow of the house," Michaels said. “The indoors and outdoors flow seamlessly; there’s a slight ocean breeze. It’s a really good vibe here.”
The Mediterranean villa, built in 1989, was created to be a comfortable family home, but it’s not without stage presence. A two-story entry, with a grand piano and a sweeping staircase lined with leopard-print carpet, sets the stage for the two-story house. Farther inside, subdued hues and family photos mix with standard rock ‘n’ roll accoutrements: signature guitars, framed posters, music awards and scores of gold and platinum records.
Gray-hued built-ins stand out in the step-down living room and office, and a similarly styled game/billiards room sits off the foyer. The family room — what Michaels refers to as his “rock-star party room” — is outfitted with a wine cellar, a fireplace and a massive wrap-around wet bar.
A center-island kitchen, a breakfast room, a large gym, six bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms also lie within some 6,700 square feet.
Outside, Michaels remade the grounds in keeping with his active lifestyle. “I like outdoor living, without a doubt,” he said. “If you want to skateboard, if you want to swim, if you want to play basketball — it’s like a living compound and playground.”
Other perks of the roughly three-acre property include a stone dining pavilion with an outdoor fireplace, a resort-style swimming pool, and lawn that seems to stretch for days. Towering palms, mature trees and formal landscaping keep the estate largely concealed from its neighbors and the street.
“There are whole areas where you can just disappear,” Michaels said.
Listing agent Jordan Cohen, who sold the house next door last year for an area-record $35 million, called the compound one-of-a-kind.
“It’s one of the biggest, most usable lots in Westlake Village,” Cohen said. “ It’s very hard to combine that much usability with that much privacy in this area.”
Michaels said that experimenting with homes and living space had always been an interest of his. He’s dabbled in real estate since the early days of his career and has a passion for creating properties suited for active lifestyles but with a rural vibe.
He also had a hand in creating the 9,000-square-foot Bret Michaels Rock Star Suite at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, as well as the Bret Michaels Hospitality and Music Room at St. Joseph Barrows Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, where the rocker, who has suffered various health problems, was once a patient.
In addition to property development, Michaels this year released the “Bret Michaels Auto-Scrap-Ography,” a collection of pictures and stories detailing his life and career as well as his philanthropic efforts. He’s also launching Love+Plus, an apparel line created by his daughters, who are now 18 and 15 years old, and continues to maintain a signature guitar series with Dean Guitars.
Michaels canceled his stadium tour this year due to the ongoing pandemic but said he had plans for a monster stadium and solo arena tour next summer. He has sold more than 55 million records worldwide.
Cohen is an agent with RE/MAX One in Westlake Village.