Usually when a home is taken off the market and then relisted, the price gets a shave. Not in this case. Gene Simmons of KISS gave the asking price on his Beverly Hills mansion a $3 million hike, raising it from $22 million in October 2020 to $25 million this week.
The property still has a house with over 13,000 square feet, seven bedrooms, nine bathrooms, formal and informal dining rooms, office, bar and bonus room. Plus, the full-sized tennis court, parking for 30 cars and a pool with a 60-foot waterslide. So what’s changed?
The estate got a few upgrades over the winter months. “We didn’t want anyone to come in and complain,” Simmons tells Robb Report. So they replaced some of the electrical, added a new roof system to prevent leaves from clogging the gutters, changed some remaining wood parts of the home to poured concrete and added more foliage. The five lead-lined safety rooms dotted throughout the house were also made more secure and easier for residents to access. “If a bad guy breaks in,” Simmons says, “he’ll never find you.” The estate also sits on nearly two acres, with lush greenery helping to keep it private.
The home has four levels on one side and three on the other, meeting in the middle at the gorgeous great room with those tall windows on each side. On the lower level, there’s a six-car garage, a billiards room and a wine cellar, though the musician doesn’t drink. While one wing was used for meeting and his KISS museum memorabilia, he decided against building a music or recording room, instead opting to keep the place as an escape.
While Simmons and his wife, model-actor Shannon Tweed, bought the property in 1987, it didn’t always look so spectacular, but it did have a storied past. The home that was originally on-site was a 3,500-square-foot wooden farmhouse. “We flattened it and brought in tons of soil, spent close to $11 million sprucing up the place,” Simmons says.
They bought the acreage from Irving Azoff, who went on to manage Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles. “The Eagles were put together on the property,” Simmons says. And before that, Nicholas Schenk, one of the original Hollywood moguls, used to keep his mistress at the estate.
The Simmonses gradually renovated it and completed the build on the estate’s current house in 2000. While the exterior of the home has plenty of drama with its enormous windows, dual staircases and multiple wings, inside, the vibe is less rockstar and more family-traditional, with a flair for comfort and simplicity (though admittedly on a grand scale) rather than excess. Much of which was showcased on their television show, Gene Simmons Family Jewels.
In October, when the couple first listed the Benedict Canyon place, it was said that they were moving to another residence they already owned in tax-free Washington state. But that is inaccurate—Simmons has never owned property there. And recently, there have been murmurings about Simmons and Tweed purchasing a house in a gated Malibu community, atop a secluded peak in the Santa Monica Mountains. Simmons is now setting the record straight—Tweed has purchased the house as a personal investment with her own money, but they do not plan to live there. She also bought a lakefront property in Whistler, Simmons says. The duo has apparently long kept their accounts, taxes, investments and business interests separate. “Good fences make good neighbors,” he says.
That said, the couple still plans to leave LA for a quieter lifestyle and escape the celebrity map listings and tour buses. “We’ve always loved LA, but you do have to deal with fires every year, every once in a while the ground shakes, and those tourist buses. Everything has its time,” Simmons says. “The house is too big for us. It’s just Shannon and myself and four dogs. The empty nest thing is happening.” They’re headed for neighboring Nevada. “In Nevada, we’re close enough. The kids have their homes here in LA. It’s just an hour flight.”
He’s already purchased a 12,000-square-foot home there with an indoor swimming pool with slides and is considering buying an adjacent 90-acre parcel. What’s with all the slides? “If you’re going to entertain, some folks want to sip coffee but others want to swing from the chandeliers,” he says. “A home shouldn’t just be a home, but a place where you have parties and enjoy yourself.”
The Beverly Hills listing remains in the hands of Million Dollar Listing brokers Matt and Josh Altman of the Altman Brothers for Douglas Elliman.