New Orleans’ star power may soon dim.
The French Quarter home owned by two of the city’s most famous part-time residents, Hollywood couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, is on the market, according to a listing on the website realtor.com.
The Gov. Nicholls Street home was put up for sale Tuesday for $6.5 million. The couple purchased the property in 2007 for $3.5 million.
In the online listing, real estate agent Judith Oult described the property as a “magnificently renovated historic 1830s masonry mansion.”
Among the “exquisite details” are an elevator, private patio with pool, gourmet kitchen, marble mantels and fireplaces, and a “grand spiral staircase.”
The 7,645-square-foot property also includes private parking for two cars and a separate guest house with one bedroom and one-and-a-half bathrooms.
Anyone hoping to get a peek behind the front door and into the home life of the famous pair is out of luck, though. The website provides six photographs of the home, all exterior shots of the gray and green painted home and its balcony adorned with flower boxes and both the American and Louisiana state flags.
Celebrity gossip website TMZ.com reported that prospective buyers will be prohibited from taking pictures of the home on visits.
Real estate expert Wade Ragas said it’s unusual for celebrity-owned properties to be listed publicly at all.
“They must be serious about selling,” he said.
It is unclear if the duo is planning to buy a home elsewhere in New Orleans.
Oult did not return a telephone call seeking comment. Other real estate agents contacted said they were unaware of requests by the famous couple for a new luxury place to call home.
TMZ reported that representatives for the couple “would not say if they plan on buying another home in New Orleans.”
Pitt has been a fixture in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina. He gained international renown for creating the nonprofit Make It Right Foundation to build energy-efficient homes in the Lower 9th Ward. The organization has built more than 100 “green” homes in the Katrina-ravaged neighborhood.
The foundation recently sued the manufacturer of the wood used to build decks and stairs on dozens of the homes. It said the product has begun rotting, despite a 40-year guarantee.
Though they haven’t been seen as much lately, for several years after they purchased the French Quarter home, Pitt, Jolie and their six children were regularly spotted and photographed in and around New Orleans.
There were breathless accounts by locals of shopping trips on Magazine Street and stops into French Quarter coffee shops. Photographs of Pitt tossing beers from his balcony to the home across the street, where actor Matthew McConaughey just happened to be hanging out with Saints quarterback Drew Brees, made the rounds nationally.
So ubiquitous and beloved was Pitt that a grass-roots movement even pushed the idea that he run for mayor. He did not, but he has filmed several movies in New Orleans, including most recently “The Big Short” with Christian Bale and Ryan Gosling.
The departure of the high-profile couple is sure to be a downer for locals, who have taken a certain pride in having Hollywood elite call the city home, and for tourists, who often pop into nearby stores to ask for directions to the home, hoping to get a glimpse of Pitt, Jolie and their children.
“People stop by to ask me if I ever see them. They want to know where they live,” said Marcus Fraser, who owns Le Garage Antiques & Clothing around the corner on Decatur Street. But Fraser said he hasn’t seen the famous couple much since they moved to the neighborhood. “I guess they’ll wonder where they went. But I don’t know that it’ll affect anything.”
Ty Siddiqui, who manages the witchcraft shop Hex, is not happy to see the famous family go, but she lent a bit of perspective to the loss.
“It’s sad, but the French Quarter has a history of its own,” Siddiqui said. “While they are terribly popular celebrities, there’s a lot that’s going on in this area. So they are one grain of sand in a large dune.”