Real Estate

Kanye West Has A Vision For Real Estate Development, Too

A day after Kanye West announced his bid for the Oval Office in a tweet dispatched on July 4, the rapper took to social media again to share what seems to be a part of his growing real estate ventures.

West posted a picture of what appears to be the round frameworks of several dome-like homes. Similar structures comprised a project underway on a portion of his Calabasas, California, estate last year before the Los Angeles County shut down construction.

The rapper captioned the image “#2020VISION,” the slogan he used to launch his presidential campaign (which for now seems to live only on social media).

A famed rapper, producer and fashion designer, West has been dabbling in real estate for several years now, much like President Donald Trump, whose family made its fortune in the industry.

“I am going to be one of the biggest real estate developers of all time,” West told radio host Charlamagne tha God in a two hour-long interview at his Los Angeles estate in 2018.

To the housing sector, West wants to be “what Howard Hughes was to aircraft; what Henry Ford was to cars.”

From his home in Southern California to his ranches in Wyoming to his domed “YZY SHLTRS” houses, here is a look at West’s properties.

The “YZY SHLTRS”

After purchasing a 300-acre estate in Calabasas, a hilly high-end community in Los Angeles County, West began building five domed homes that purportedly drew inspiration from the Tatooine planet in the Star Wars franchise.

The structures, which were to be West’s first built community, were possibly to serve as low-income housing units, KCAL9, the local CBS channel reported last year.

The star, however, failed to secure the required construction permits, which prompted the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works to red-light the project. The homes were eventually razed.

Now, however, West’s domed abodes appear to be once again inching toward completion. Although West does not disclose the location of the rotund frames on Twitter, the houses may as well be taking shape on one of the star’s two ranches in Wyoming.   

The monastery-inspired main residence

The “YZY SHLRS” are not West’s first try at real estate development. Together with his wife Kim Kardashian West, the rapper transformed a McMansion in suburban Los Angeles into a cavernous, eclectic abode that has since unfolded on the covers of several esteemed magazines.

Earlier this year, Architectural Digest described the Wests’ residence as “one of the most fascinating, otherworldly, and, yes, strange pieces of domestic architecture on the planet.”

Characterized by clear, geometrical lines and white open spaces, filled with equally futuristic furniture, the home resembles a modern-day spin on a Belgian monastery, as West told AD.

The standout nature of the home, a reflection of West’s highly individualistic style, is not a surprise given the rapper’s annoyance with luxury properties that, despite their own embellishments, more often than not come off as the products of the same mold.  

“The relationships that I have with architects, my understanding of sacred proportions, this new vibe, this new energy,” is what is driving West, the real estate developer. “I am tired of McMansions,” he told Charlamagne tha God. “That is wack. Everybody’s house is wack.”

The Yeezy Campuses in Wyoming

In 2019, West acquired two ranches near the small town of Cody, close to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, to serve as the grounds for what he calls the Yeezy Campuses.  

“By the time we left the ranch, I was in love with it and I bought it,” West told GQ of his 4,500-acre expanse in Wyoming, which is the smaller of the two ranches. The other one measures 6,500 acres.

West envisions the Yeezy Campuses, which he is developing together with architect Claudio Silvestrin and artist James Turrell, as spaces that inspire and facilitate human creativity and ingenuity.

“Literally and figuratively, we live in boxes,” West said. “We leave the womb when we are born […] and we are put directly in our first square space, which is the beginning of us going from being multidimensional and completely imaginative to being placed into a grid.”

A manifestation of fluidity and a break from the conventional way of life, the Yeezy Campuses are also to feature sustainable elements such as hydroponic and aquaponic systems, which enable soil-less gardening, as well as passive energy facilities.  

And, this might be just the start for West, who is taking on real estate after having already left his mark on music, clothes and shoes, among other things. Two years ago, while sauntering through the brush of his 300-acre estate in California at dusk, he told Charlamagne tha God, “We are going to develop cities.”

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