Dome No More: How Kanye West's Real Estate Ambitions Were Torn Down
When he’s not serving up some body-moving tunes for the likes of Brad Pit, Katy Perry and Courtney Love at his Sunday Service, or working on his own music, Kanye West dabbles in the real estate market.
Back in July, it was reported that the rapper was building Star Wars-inspired domes in Calabasas because, well, why the heck not? As described by TMZ, the domes built in the elite gated community in Los Angeles were approximately 50 feet high and described as “dynamic” and “otherworldly,” with designs inspired “from every period of man’s existence on earth.”
Kanye described his ambitious dome venture in his usual humble terms: “I’m going to be one of the biggest real-estate developers of all time, what Howard Hughes was to aircrafts and what Henry Ford was to cars, just the relationships I have with my architects, my understanding of space and sacred proportions, just this new vibe, this new energy. We gonna develop cities.”
The domes were intended for a good cause, with Kanye seeking to “break the barriers that separate classes…namely, the rich, the middle class and the poor.” While that might be the intention, it goes without saying that it’s unlikely the poor would have been frequenting the domes.
The Calabasas neighbourhood is known for being particularly affluent, with the median house value in the area just over $1 million, and homeowners bringing in a median income of $140,929.
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YEEZY Home in the works! Each building is about 50 feet high. "Sources familiar with the project tell TMZ ... Kanye is building dome-like structures that are prototypes for a new type of home ... homes he believes will break the barriers that separate classes ... namely, the rich, the middle class and the poor." #yeezyhome
As many were quick to note, the domes seemed to play into Kanye’s God Complex, which has long been documented. Hit songs like “Jesus Walks,” “The One” and “New God Flow” have given ample insight into Kanye’s self-proclaimed “idol-like” persona, while his Sunday Service has come to look like some kind of celebrity cult where Hollywood’s A-listers gather merely to praise and bow at the feet of the musical genius.
Add to that the fact that Kanye pulled out of this year’s Coachella after organisers refused to construct a custom-built dome for the rapper in the middle of the festival grounds. Instead he was given a mountain.
That Kanye wanted his dome dreams to continue shows that this is a man who won’t accept ‘no’ as an answer. But now, it seems the prototypes are being taken down after violating building codes on account of the fact permits were never required to put them up.
It’s been reported that the domes have since been taken down after neighbours who lived near the construction site aired numerous complaints to the LA County Department of Public Works. They had every reason to be unhappy, as construction wasn’t just occurring late at night, but also on Sundays which, as Kanye “Sunday Service” West himself should know, isn’t allowed.
Kanye was given 45 days to acquire property permits to save the domes from being torn down. An inspector was told that the domes were impermanent and simply part of a “production,” rendering permits unnecessary.
But after more complaints from neighbours, it was found that they were in fact built upon a concrete foundation which cause the inspector to become critical of the impermanent claim.
TMZ now reports that the domes have been destroyed, with all but a single prototype remaining. It doesn’t bode too well for Kanye, but given that he’s just purchased a ranch in Wyoming for a cool $20 million, our bets are on that this egalitarian dome-housed community might just be relocating.