“It’s the hard-knock life for us! It’s the hard-knock life for us!” As a hip hop mogul with a staggeringly diverse portfolio of business interests and a superstar wife, Jay Z is a man who is perpetually on the move. Born Shawn Corey Carter in Brooklyn, New York in 1969, Jay Z is a living rags to riches success story after spending his childhood in a housing project and eventually dropping out of high school to pursue his true passions of writing music and singing. Although the young hopeful recorded a number of songs in the early 1990s, he couldn’t find a major record label willing to take a risk and give him a deal. That’s when he proved his entrepreneurial spirit and launched Roc-A-Fella Records in 1995. The following year, he made a distribution deal with Priority Records to promote his debut album Reasonable Doubt, a move that would ultimately launch him on the road to success in the rap industry.
Now ranked as one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time thanks to hits like “Hard Knock Life,” “Empire State of Mind” and “Holy Grail,” the 48-year-old also holds the record for the most number one albums by a solo artist on the Billboard 200 with an impressive 13. But, his talent and good fortune doesn’t stop there. As a successful businessman and investor, Jay Z is a certified NBA and MLB sports agent, the founder of Roc Nation Sports and the Roc Nation entertainment company as well as the former president of Def Jam Recordings. Married to Beyonce Knowles since 2008 whose net worth is around $500 million alone, Jay Z’s three decades of success as a rapper, businessman and investor have taken his own personal net worth to new heights at a whopping $650 million and counting!
Obviously able to purchase top notch real estate in any zip code, Jay Z’s real estate portfolio definitely speaks for itself. He owns an 8,000 square foot loft in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood, a mansion in New Orleans’ gorgeous Garden District and recently made an $85 million offer on a property in Los Angeles’ Holmby Hills area but was outbid—we know, we were shocked as well! Beyonce herself owns a 15-story glass tower on Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza which, after being married for eight years, means Jay Z likely owns half! What’s mine is yours, right?
Starting with Jay Z’s Tribeca loft, years before tying the knot with Beyonce, the rapper was living out his bachelor days in his 8,000 square foot penthouse on Hudson Street that he purchased for $6.86 million in 2004. Built in 1929 and once housing the headquarters of the United States Rubber Company, the seven-story brick warehouse was converted into condominiums in 1999 with the opportunity for buyers to completely customize their space beyond the triple pane windows and 12 foot ceilings. Drawn by the convenience of city living, the breathtaking views of the nearby Hudson River and lobby attendants to ensure constant privacy, Jay Z closed the deal after nearly two years of searching for the perfect place in the city. In fact, it was so perfect that it’s where he and Beyonce exchanged their vows in 2008.
Although the actual floor plan of Jay Z’s loft remains a well-kept secret, recent real estate listings in the same building lead many to believe that Jay Z’s condo is around three bedrooms and three bathrooms with a fireplace and gourmet kitchen. In addition to the common roof area, the celebrity couple also enjoys their own private roof deck that, thanks to large potted plants, shields them from the prying eyes of the paparazzi.
Moving south, the couple purchased a mansion dubbed La Casa de Castille at 1527 Harmony Street in New Orleans for $2.6 million in 2015. Originally constructed in 1925 as a Presbyterian church, the house was used as a ballet school for many years until it was converted for residential use in 2000. Now in the power couple’s hands, the three-story historic home boasts 13,292 square feet with seven bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a formal sitting room and a library with wall-to-wall bookshelves. The area where the altar once stood is now the dining room and the former choir loft has been completely transformed into a luxurious master bedroom suite.
Complete with hardwood floors, vibrant paint colors, oversized windows and 24 foot ceilings, the house is filled with gorgeous features from the intricately detailed columns in the main living area to the cabinetry, crown molding and vintage chandeliers. But, the beauty certainly doesn’t stop inside. With little in the way of actual grounds, the power couple transfomred their rootop into a garden with landscaping, grass, potted plants and a sitting area where they can take in breathtaking views of downtown New Orleans.
While the couple’s properties in The Big Apple and The Big Easy are absolutely stunning, it hasn’t stopped fans from wandering (and the media from spreading rumors) when the former Brooklynite and his diva will buy a house in his hometown. In 2007, rumors ran wild that Beyonce purchased a two-bedroom apartment in a 15-story building located at 1 Grand Army Plaza on Prospect Park. However, the purchase was never confirmed. By 2011, additional media reports were leaked when Beyonce’s name was tied to the guest list of a party to celebrate the building’s architect Richard Meier. And, as the rumor mill is known to do, it’s made its way full circle as recent news broke that the millionaire couple was buying a unit in Brooklyn Bridge Park! Whatever the case, they can definitely afford it and a dozen more!