Celebs Sheltering in the Gables

A Few Smart Stars Realize the Gables is the Place to Quarantine

The biggest story last month about Coral Gables was the purchase of a $30 million home here by music pop star Pharrell. While local media reported on the sale of the home in Gables Estates – by former Univision executive Ray Rodriguez and wife Liana – the buyer was not initially disclosed. His identity was revealed a week later by the New York Post in a story entitled “Pharrell drops $30 million on Miami mansion for quarantine.” Despite its title, the story did say the home was in Coral Gables and not Miami. It then explained that the 9-bed, 12-bath house – formerly listed for $45 million in 2018 – would be used to “spend lockdown under the stay-at-home order. Implemented on April 1 by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis”. The story was then picked up by a slew of media, including Architectural Digest.

celebs sheltering in the gables
Pharrell Williams

The idea that Coral Gables is a good place for stars during the pandemic was first pushed in the celebrity gossip site cheatsheet.com with a March article on what Jennifer Lopez had “Been Doing Amid the Coronavirus Outbreak.” While noting that, the main residence for Lopez and Alex Rodriguez is in Bel Air, California, “they appear to be staying in their vacation house in Coral Gables, Florida.”

Vacation house? Rodriguez paid $2.6 million for the 1.5 acre of Gables land in 2013, and then constructed an 11,000+ square foot home, with a massive pool and an indoor basketball court. When the UK’s Sun ran a story on the sheltering couple and their (combined) four kids, the house was given a $5 million price tag – along with 17 photos of the family and their home.

Perhaps the juiciest story covering a celebrity hunkering down here was the one about teen heartthrob and music star Shawn Mendes (Mendes’ self-titled third album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart). Mendes was quarantining in the Gables with girlfriend (and American-Cuban singer) Camila Cabello and her family. Photos of him strolling through the leafy streets of the city were posted almost daily by the People magazine website and UK’s Page Six celebrity news site. Our favorite was one of Mendes building a basketball hoop with Cabello’s father Alejandro.

And for those of you who watched the global TV broadcast “One World: Together at Home,” which aired simultaneously on NBC, ABC, and CBS on April 18 to raise funds for the World Health Organization, you may have noticed Mendes. He performed in a segment with Cabello; while he played piano, both sang “What a Wonderful World” – live from Coral Gables! Not bad, considering the other stars who performed included Elton John, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga, and Stevie Wonder.