Susan Jensen | Alli Baldocchi
Susan Jensen | Alli Baldocchi
Gone are the days of Silicon Beach being synonymous with Santa Monica alone. What many of us have known for a while — that the term has and continues to broaden to encompass much of Los Angeles — was only reinforced recently when Google announced a $120-million 12-acre land acquisition in Playa Vista.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the tech behemoth is likely to lease the 319,000-square-foot Hughes hangar next door, in total making room for approximately 6,000 well-paid and highly educated workers.
Expected to be not far behind Google in making the move to Playa Vista is the lesser yet still impressively large Internet corporation Yahoo. According to the Times, Yahoo, Inc. is making a separate deal to lease 130,000 square feet in the area. The same space, known as the Reserve, is already home to big-name tenants like Verizon, PlayStation, Microsoft, and Warner Bros, and is not far from Facebook, Rubicon Project, Belkin International, and ICANN operations.
At 368,500 high-tech employees, Los Angeles already hires more people into high-tech jobs than any other metropolitan area in the United States. Looking specifically to entrepreneurs, our rate of 490 entrepreneurs per 100,000 people beat’s out New York’s 320 and comes in second only to San Francisco’s 570.
So what does this mean for the South Bay? Short-term, there are housing considerations to be made for the thousands of affluent Google and Yahoo employees who will be arriving to the area. El Segundo, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, and Redondo Beach are just a short commute to Playa Vista and boast an incredible lifestyle along with some of the county’s top schools.
Bigger picture is a more systemic change that is emerging from the geographic and financial growth of Silicon Beach. There will be new shops, new restaurants, new housing, new medical offices, and so much more needed to meet the needs of the growing tech population. There will be employees of the big-name corporations who spin off and launch their own startups in fields as diverse as aerospace, advertising, ecommerce, mobile apps, and television production. With each new round of funding, each new acquisition, and each new company that moves into the area, the surrounding commercial and residential real estate markets will continue to grow.
Regarding Google’s move, Kieran Hannon, chief marketing officer at Belkin, explained it perfectly: “It increases the quality of the work, it increases the ability to network, it increases the ability to attract more people here. It has a complete knock-on effect.”
It’s an exciting time to be in Silicon Beach and we couldn’t be happier to be a part of it. If you’re thinking about buying or selling a home in the South Bay, contact us at Team Simply the Best.
Perfectly located mid-block on a quiet, non-thru, family-friendly street, walking distance to the Middle School, Polliwog Park, AdventurePlex, etc., this charmer does not disappoint from its great curb appeal to its surprising large backyard. Enjoy the 4 bedrooms or, depending on your lifestyle, use the 4th largest bedroom as your family room for wonderful indoor/outdoor living. Delights include: Hardwood floors, new interior paint, carpet, fixtures and near-new plumbing, appliances, landscaping and more. Annual block parties are just one of the events to be enjoyed on this wonderful street.
Sold Off-Market Listing.
Susan Jensen | Alli Baldocchi
In Manhattan Beach, which is famous for its walk streets, it’s not unusual to see a family walking to and from school in the Sand Section, or people strolling out along The Strand in the early morning hours for a jog or recreation. Stores, shops, and entertainment are all a few blocks away from the residential areas in Manhattan Beach’s downtown. We sometimes forget how good we have it when it comes to transportation compared to the rest of greater Los Angeles. While other communities are choked with traffic, most of the South Bay and Beach Cities residents only deal with it during a rush hour commute and are able to get around town without a car for the rest of their day.
Recent surveys of home buyers shows that our lifestyle is exactly what new buyers are looking for. The Who’s on Board: the 2014 Mobility Attitudes Survey from TransitCenter.org, for example, shows that more than 50% of people want to live in a community that is “a mix of houses, shops, and businesses,” which describes Manhattan Beach to a “t.”
More than ever, neighborhood transportation is driving home buyer’s choices and mixed cities with a robust downtown area and nearby residential streets is an ideal most buyers are willing to pay a premium for. According to Smart Growth America, one of our favorite organizations, cities like Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach with more walkable streets end up being more prosperous financially than cities that are not. You can read that here, and go visit the Smart growth America website here to learn more about how their sustainable, community-oriented approach to transportation has helped shaped Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach in recent years, all for the better.
It is no secret that a good school district makes a neighborhood more desirable; in the Beach Cities especially (Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, and Manhattan Beach) the top-rated schools are one of the main, driving forces behind the rush of people that want to live in our gorgeous little beachside communities. Families know that they’re getting a small-town feel in the big city, and buyers are willing to pay a premium for that, which is good news for those of you in the South Bay thinking of listing your properties.
A new study recently conducted by real estate company Redfin verifies that all over the nation, homes within good school districts sell for a higher median price and usually over their listing price. In fact, they sell for about 30% above their listing price, on average, and sell more quickly than homes in a lesser school district. Unfortunately, the downside is that buyers will have a more difficult time finding their dream home since they will have to pay more and be competing with everyone else looking for that perfect Manhattan Beach family residence. Families with children tend to stay in the same home for anywhere from 15-18 years minimum while they raise their children, so there are fewer homes available, in general, than in other areas of Los Angeles.
This is where having a good local real estate agent comes into play for both sellers and buyers. Agents like us can assist you with the right listing price to attract buyers, reap the most reward from your investment, and sell quickly. We can also help buyers navigate the competitive waters of buying a home in the South Bay by helping you with the right offer, negotiations, and neighborhoods. Let us know how we can help you get your family in the right school district in the South Bay.
“I came out of a supermarket on the Upper West Side, looked up, and saw this beautiful building. I thought to myself, ‘If I had a client in that building, I’m sure they would be wonderful.’ I just had a really good feeling,” says Hilary Unger, owner of New York City–based Perianth Interior Design. The next morning, that thought became reality. A client called seeking a designer for a 5,500-square-foot condo in that very building. “It was unbelievable. They turned out to be a really wonderful family,” says Unger of the couple with two young children.
With only finished floors and walls, the huge space was blank. Despite the empty space, the owners had specific ideas for each room. “They are in the entertainment business and wanted their rooms to be like theater vignettes,” says Unger. Some rooms display more drama than others, but the colors and items in each room were chosen with specific purposes in mind.
The owners knew what they wanted, but relied on Unger to create their vision. Color takes center stage in each room. Like characters in a play, some colors play supporting roles, while others are the stars. “I love color. It just has to be put in the right places,” she explains. “I look at the architecture first, and then consider what feeling we are trying to create. I base my color use on what the client
is looking for.”
The family wanted traditional elegance in the public areas of the home, so the colors are subdued. And the homeowners knew they wanted striped wallpaper in the foyer; if something can be both elegant and fun, this grayish metallic paper accomplishes that task. The paper complements an heirloom chest that sits beneath a gold eagle mirror—another specific request of the homeowners.
The living room and dining room flow together with ease, and neutral walls allow colorful upholstery, artwork, and case goods to shine. A special artifact for the owners—singer Madonna’s first keyboard—holds a place of honor and is flanked by a simple chair and two ornate candlesticks. A faux embossed leather coffee table centers the main seating arrangement, and the persimmon colored chairs from the
foyer appear here, too.
The same technique of repetition is used again as the chairs next to the game table are found in the dining room. Track lights on the royal-blue ceiling shine down into a fishnet fixture that’s dripping with crystals. The decorative finish of the plaster fireplace looks like limestone. Custom cabinets flank the fireplace and are one of Unger’s favorite pieces in the home. “I custom designed them to combine the
qualities of the homeowners” says Unger. “She’s more French and feminine; he’s more biker.” Unger designed the base to blend mahogany with nondirectional blackened steel, which is recessed into the wood. The upper cabinet is made of the same steel with faux leather recessed into the panels. Glass shelves allow light to flow from top to bottom, while chicken wire embedded into the glass sides adds
another custom touch.
An actual theater inspired the high drama of the master bedroom. A theatrical fabric company supplied the red velvet for the drapes and wall covering. Gold braiding and rosettes outline a diamond pattern behind the bed. The coffered ceiling, with hand-embossed leather, provided a hidden wiring channel for the ornate chandelier. Underfoot, walnut floors finish the high-contrast design.
The home office provides the next vignette, which is suitable for a modern-day maharaja. The blue-lacquer cabinets are opened by whimsical knobs. Rich blues, reds, and apricots lend the room a touch of the exotic. The red Ultrasuede sofa hides a pull-out bed, and striped silk curtains frame the view. More muted shades of the office colors find their way into the dressing room. Ivory, peach, and blue comprise a French provincial palette. Hand-rubbed lacquer, detailed carvings, and bronze hardware feel Old World yet feminine.
Bold colors take center stage in the children’s bedrooms as well. A spiral staircase leads to the play loft in the boy’s room that boasts a race car theme. The striped wallpaper contains all the colors of the room—mostly varied shades of orange and blue. The same striped wallpaper is used in the girl’s room, but in more girlish shades of pinks, plums, and greens. This whimsical design was inspired by
the young girl’s request for an enchanted forest.
Many people, including some designers, fear bold colors. Unger was lucky to find fearless clients, and the owners were lucky to find a daring designer. “Not every client can create a project like this,” she says. “But it’s my responsibility as a designer to create something that lives up to their expectations. This project did that.”
Featured in Home by Design.
Did you know you’re not alone? Most parents plan their home-buying decisions around their children. More than 70% of all parents make major purchasing decisions based on their children, according to a new Coldwell Banker Real Estate survey. These days, we’re less inclined to move our children to areas that are not family-friendly. The schools in Manhattan Beach are so excellent that it’s a priority for parents to keep their children here and for people who don’t own a home here yet, they want to.
When school is out, though, a community should offer just as much as it does during the school year. In a place like Manhattan Beach, there’s always something happening during the summer for kids. BeachSports Surf & Beach Camps, for instance, offers Surf Camp, Beach Camp, Beach Volleyball Camp, a 12-day Volleyball Clinic, and the Junior Lifeguard Ocean Safety Program at Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach lifeguard towers. (BeachSports.org). There are dozens of local surf and beach camps to make your kids happy! You can see a list here.
The Belasco Theatre Company at the Hermosa Beach Community Theater provides a summer activity for the thespians in the family; this year, their summer camp will have children (ages 6-11) performing musical numbers from the musical Annie. Belasco.org
For even more camp ideas locally, check out this great list:
Free family movies every night in June on the Redondo Beach Pier provide a chance for the whole family to relax together and enjoy some fun. There’s no shortage of activities for kids in the Beach Cities. Parents here never worry that they made the wrong decision.
We all know smoking is bad for you. We also know that nothing ruins a wonderful day at the beach more than cigarette butts or unwanted cigarette smoke. Many cities have enforced outdoor smoking bans, meaning that shared outdoor areas such as sidewalks, parks, and beaches are off-limits for smokers. Pretty much the only place you can smoke in Hermosa Beach is inside your own home.
Now, Manhattan Beach is joining Hermosa Beach by making our outdoors, especially our beach areas, more enjoyable for everyone, and healthier for all involved. Hermosa has had the ban in effect for two years now, and it seems to be going well. It was initially prompted when the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health created a report that showed that in 2007, almost 18% of percent of adults in Hermosa Beach smoked, which is higher than the nationwide average. Now, two years later, only 7% of people in Hermosa are smokers.
As more cities adopt policies like this, perhaps more people will stop smoking. In any case, there will be no cigarette butts at the beaches in Hermosa Beach , and soon, in Manhattan Beach. The ban could go in effect in June 2014, and we’re looking forward to progressive steps like this to help save lives.
Here’s your chance to own your place in the sun with a BIG OCEAN VIEW. Build your Ocean View home in the heart in Manhattan Beach, just steps to the beach, town and restaurants. No need for a car once you’re home. You’ll walk everywhere. Property consists of an Ocean View cottage with a 2003 addition.
Susan Jensen | Alli Baldocchi