This sophisticated home on the Grand Canal, just a stone’s throw from the beach, offers the joys of waterside living on the Westside
There’s something about waking up to the sight, sound and smell of the ocean that immediately puts one at ease. It can calm even the most harried mind. It’s no wonder that the most coveted vacation spots are near water. Certainly proximity to the water is one of the charms of living in Los Angeles. But few homes near the beach here are also within easy driving distance of the working hubs of Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Silicon Beach or Playa Vista. It’s what makes the property at 5202 Pacific Avenue such a rare opportunity.
The three-story limestone Mediterranean home, with its large open roof deck, is washed with sophistication. Columns, cornices, wrought iron balconies and a deep red roof evoke Italy. The bucolic setting, the lapping water of the Grand Canal—this could easily be Rome, Florence or Venice. And that, in a nutshell, is the beauty of living in Marina del Rey. Here’s elegant city living—soaring ceilings, beautifully finished wide plank oak floors, crown moldings—in one of the city’s most picturesque spots. Though Marina del Rey beach may be the spot for surfers and paddle boarding, and the marina may be the spot to dock your boat (a boon for serious yachtsmen, fishermen and weekend boaters), the Canal is Instagram-charming, a smooth spot upon which to take a leisurely rowboat ride after dinner. At night, with the lights twinkling in neighboring homes, it’s a romantic spot for a stroll, the perfect way to walk off an indulgent dinner at Felix Trattoria, Evan Funke’s new pasta spot on Abbot Kinney in nearby Venice.
Certainly after a challenging and chaotic week at the office, even just one overworked day, the drive into this part of town feels magical. The slender winding streets are filled with waddling ducks, joggers, fishermen, finely muscled bikers and dogs enjoying the outdoors. The tall sails whipping in the wind, the arching bridges, numerous small cafes and unique boutiques give this neighborhood a unique flavor that’s equal parts rustic and restful. By the time you’ve pulled the car into this home’s spacious three-car garage, work seems far away indeed.
Pulling a well-chilled bottle from the wine fridge tucked beneath the marble countertop in the open plan kitchen and pouring yourself a glass of Napa’s finest is the ideal transition into evening. Whether you’re conversing with friends while prepping dinner or putting together breakfast on a hurried morning, this space, which merges with the family room, has been thoughtfully conceived for cooking, relaxing, catching the morning news or an afternoon game with friends or family. A mounted flat-screen TV ensures you won’t miss a moment of the action when you excuse yourself to refresh someone’s glass or put another bag of popcorn in the microwave. A breakfast bar completes the scene.
With the kitchen set off from the formal living room and dining room, serious dinners that call for a professional chef guarantees that guests will not be privy to the magic—and or the mess—of a meal’s creation. The living room and dining room’s multi-level architecture offer a flexible space to suit your lifestyle. Foodies might set a large round dining table on the loggia for weekly wine and food pairings. It also makes an ideal home office, within easy reach of both the front door and the kitchen, its location a subtle reminder to cease working when the house starts to fill up at the end of the day. A pool shark might put a pool table here; gamers might order a custom couch that fits perfectly along the low walls overlooking the main living room, making this a comfortable spot for tournaments or solitary play. The main living room, with its sparkling chandeliers, generous patio, fireplace and view of the postcard-perfect Canal and colorful homes across the way, is its own conversation piece.
Columns, cornices, wrought iron balconies and a deep red roof evoke Italy. The bucolic setting, the lapping water of the Grand Canal—this could easily be Rome, Florence or Venice.
The lowest level of the house offers a platform for the imagination. Currently structured as two bedrooms and a common room, it can be reconfigured for a guest room or mother-in-law suite for friends and family who appreciate the autonomy a separate set of rooms offers. For serious card sharks, oenophiles or movie buffs, it can easily morph into an enviable poker room, wine tasting cellar or screening room. Opening up to a veranda, the space can even accommodate those who might appreciate a cigar with their brandy after a satisfying meal and a game of Blackjack.
Long lazy weekend afternoons and temperate evenings make a refuge of the rooftop, where you’ll grill up steaks and enjoy the pleasure of bathing in the sun. Or it might be the setting for an elegant cocktail party with a team of waiters winding up the stairs with trays of appetizers, a bartender pouring specialty cocktails.
Two bedrooms and a spacious master bedroom suite—including a fireplace, patio, soaking tub, two basins, as well as two walk-in closets—encompass the home’s third floor. Waking up here, that same view of the Canal spreading out across the windows, it takes a moment to remember where you are. You aren’t on vacation, but it certainly feels like it—every day.
Real estate agent Nora Wendel expresses it perfectly: “Here is a home that encompasses the entire spectrum of the ideal L.A. lifestyle. Located at the beach but city close; sophisticated yet comfortable; activity-oriented accessibility to biking, hiking, paddle boarding and ocean swimming, or just sitting quietly with a good book on the roof deck or inside by one of the four fireplaces, enjoying spectacular views. You can have it all…and you can move right in!”
NORA AND PETER WENDEL
OF COLDWELL BANKER RESIDENTIAL BROKERAGE
LIST PRICE $3,900,000