Views, square footage… and easy-access to fresh produce
Written by Alexandria Abramian | Playa Vista Photos Courtesy of Playa Vista | Malibu Photos Courtesy of Scott Everts
Call it the ultimate confluence of events that have come home to harvest on the Los Angeles real estate scene: Homebuyers are both shying away from water-guzzling lawns and growing increasingly interested in having farm-fresh, organically-grown ingredients on hand. The result? Single and multi-family luxury homes offering the ultimate in homegrown harvest amenities.
“The trend with restaurants serving/advertising ‘farm to table’ is now something health consciousness foodies and families desire in their own households,” says Madison Hildebrand of Partners Trust. “Another benefit is controlling how and what you eat, ensuring it is truly pesticide-free and all organic.”
Case in point: one of Hildebrand’s latest listings, a 1.5-acre Malibu property that includes an almost 4,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor space, and also has an extensive garden where raised beds offer year-round produce. “The large lawns are a dying trend while elaborate gardens are a ‘growing’ trend,” says Hildebrand, who stars on Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles. The property is currently on the market for $7,000,000.
But it isn’t just seven-figure compounds that are offering fresh produce. Interior designer Shelby Wood says that having an edible garden is a key request for almost all Venice Beach clients as well. “A lot of the people I work with are the healthy, cold-press juice types,” says Wood. “It seems like no matter how small the lot they have, people want to have a section where they can grow vegetables, and even eat all of that in outdoor dining rooms.”
It also turns out that having your own garden to tend to is no longer reserved for single-family homeowners: At Playa Vista, Brookfield Residential offers innovative amenities that expand the ability to grow veggies to homeowners of condominiums, townhouses as well as single-family residences like Celodon Gardens, which offers individual gardening plots for residents of the 1.3-square-mile, tech-centric community. In order to keep up with demand, a new communal garden area at Playa Vista has just been unveiled.
Called Corner Greens, the area offers individual plots, approximately 4’x7’, available to those interested in tending their own veggies. It’s just one element that reflects the foodie-focused community. Adjacent to Corner Greens is Playa Vista’s first outdoor kitchen, unveiled this spring. “Residents reserve the outdoor kitchen for family gatherings, birthday parties and summer [barbecues]—it’s a very popular spot for parties,” says director of experience at Playa Vista, Jackie Krutz. “There’s also a farmers’ market here that opened in 2009. It started with 25 vendors; today it has over 50.”
For projects with no land to spare, developers like Rick Caruso are creating other ways to keep it foodie-focused: In his 8500 Burton Way building near the Beverly Center, where units rent for between $12,000 and $40,000 a month, both a Trader Joe’s and celebrity chef Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne’s The Larder offer on-site options.
For his upcoming development, the proposed $155-million, 19-story tower called 333 La Cienega, Caruso plans to take the concept one step further: A concierge will fulfill tenants’ grocery lists and stock their pantries from an on-site market. So, is this a fleeting trend or is it a here-to-stay home feature of the future? Experts such as Hildebrand generally side with the latter—foodie friendly real estate isn’t going anywhere soon.
“It is not only educational for families/children,” she says, “but also a luxury only so many can have.”